Kiddie Project: Leaf Turkeys

Need an easy project for a child during these beautiful autumn days? Let him/her collect leaves and make a leaf turkey! Hot glue a colorful leaf onto a piece of construction paper and tell your child it is a turkey’s big tail feathers. Then allow him/her to make a body, head, legs, etc. out of items you have around the house. Add google eyes for some extra fun!

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Kiddie project: Moon Sand

If you “pinterest”, you’ve probably seen the recipe for moon or cloud sand scroll down your screen. We decided to try it out since my kids are big fans of playing in the sand. It worked really well! The original instructions called for 8 cups white flour to 1 cup of baby oil. I added between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of extra baby oil in order to make the sand stick together a little easier. If your child likes the sandbox, this project is sure to be a hit!

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DIY Summer Foot Jewelry

In our part of the world, it’s almost time once again to feel the soft green grass underneath your bare feet. But just because it’s almost that “bare foot” time of year, doesn’t mean your feet have to be…well…bare! Dress up those bare feet with some awesome, cheap DIY foot jewelry!

Gotta love having your feet on the net! Right? (Nope.)

Anyway, this jewelry is super simple to make. It can be made of several different combos of string and beads. I’m going to let you in on how to make one with glass beads and waxed leather jewelry string.

To start, you’ll need 2 pieces of waxed leather string. Each needs to be long enough to put your center toe in the center of the string and still be able to pull the ends up to your thigh (about 48″ to 60″). Take the two pieces and wrap them around your center toe. Tie the pieces together just below the toe to make a “ring”.

Place 1 bead on each of the outer strings. Tie again just below these beads.

Keep placing beads on the outer strings and tying a knot below them until you have five sets of beads on the strings. After you tie your last know under the fifth set of beads, separate the strings and take 2 on each side of your foot and tie in the back. Remember to slightly extend your foot while you do this! Too little slack will cause the foot jewelry to be uncomfortable but too much slack will make it too loose when your foot is in it’s normal position.

This should be your end result!

There are so many different materials and variations you can use to personalize your foot jewelry! Hemp, ribbon, yarn, leather, beads, shells, etc…Be creative and experiment!

No Pain, No Gain

Oh, how I hope this saying has some truth to it. If our gain is measured by our pain, then we are going to have one nice looking house eventually. From scrapes and cuts to bruises and stings, we’ve had a fairly rough week. I have to say, though, I’m really proud of how much progress we’ve seen in only 7 days. In case you have no idea what I’m rambling about, here’s a short run-down.

Last Saturday, we bought a beautiful 1.3 acre piece of land. The only HUGE catch is that this land used to have a 2-story house sitting on the property until a tornado ripped the top story up and sent it…somewhere. So all that was left was a beautiful piece of land, a walk-out basement, and a monster of a mess. But the deal was just too good to pass up. It is one of those properties that you can just see yourself sitting on your back deck sipping some ice-cold sweet tea or on the rug in the living room with your family looking out over the rolling hills in the evening. BEAUTIFUL!

The deal has turned out to be an even better one than we initially thought. We pretty much paid what we would have ended up paying for 1.3 acres in any beautiful area but we also got a walk-out basement, all connected utilities, most of the lumber for the basement walls, and the floor joists for the top floor. We’re so psyched! Here’s a couple of pictures so that you can see what the property looked like when we first started working.

And here’s a few pictures of the inside since we’ve ripped out much of the disgusting sheet rock walls in the basement.

We’ve made a lot of progress since these pics were taken, however. Here’s the basic probable layout of the top and bottom floors:

Basement Floor

Top Story

Front

We plan to put an awesome shade of blue siding on the house to offset the white metal roof that will (hopefully) adorn our new home. The front on the house on both levels will contain huge windows to make the most of the beautiful morning sunlight. But don’t expect any of these pictures too soon. That’s still a ways down the home-building road.

Have you guys ever completely remodeled rebuilt a home damaged by natural disaster? Or maybe you’ve redone only a small section thanks to mother nature? Leave a comment and let us know!

Curtain Call

Every kid needs some room to let out some of that dramatic behavior that builds up during the day. What better way to let them put on their show than to give them a place specifically for acting out? No, you don’t need a huge auditorium with hundreds of seats. A small closet will do the trick. It’s as simple as removing some doors and putting up a curtain. After all, you can’t expect to have a stage without a curtain. Right?

If you’re looking for an easy project that your kids will absolutely adore, I can pretty much guarantee this “stage” will almost as big of a hit as the shows your kids will perform from it. It is super simple. I took off the doors of the closet, hung a curtain rod, and used clip-on curtain hangers like these

to ensure that the little ones didn’t pull the curtain rod off the wall and onto their heads. Now, if they pull on the curtain, the curtain will fall off of the clips but won’t take the whole rod with it.

To cover the out-of-place boxes at the top of the closet, I hung a spring-loaded curtain rod and plan to make a short “no-sew” curtain that will run all the way across the top of the closet using this fabric:

The same fabric will probably also be used to lengthen the curtains covering the door opening so that they almost touch the floor. The girls’ “costumes” will hang from hooks on the wall so they are easy access. To finish up the look, I’ll be painting the closet “Shallow Valley” (green) by Valspar. So there you have it. This kid-friendly,  easy-to-do “stage” closet is sure to stir your child’s imagination and bring out that little inner actor/actress. Just be sure that you have comfortable seating nearby for all of the shows that will be coming to a stage near you.

How about you? Have you guys ever attempted to transform a plain ol’ white closet into a stage for the little ones? Ever used a closet for a completely random use? Closets aren’t just for holding the clothes anymore! I’ve actually heard of people who turned their master bedroom  closet into adorable spots to place a baby crib. Anywho, leave a comment and let us know what random uses you’ve found. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Playroom Progress

A dash of fun, a pinch of imagination, and a sprinkle of practicality. That’s the recipe for Ava and Kyra’s new playroom. With bright colors, lots of activities, and an open center for play, the girls are ecstatic to have an area all their own.

The room has been painted a dark pink color from Olympic called “Cerise.” This color adds a great twist to traditionally “girly” pink.

The closet has been turned into a playhouse/stage and will be painted “Shallow Valley” green (Valspar). Instead of using doors, the opening will be covered by two curtains made from the fabric above, which I found at Goodwill for only $3.

The two messy top shelves will have a short curtain over them that will hide the boxes from view, but still allow easy access if they are needed. These curtains will be made from the same material that was used to cover the paper lamp. You can check out the post “Some Shady Business” to see more about that project.

Since the girls have their new playhouse, they will no longer need the box house that we made last week. It will be moved out and two beanbags will be placed underneath the canopy to give them a place to read.

The fish and net on the wall were another unique find from Goodwill and only cost $4.50. The girls absolutely love them and that’s the whole point of the room, right?

Well, that’s pretty much the run down on the progress I’ve made with the playroom. There’s still a lot to do, so I’ll try to update as things get painted, moved, organized, and removed! Thanks for checking in!

Thinking Outside The Box…The Window Box, That Is

You may remember the recent shot of the faux brick wall in our den from a couple of weeks ago. If not, let me jog your memory…

Aren’t you digging those unfinished windows? Aren’t you filled with envy that you don’t have completely unfinished windows in your living area? Yeah, I didn’t think so.  So, I finally convinced Jason that it was time to start working on some window boxes and off to Lowes he went, singing for joy that he finally was given the opportunity to fix those ugly windows. Okay, not really. He was actually fairly reluctant. You know why? IT WAS A MESSY, MESSY JOB! He had to use the circular saw to cut off pieces of the brick paneling that were sticking out too far and for the rest of the night we were inhaling sawdust every time we stepped into the room. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of mopping and dusting going on in this house today. Anyway, it’s all in the past and here is the beginnings of our completed windows:

Here the low-down on how these boxes were made. Jason bought door jambs that were about 1/4 of an inch shorter (from window to front wall edge) than our window depth. Buying door jambs saved a lot of time and each jamb only cost $5. Because they are a different depth, however, there is a weird little gap at the back of each piece like this:

However, it’s not anything a little bit of quarter-round can’t handle (that little strip of wood that runs along the bottom of your baseboard). It hides that little gap perfectly and actually gives the window a really nice “finished” look.

Sometimes you just have to “think outside the window box.” Okay, I know. I’ll stop now.

I’ll be checking back in soon with pictures of the trimmed out boxes. If you want to know more about our “brick” wall, you can check out this post.

So, how about you? Any small improvements that have given your home a dramatically new look? Had to improvise to fix those small problems that usually come up during a DIY project? Leave a comment and let us know!

Hey…psst. Down here! I am desperately trying to find the video we took of our home the day we moved in. Look for it in a future post!