I’ve searched, but I don’t have a before picture of this box. Trust me when I say it was quite awful. I have spent way too much time on this today, but I have found two (somewhat) suitable before shots of this cubby box. I just couldn’t trust you to imagine how ugly this thing was.
Okay, so they’re not the best before pictures, but you get the idea. (Although it gives you a pretty neat before of Peanut’s room.) Can you believe I stained that thing in those colours on purpose? I bought it at Ikea in high school to house my CDs, and I guess the idea was to paint it to match my room (which was/is yellow with oh-I-totally-would-have-been-reading-Twilight-back-then crimson* trim). After Hubby and I moved in together, it housed various odds and ends (mostly photographic in nature), but I always hid it somewhere in a corner or behind a couch because I hated the colours. I had wanted a minty sort of green for the outside, but it ended up being more forest green. And what possessed me to paint the drawers both red crimson and yellow? Only a teenager would know.
In any case, in my nesting phase, early into the sixth month, I decided to give it new life.
First, I painted it white! I opted to not paint the inside of the drawers. Partly Mostly because I was lazy, but also because I thought Mr. S would enjoy a little surprise pop of colour inside the drawers. He’ll be able to keep whatever he wants in here–rocks, acorns, candies–I don’t know–anything a little boy needs to store. Then, I painted the front of the drawers in chalkboard paint, so he’ll be able to change the filing system as often as he likes. Or, you know, he can just scribble on it.
Here’s the result:
Craft Month continues with — Ribon Mobiles! You thought I forgot, didn’t you?! Nope, just a bit delayed as we had to run out and pick up a forgotten Sophie from Auntie Calla’s. Someone’s teething!
I made Mr. S two ribbon mobiles à la Martha Stewart. Super easy to make, just a bit finicky and time consuming, as projects with a glue gun often are. You need no sewing skills–just ribbon, glue and an embroidery hoop. Just take the inside ring of the hoop and glue ribbons of various colours and lengths around the perimeter. I highly recommend it as a shower gift that doesn’t take much work, but is sure to impress.
My tips: remember to slightly singe the ends of the ribbon so they don’t fray. Second, I think Martha says to use white glue, but the glue gun was just much faster, especially when you’re using satin ribbon that’s slippery. Third, because you can’t really see from Martha’s picture (I remember having a dilemma about this and asking Hubby for his opinion is never a good idea), I’d recommend folding each ribbon in half so you have an equal amount of the right side of the ribbon facing both the outside and inside of the mobile. Baby’s mostly looking at the inside, but you can keep the outside looking nice for yourself as well.
The embroidery hoops are cheap–less than 5 dollars a piece. The ribbon can run you a bit, especially if you don’t have a stash already. I bought some at Fabricland by the metre–small amounts of the thicker ones or pretty ones that I really wanted. The rest I bought on spools at Zellers (like Target) for about 20 bucks. If you make them monochromatic like I did, it’s easy to make them look more dramatic by using small amounts of the patterned or textured ribbons (more expensive) and filling the rest out with just plain, one-coloured ribbon. Experiment with the lengths and with the way you cut the ribbon. I cut some straight, some angled, and some with double points.
The first one I made is a large, red and aqua one to hang over his crib. Mr. S is a co-sleeping kind of guy, so he only started spending time in his crib recently, mostly when I’m sewing at the table next to him. Still, every once in a while we put him in the crib and he’s mesmerized it.
The second one I made as an afterthought. I was going down the checklist of things you need when you have a new baby, and one of the things the Sears‘ mentioned was a black and white mobile above the change table. Our change table is the dryer (equipped with a change pad on top), but luckily there’s a curtain rod right above it from which we could hang the mobile. I bought a slightly smaller embroidery hoop because I was sure we wouldn’t really need it, so I didn’t want to spend too much money on it. Boy, was I wrong! This is an essential for a new mom and dad! This mobile is the single most amazing thing Samson has ever seen. His eyes learned to track on it; it was the first thing he smiled at (even before his parents). When you’d take him to get changed in the night he’d take one look at it after waking up and smile the most adorable, lazy, little half-asleep smile. Seriously, nothing can calm this baby or make him as happy as this mobile–even now, at 4 months.
I bought these cute little correspondence cards at Winners ($5.99!) to use as decoration for Peanut’s room.
So, I thought I would be smart and tested the layout in Photoshop before I went to Ikea to purchase the frame. On my computer, everything fit neatly into the frame I had chosen, and I had several options for the layout. Of course, I was too lazy to actually go and measure the cards, and assumed they were just 4x6s. Not only did the cards not fit into the 50cm x 70cm frame I purchased, they didn’t even come close to my estimations, and so now I have 10 homeless cards.
Of course, I could just go and buy a larger frame, but the thing is: the alphabet is not even. Twenty-six letters just doesn’t divide evenly into rows, and always leaves you with an orphan line of letters. Hm. Maybe orphan isn’t the right term to use exactly, but you get my meaning? You cannot “full justify” the alphabet. Well, I guess you could but then the bottom row would be all spaced out and it would look like those documents where someone’s trying to make it look longer than it actually is.
Okay. Enough with the word processing metaphors. At some point, I’m going to have to get creative with the layout, so I figure I might as well just do it with the framing, and then maybe the little orphan letters won’t look so alone. I’m already into abstract framing and picture hanging, as I did with my Sharon Montrose prints (also in Peanut’s room):
…and as I’ve done with my burlap coffee sack in the kitchen:
So now tell me, dear readers, given the Ikea Catalogue, what would you do? I could buy two smaller frames from the same series and hope all the cards fit. I could do the rest individually, but that could get expensive. Or I could do a combination of the two. Or perhaps you’ll say I should just get one large frame because my off-kilter picture hanging techniques have just gotten out of hand! (This may actually be the cheapest way to do it. It just seems so boring!) And then comes the question, how do I mat the pictures within the frame?
So what do you say?