Thursday, January 31, 2013

Improvising (DIY Bed Rail Cover)

About a month ago my 18 month old started climbing out of his crib. He was very excited about this new skill, making bed times and nap times even more challenging. After hearing a loud thud from his room, followed by crying, I realized something had to be done.
I'm not ready to put him in a real bed yet (nor do I have one for him), but I had an extra long bed rail that I had used on Ava's bed. And his crib has a removable drop-side rail. The bed rail cover started falling apart after just one wash in the machine, so I figured I'd have to make another cover. I discovered, however, that the extra long rail was too long for the crib. It was a 3-piece deal but they didn't make it so you could link just 2 lengths instead of three.
I didn't photograph the process and it's hard to explain, but essentially I bought some wooden dowels and shoved them inside the hollow aluminum pipe frame then duct taped around the pipes so they couldn't slide. After all, this had to be toddler-boy-proof. I took the older cover, adjusted the length and stole the zipper from it, and traced around it onto my new fabric cover. I still can't believe how quick and easy of a fix this was. And cheap too! (about $5 total).

Now he can easily get out without falling, but not roll out while sleeping. And this was much cheap than a new bed, a good short term solution. I did realize though that it wasn't as stable as it should be, so I threaded some cord through the under rails (they had a good hole for that) and gave it extra securing by tying it (under the mattress) to the wooden rails on the opposite side. That thing isn't going anywhere, let me tell you. I did have to also put a child lock on the door... It took a few days for him to just stay in his crib, but now he does consistently.
And here's the little trouble-maker himself, in his jammies and excited for the change. He loves being in pictures.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DIY Magic Wand

A good friend of mine sent a book for my kids called Room on the Broom. My daughter loves it. We read it almost every night. The rhyme is great, the story is fun, and the illustrations are perfect for kids.

The witch has a grey and yellow wand which appears on nearly every page. So I decided that my Ava might also enjoy having a wand. And by the way, these would make great party accessories for a fairy party, a witch party, or a wizard party.

So let's get started. You'll need cardboard and a striped paper straw, some yellow paint and a hot glue gun.

1. You need a star template. It should look something like the image below (minus the dashes) and be about 3.5 inches in diameter. Print it out and cut it out using an exacto knife and ruler. Or you can use a digital cutting machine or punch, and that saves you time of hand cutting. 

2. Trace your template onto your cardboard and cut out 2 of the same star.

3. Score the stars along the invisible dotted lines on the unprinted side - going across the middle from inside corner to opposite outside corner). (I recommend using the sharp side of your blade lightly, along a metal ruler edge for less rough carboard).

4. Fold and bend on the score lines until it looks like this.
5. Using a hot glue gun, run a bead of glue along one or two sides at a time and glue all the edges together except the bottom.

6. Wrap a sandwich bag over the paper straw so you can now paint the star. Use acrylic or craft paint and paint both sides of the star and allow it to dry. It make take more than one coat of paint. (You can also coat it in glue and glitter, but just know that your house will be covered in glitter if your children actually play with it).

7. Remove the plastic and load up the end of the straw with hot glue. Quickly reinsert it into the cardboard star as far as possible for maximum stability. You can add a little more glue here and there if you think it needs it.

Now go make some magic!

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chalkboard Art

Some neighbors of mine, who are sisters, are throwing a 50th Anniversary party for their parents and asked me to do some chalkboard work for them. Another friend of mine has a 10 foot tall board that has been painted with chalkboard paint (and used many times for many parties!) This is the design I drew up for the Anniversary party. Congrats to them for 50 years of marriage!

It has come to my attention that the inspirational piece I was given to base this off of can be found here.

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