Category Archives: Crafty Momma

Our Art Project for the Nursery

This morning Xander woke up in a VERY grouchy mood, so I knew immediately I was going to have to keep him busy or else I’d be carrying around a grumpy toddler all day.  I pinned something a while back on Pinterest that I knew would make a perfect “art project” for us and have intended on doing something similar for Liam’s room.  If you want to read her tutorial you can go here, it’s definitely more detailed and she probably does a much better job of explaining all the steps!

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He might look sweet, but he was NOT happy.

 So, we cut out the fabric for our art project this morning so I could “draw” the outlines in order to paint after nap time.

Here you can see the printed wheel that I traced.

Here you can see the printed wheel that I traced.

I printed out a few outlines of what I wanted to “paint” with Xander.  You can totally skip this step and just freehand it, but if you need a pattern to go off of you can just google “____ color sheet” with the blank being whatever you want to trace.  I did a nautical wheel, an anchor, a sail boat, a starfish, and a whale.

All traced.

All traced.

After I had printed the various color sheets, I mixed 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of warm water until there were no lumps, and then put it in a ziplock bag. (Basically you’re piping the paste like you would ice a cake in this step–but it comes out fast, you could probably slow it down by adding more flour, but it’d also possibly take longer to dry!) I cut a VERY small tip off (seriously, cut even SMALLER than you think you’ll need, it comes out fast and you can always cut again!!) then got to work.  I had to work very fast, even with my small tip–I should have put the mixture in a new bag and started over but I was impatient and Xander thought it was the coolest thing ever. And who am I to rain on grouchy pant’s parade? Once I finished I ended up taking the cutting mat that had all the “pictures” on it out to the patio table.  You definitely don’t need a cutting mat, but you DO need something underneath when painting, and depending on how watered down you do your paint you probably need something more substantial than newspaper!! (The Florida sun does wonders for drying times, it would have taken drying overnight without it!)

IMG_4457During nap time I set everything up and had it ready to go for when grouch woke up.  Oh and he was still grouchy–and ended up playing in the water table while I painted the first two by myself!

IMG_4461Eventually we finished, and let them dry another hour or so. There were random breezes today so I weighed down each corner of the paintings so that they could dry without creating a mess.  (I also suggest doing this if you dry the flour/water mixture outside.  I didn’t at first and two paintings got messed up and I had to go back and fix them!)

Xander painted this one 100% on his own.  He is super proud of it!

Xander painted this one 100% on his own. He is super proud of it!

IMG_4465After they finished drying, I picked all the flour/water mixture off, and the paintings are finished!  They’re each 12×12 inches, and I need to figure out how we’re going to frame them.  They are going to look AWESOME in Liam’s room though!  I’m so excited to share! Let me know if you end up doing something similar! :)

Weekend Project: Our New Water Table

Since Paul is working 12 hour shifts now, I wanted to “be prepared” for LONG days with Xander–especially since I’m nearing the end of this pregnancy and it’s hot and HUMID here!

You might remember this beauty:

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If not, it’s the water table I made while Paul was deployed.  I absolutely LOVED it, and a lot of work went into it. But, it didn’t match our patio furniture and there were a few things we didn’t like about it so we decided we would sell it in San Diego and make another one once we got to Key West.

Well, we’ve put it off and put it off.  Actually Paul made a picnic table for me–because I’m spoiled, I know! And there have been other small projects that have jumped the line, but on Friday I kindly asked that we make the water table over the weekend so Xander and I could have something to keep us “busy” and more importantly cool while Paul was working his 12 hour days!

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So after about two-three hours of hard labor–haha!–Paul had built a new water table, with three bins instead of two for our little man.  We fixed the things we didn’t like about the old table (the lids didn’t go on the bins well, there was no storage for toys, etc.) and we also bought a Kreg Jig in order to make it look nicer. :) Here’s the tutorial:

DIY Water Table:

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Shopping List:
1- 1×2 boards (8 feet long)
2- 1×3 boards (8 feet long)
1- 2×2 board (8 feet long)
3- 15 qt Sterlite storage bins with white/green lids

Tools Needed:
Tape Measure
Pencil
Square
Saw (Or have Home Depot or Lowe’s cut your wood for you!)
Kreg Jig
Drill
Wood Glue

Cut List:
2-1×3 @ 38 3/4” (long sides of top frame)
2 1×2 @ 14 7/8” (middle braces of top frame)
2-1×3 @ 14 7/8” (short sides of top frame)
4-2×2 @ 18” (legs)
2-1×3 @ 34 3/4” (long side of table skirt)
2-1×3 @ 13 7/8 (short side of table skirt)

(The table ends up being 18 3/4” tall which we have found to be perfect for Xander as well as our 6 year old neighbor who came over and tried it out immediately after it was finished.)

 

Step One: Top Frame

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Drill two pocket holes in each end of the vertical boards. (There should be two holes at each of the blue arrows) Glue and attach with Kreg screws.

Step Two: Two legs and Short Skirt Sides

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Drill two pocket holes in the end of one of the short skirt sides.  Glue and attach it to a leg with Kreg screws.  The side with the pocket holes should be 1/2” from the corner of the leg, as I’ve shown above (Don’t judge my Google Art skills–I know that they’re lacking!).  This side will face the inside of the table.

Step Three: All Four Legs With Short Skirt Sides

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On the other end of the same short skirt board, drill two pocket holes on the side that will face the inside of table.  Glue and attach it to table leg.  (Again there should be a 1/2” from the corner of the leg, as I’ve tried to show in the drawing)  Repeat steps two and three with the remaining legs and short skirt side.

 

Step Four: Long Side of Table Skirt

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Use the Kreg Jig to drill two pocket holes in one end of the long side of the table skirt (one of the 1×3’s measuring 34 3/4”).  Glue and attach it to one of the legs, 1/2” from the inside corner of the leg.  Just like the short sides, the pocket holes will face the inside of the table.

 

Step Five: Finishing the Table Skirt/Legs

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On the other end of the same board, use the Kreg Jig to drill two more pocket holes on the inside of the skirt.  Glue and attach to the opposite leg with Kreg screws–again make sure there is a 1/2” space between the board and the corner of the leg.  Repeat steps four and five with the remaining table skirt board until you have the legs and skirt fully adjoined like pictured above.

 

Step Six: Joining Table Legs/Skirt to the Top Frame

Each green arrow represents where a pocket hole should go.  (Note that the inside of the skirt should be flush with the inside of the top frame on all sides.)

Each green arrow represents where a pocket hole should go. (Note that the inside of the skirt should be flush with the inside of the top frame on all sides.)

Place the “pretty side” of the Top Frame down on a flat surface (basically so that all the holes are where you can see them!) Place the table skirt/legs upside down on top of the frame.  Mark where the pocket holes are going to go.  Drill the pocket holes, then place back on top of frame, glue and attach using Kreg screws.

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Check out his cool Home Depot apron from the kid’s project he got to do earlier that day!!

At this point the table itself is finished, so we had our big helper carry the bins over and then we filled them with water and toys and let him go to town.  We DO plan on finishing it, we just haven’t decided how yet.  Since there is SO much contact with water it’s important for there to be a high quality sealant, otherwise it will warp and get nasty fast–especially with the humidity here!  Since Dad had to go back to work though, I’m okay with waiting a weekend or two before we paint/seal it.

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He thinks he’s so cool in his little shades! :)

 

Out with the old.

I’m a list maker.  I’ve always made lists, and while I hate seeing what seems like a never ending list of things I need to accomplish, I absolutely love drawing a line through things as I DO finish them.  With the upcoming move my to do lists have grown exponentially, and my patience with just about everything has basically evaporated.  But, I can say that I’ve gotten the majority of the things completed.  One of the tasks I’ve kind of held off on has been selling all our “junk” and things we won’t be taking with us to Key West.  Mostly it’s consisted of things we upgraded (ie: lamps in our living room) but there have been a few other things that I didn’t really WANT to sell.

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Case in point: early last summer, before I nearly cut my thumb off, I made a sand and water table for Xander and hand-painted a half dozen different types of fish and sea life all over it.  But, movers are known to not be so gentle with things, so we decided it would probably be best to sell the water table before we left and then I can make another one once we get to Key West.

The day I finished it.

The day I finished it.

Paul thought it’d take a while to sell it, but I knew otherwise.  Turns out I was right.  I put it on Craigslist and then posted the link in our play group.  I got several emails with interest, and a few moms in the play group wanted it also.  It was sold within four hours, and the lady came and picked it up today.  I’m totally going to blame it on the pregnancy, but I had a few tears in my eyes as Paul helped her load it into her car.  Mostly because I’m not sure I’ll ever paint something that detailed ever again, but also because Xander started pulling himself up to standing once the table was finished, and we played with it all summer long.

Xander's friends playing with the table at his birthday party.

Xander’s friends playing with the table at his birthday party.

I probably wouldn’t be like this if I ever got rid of any of his stuff, but since we knew we wanted more kids (and we really wanted a boy!) I kept everything.  Later on once the boys are grown and I’m getting rid of old toys and clothes I’ll probably get sentimental all over again, or maybe selling the water table will remind me that even though we don’t have it any more, his toys are getting loved by other babies and their mommas are getting to enjoy them the same way I have been able to.

Art for Xander’s Room

Before we move, I plan on taking a few pictures of Xander’s nursery.  I absolutely love it, and it’s my favorite thing about our condo.  Probably because it was the first room we “finished,” although he’ll be 18 months old soon and it still isn’t where I want it!!

Anyway, last night after we got him to bed Paul sat down to play Halo so I decided I was going to work on the painting I had bought canvas for months ago. (It was inspired by the giraffe picture in this nursery!)  So, I scoured the internet looking for pictures of giraffes, went into picmonkey to edit them and then printed them out.  (I used them as templates for the giraffe heads!) I then free-handed the necks, and finally started painting.

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After a while Paul decided this would be good “Husband/Wife Craft Time” as he called it, so he helped paint the brown giraffe on the end, and of course took pics for me. I of course got no proof of this, so you’ll just have to take my word that it DID happen!

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I let it dry overnight and hung it first thing this morning.  Glad I already had everything ready to go, because Xander woke up with a 101 degree fever, and I’ve been busy with him ever since.  He has wanted to cuddle and be in my lap ever since he woke up, with the exception of breakfast and the photo I got him to “model” for below!  Having a photogenic kid definitely has it’s pro’s!

Here's Sicky Pants rocking on his Zebra.  I think the giraffes look pretty good.

Here’s Sicky Pants rocking on his Zebra. I think the giraffes look pretty good.  They definitely go with everything else!

So, since he’s a Sicky Pants today, we’ll be spending our day watching Signing Time and cuddling on the couch!  So thankful that his Nana got him the rest of the Signing Time collection, because we’ll probably watch every single episode before Dad gets home tonight at the rate we’re going. I keep telling myself days like this don’t happen often, so it’ll be okay for us to have a TV overload!

ABC Can

In preparation for the Crazy Cross-Country Road Trip we’re planning on taking, I decided to make a series of activities for Xander to do in the car.  All of the activities need to be self-contained as much as possible and the ability for him to learn from them is a nice feature also.

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X loves it!

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All the lids painted and letters written on them.

One of the activities I dreamed up (I’ll be honest, I probably saw it on Pinterest months ago, but I can’t remember) is an ABC Can.  I kept all of the baby food jars and lids in a bag under the sink and freecycled them every so often, but the current bag has been sitting there for about 6 months untouched because he eats (for the most part) what we eat now.  So I took 36 lids (one for each letter and numbers 0-9) and spray painted them bright blue, using leftover paint from his water table! Then I went and wrote every letter and number (0-9) onto the lids with a silver/gold sharpie, left over from making saltdough Christmas ornaments with friends last month.

Right now we’re using an old shoe box to put them in, but I’m planning on using a small coffee can or something similar so they’ll make a “dink” noise as he puts them in.  Annoying for us but I think it will keep him occupied longer. :)

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Edit: We got a small coffee can over the weekend and emptied it into the canister so that I could finish the can.  Here’s what it looks like finished.  There isn’t quite enough room for the numbers and letters, but I don’t see that as a problem.  :)

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Here it is finished. I’d call it a success since he played with it all morning before his nap!