Toddler Painting: $6 Worth of Materials for $60 Worth of FUN

I think this is going to be another crafty week, because darn if I haven’t been feeling like a crafting QUEEN lately.

As most of you know, I was home for 16 days STRAIGHT for a sweet combo of work being closed (yay for working at a university) and a couple vacation days. SIXTEEN DAYS in a ROW. That’s kind of a lot.

And no, I’m not complaining because I loved having time off to hang out with Jack and Ollie. And yoga pants. And Christmas cookies. But mostly Jack and Ollie.

Keeping Jack entertained for that much time really forced me to be a little crafty, which is why I decided to do two different painting projects while I was home. The first project was from this month’s Citrus Lane box – it was supposed to be a handprint project, but turned more into abstract art. And I totally love it and hung it on my ‘Jack projects’ wall!

Our second painting project was inspired by some wooden snowflakes on clearance at JoAnn’s.

snowflake project - bare snowflakeThe snowflakes were on clearance for 50% off, which brought them to just $ .70 each. I also picked up a cheap paint pots kit for $1.50 and used some paintbrushes I already had at home. Then, I covered Jack’s little table with some kraft paper and stripped him down for some painting fun.

snowflake project - painting

snowflake project - painting close up

snowflake project - happy jackAnd it was SO MUCH FUN! I can’t believe how long Jack concentrated on painting the snowflakes… and believe me, doing anything for more than 15 minutes with a kid this age is impressive! When he was finished, I just threw the paper away and stuck Jack directly into a bath (the paint washed off easily).

Once the snowflakes dried, I stuck some thread through the holes and hung them up in my kitchen window. I also wrote the date on the back of one of the snowflakes so that 10 years down the road I remember when we made them.

snowflake project - finished

snowflake project - finished close upI really like my happy little snowflakes because they’re not “Christmassy” but more “wintery” so I can keep them up for the next couple months. This is especially nice since we took all our Christmas decorations down over the weekend and I’m totally going through withdrawal.

Do you have a super cheap and fun craft project for toddlers that I should try? Feel free to leave me a link below! Also, are you suffering from Christmas decorations withdrawal too? I kind of wanted to leave my tree up for another month…

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Super Quick Change: Guest Room to Home Office

I found out some AWESOME news on Friday, which pretty much rocked my world. After almost two years of a super crazy commute schedule, I will be able to work from home two days a week.

TWO days a WEEK!

To put that into perspective, I will save 6 hours of driving each week… which totals to 13 straight days of driving a year! So yes, this is pretty life changing for me.

One problem though… our designated office is a crap-hole. The room has become a catch-all for pretty much EVERYTHING and right now contains: an old Ikea desk and desktop computer, an elliptical machine,  three bins of baby clothes that I’m trying to decide whether to sell or donate, probably a couple dozen random kids toys, empty boxes, my overflowing tool box, and so so so much more. It’s not a very pleasant place to be and I pretty much keep the door closed at all times.

before deskI was thinking about getting rid of our old desktop computer, but my husband likes to have it there for internet searching since his tablet can be challenging sometimes. When working from my laptop at home, I typically just set it up at the kitchen table, but moving my work office to my ‘home office’ means I’ll have stuff that needs to be easily accessible.

Which brings me to this room… our guest room.

before bedIt looks kind of okay in pictures, but the bed is actually just a blow up mattress. We hardly ever have guests stay over and we intend to switch our queen mattress to the guest room when we (someday) upgrade to a king-sized bed. Until then, this room is pretty much unused except when I throw old craft stuff on my sewing table… or shove it all aside so I can actually stitch something up.

before sewing tableThe room is great though and has some wonderful afternoon sunlight, so I decided to take it over for my brand new home office. Also, since it will be MY home office… I don’t have to worry about any stinky boys invading my space. Or moving my work paperwork around.

My first step was to clean out the sewing table area – I got rid of all the unused crafty stuff (ok, I just threw it in the old office to go through when I’m home on Christmas break…) and stored the bin of random fabrics under the table. Boom. Cleaner already.

after - sewing tableThen, I snapped up my old desk and ripped the hutch off the top. It was pretty unnecessary and honestly just attracted crap, so I tore it off (and yes, threw it in the old office. Don’t judge me!). Next, I grabbed a can of leftover paint from our downstairs bathroom and started painting everything except the top of the desk.

during - painting desk

during - desk dryingI also scrounged around the house for any unused pictures and wall ornament-type stuff that wasn’t being used. I actually pulled the sun mirror, brown framed picture and white sunflower frame out of my Goodwill pile, so that worked out pretty great! I had recently picked up a couple giraffe heads from World Market, so I thought one would be a snazzy addition to my cornucopia of randomness.

after - found picturesI let the desk dry overnight and then put it back together and shoved it up against the wall.

after - close up deskI still need to add my desk file organizer once I pick it up from work, as well as few random things like my wall calendar and a pen jar… but here is what we have so far:

IMG_2603I reused the side-table as a printer stand and also added a dog bed for Ollie since he will probably be spending a lot of time staring at me. The only things that I purchased for the project are the floor lamp (from Target for $60) and the giraffe (from World Market for $10).

What do you think? Check out the before and after!

Before and afterHave you been doing any room change projects lately? What is your favorite part of my switch up? I’m tied between the two-tone desk and the cheery yellow giraffe head!

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

The DIY Challenge

Do you all remember when I used to do those fun gift swaps for other bloggers? Like the Fun Fall Swap I did last year. It was lots of fun, but then a couple people pissed me off and I went with a whole scorch-the-earth philosophy and decided that EVERYONE would lose their toys.

Well, I handpicked a few of my very favorite bloggers to do another {harebrained} fun project. I’m basing it on the fabulous Young House Love’s idea of their Pinterest Challenge… but calling it a DIY Challenge because it won’t be just restricted to Pinterest.

The premise is that I challenged myself and three blogger friends to do a DIY project that we’ve wanted to do for a while. It could be inspired by something we saw on Pinterest, someone else’s blog, a HGTV show, a magazine, or wherever else.

We will each post the project that we plan to attack today. Then, we have two weeks to make our DIY dreams a reality (and yes, I know that sounds corny). We will each post again on November 26th and reveal how the project went and show you our Before/After pictures.

Sounds fun, right?

For my project, I’m picking a trifecta of holiday goodness!

Mini project #1: Paint Dipped Pinecones
Mini project #2: Paper Punch Snowflake Garland
Mini project #3: Glittered Candlesticks

So be sure to check back in two weeks to see if I end up with three adorable holiday crafts… or if I have another melted bowl in the microwave incident

Want to know who else is playing?

DIY bloggers headshotsKatie from Words for Worms
Kari from A Grace Full Life
Chrissy from Quirky Chrissy

They’ll each be posting which projects they’re going to attempt sometime today on their blogs, so stop by and say hi!

Do you want to play along at home? If so, do your very own DIY project and email me pictures by Friday November 29th and I’ll dedicate a blog post to showcase your awesome projects!

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!