Friday, December 17, 2010

A handmade Christmas, pt. 4

Merry Christmas

We all deserve to give ourselves a little gift every now and then, right? The ugly toy-filled corner of our living room had been bugging me for months. We don't have a play room so the living room is really utilized by the entire family. I've tried my best to keep a balance of kid stuff-vs-adult stuff but slowly the little dude's belongings took over a whole wall. At this point we really didn't own a toy box or shelving of any kind. I wish I had a before picture but, all of his toys were in a small sized tote box that was too deep for him to reach the bottom of (which resulted in him dumping the entire box out 99% of the time). The larger toys sat against the wall on either side of the box.

Last week I was at Shopko, "The Target of the Midwest," and I came across these awesome organizational boxes. I fell in love with them because they are made of recycled magazine pages. They are mainly white but you can see the colored ribbons through them with articles in other languages. And...they were half off! So I bought the boxes and just hoped that I would find the perfect shelving unit at the thrift shops in town.

Five thrift shops later, no luck.

So I stopped by my parents house and demanded that my Dad build me something on the spot.

Well not really... I politely asked him if he could please make me something to hold our plethora of toys. You see, my brother is the amazing carpenter and professional builder in the family. But now he lives in California. My Dad also subscribes to the "keeping it ghetto" philosophy that I belong to. So I knew that asking him to build something for me was a gamble... to say the least. Some day I'll have to make a post of all of the handyman ways my Dad has "fixed" household construction issues. Wow. He is very creative and resourceful. I'll give him that.

Weenie-man sniffing out the new arrival

ANYWAY. He slapped together a four sided long bench for me using some old wood that used to act as a base for one of his sculptures. For payment I made him a huge cup of hot coco with whipped cream and all. And I told him he could count this as my Christmas gift. I wanted something that would be low enough for Lex to safely climb on. Because regardless of the height I knew he would climb it, so might as well make it functional.

Next I took a baby sized quilt that we never use and a thrifted tablecloth and "upholstered" them into a cushion with my staple gun. It sat like that for about a week but something about the yellow/orange tablecloth just bugged me. So last night I layered some old grey curtains on top of the tablecloth. I like it a lot better now.

The second part of my corner makeover involves hanging yarn balls that I had read about at Re-Nest. Normally they are supposed to be homemade lampshades. We already have lamps and track lighting so we didn't need any more light in the room. I used $1 balls, yarn, and wallpaper glue for the project.

Dip and wrap, dip and wrap, dip and wrap

Highly recommend using plastic or a shower curtain during this process. 
Glue was everywhere. 

I didn't leave much of a hole in mine since I didn't plan to make them into lights. I just left enough room to punch the scissors into the ball and cut it apart from the inside. It was pretty easy to fish out all of the pieces. And since I can't stand for any craft to take longer then one day I attempted to hurry up the process and blow dried them. It didn't work. They felt totally dry to the touch but once I popped the ball, they collapsed into a lump of damp yarn. So my number one tip would be to wait at least 48 hours before you pop them. Seriously, it killed me. 

These could easily be made into Christmas ornaments using a smaller sized ball or balloon. They could be made in shades of red or green to decorate your space for Christmas. Anything is possible. Anything. 

And the final results are: 

His new obsession: 
From Goodnight Moon he is telling you,
 "And a quiet old lady who is whispering hush." 

Fully functional, he can pull out the drawers and grab away at his toys. 

And that my friends is how you take two simple ideas and turn them into one long and winding blog post. 

Stay tuned for two more handmade gifts...but I need to make them first... 


Eva said...

looks great!!

RaT Babies said...

Good job!

Leslie said...

You are so darn creative. I love it!! And the adorable little boy completes the picture. :)

Grace4BB said...

Loved those baskets tooooo - did you see the towels that sort of match?? CLEARANCE:-) LOVE your balls! Just had to say it - but I really do - looks great oh thrifty one:-) You been to the consignment by Scooters?? GO! She's fairly new - but all ready very busy!