Kids’ Room Update- A Colorful Paper Bunting

I’ve finally begun to make some progress on my 3 year old son and 18 month old daughter’s shared bedroom. We’re renting while my husband is stationed in WA state and because we’re only here for another year or so, painting is definitely not an option. I LOVE color and lots of it when decorating for my kids. My goal for their room was to create a fun and inviting brightly colored room that they would both love to spend time in. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but I hope they love their finished room so much that they peacefully play together in there while I nurse the new baby. A girl can dream, right?

I started their room off with some handmade paper lantern hot air balloons.

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that I posted about a couple months ago (yikes, has it been that long since I did anything with their room?). I’ve been meaning to finish their bunting for so long and now I can check that off of my list.

The bunting was so simple to make. I bought some heavy cardstock (to coordinate with the hot air balloons and eventual curtains), some twine and a roll of yellow Washi tape from Michael’s.

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I cut my triangles to be 10 inches in length and 6 inches wide. In all I cut 23 triangles- ten to hang over my little girl’s crib and 13 to hang over my son’s bed. I lined the sides of each triangle with a strip of Washi tape and then glued the back of each triangle to a long string of twine.

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I had some wooden letters left over from a project long ago. I thought their names would look really cute on the buntings.

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What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m in love with these. My kids both adore them, too!

My next project for their room is to finish their aqua colored curtains (made from two inexpensive sheets!) with white pom-pom trim. I’ve purchased some spice racks from Ikea that I plan to paint a vivid yellow and use as book racks. A few accessories, an area rug, a whole lot of organization, some artwork and their room will be done. It’ll be such a good feeling to finish a room for a change. And I can’t wait to show off their completed room- hopefully I can finish it all before the new baby arrives!

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DIY Colorful Hot Air Balloons

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blog 8The Navy sent us packing from Virginia to Washington State a few months back. And with the move, we left behind our 1960 “work in progress” home we bought in Virginia and lived in for a grand total of 17 months. I enjoyed my short-lived freedom of being able to paint whatever I wanted whatever color I wanted. We’re renting (again!) and I no longer have walls I can paint. Sigh.

Timmy and Vera are sharing a room during our stay in Washington. I love the idea of my two little toddlers sharing a room- bedtime is the cutest! Now that we’ve settled into our new rental home, I’ve turned my attention to my kids’ very white room. My goal is to bring some color and whimsy to their shared room.

And what’s more colorful and whimsical than a hot air balloon? My first addition to their room were some DIY hot air balloons to hang from the ceiling. They were so simple to make and turned out to be really cute! All you’ll need to make one your own are a few inexpensive things:

  • paper lantern (I found mine at Party City, a pack of 3 for $6)
  • ribbon (~9 feet) and yarn (~2 feet)
  • paper cup or small basket
  • scrapbooking paper
  • hot glue gun
  • monofilament (fishing wire)

Pretty simple, right? To start, I cut 4 even strips of ribbon (each approximately 2 feet) and one shorter strip of ribbon long enough to wrap around the top of your basket or cup. If you choose to use a paper cup, I would suggest cutting off the brim of the cup. I made 3 hot air balloons- I used paper cups for two of my hot air balloons’ “baskets” and a wooden basket for the third. Both look great, I think.

You’ll notice the paper lantern is divided into 8 colorful panels. I chose to attach four ribbons to the cup/basket and lantern, but you could use 2,4 or even 8 depending on what you like the best. I lined a seam between two panels with a strip of hot glue and attached a ribbon down the length of the lantern leaving the tail of the ribbon hanging from the bottom of the lantern. I attached the remaining 3 ribbons, leaving two panels of the lantern between each ribbon.

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I left about 3 inches between the bottom of the lantern and the top of the cup/basket. I glued the ribbon down the length of the cup/basket. I then glued the remaining 3 ribbons making sure to leave the same length of ribbon between the lantern and cup/basket. You don’t want a lopsided basket for your hot air balloon!

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I secured the ribbons to the center of the bottom of the cup/basket with some glue and trimmed the “tails” to a good length.

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You could also attach the ribbons to the inside of the cup/basket and choose to not have a tail. It’s all personal preference! I really liked the look of the ribbons on the outside of the basket. The shortest piece of ribbon was glued around the top of my cup and I trimmed the excess.

Originally I stopped at this step but later I decided to add a bunting around each lantern. I’m so glad I did- I think it added so much to the hot air balloons. I cut strips of white yarn and glued the ends underneath the ribbons on the lantern. Make sure the yarn is long enough to drape between the ribbons. I cut small triangles from some scrapbooking paper I had in the house and glued them to the white ribbon.

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I tied a piece of monofilament to the metal support in the opening of the top of the balloon and attached the monoflamet to a screw hook from the ceiling.

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And there you have it. So cute and each one took about 20 minutes to make. I’d love to know what you think of my hot air balloons or see pictures of your own beautiful creations! I’m so inspired by these hot air balloons hanging in their room that I can’t wait to move on to the next project. Next up for their room? Some aqua colored curtains with white pom- pom trim and a colorful, hand-sewn bunting. Hopefully I’ll have their room complete before our next move!

A Magnetic Board for the Kids

My refrigerator was slowly being taken over by my kids’ magnets. It’s not that I mind a colorful fridge, but I wanted them to be able to play with their magnets in the playroom.

With just a quick trip to Lowe’s and use of a few supplies I had lying around the house, I had a magnetic board for the kids. I bought a galvanized steel flat sheet for just a few dollars in the ducting section of the store. The steel sheet was very flimsy and had incredibly sharp edges. To solve this problem, I cut a thick piece of poster board the same size as the metal sheet. After laying the sheet down on top of the poster board, I taped around the edges using white duct tape. I didn’t even need to secure the metal sheet to the poster board before taping them together. The finished board was so light, I just needed a few mounting strips to adhere it to the playroom wall securely. So simple. I’m sure you could cover the board with pretty fabric if you desired, but I think the board looks fine as it is.

Tim and Vera both love the board- it’s already provided hours of entertainment in the few short days it’s been hanging on the wall. Lately Timmy has been showing some interest in knowing how to spell words- mostly names of animals, names of characters from books we read and the names of his oodles of Thomas and Friends engines. (I know them all, I think!) We spend time each day spelling words together on the board, which is great because I know he would never be interested in doing this on paper. He also enjoys making, as he calls it, “a letter train”.

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Timmy’s “letter train”

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Timmy telling me that mouse begins with M!

I still would like to get some magnetic gears for the board. Vera loves to play with gears. I also want to make my own version of tangrams for my little ones- I’ll get some inexpensive sheets of craft foam, cut them into various tans and attach some magnetic tape to the back of them. Something like this. It would make a perfect rainy day activity for when the kids are napping, and living in Washington, there’s no shortage of those.

Vera’s Fabric Polka Dot Nursery Wall

Did you know that you can iron fabric to a wall? Until recently, I didn’t either. Think of the possibilities!!  It’s less permanent than paint and less expensive than wallpaper. I wish I had known about this during my many, many years living in rentals. After painting my sweet daughter Vera’s nursery a gorgeous bluish-green color (Valspar-Glass Tile), I wanted to paint white polka dots on one wall of the room. I love polka dots! But after finding out recently that we’re moving AGAIN, I decided against the polka dots. After all, our future renters (fingers crossed) might not appreciate a polka dot wall as much as I do.

All you’ll need is a fabric stiffener, some fabric and an iron. And that’s it. I picked up Alene’s Fabric Stiffener and some fat quarters of fabric from Walmart all for less than $10. With a husband on duty and two sleeping babies, I poured myself a glass of wine, turned on some trash TV and got to work. I traced around the top and bottom of a glass on the fabric to create two different sized circles. Armed with my 42 circles and fabric stiffener, I snuck into my sweet baby’s nursery and worked by night light.

I found if I sprayed the fabric really well (to the point of saturation) and stuck them to the wall wet it worked best. The fabric dried in roughly an hour but I let them dry overnight. Once they were dry, I noticed the fabric had bubbled and peeled quite a bit. My iron fixed that problem! I made sure the iron was on the highest setting and that there was no steam. My husband came home early in the morning to find me ironing the wall. He knows better than to ask what I’m doing. Contrary to what I had read online, the iron does mark up the paint a bit. Perhaps it depends on the type of paint on your walls? Who knows. I solved this problem by placing a scrap of the fabric between the wall and iron and ironing over the fabric- problem solved. A quick run of the iron over the fabric on the wall and they’ll look great.

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The best thing about this is that the fabric will peel easily from the wall leaving absolutely no residue. Just ask my two year old son. Before I could get to him, he had peeled all the polka dots from the lower half of the wall and thought he was hilarious. I have a feeling I’ll be re-attaching a few more of these before we leave our house.

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My little monkey, who helps me (un)decorate.

 

Handmade Christmas Stockings

Our mantle looked pretty sad after the Christmas decorations had been put up. The husband and I had stockings to hang but there were none for the kiddies. Even though my sewing skills are non existent, I thought it would be a fun to make Christmas stockings. And besides, I needed a craft to keep me busy during the evenings while my husband was away during the month of December. After spending a great deal of time perusing Pinterest, I came across this very helpful tutorial on Cluck Cluck Sew.

Her tutorial made the project oh so simple even for someone as inept as I am at sewing. I did make a few minor changes from the steps laid out in the tutorial. I bought more fabric than I needed for the project so I could make matching stockings for any future little ones that might come along. I also added a layer of batting between the outer fabric and lining. And finally, I didn’t quilt the fabric for the stockings. (Yikes. Maybe I’ll attempt something like that in the future.) To make them just a little bit extra special and sentimental, I used the kids’ baby blankets for the fabric to line their stockings. I thought it was a great way to make use of these blankets collecting dust in a box in the back of my son’s closet.

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For someone with no sewing skills, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

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 Cute, right? I’d love to have them embroidered in red with the kids’ names.

Timmy’s Nursery

I hate boring white walls, or in the case of our new home, walls painted a very bland color I like to call vanilla. Vanilla is even worse than white. I couldn’t wait to throw some color on Timmy’s nursery walls. It was the first room that was painted in our house and I LOVE the color–so bright and cheerful.

It’s only taken me a year, but I FINALLY finished painting the murals on his walls. I pulled some images of monkeys and giraffes off of Pinterest and tried my best to replicate them by sketching on the walls with pencil. A small brush for details and some sample sized paints from your local paint store is all you need. The sample sized jars of paint are best–it’s the perfect amount of paint and they’re only a few dollars a jar. I’m far from being a good artist but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

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I made a sun and birds by gluing together pieces of thin foam that I found in the kid’s crafts section of Michael’s and attached them to the wall. I used them to decorate Timmy’s nursery in the house we rented while stationed in Newport, RI and they were just too cute to throw away.

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Maybe I should paint some clouds on the wall, too.

I’m in love with Timmy’s room. I wish I could pick up his room and move it with us when we head to Washington state this summer. Sigh. I suppose it’ll be back to boring white walls for us.

I’m linking this up to the weekly link party over on Not Just A Housewife, Tatertots and Jello, I’m Not A Trophy Wife and USS Crafty!