Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Hello there! If you remembered that I was stumped on how to hang the warn-wrapped letters I made for over the crib...

Then you may have guessed from my last post where we decided to use the 4th shelf we left out of our book ledge project.

That's right, we hung it above the crib...

And perched the letters on it! :)

LOVE! :)

It was the perfect happy accident/solution to my design dilemma.

And we made sure to hang it high enough that once our little guy can stand, it's not within his reach...especially when we change the mattress to the lower setting.

Now I can check one more item off the nursery's to-do list. It's almost done!!!!! :)

Oh, and the cost for this project was pretty minimal. Lumber aside (I estimated those costs in my last post), here's what the warn-wrapped letters cost to DIY:
5 large cardboard block letters (JoAnn Fabrics): $13.16
5 colors yarn (bought during buy one, get one half off deal): $13.58
Hot glue sticks: free (already had)

Total cost: $26.74

A custom art project that cost less than 30 smackers? I'm happy with that :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Livin on the Ledge

They're done, they're done, they're done! Woo to the Hoo!

Hubs and I completed the book ledges for our son's nursery last weekend and I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv how they turned out!!!

You may rememeber we planned to put them on this wall:

Before I show you the goods, here's how the project went down. First, I enlisted your help in this post and got GREAT feedback (via comments and texts) on which version my peeps liked best and why. Thanks again so much for all your input and support for the idea!!

As a quick refresher, these were our options:

The winner?.................... #3!

The reason we chose that is because we liked it taking up more of the wall above the chair rail, and it still allows for the possibility of expanding it below the chair rail (#4 above) down the road if more book/toy/trophy, etc. display space is needed.

So with our decision made and me itchin to get busy building the shelves, Mike and I spent some time at Lowe's last Saturday to pick up our lumber.

We used Ana White's design and this inspiration photo to use as guides for our ledges, but we slightly modified Ana's plan...

Ten Dollar Ledges

...To make four 48" long shelves, we bought the 1x2x8s (for the front edge of the shelf), and the 1x4x8s for the back, but instead of 1x4x8s for the bottom part of the shelf (where the books actually sit), we bought 1x3x8s. Our reasoning for that was to reduce the depth of the shelves so that they only came off the wall 5 inches instead of 6. We didn't want to increase any chances of bumping into them and bruising shoulders (hey, I bruise easily) if they stuck out any further than necessary. Plus it makes them a little more streamlined and low profile.

My Mikey must've been as gangbuster about the project as I was, cuz as soon we got home from Lowe's he immediately got to work measuring and making the cuts:

Then we used a flat surface (our kitchen island) to set up the three pieces to make each shelf:

We drilled 3 pilot holes and 2-inch screws (one at each end and the middle) through the front vertical ledge into the horizontal base, and 3 pilot holes and 2-inch screws through the back vertical piece into the horizontal base.

And we made sure to sink the screws a bit... that we could conceal them with spackle and they'd be unnoticeable once sanded and painted:

Here they are the next day, all painted, dried and ready to be hung! :)

Winston made sure he was a part of the project too ;)

So here's the before and after we hung them in a side-by-side comparison:

Not too shabby, right? :)

We hung them right in the middle of each painted stripe and fastened them securely to the wall with anchors (unfortunately we couldn't find/hit any studs) and more 2-inch screws by drilling right through the back of the ledges.

Here's a closeup of them after we vacuumed up the plaster mess (from all our hole drilling) and concealed the screw heads with a little white paint:


Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Self, I know Amy said they made 4 ledges but there are only 3 in her photos."  And you'd be right! While we were determining where to hang the shelves and the spacing between each, we realized 4 shelves in the setup weren't going to work. Either the top shelf was way to high for my 5'4" self to reach; or bringing that top shelf down within reach cramped all the other ledges together to much, and taller books wouldn't have fit on the bottom three shelves.

So we only hung 3....and then I expeditiously filled them with books we had waiting in the wings :)  Thanks to Mike's mom for those!!

I'm VERY pleased with how it turned out! :)

Here are some more "beauty shots"....

Here's our estimated (don't have the receipt in front of me) cost breakdown for the book ledge project:

Lumber: $45
Pack of 2-inch screws:  $5  (already had the wall anchors)
Primer and paint: FREE (already had)
Total cost: $50

OH! and don't worry, we didn't waste the 4th ledge we opted not to use for the book shelf project...we used it somewhere else in the nursery. Can you guess where? HINT: The idea came to me real quick and I didn't even have to "sleep" on it.... :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

A skirt for my son...sorta

So I made my son a skirt...a crib skirt that is :) Those things cost a pretty penny when purchased retail, so I bought fabric with a coupon from JoAnn Fabric's and made my own.

It's the navy blue fabric in the bunch below:

The other fabrics are for pillow covers I'm also making.

But back to the crib skirt...

I made it just before this arrived at our front door:

It's the mattress! :)

It's made by Colgate and is called the EcoClassica III.  It's an organic dual firmness (one side's firmer for infants, the other softer for toddlers) foam mattress.

We bought it on sale from and I was sold after reading its excellent reviews. And knowing it's organic through and through gave me great peace of know, since our baby's going to be spending a lot of face time on this thing :)

Another perk? It's only 8 pounds! So sheet changes will be a breeze not having to lift a heavy coil mattress out of the crib (which can weight 20+ pounds):

Not that I can't lift 20 pounds but I have a feeling that after long days and sleepless nights with feedings, if a sheet change is needed the last thing I'm going to look forward to is straining my aching back some more by having to lift a mattress that's heavier than it needs to be.

We threw on a fitted sheet I found at target and 'styled' it with a navy pillow. Btw, the pillow's just for the won't be staying once there's a baby in the crib :)

I like that the same colors in the polka dot curtains are also in the sheet, but in larger donut-like circles. Mmmmmm donuts.... :)

So here's what the whole shebang looks like:

To make the crib skirt I followed Young House Love's tutorial. I prewashed my fabric and then just hemmed all the edges with Heat n Bond and secured it to the metal mattress frame using velcro around the left, front, and right sides.

Tell you what, this stuff is a non-sewer's best friend :)

Here's a cost of breakdown of the items I used to make the crib skirt:

Fabric $5.98 (bought with 50% off coupon)
Velcro: $0.97
Iron-on hem tape: $1.99

Total cost: $8.94, plus tax

So for under $10 I made a pretty decent crib skirt that'll conceal storage bins I plan to use under the crib for outrown and not-grown-into-yet clothes. Pretty sweet deal when you consider store-bought crib skirts can run you $20 or more, like this similar option I found online for $39:

So I saved myself some dough and the crib is now ready!

Now I just need to get on with hanging the 'SLEEP' letters on the wall above the crib - I still haven't figured out how I want to do that...  :/

Anywho, anyone else not a sewer and use hemming tape and an iron like me? I find it sew easy! Pun intended :)

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