What to do with that Blank Wall in your Child’s Bedroom or Playroom

As I’ve mentioned before, we recently moved my son to his “big boy” room.  We tried to do this with as little fuss and chaos as possible, but I also wanted to make him a cute room that he would enjoy. As soon as we found out we were pregnant again, I knew that we would need to move Davis to a bigger bed so the crib would be ready for the next little one.  I scoured the internet looking for children’s bedding, but hit a huge snag. The bed we have moved Davis into is a queen bed.  Do you know how difficult it is to find toddler/children’s bedding for a queen size bed?  Well, it’s not easy at all.  You’re lucky to find a full/queen set appropriate for a toddler, and then you can never find really, really cute matching sheets (because children only sleep in full, twin or toddler beds…right?).

Davis’s bed will serve as an extra guest bed when we have visitors and, for this reason, I want bedding that’s little boy appropriate without being loud and obnoxious. I also wanted to do this as cheaply as possible and for once my procrastination and unwavering ability to never complete a project on time paid off. I found a really cute set at Target (hello 5% discount with your Target Card)!  So, I picked it up at the store and since it was on sale (10%…SCORE!), I also picked up matching wall decals and other items such as lettering and chalkboard decals.  Next came the important paint color and seeing as I’m a paint chemist, this was quite a daunting task.  After a couple of weeks, I finally settled on a main wall color along with an accent wall color. It then took me another couple of weeks to muster up enough energy (hello, first trimester!) and get the room painted.  Around this time, I was once again perusing through Target and stopped by the bedding department to see if they had anything else that matched what I had already purchased.  Much to my surprise, the bedding and all of the accessories I purchased a month before were now on clearance for over 50% off!!  See I told you, my procrastination and indecisiveness finally paid off.  So, I rushed home, returned what I had bought and repurchased everything (plus a lamp!) and paid half of what I had originally!  DOUBLE SCORE!

Davis has been in his new room for about 3 months now and he loves it.  He talks about the cars and trucks on his walls/bedding all the time!  The only issue in his room was this huge blank wall.  It was the longest, bluest, uninterrupted space in his room and it left me baffled.  Also, I kept having a situation with art projects piling up around my house.  Davis goes to an amazing daycare center and he comes home almost every day with some sort of drawing or other work of art.  I have grand ideas of taking pictures of his art and making books with Shutterfly, but honestly most of his art work resembles big blobs.  Don’t get me wrong, they are glorious and pretty much rival Picasso’s’ work, they just don’t photograph well. So, I came up with a solution to both of my problems – a Masterpiece Display!

Supplies Needed:

1:   I started by purchasing a simple picture hanging kit at Target.  It was ~$1.50.  Make sure it includes picture hanging wire and eye hooks.  If you want to go for a softer look, you can also use yarn or twine. I chose the wire to maintain the industrial look of the cars and trucks theme.

2:   I also purchased clothespins in two sizes from Hobby Lobby (they are in the craft wood section).

3:   I had already purchased some water-based acrylic paint from hobby lobby to paint some wood shelves for his room so I used that paint to dye the clothespins.

What to do: 

1: I mixed the paint with some water (make enough to completely cover the pins) in a kitchen bowl.  I allowed these to soak for about 8 hours but you can soak them for longer or add more paint to your mixture if you want a stronger color on your clothespins.  I then placed the pins on cooling rack to completely dry (overnight).

2:  I hung the picture wire using the screw eye hooks, about 12 inches from the ceiling and 1.5 feet from the end of the wall on both sides.  A laser level came in very handy when trying to do this.

3:  Then, I hung the wire between the two hooks rather tightly (it will bow when you add pictures to it).

4:  I also decided to us leftover lettering from my earlier bedding purchase to create a cute header.  I chose “My Creations” but other ideas are: “Works of Art”, “Masterpieces”, “Look What I Did” or something similar.

5:  Finally, I picked my favorite art pieces and hung them up, securing them with the dyed clothespins.

Voila!  No more empty wall and a creative, inexpensive way to display my little Picasso’s artwork! Try this in your little artist’s room. They will beam with pride as they show off their works of art!

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Resolutions

Our very messy closet

Every year I do it. I make resolutions that I am determined to keep, only to find myself easing back into my old, comfortable way of living. Last year I was going to lose weight. The year before, I was going to lose weight. The year before…well, let’s just say there’s a definite trend. This year is different. This year I’m putting my foot down. Yep, this year I am BOYCOTTING resolutions. That’s it, you heard it here first. A woman swearing off the need to announce on January 1 that she is going to lose weight, travel the world, climb a mountain, fix the economy, wash her hair every day, cook 10 meals at home a day, whatever. This year I’m taking a stand! Now saying this, that doesn’t mean I can’t set goals, right? I mean, it’s good to have goals. One personal goal I set when I started running was to run a half-marathon. Check…currently in training and signed up to run in April. Another goal was to try to be more frugal at home. Check…already couponing up a storm, using homemade laundry soap, and cutting back unnecessary expenses. My last goal was to finally get this house organized and…hmm…that one didn’t seem to get started. As you can see by my linen closet, organization is not my family’s strong point.

Neatly rolled up towels

So, I decided to buckle down conquer my overwhelming phobia of “a place for everything and everything in its place” and just get organized. My obvious first choice, the linen closet, got a complete facelift. First, I emptied the entire closet (my husband LOVES when I do this) and sorted my linens by category: bedsheet sets, towels, hand towels, wash clothes, blankets, and tablecloths (these got moved to my new buffet as you will later see). Then, I gave the closet a good dusting (you’d be surprised how many dust bunnies are hiding in your closet). Next, I inspected my linens closely for any damage or mismatched sets. After cutting several mismatched linens into shop towels, I was finally ready to put things back together. I had bought some clear plastic containers for this project at a local big box store for about $3.00 each. I wanted to use clear bins so I could see my items when looking for something in particular. Next, I added my linens to the bins. I rolled my towels for maximum space-saving, and stored my sheet sets in their pillowcases. I also placed them on the shelf according to use and reaching ability of small children. The last thing I did was label my bins so that anyone folding and putting away laundry would know exactly where to put them.

The finished project. A nice, neat, organized closet that my family can now use

This project took me about 2 1/2 hours to do from start to finish. We’ve had it this way for almost 4 weeks now, and as you can see, this system seems to work for us. Hopefully, this is the start of a beautiful, new, organized home. Let me know how you keep your home neat and organized. Trust me, I could use the advice 🙂
P.S. I’m currently working on my oldest son’s room and it is such a big project I will have to give you weekly updates. Look forward to more closet organization, headboard making, homemade curtains, and more (all on a very strict budget). I can’t wait to share it with you!
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