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Boy Decor 4: Grouping to Make an Impact

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I love the look of a child’s name on the wall of their bedroom. I was browsing through Hobby Lobby one day when I discovered these really cute metal signs with letters on them. I was sure they would be perfect over my son’s bed. I get home, put nails in the wall where I want them to be, hang them up, step back, and discover they are much smaller than I originally thought. They had no visual impact on the room, and actually looked quite awkward above the bed.

The letters purchased for above the bed.

The letters I purchased for above the bed turned out to be too small.

 

I left the letters there for a while as I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do. After a few months, I decided I needed to group the letters with something else. I had purchased an old frame for $2 from a local consignment shop. I painted the frame black and asked my husband to add some chicken wire to the back of it. I had found some other metal street signs at Hobby Lobby that I picked up. I then used wire and some small nails to create a grouping of the letters and the signs to hang on the frame.

I was very pleased with the end result, but I didn’t rehang it over the bed because I had found a picture on clearance that I really liked for above the bed. I took the grouping and hung it above the chest of drawers. It made a great addition to a very empty wall.

Grouping an old picture frame backed with chicken wire gave the letters a new perspective.

Grouping an old picture frame backed with chicken wire gave the letters a new perspective.

I have now started grouping things all over the house! By putting these pieces together they have much more of a visual impact than when they stood alone.

Boy Decor 3: The nightstand

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I was on the hunt for the perfect nightstand, however, all new ones were more than I wanted to spend. I hit the consignment shops knowing what I wanted to buy, and looking for the closest option that I could alter. For $20 I found this sturdy nightstand with drawers and it was the perfect height. It wasn’t the prettiest, but that is fixable!

The nightstand was purchased for $20 at a consignment shop.

The nightstand was purchased for $20 at a consignment shop.

My husband and I then took the drawer pulls off, patched the pull holes, and painted the entire thing black. I turned to Hobby Lobby again to find new drawer pulls. It is hard to find boyish drawer pulls as so many of them are crystal, flowers, or just have a girly appearance to them. I was able to find these pulls that resemble a finish line flag at races. The pulls add some fun and a pop to the solid black nightstand.

The knobs that were selected to replace the original drawer pulls.

The knobs that were selected to replace the original drawer pulls.

Then the product was finished and ready to put in place.

The finished nightstand.

The finished nightstand.

Boy Decor 2: Finding that starting piece

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After struggling with figuring out the best way to transition a baby boy room into a big boy room, we finally stumbled onto the starting piece at Hobby Lobby one day. My son saw, and fell in love with, these little characters that are made out of metal pieces, along with screws, nuts, bolts and more.

Metal figures available at Hobby Lobby.

Metal figures available at Hobby Lobby.

After a while, we began to build up a collection of these fun figures and needed to put them all on display. The great thing about Hobby Lobby is they put these on sale every few weeks, so even though they are affordable to start with, it is always nice to get them at half the price.

The display of our metal creatures.

The display of our metal creatures.

I found these floating shelves at Marshall’s and they were the perfect fit for our little creatures. They are off set on the wall with a bit of overlap to make them feel connected. I then added two other metal decorations to pull the wall all together. I am still debating on whether or not to repaint the wall a solid color, or leave it as it is. Would love to get your thoughts in the comments.

The complete display.

The complete display.

Boy Decor

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Boy Decor

Since the moment we found out we were getting a boy from our adoption I began the hunt for the perfect decor for a boy’s room. It is hard to believe that even just seven years ago, there were very few options for a boy’s room outside of trucks, sports, and animals. I looked all over, and finally settled on one set that was very simple with some stripes and circles in shades of brown.

After the bedding set was decided on, it was time to figure out the rest. I wanted to ensure the room decor would be something he could grow up in, at least for a few years. With this in mind, I began the work of choosing colors and a pattern for the large wall in his room because I wanted it to be a bit fun.

With some help from my sister-in-law, I was thrilled with the results of the room.

The baby room completed. Stay tuned for the transition to the boy room.

The baby room completed. Stay tuned for the transition to the boy room.

Now, seven years later, I have been struggling again to find the perfect pieces for his room to advance beyond the playroom/bedroom look. I have searched online only to find that many of the rooms are based on a theme and if your child is a lover of many things, a theme like these will only make them happy for so long. Don’t get me wrong, some of these themes are absolutely wonderful like nautical, gaming, skateboarding, team sports, racing, etc., but I don’t want to limit the design. My Pinterest board, Calester, will show you some of these amazing rooms that I have found.

I did decide on one theme though, it is a little generic, metal. I like the look of metal for a boys room and it doesn’t limit the design. You can find fun metal items all over and work to incorporate them into this look.

It is taking me quite some time to find the right pieces, and to get his room how I like it, so I thought I would share some of my ideas with others through a series of posts as I continue on my quest for the perfect boy room. I figure I will finally be happy with it by the time he goes to college!

Baseball Cuff Bracelet

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So I was wandering aimlessly around Pinterest the other day when I came across a pin showing a cuff-style bracelet made from a baseball.  Now it just so happens that my son plays baseball and I found the cutest baseball necklace to wear to his games at a local scrapbook store, so I decided I absolutely needed a baseball cuff bracelet!

One of my baseball cuff bracelets.

One of my baseball cuff bracelets.

I figured they would be difficult to make so I immediately went to Etsy to look for one to buy. I didn’t find any that I liked so I decided I would try to make my own. What I discovered is that the hardest part is deciding how to decorate it.

It really is easy, just follow these steps and then it is up to you to decide how to decorate it.

Step 1:

Purchase a baseball or two. If you want an antique look you can purchase an older one, or simply take one from the kids. Each ball will make two cuffs.

Step 2:

I used my seam ripper to rip out one of the seams all the way around the ball. Once you get one ripped out the other simply comes out as well. I went ahead and removed all the old threading, keep a trash can handy for this process. Peel both pieces off the ball and then you can give the inside to the kids to show what’s inside a baseball, or throw it away. (I got carried away and didn’t take a picture of this step after I separated the two. I was just too excited.)

Step 3:

I had some red embroidery floss in my scrapbook cabinet and pulled it out to use. You can buy it at any craft store and it is super cheap.

red floss

On my first one I used a needle and the floss and simply wrapped it around and through the holes.

Stitching

On the second one I sewed in and out of the holes to give it a stitched look. I just did this by hand with a larger needle that could accommodate the thickness of the embroidery floss.

Stitching 2

Other ideas to try for stitching:

  • Bakers twine (will want to get a good quality because the cheap stuff I had kept shriveling up)
  • Really thin ribbon, make sure to burn the edges so it doesn’t unravel.
  • Thin plastic ribbon that kids use for crafts (I really like this and will probably use it on a future one, not sure what it is called though.)
  • You could skip the stitching and hot glue pearls, sequins, ribbon or anything fun around the edge.

Step 4:

Add your clasps. I used a pony tail holder and a button. Simply sew them into two of the end holes. For the pony tail holder I made sure the loop that was being used was small enough that the button wouldn’t slip through. I also made sure to sew through the pony tail holder a few times to stabilize it so it wouldn’t slip through the threads. I used a baseball hat button for one cuff and a baseball glove button for another. I found my buttons at JoAnn’s Fabrics.

Pony tail holder used for one end of clasp.

Pony tail holder used for one end of clasp.

Baseball hat button used for one clasp.

Here is an image of what the underside will look like at this point.

underside

Step 5:

This is the most difficult part…deciding what to use for decorating your cuff. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a bunch of stuff. I had also ordered some Baseball Star Bottle Cap Images from Scrapbook.com. These bottle cap images are meant to be used inside the decorative bottle caps. You simply punch them out to the size you want (1″ for this project), glue it into the inside bottom of the cap, then add a 1″ epoxy sticker to the top.

Here are some of the items I purchased.

My stockpile of products purchased to decorate my cuffs.

My stockpile of products purchased to decorate my cuffs.

Step 6:

Once you have chosen your products you will have to decide how best to adhere them to your cuffs. Many of my items were self-adhesive so I just had to stick them on. I used super glue for the items that weren’t self-adhesive. For the brads I was able to punch a hole in the leather with a regular hole punch. For the large baseball in the middle of my blingy cuff I actually stuck it to paper first. It didn’t cover the entire cuff and I didn’t want other things to get stuck to it. I simply stuck it to paper, cut a around the baseball and then used super glue to stick it to the cuff.

Here are my almost finished cuffs.

My first cuff. I used brads on this and a bottle cap decoration.

My first cuff. I used brads on this and a bottle cap decoration.

My "blingy" cuff.

My “blingy” cuff.

The reason I say almost finished is because there is a Step 7 that I just haven’t completed yet.

Step 7:

Purchase felt in your preferred color. Lay your cuff flat on the felt and draw an outline around the cuff. Remove the cuff from the felt and cut inside the line you have drawn on your felt. You can cut as far in as you want if you plan to have some of the threading show on the underside. Then super glue the felt to the inside of your cuff and make sure all your threads are covered and that the glue is all around the edge. This will make the cuff more comfortable to wear and will also help in the prevention of thread fraying.

Good luck and I hope this helps you. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Happy baseball season to all!

A Brat Helps the Flu

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It has been a rough week for me, starting out with the stomach flu on Tuesday, continuing into Wednesday, and still on Sunday I can’t eat much of anything. While this is good for my weight loss attempts (lost 4 pounds so far), it makes for a non-productive weekend since I have no energy because I have no appetite.

As a child you were always told to eat soup, dry toast and clear sodas when you have the flu. I have attempted this and still no luck, everything I eat makes me feel like somebody has punched me in the stomach 20 times. I decided to Google my issue of still not feeling well and not having an appetite days after the stomach flu has passed. Apparently this is quite common and I read that B.R.A.T. is what I should stick to. While my husband probably thinks I am a brat when I don’t feel well, I wasn’t sure what B.R.A.T. was so I had to further investigate.

B-Bananas
R-Rice
A-Apples
T-Toast

This is what they recommend, very bland foods, to eat after you have had the stomach flu. This is all news to me but I thought I would try it out, and so far so good. It allows me to eat something, although I can’t eat much of any of these, but they don’t upset my stomach like other foods I have tried (including the traditional chicken noodle soup).

Since I know many others that are going through the same issue, or have children dealing with this, I thought I would share my research in hopes it might help others.

Wishing you all a flu-free home.

Family Christmas Gift Ideas

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We all know Christmas can get expensive, so one thing I like to do is buy a couples gift or a family gift. Couples gifts usually aren’t too hard, but family gifts can be difficult, especially if the children have a wide age range.

I began buying family gifts for my sister’s family about three years ago, right around the time baby number four arrived. Because of the age range of the children, 12 down to 3, and mixture of boys and girls, the decision of what to buy hasn’t been very easy. When I would go online to look for ideas and search family gifts, I would get ideas that would cost hundreds of dollars, or the ideas that were more for couples and not families. Because of this, I have decided to share a few of my the ideas I have had in time for you to stock up on Black Friday.

The first year, I bought my sister’s family the same snow cone machine we had been using for several years. This machine has held up for many years in our house, including the making of more than 20 snow cones at a time at birthday and holiday parties. This snow cone machine is the same style that I bought, but a different brand.

Last year, I bought them an ice cream maker upon request. This is always a great gift for a family!

I already have chosen the item for this year, but I can’t reveal it here! So, you decide what you think they will get this year, and hopefully you will find some ideas of your own.

Game On
If it is a family that you visit a lot, you can scope out their collection of board games and make a board game basket of ones that they don’t have. Black Friday sales are a great place to pick up some of the classics such as Candy Land, UNO, Chutes and Ladders, etc. If it is a family that travels, buy the travel versions to keep the kids entertained.

Organize It
My one child has a way of taking over my car, so a family with multiple children can always use some organizing, and with Thirty-One gifts, you can personalize it for even more fun. The Large Utility Tote is perfect for organizing jackets, blankets, toys, etc. in the trunk or back of a van or SUV. The Uptown Jewelry Bag has many uses, including organizing small items for the car like crayons, cards, Band-Aids, tissues, ear buds and more. The best part, it has a clasp that allows you to hook it around the back of a headrest for easy access.

Healthy Frozen Fun
The Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma is a good gift for families, producing sweet frozen treats in less than 15 minutes. You can make popsicles all on your own, including healthy ones with fresh fruit, yogurt, or mix up the colors with some different flavors of Kool-Aid. The great thing about this, you can purchase accessories for it for years to come, my personal favorite is the chocolate station. Plus, it comes it a variety of fun colors!

Food Fun
I probably would have been more willing to cook as a child if there had been such fun cooking utensils as there are today. You can find fun aprons, colorful measuring cups, fun-shaped spatulas, and kids cook books in a variety of places and prices. I have recently seen them at TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Home Goods, kitchen stores, even craft stores like Jo-Anns and Hobby Lobby. Collect these items throughout the year when you find them and grab a cute basket to put them all in. If the family really enjoys this, maybe the next year can be a gift certificate for cooking classes.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Is there one activity center, zoo, or museum that this family enjoys visiting? If so, buy them a season pass to enjoy the gift all year round. If they always get their own season passes, why not purchase some gift certificates for eateries or buy them tickets for an upcoming special event or exhibit.

New to Town
If the family has recently moved to a new city, purchase them tickets to a local fun place, or a city tour. I am a big fan of experiential gifts because these help to build family memories that last forever.

The Family that Plays Together
Encourage families to spend time together, away from electronics, by purchasing lessons or passes to a local sports facility or gym. The entire family can enjoy tennis or golf lessons, something that will keep them playing together for years to come. If this is out of your price range, why not try for a set of yard games. These sets are available in a variety of games and prices at Wal-Mart, Target and other sports stores.

Movie Night
We have family movie night a couple of times each month, as do many families. Why not purchase some movies for the family, then include their favorite movie theater candies with some microwave popcorn. Or, purchase a fun popcorn popper and a mixture of colorful popcorn and a vareity of flavorful seasonings.

These are just a few ideas for family gifts. So, Katherine, if you are reading this, you can put them in order of what year you would like to receive them!

Happy shopping and have a safe Thanksgiving Day!

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