Friday, May 18, 2012

Cardboard playhouse v1.0

This is a project from shortly after Christmas.  One store decided to use this box from a fancy set of chairs to ship us an order.  The best part is that it's very thick and much sturdier than regular cardboard boxes, and perfect for making into houses.  So this:

Became this:

To make the top "roof" for the house I took the four top flaps and cut triangles out of the edges of each one and then taped the cut edges together to form the sides of the roof.  I cut a door out of one side and a hole in the other the size of another large box.  the scrap from the box side was cut to the size of the hole on the top of the roof to finish it off. Another box was taped to the side to make it bigger.  Windows were cut and everything was fastened together with duct tape.

Ducks liked it OK but didn't like that she has to duck or crawl to get in.  She is still a little young yet to fully understand play houses, but had fun playing peekaboo in the windows.

At the very least, it took a month or two after Christmas to get all the cardboard into our recycling bin, so this is a good way to keep it lying arounf the house without your living room look like a cardboard storage warehouse.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Child's Abstract Wall Mural

I'd been contemplating a large mural on one side of my child's room since... well... since we decided it was going to be the child's room before we ever even decided to have a baby.  I eventually picked colors for the room (lime green, teal, yellow, orange, and added magenta to the mix when I couldn't find an orange paint in the brand I was buying that matched the orange in the rug and I had one drawer left on the chest of drawers to paint).

Then, while doodling, inspiration struck.  Despite all the other ideas I'd been very carefully mocking up for months, this little doodle WAS THE ANSWER and it simply HAD TO become my wall mural right away.  The urge was overpowering.  Thankfully all it was going to take was an afternoon and way way way too much blue painters tape.  It was so simple I could even wing it and just go.  No measuring, no plotting, no scheming, no carefully drawing first with a pencil, just put tape on the wall, fix up the corners with an xacto, and paint.  Glorious.

It went so fast.  I mean, I already had all the paint (see the chest of drawers in the lower right hand corner of the finished picture, I'd already bought a quart of paint in all my colors and only used them for one each of those drawers), I already had the painters tape, I was going to be home all weekend.  I went into the room and started putting tape all over the wall.  I was really happy when my random application yeilded six vertical stripes since I didn't measure first and around stripe 4 got worried that I'd messed up and would have to make a really fat one or a really skinny one.  It ended up OK, although the one on the far right in the photo (the first one) is a bit thinner than the one on the far left (the last one). Then I trimmed up the corners of the tape where it counted (mostly the inside corners of each box).  And started slapping on the paint. Here it is in all it's painters tape glory, with three of the stripes painted in magenta.  The dark blue is the tape.

And, in all it's finished glory.  The stripes are lime green and magenta and the wall is sort of a pale teal (not quite tiffany blue, but sort of close to it).  The wall is a flat finish and the mural stripes are gloss.  It really makes them stick out even more.

I still have some more decorating and whatnot to do in her room, but the mural makes a HUGE difference.  Also, now she is a bit older and we've put the crib up against that wall instead of a couch.  It looks even better.  Maybe someday I will be "finished" with the room and will do a more complete "tour".  It is pretty awesome, and I'm hoping it's funky and graphic enough to stand the test of time.  One of my initial ideas was rocket ships and outer space but nixed it on the idea that a teenage girl might not want a room with a wall covered in magenta and lime green spaceships.