Saturday, July 26, 2014

Places We've Called Home Sign

After getting some inspiration for military family crafts last week, we finally got around to making our own version of the duty station plaque that a lot of military families custom order online. We used poplar boards, spray paint, a combination of mdf and stick on letters, and sisal rope to make a Places We've Called Home sign for our entry.

The boards needed two coats of paint and the HOME letters were already black. The top piece was from a 1x4 and each board below from a 1x2.

I chose to make the boards about eight inches wide because I had a narrow space in mind to hang the sign.

Here's a quick look at the steps to creating the sign

Threading the rope through the drilled holes wasn't easy and it's a very snug fit but the small boards can be adjusted up and down without falling so it works well. I used hot glue to attach the HOME letters on the top.

I asked Stephen if he could help me hang the sign from a drawer pull and even though he didn't initially see where I was going with it, in the end we hung the sign from this black pull and I love it.

I hung the sign up to measure the boards' distance from one another and slid them up and down until they were straight and even.

I don't have a vinyl cutter so the easiest option for me was to use some black adhesive lettering.

Placing the letters was a little time consuming but I'm happy with the outcome. When I think that we're done moving maybe we'll replace this sign but for now we can continue to use it and just add more boards to the rope each time we move.

The sign filled a tall and narrow space in the gallery wall above our entry table.

Here's one more look at the finished sign.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yardstick Magnet Board for the Playroom

Our playroom has been a work in progress (and at times a guest room) for our first year here. We've tried to find quick and simple ways to create a bright, colorful, and fun learning area for our three year old son to enjoy and infant daughter to grow into.

Our yardstick magnet center is an example of one of our simple, colorful, learning centers.

We hung a piece of 24x36 sheet metal on the playroom wall. To finish and make child safe the edges, we framed it with yardsticks.

We glued the yardsticks on the metal at first but it was clear that they would be too easy to pull off so they're now attached with screws.

We use a mixture of letter, number, and animal magnets for different activities.

I found this I Love You print to hang above the board and it provides a good guide not only for helping recognize the letters and their right side up, but also with the alphabet sequence.

Instead of leaving the board a mess of magnets, I found a three section storage bin that holds them all.

 We've been practicing sorting the letters, numbers, and animals when it's clean up time.

The bin fits perfectly in one of the cubbies in our playroom storage so it's easy for little hands to practice cleaning up and putting away when he is finished.

All is well when the bins are stored in their cubbies at the end of the day!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Painted Sea Star Art

I've been working on decorating the entryway for a few weeks with some of the frames and wall hangings that have been waiting to be used since I unpacked them a year ago. I couldn't find anything I liked for the empty space below so I made the sea star plaque to fill it in. 

I bought some sisal rope and the unfinished plaque then added leftover drop cloth fabric and one of many random sea stars I had scattered about the house just waiting for a child to break it.

I gave the edges a quick coat of white paint, glued a piece of drop cloth onto the top surface, and hot glued the rope around both the top and bottom edges.

Even though the drop cloth fabric was still drying from spray adhesive and the rope needed some trimming, I knew that it wasn't looking how I wanted it to.

I gave the star a quick coat of black paint. By quick I mean I speed painted it while the Itsy Bitsy Spider played on repeat on my phone to a sleeping but stirring baby in her swing. Once it was dry enough to handle I hot glued the star to the fabric.

I was much happier with the star painted black.

I'm happy with its place in the almost finished gallery wall for now....