Half-Assing a Nursery and Why I’m So Proud

the funnest part of being pregnant was “nesting.”  i had a blast planning what the babycave (a.k.a. nursery) would look like, what would go in it, and researching all of the thousands of craft possibilities out there.  i found a thousand crafts i was determined to do.  handmade bibs, paci-holders, vinyl decals for the walls, decorative switch and outlet plates, changing pads with organizational pockets, headbands, and so much more!  oh the purples and laces and tulle and sugarskulls and cherries and… and… and… yeah.  in the end i worked on two crafts and really only finished one.  the first was closet dividers.  like these:

i’m not an organized person.  at all.  in any manner of the word.  i’m one of those people who lives in clutter and chaos as any organized person would see it.  but to me everything is in it’s place, even if that happens to be “let it lay where it falls.”  98% of the time i know where to find what i’m looking for even if it’s in a pile of disarrayed brik-a-brak that would make my mother tsk til her tongue swelled out of her mouth.  but i wanted the babycave to have some semblance of order.  i want my daughter to, possibly, take better care of her space than i have because it’s just a good habit to be in.  of course, this won’t happen, but i can make a vain attempt and feel like a good mother that tried.  and… it was an excuse to play with glue!

my dividers were to be constructed from construction paper, labeled with sizes, and decorated with rolled paper roses and leaves.  simple supplies sounds simple enough right?  no.  i had the damnedest time trying to figure out what size the hangers should be; they turned out too small.  cutting out numbers was far too tedious and i’m far too lazy so i bought some precut number and letter stickers at target.  but they were too big for my too small hangers.  i used some of them anyway, i thought they could hang off the sides decoratively.  it worked for the lower numbers and turned out quite cute.  the rolled paper roses turned out to be more of a challenge to make than i expected.  just holding on to the little budders was a thorn in my side (har! get it!  rose jokes… shut up.  i’m funny.)  however, i did learn that an empty toilet paper roll made the best tracer for the hanger-rod hole.  as i was pregnant and peeing like my bladder was afraid it would never get the chance again if it didn’t expel once (or twice) every 13 minutes – yes i timed it – i had plenty of empty rolls laying around for the choosing.  i made 4 whole dividers before i hung up my scissors (ha!  see what i did there?).  sizes nb (newborn), 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9 but i lost the nb divider.  it probably ran away and burned itself in shame.

now the second project completed. oh how i fell in love with this project.  when i saw this tutorial during a search for halloween décor, i feel head over skulls for it.  i knew i had to do it and i had to do it for my daughter’s room.  prepare yourselves, this may be too cool and too pretty for living eyes.

this banner has everything! contrasting colors, victorian inspiration, delicate tulle, lace doilies, and letters!  sure this particular one was created for halloween but using any colors or words would make it perfect for any sassy celebration.  i took this idea and ran with it and i don’t mind bragging that i am REALLY PROUD of the final product and found materials used.

now let me tell the story of how i choose my background color, the purple circles.  the tutorial called for felt but i had other ideas.  i have a wonderful family, both my own and my in-laws.  my mother and sister threw a surprise baby shower for me in california in conjunction with the yearly family bbq that doubles as combined birthday party for my sisters, brother, and i (all born july – you would think our parents would like october more…). it was a zomBEE theme – a sort of compromise between my mother and sister.  my sister wanted to do a zombie theme knowing how into the undead i am.  my mother was a touch less than thrilled with that idea and found a cute bee theme instead.  so they combined the two.  see the plush fat bumble bee in the picture?  decoration from the shower that now doubles as toy for little abby.

as awesome as my zombee baby shower was, it was in california and i, along with my in-laws, live in arizona.  and so in september my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law hosted a baby shower for me in arizona.  we went to The Old Spaghetti Factory, ate pasta, opened presents, and downed cake served on purple paper plates.  the moment i saw those plates i thought of the banner.  they looked like the perfect size and perfect color!  i brought the extras home and, like a good upcycler that i wish i were, i set them aside for the banner.

don’t forget to gather supplies: background, doilies, glue, paint, sponge brush, letters, work surface, cat.

when i began i wasn’t sure the paper doilies from joann would fit… but they did! they did!  sweet!  off to a good start!

you know you want that skull glass. don’t hate a playa!

from there i whipped up some chipboard letters with plain black and glitter black paint (2 coats each), glued some tulle around the edges, strung it all together with pearl string, and tied big black wire ribbons to the ends to cover the command hooks on the wall.  viola!  gorgeous and girlie without being pink!  i worked slowly, and it took me weeks to complete for that reason, but when it was done i felt like i had finally FINALLY created something as beautiful as i had envisioned it to begin with.  i know!  i can’t believe it either!

don’t forget to pet the kitty when you’re done. it’s an imperative step.

click here for the original [tutorial].

and just for s’n’gs here are some before, during, and after pictures of the nursery because i am so proud and amazed at the amount of work that my husband (mostly) and i put into the conversion.

Before:

note the “green screen” green wall and vibrant omgiloveblue blue.  and those classy blinds melted with love by the rays of at least 10 years of arizona sun.  please to be considering too that in the 9 years my husband has lived in this house, that room has NEV-ER been cleaned… not dusted, not vacuumed, not organized, not once!

During:

during: the walls are not only all one color, but that color doesn’t make your eyes want to melt out of the sockets!  nice, soft, purple.  feminine and royal.  and the trim… pretty snazzy huh?  okay nobody cares about the trim but dammit that was the hardest part!  we spent a couple of hours over the course of several days taping and crawling around on our hands and knees painting.  TELL ME IT LOOKS NICE!

BAM! Crib Construction:

After:

don’t ask about the two swings.  long story i am just NOT caring to go into.  remember that lazy thing?  the dresser is cute right??  yeah that was mine growing up and my sister’s before me.  now it’s my daughters and maybe one day it will belong to her kids.  sure it’s not the typical family heirloom but it has character, history, and meaning.  and i’m sorry when did i ever claim to be traditional??

i hope you enjoyed this romp through my daughter’s nursery.  let me know what projects you’ve taken on that you’ve finished and been most proud of.

 

I joined the link par-tay! at:

I Heart Nap Time

Super Easy Cute Coaster Craft

i started this project months and months and months ago.  i actually made a few of these coasters, and even started the one for this tutorial, before i even knew i was pregnant actually!  according to google+ i began this tutorial on march 6th lol oh well with procrastination i can always say “better late than never!”  what took me so long was needing my husband to be around to take a picture with my cell phone while i used the hot glue gun.  but i kept forgetting to ask him, and when i would think about it, i’d be too lazy to set everything up again.  add to that being so exhausted and unmotivated the first trimester that all i wanted to do was sleep.

so here we are sitting around the house doing jack and i got bored.  so i decided it was time to get crafty again… but in baby steps.  hey i know a project i started months ago, that’s super easy, that i never finished!  cd drink coasters!  hazzah!

so i set everything up, made my husband stand up and take a couple of pictures, and got to work in photoshop.  hey you should see the originals… everything is always yellow or orange no matter how much natural light i use!

super easy cute cd coaster craft

supplies:

  • cd you don’t plan on listening to again (i have tons of scratched ones i’ve salvaged from my car that won’t even play)
  • contact paper or self-adhesive shelf liner (mine has cherries – bought at the 99cent store)
  • non-slip shelf liner (the foamy spongy stuff, any color but i used white/creme – also bought this at the 99cent store but you can get it just about where housewares are sold including amazon.com)
  • pencil
  • marker
  • scissors
  • glue gun (and of course, glue)
  • *optional: paper towel/rag & surface cleaner

what to do with all that stuff:

  1. optional: use the paper towel and cleaner to clean the front and back of your cd.  this may help your liners to stick to it better, especially the self-adhesive contact paper.
  2. lay your cd on your non-slip shelf liner and trace with your marker.  you can try the pencil but i found that the material was a little too squishy for the line to really show up easily.  then cut out your circle(s).  i suggest doing more than one at a time.
  3. lay your cd on the “wrong side” of your contact paper or self-adhesive shelf liner.  the “wrong side” just means the back, the part that won’t be seen.  trace with pencil, and cut.  i don’t suggest tracing with the marker here because it may bleed through to the right side.
  4. next glue the non-slip liner to the back of the cd.  you can do this anyway that works for you but i suggest laying the liner on the cd first then apply glue in sections around the edge.  press flat but be ginger as the glue may still be hot in places and come through the holes in the liner.
  5. peel the backing off of your contact paper and carefully apply to the front of the cd.  smooth out and adjust as needed to remove bubbles.
  6. place a big sweaty glass of tea on your coaster, and enjoy!  no more wet rings and you’ve given new purpose to some old cds.

what i love about these is that they work great: they don’t slide around easily and they are very easy to clean since that’s the whole idea behind shelf-lining contact paper.  there are so many different varieties of contact paper out there that you can really customize your coasters to go with any occasion or décor.  just a warning on cd choice.  if you use a cd that has any writing or graphics on the front, it may show through your contact paper.  you can avoid this by either using the “top” of the cd to adhere the non-slip liner or apply a layer of solid color contact paper to the top before applying your patterned or final choice contact paper.  personally, i like the writing and graphics showing through!  this way i can always remember those cds lost to scratches, abuse, and time and they can make an interesting conversation piece.

RIP Brave Saint Saturn… you will be missed!

BONUS: some cool contact paper on amazon.com (links active as of 7/23/2012)