Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
If I let it, the bottom of my staircase would like to look like this at all times:
It’s such a slob. I’m always having to pick up after it. I would love to have clean staircase, but my stairs just don’t seem to understand.
(Really, the mess is never my fault. I never just throw things on it while cleaning. I never feel to lazy to carry things upstairs while I’m cleaning. And I never just ignore the pile, figuring I’ll pick things up next time I go upstairs.)
I’ve seen baskets like this one, or this one, but spending $40-70 to help deal with my—I mean the staircase’s—problem just didn’t seem reasonable. There are so many better things to spend my money on. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make this:
First I measured the depth and height of each step I wanted the basket to fit on (guess what! They each were a slightly different height and depth. No wonder I trip on my stairs all the time). The I used the box Jace’s big boy car seat came in:
I cut open the box and cut out 2 step shaped pieces for the sides, and then smaller pieces to put between those two pieces.
Because of the way I cut the cardboard (in other words, I did it without thinking through it too much), I used Mod Podge to adhere scrapbook paper to the sides with graphics on them that would be visible inside the box. Then I taped it all together, and applied cloth using Mod Podge to the outside.
I did mis-tape, or forgot to put scrapbook paper on it, or something (or it was late, and I just wanted to finish it and didn’t care to fix it) on two of the pieces. But I figured the likelihood of the box ever being empty was low enough that I just didn’t need to worry about it.
And here you have it, the final product, all full!
Walking down the stairs doesn’t seem so scary anymore!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I bookmarked this super cute idea quite some time ago. I thought they would be fun to make for mine or Nolan’s moms. Fast forward to this week… my mom was visiting from Annapolis, Maryland, and I asked her if she’d like her birthday gift now, when I could give it to her in person, or in November on her actual birthday. She thought now would be nice. I really wanted to make her something sweet involving the pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch as well as some family pics my brother took of us on Sunday, but wasn’t sure what to make. Then I remembered my bookmark from way back. Only problem—this realization didn’t come until 9 pm on Tuesday. I’d be saying goodbye to her on Wednesday. I thought I’d blown it by offering a gift while she was visiting and then not actually having one. Not sure which is worse—that or shipping her a gift a week after the actual day (which I’ve also done). I think the late gift is worse.
But then, a wonderful thought crossed my mind! Nolan bought all the materials to build me a chase lounge this summer. He got as far as cutting the boards to the lengths he needed and giving them a coat of black spray paint. In those boards was the perfect 2x6. So I ran upstairs to Nolan who was getting ready to work out. Flashed a sweet smile (even though I know it really doesn’t make a difference), and asked if I could use the budgeted money for my mom’s gift to buy a board and some paint off of him. Oh, and could he cut the board into blocks too? He agreed (oh, how I love him). I love having a husband with tools and wood. When I told him that, he gave me a look and said, “Oh fun. I get to use them to make crafts.” [Make sure you read that with a really dry tone.]
Here’s the final product (I let my mom pick the pictures):
How I did it:
We cut the wood into 6, 8, and 10 inch lengths. Spray painted the newly cut ends, and then sanded all the corners and edges.
Because I didn’t have the scrapbook paper I liked enough for what I was making, I used free digital scrapbook paper and embellishments, and designed each block using Publisher. Printed them off. Sprayed them with hairspray to seal the ink (I was out of varnish and thought maybe hairspray would have the same effect… it did!)
I painted a layer of Mod Podge on the boards and put the pictures on. I smoothed out the air bubbles and let them dry for a little while. In the process of drying, several more air bubbles appeared. I’m guessing maybe air that was in the wood or gas being released as the paint dried more? Painted another layer of Mod Podge (following the instructions for a canvas look from my inspiration blog) and hoped the air bubbles would magically disappear over night. Most of them did, some of them didn’t. I would have liked for them to have turned out a little better, but my mom still liked them, and the flaws won’t be super noticeable when the blocks find their home in her house.