Tag Archives: kids

A new life for old boxes

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Not much makes me happier than saving something from the trash and giving it a new purpose.

These baby gate boxes were ready to go to the recycling bin:

BEFORE: Destined for the recycling.

For the smaller one, I decided to make a baby-safe mirror.

Boo-Boo loves to see his little reflection but I’m afraid to let him play with regular mirrors without close supervision. I found some mylar tissue paper for a few cents in the after-Christmas clearance at Target. I think I might have also seen it at the dollar store. Using the paper and my trusty clear packing tape, I affixed the mylar to all sides of the box. Because the tape pulled the paper a little, it sort of ended up like a wonky fun house mirror. He still likes it. The paper also makes a squeaky noise when he rubs his fingers on it, which brings him unexpected joy.

I think using glue instead of tape would have given a smoother finish, but this was quicker! I also wonder if just wrapping a regular mirror with packing tape would make it safe. Any thoughts on baby-safe mirrors? I know they can be purchased, but they are very expensive.

AFTER: Baby-safe mirror

For the larger box, I decided to cover the edges with the shiny mylar paper and the middle with a poster board. We are using it as a place to affix the “Letters of the Day” that Bean is learning. We talk about a different letter and decorate the paper letter with an initial-letter word that’s interesting to her. I got the inspiration for this activity from DLTK’s Alphabuddies (http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/index.html) and used their alphabet template.

AFTER: ABC board

Now Boo-Boo and Bean have new but virtually free learning tools.

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Waterproof

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BEFORE

A few months ago, I discovered our waterproof mattress pad was ripped. I couldn’t throw it away so it sat in my spare room, waiting for a second life. Some time ago, I made a small table cloth for the little girl I babysit using some leftover hot pink brocade silk. I’d always intended to make a spill-proof side. Here was my chance.

Using a coordinating piece of fabric that was previously a cover for a long-gone bridesmaid dress, I sewed on a background to the translucent waterproof plastic. I traced some images from a baby book for decoration. Then I hemmed the edges and sewed it onto the already-hemmed tablecloth.

AFTER

Now she has her own space at the table.