DIY

Guitar Wall

With our Little One up and moving and getting into everything. I thought it was time to get organized with different things, and a guitar wall for our guitars was one of them. I found this great kit on Amazon. The process for installing the guitar wall was simply and took not much time at all. I thought I would walk you through how to put one up, just in case you were wanting to do a similar project. It really was easy, and as they say, there is no time like the present!

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Set Up

The first step is to decide upon a layout for the guitars. I decided to place the guitars as pictured below with the ukulele in the middle. The acoustic guitar is going to go on the left because it’s closer to the corner of the room. It will take up less space this way. The electric guitar will go on the right side because it’s lighter and thinner.

guitar wall

Placement

This kit comes with these stickers for easy visualization and placement. To determine where I wanted each guitar wall hook to be, I first found the length of the wall and divided it by 4. That gave me the three points equal distance from each other. I next determined how much lower I wanted the ukulele.

guitar wall guides

Mounting Brackets

Unless you can mount the brackets into a stud, you will have to use drywall anchors. The kit comes with anchors as well as all the other hardware needed. The plastic guides have holes indicating where to place the anchors, as well as the size of the drill bit. Once the holes are in, you can insert the dry wall anchors. The next step is to set up the wall mount and screw it into the wall.

Final Step

Finally, screw the hanger in the the mount. Hang up your guitars and the guitar wall is done!

Wasn’t that easy? Let me know in the comments down below if you have put up your own guitar wall!

guitar wall

DIY Sandbox

Now that summer weather has hit the North Shore and we have been spending so much time outside, Little One has been enjoying playing in the sandbox at daycare. I decided that it was time to make one at home, too. There are lots of designs to choose from. However, I decided to work with what I have and try making a DIY sandbox without purchasing anything.

Step One- Determining Location

My first step in creating a DIY sandbox was determining the location for it. We have this garden bed in our back yard. We have already let Little One have a bit of free reign on this garden bed. It is in need of a weeding and being under a tree, it is pretty much shaded most of the day. The soil is full of tree roots so it’s hard to grow flowers. My ultimate goal is to include the sandbox and make the other section a great interactive garden for Little One to plant in.

I love taking what I already have and creating something more useful. Using the garden bed, there are already three sides to hold in the sand. I will only have to create a separator in the garden. While the rocks are not ideal, I will try to rearrange them to make the sandbox more accessible.

Step Two-Creating the Sandbox

The first step in creating this sandbox was to dig! I first focused on trying to save any of the plants and transplanting them into the garden section. I put the rest of the dirt on a tarp to be taken to the dump later. I did manage to salvage some dirt for the garden. However, there were a lot of roots which didn’t make it useful. I dug down 5-6 inches, which should be more then enough digging room.

I managed to tackle this DIY sandbox during nap time, so it really didn’t take too long. That also included steps three and four…

DIY Sandbox

Step Three-Sandbox Foundation

The next step was creating the sandbox foundation. I wanted to include a good base for the sandbox or weeds and critters would try to make it home. Of course, I wanted to use recycled materials instead of buying new.

Did you know that cardboard works well as a weed barrier? I have seen them used in the bases of garden beds, so I thought it would work well for a sandbox, too. We had a bunch of it saved up because we haven’t been able to get to the recycle center.

I laid a layer of cardboard over the dirt, overlapping as I went. I then laid down a layer of plastic. I found this sheet of plastic in the garage that was used to wrap a package – I have held onto it all these years and it finally came in use! I tucked the plastic under the wood and the rocks. I left a good amount hanging for the bench I am going to make.

DIY sandbox

Step Four-Bench

For the separation between the sandbox and garden, I wanted to make a bench of sorts. I knew I would end up sitting in the sandbox playing with Little One, so I wanted to create something that would be more comfortable to sit on. There were some 2x12s left in my wood stash so I joined two pieces together using 45* angles to create the length I needed. I added a piece of 2×4 over the joint to stabilize it. I also used wood on each side of the 45* cut. Using my Kreg Jig, I drilled 4 holes in my two supporting lengths of 2×4. I attached them to my top piece using 2 1/2 inch screws.

I laid the bench in the sandbox. I used one of the legs to hold down the plastic. For the other one, I dug a trench in the dirt. This bench will not last forever, but I don’t need it to. A coat of polyurethane would help it last longer.

DIY sandbox bench

Step Five-Sand

The final step in creating this DIY sandbox was filling it with sand! I remember back in my home town there was a sand pit that we always got sand from. I asked around my new town if there was an area that people got sand from. One of my mom’s friends happened to live near one and helped us get some sand. It isn’t as smooth as the stuff from a bag, but Little One has fun all the same!

DIY sandbox

Little One is having so much fun playing in his new DIY sandbox. I’ve been using some recyclables as buckets for him, but I know Grandma is getting him sand toys for his birthday. I can’t believe he is going to be 2! Time is going by so fast.

If you make a DIY sandbox, let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear about your results!

DIY Wall Hooks

I tackled a much needed organizational project this week. With summer starting to make the first glimmer, we have pulled out our summer straw hats. Our major problem is that we are short on space and we have added an additional hat for Little One. We have a small sliver of space between our exterior door and the door to the kitchen. This is a perfect place for hat storage because it offers a lot of vertical storage. I started to search for some wall hooks, and found some great ones. However, I thought I could try to make my own DIY wall hooks.

I saw this article from Grillo-Designs which introduced me to the idea of using cabinet knobs as hooks using hanger bolts. While I was out in my garage I happened upon some extra dowels from my hammock swing DIY. I thought I could make some hooks for our hats in combination with the hanger bolts. This project was pretty easy and took me less than an hour to complete. Check out how to make DIY wall hooks below.

Materials

  • Dowel at least 3/4 inch in diameter. You could use a larger dowel to create larger hooks.
  • Hanger Bolt I used a 1 inch bolt. If you are planning on hanging heavy objects I would suggest a longer hanger bolt, but for our hats the 1 inch worked perfectly.
  • Wall anchors
  • Drill
  • Clamp
  • Stain I used stain that I had left over from another project. These hooks are small so it really didn’t take much to stain them. If you like the look of the natural wood you could leave them unfinished or with a light polyurethane or coconut oil.
  • Level

Process

Making these DIY wall hooks was pretty easy. I first dug around in my garage and found a dowel. I decided that I wanted my hooks to be 2 inches long. This is a great length for supporting these kinds of hats. This can be easily adjusted to meet any need. I marked two inches and cut at the mark on a 45 degree angle. Using my miter saw but this miter box and hand saw would do the trick and is a great budget friendly option. I used this process to cut three hooks and then sanded them with my palm sander and sand paper. You could just do this process by hand, as well.

The next step is to finish the hooks with your chosen finish. I used my left over stain from another project. Let it dry before moving on to the next step.

cut DIY wall hook

Second Step

The next step in this process is to create a drill hole for the hanger bolt to go into. I happen to have a clamp attached to my work bench which worked perfectly. Next I clamped in hooks and used a level to make sure it was, well…level. Using my drill to drill a hole to 1/2 the length of my hanger bolt. I positioned the bit to the thicker part of the hook. I didn’t want to drill though the hook.

Level on DIY wall hook

Next, I screwed the hanger bolts into the hooks. Then I found the places on the wall that I wanted the hooks to be. At these locations I drilled into the wall and hammered in the wall anchors. I spun the hooks into the wall anchors. And that’s it! I love how great these DIY wall hooks turned out!

Adding DIY wall hook
DIY wall hook

What do you think of these DIY wall hooks? They were so easy to make and they can be changed up to fit any space!

Toddler Balance Beam

It’s warming up outside and Little One is loving spending time running and exploring! We do have a little slide climber for him but I wanted something that he could walk on and jump off of. So I thought I would make a toddler balance beam. This was a great project to tackle during the stay at home order because I used supplies I already had, meaning no trips to the hardware store.

For this project I wanted to use up some of the scrap wood I have laying around my garage. I have a bunch of spare wood from my basement renovation, for example, I wanted to make this as easy as possible, and I didn’t want to cut anything. Scraps only!

Process

Like I said above, I didn’t want to cut anything. My saw was lost under a winter of things piled up. Needless to say I didn’t want to get out my saw. I had a 2*4 left over from my basement renovation that was about 6 feet. I grabbed three 2*4 to use as the supports, and these were about 18 inches long.

The first thing I did was take out any stray nails in the boards. Some were tougher than others, but I got them in the end. This board was a wall stud and was not in the best shape. I didn’t want Little One to get any splinters so my next step was giving it a good sanding.

There were lots of little holes and rough patches in the top of the board (I didn’t worry about the bottom). I used wood-filler to fill the holes and let it dry for a couple of hours. After the filler dried I took a finer grit sandpaper and gave it one last sanding.

removing nails for toddler balance beam

Assembly

The next step was assembling the toddler balance beam. I used a drill and made two holes in each of the support pieces, staggered a bit off center. Next, I positioned the two end pieces about 1 inch in from the end of the balance beam. Using a tape measure I found the center of the board and placed the next support piece there. I would recommend placing a support at least every three feet.

At this point you could stop and it would be fine to use. However, we get a lot of precipitation so I wanted to add some protection to the wood. I decided to paint it. I headed to the paint storage in the basement and found this light blue left over from the previous owners. Using my scavenged paint I put two coats on the bottom and the top. And it is done!

toddler balance beam

Balance Beam

Little one has really taken to the balance beam! His favorite activity right now is jumping off of it. It is only 4 inches off the ground so it is the perfect height to practice jumping! This was an easy project and it didn’t take too much time. The only thing was that between the wood filler and paint drying it did take two days. I may have been distracted here and there, as well.

toddler balance beam
Toddler balance beam

Let me know in the comments below if you make a toddler balance beam. I would like to see your results!

Basement Renovation

We have started a major project! I thought I would take you along for the ride. This project is going to take some time so I will post when I have updates. We are doing a basement renovation. The plan is to take a wall down between our family room and our extra room to form a playroom/family room combo.

We started this project a few weeks ago by taking down the wall between the two rooms. Right after things started picking up with the Covid-19 virus in Minnesota, we started to social distance ourselves. Both my husband and I are in the health care field. I am able to work at home but he still goes into work. While we are doing what we can during this time, it has made it rather hard to take the next steps in the basement renovation, which is getting supplies. We do not want to be going out in public unless it’s absolutely necessary, so we are on hold until we can go out again.

However, lets jump into the progress we have made so far!

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Tools List

Below are a list of the tools I used for the first stage of this project.

Taking down the walls

The first task in this basement renovation is taking down the wall between the two rooms. In the past the extra room down here was used as a guest room, but it tended to just collect all of our clutter. The room does not have an egress window so it can’t be an official bedroom. While having a guest space is nice, it is only used once per year. So we decided that using the room as a play room would be a much better use. We do plan on putting in a Murphy bed, so stay tuned for that project.

Taking the walls down was pretty easy. The walls are a cardboard-like material. I found it best to try to loosen the nails on the studs and peal back the boards. The wall materials are not easy to nail into, they are bowing, and they have very obvious seams (over which the previous owners just put a piece of trim up). Needless to say, the look isn’t great. We have decided to replace all of these walls with drywall.

The first thing I did was take down the cardboard on each side of the walls.

basement renovation starting walls.
basement renovation taking down walls

Layers of the cardboard walls.

Assessing the wall

When I started this project, I had a feeling that this wall was not load bearing. I reached this conclusion a number of ways. The first is that these walls are not original to the house, so probably not carrying a structural load. The second is that there is a railroad tie running the length our our house and being used as the central beam. In our laundry room there is a steal post holding up the rail road tie, so I hoped there was a similar one in this wall. The third was that this wall was very poorly constructed and would move when I pressed on it. A solid wall shouldn’t do that.

I did proceed with caution and assessed at each step. If you are unsure about a wall or if it is structural, ask a contractor or engineer for help.

basement renovation

The tops of the studs are notched and nailed in with one nail. They are definitely not supporting the weight of the house so they are safe to take down. I also found a steel post within the wall, which is holding up the rail road tie. I will obviously be leaving this in place.

And the wall is done. Don’t you love that orange? We don’t and will be painting that wall.

Fixing the floor

After I removed the wall, there was a gap left in the carpet tiles and some holes left by the bolts. I used some extra caulk that I had to fill the holes. Then I removed the tiles around the gap. My father in law just happened to find a box of carpet tiles that look exactly like ours at a garage sale a couple years ago. I have held on to them all this time and now they are coming in handy. They are just a peal and stick so I pulled up the old ones and put down the new ones.

basement renovation flooring

Once we were done taking down the walls, we removed the cardboard from the rest of the walls, but left the studs up.

Beam insulation

So one of the projects we have been putting off and finally decided to take action on was our basement walls. There is a crack running horizontally on two of the walls. This is a big job and we got the professionals in to help. We talked to two different companies who both said our walls are in grade 2 wall failure and needed beams to help support them. Below is one of the beams and we had 11 in total installed. While this was a huge expense and one that surprised us, we decided to move ahead with the project. If we left it, it would be a bigger, more costly project later on. We also wanted to get this done before we started fixing up the basement.

You can see the gap in the picture below between the beam and the wall. There should not be a gap…hence the need for a beam to hold the wall up.

basement renovation steel beams

Once we are able to get supplies we will move forward with putting up drywall and finish the basement renovation. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Any thoughts or questions, let me know in the comments below!

While your here checkout our bathroom reno on a budget!

Homemade recycled paper

I have been pondering what to do with all of our shredded paper for a while now because it’s starting to build up. I am looking more and more like a hoarder! With limited recycling options in town, I wanted to get creative. So I decided to make my own homemade recycled paper! I made paper a long time ago for a girl scout project, so I thought it would be pretty easy to make again.

I first intended to make this as a project to do with my Little One. However, it ended up being too delicate of a project for a one year old. My first try ended up with lots of little finger prints that dented the paper. After this first attempt I realized it would be a perfect activity for older children.

Materials

Making paper is a pretty simple process and you can use simple tools you already have around your home. The toughest part is getting a screen. Your local hardware store would have some, or even take a look around your garage, maybe there is a spare screen you forgot about. I got mine from my father-in-law, who has a window and screen repair business. I did learn that using a metal screen is better then using a plastic-based screen.

Making a Deckle

The screen is needed to make the deckle. I’ll link a couple of videos on how to make one and where to purchase one. I made one by using a screen and an old photo frame from the dollar store. First I popped the glass out and the metal pieces that hold the backing on. I did this with a pair of pliers. Next I used a hot glue gun to glue the edge of the screen to the edge of the frame. Once it dried I used duct tape over the raw edge of the screen and over the sides of the picture frame. It’s not my prettiest work but it will do.

Supplies

The supplies you will need are…

There are many tutorials out there on how to make paper. I watched this video before I started. However, I wanted to try a couple different methods. The first is that I wanted to keep this as eco-friendly as possible, and that means not using paper towel. Instead I used old bath towels and flour sack cloth…lots and lots of them. I used a big bath towel on the counter top and flour sack cloth towel to lay the paper on.

Many of the tutorials out there make use of a second screen. I found an easy way around this that involves flipping it onto the towel.

homemade recycled paper

Making the Paper

Making homemade recycled paper is really simple. Place a hand full of shredded paper into the blender. You can also add colored paper and newspaper to change the color of the paper. I just stuck to my shredded paper simply because I have a lot of it! Next, add water to the blender. You need quite a bit, but don’t over fill the blender. Blend until it gets to a consistency you like. It took 20-40 seconds for me. See my before and after pictures below.

homemade recycled paper
homemade recycled paper

Creating the Paper

This next part is really fun. I used my sink and filled it with a couple of inches of water and put the deckle in the water. Then I poured the paper mixture on to the deckle. Spread out the mixture on the deckle, using your fingers to spread the mixture over the deckle in an even layer. Next, raise the deckle out of the water and shake it to even out the layer and let the excess water drip off.

homemade recycled paper

Drying the Paper

Flip the deckle over on top of a bath towel and flour sack towel. With the deckle still down, use a sponge to wick away some of the water and squeeze it back into the sink. Continue until you are no longer getting water out of the paper. Carefully take the deckle off the paper and place it to the side.

Next, fold the other half of the flour sack towel over the paper and press it with an iron. Keeping the towel folded, flip the towel over and press the other side of the paper. Flip again and gently fold back the flour sack towel. Use a cutting board or some other large flat service and place it on top of the paper. Flip it over and then gently pull back the flour sack towel. Finally transfer the paper onto a dry towel and leave it to dry. See the photos below for reference.

homemade recycling paper
Iron homemade recycled paper
finished homemade recycled paper

That’s it, your homemade paper is officially done! I plan on using the paper for cards/notes and as coloring paper for Little One. What do you think? Will you turn your own shredded paper into homemade recycled paper? Let me know of any tips or tricks you may have in the comments below!

Feel like more DIYing? Check out my homemade beeswax wraps.

DIY Play Tent

Last winter I made this DIY play gym to engage my little one and keep him active. However, like all baby items, he quickly outgrew this play gym. Me being me, I wanted to purpose it into something that Little One can use now that he is walking and running around. I figured he needs areas in our home that are just for him. He loves creating little spaces for himself with pillows and blankets so I decided to turn the play gym into a play tent!

You can check out my post here on my DIY play gym for instructions on how to make its wooden structure. Hindsight being 20/20, I would now go back and make the legs longer to make the structure taller and wider. However, not wanting to basically remake the play gym I decided to work with what I have.

There are four elements to making this DIY play tent: the back, the two triangle sides, the front (which has an opening), and the floor. I will do my best to describe the process of making the tent, but I do not have exact measurements as I drafted the tent on the gym and pinned accordingly. Let’s get started!

If you are newer to sewing check out my guide to sewing terminology.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Materials

Process

When I started to make the tent, I didn’t really know how to go about it because the two legs are slightly offset from each other, making it uneven. To solve this I laid out my fabric on the floor. I placed my play gym on the floor on top of the fabric. Next, I turned the gym over at the top edge to get an estimate of how much fabric I would need. I cut the fabric, leaving very large seam allowances so I could have room to draft the tent.

My next step was to cut out the triangle pieces for the sides. I placed the sides of the play gym on my laid out fabric and cut a large triangle, leaving large seam allowances.

Then I placed the fabric inside out over the play gym and used my pins to place the pieces together. I was able to move the fabric around and repin to get a nice tight fit (see the picture below). I left a gap at the top for the tops of the legs to peek through. I will finish those seams later.

Pinning DIY play tent

Stitching

Using the pins as guides, I stitched up the side seams, right sides together. I then flipped the tent right side out and placed it back on the play gym. You can see in the photo below that there is some extra fabric at the top. I trimmed the fabric back to leave a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Next, I folded the fabric over and created a hem by turning the fabric 1/4 inch then turning it 1/4 inch again, then stitching along the edge of the folded fabric. This will create a nice finished edge.

DIY play tent

Tent Flaps

To create the tent flaps I found the center front of the tent. Then I cut a straight line from the bottom of the tent up towards the top about two-thirds of the way. I didn’t use an exact measurement; instead I just left enough space for Little One to get into the tent. Next I wanted to finish the edges of where I just cut so the fabric wouldn’t unravel.

To do this I cut a piece of fabric 3 inches wide and double the length of the flap that I just cut. Then I pressed the strip in half, as pictured below.

Creating edging for DIY play tent

I pinned the strip along of the edge of the tent flap. Stitch along the edge leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I then finished the edge with the serger. Then press it flat with the iron.

Pin edging on DIY play tent
Finished edge on DIY play tent

I also finished the inside seams with the serger, but you could use a small zigzag stitch instead.

Bottom Piece

The final part of making this tent is creating the bottom. I thought a lot about how to finish up the bottom of the tent. At first I thought I would make some straps that would tie around the legs. However, in the end I decided that making a pad/floor for the entire bottom of the tent would be best. I also added batting to make it a bit softer. We do have hardwood floors so this step made the tent more cozy.

To make the bottom I cut two pieces of fabric roughly 27×24 inches. I also cut batting to the same measurements. I had scraps of batting that I layered, though it definitely would have been easier to use a solid piece of batting. Instead, I wanted to use what I had on hand.

Lay out the pieces of batting on one of the pieces of the bottom fabric, as pictured below. Do a basting stitch around the four edges. This will help keep the batting in place when attaching it to the tent.

Adding batting to DIY play tent

Stitching the Bottom Piece

This next part can be a bit tricky. It’s best to work one side at a time. Hold the bottom piece with the batting closest to you and with the batting facing out. Place the side of the tent right side facing you, and finally place the other piece of the bottom with the right side facing you. This will create a bit of a sandwich effect like in the picture below. Stitch along the side leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance. Stop stitching 1/4 inch from the edge to allow for the turn. When you’re done with one side move on to the next, following the same technique. The front is different so save that side for last.

Sandwiching play tent sides and bottom together.

For the front, pin from each of the corners for about 5 inches to the tent flap and stitch in the same method as above. This should leave a gap in the center of the floor piece. Now it’s time to flip the tent right side out using this large gap. Place it on the play gym and adjust as needed This is the time to make any alterations because once you close up the gap they will not be able to be made. Once everything is as it should be, pin and stitch up the gap using a stop stitch. There should be some extra pieces of the tent flap hems that are not included in the tent bottom. You can do a little hem on these two pieces just like the hem for the top pieces where the legs peek through.

Final Thoughts

The final step is to enjoy and play! I finished this DIY play tent during one of Little One’s nap times and had it set out for him when he came downstairs. He immediately ran to it and climbed inside and has been playing with it frequently ever since! This was a bit for me to figure out how to make it but now that I have the process down it was fairly easy. Also, one of the nice things with this DIY play tent is that it can fold flat for easy storage.

What do you think of this play tent? Let me know in the comments below.

Winter Bird Seed Ornaments

DIY winter bird seed ornaments

Every Christmas, we have developed a family tradition of decorating our trees with winter bird seed ornaments. This year we had every intention of going out to do this at Christmas but we had a bit of a cold snap and pushed it off. So this weekend we finally had the time to go out and decorate!

We had such a fun time hanging the ornaments in the trees for the birds. We hung them on our birch tree outside the window of our dining room. This way we can watch the birds when eating our meals. We found that the next day a group of chickadees found the ornaments and were delighted in pecking at them to gain the bird seed.

This is an easy DIY and such a fun tradition. I will say this DIY is best in cold climates. We have tried other recipes that involved using gelatin or shortening but I found it difficult to get the ornaments to be solid and they would crumble. So I have found that this has been the best method for me.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

Supplies

  • Bird Seed I want to find a zero waste option to purchase bird seed so next year I am going to try a local feed bin.
  • Silicone Molds In the past I used muffin tin, but I purchased these off my town’s Shop and Swap this past year and found them so much easier to use. Having the center piece creates a nice wreath shape and makes it easy to string the raffia through.
  • Raffia Grass
  • Water

Process

Fill the molds with bird seed. Pour water into the mold until it reaches just about to the top. Place them in the freezer until frozen solid. I liked to place the molds on a sheet pan in the freezer due to the molds easily bending.

Once frozen, use the raffia to tie around the ornament and hang on the tree.

That’s it…really such an easy DIY project that brings enjoyment to all. This was a great project to do with my son. He so enjoyed putting all the bird seed into the molds. He also liked being outside with us as we put the winter bird seed ornaments in the tree.

Making winter bird seed ornaments

As the birds peck away, more of the bird seed will become accessible to them. Some of the ice will also fall away due to melting. We have also had other visitors enjoying the seed, including deer and rabbits!

Ornaments in the tree
Chickadee snaking

This is such a fun DIY and family Christmas tradition. What do you think of this project? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out this other easy DIY project-how to make bees wax wraps.

winter bird seed ornaments

DIY Play Gym

This DIY play gym was so fun to make for my Little One. It was the perfect activity to engage him and provide him with a fun activity. This play gym is easy to make and in addition, the activities can be changed out and replaced to keep things interesting, making it very customizable. While I liked the look of the light wood, it can easily be painted to match your nursery or other colors for fun.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Gathering Supplies

To create this delightful play gym you need some wood and a couple of tools to create the basic structure. You will also need some items to hang on the gym. I will link some good options below but this is a great time to get really creative!

For the Gym
  • 4 – 1*2 pieces of pine at least 2’6″ in length.
  • 1 – 1″ dowel at least 2’6″ in length
  • Saw (either hand or electronic)
  • Drill with 1″ drill bit and a smaller bit (something like a 2/16″ but whatever is close will work)
  • Coconut oil
  • Sander and sand paper
For Activities

Assembly

DIY play gym

Once you gather your supplies it’s time to start assembly. Take two pieces of 1″*2″ pine. Then line them up together to create a triangle shape. Have the pieces cross about 3 inches from the top. Find the angle that works for the pieces to create the height you would like for the gym. Use a straight edge to mark across the bottom at the desired angle. Transfer this line to the other 3 pieces. Cut along this line. This will allow the play gym to set more evenly along the floor.

Next, using the 1″ drill bit drill a hole 3″ down from the top in the center on each of the 4 pieces. This is where the dowel will be placed. Now drill a hole using the smaller drill bit 1’3″ from the top. This is where the string will go. The string will help hold things together and prevent the play gym from widening more than it should. I used a ribbon for this but you could use cording or twine. This is why I didn’t have a specific drill bit to use. Use one that will work for the type of ribbon or cording you choose to use.

The next step is to cut the dowel down to length. I chose to cut my top to 2’6″. This seemed like a good length so Little One had plenty of space to play underneath.

Sand all the pieces with a medium grit sand paper and then a finer grit sand paper. Wipe the dowels clean. Next, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a glass bowl. Using a rag, rub in the coconut oil to each of the four legs, the dowel, and any wooden rings/pieces/beads.

Putting it together

DIY play gym

This next task is the fun part -creating the activities for your Little One to play with! Test out the length each of the activities will need to hang down so it is within your Little One’s reach. Thread the wooden rings along the dowel and attach the cording or ribbon to them. Assemble the various activities using the beads, shapes and any other bits and bobs you have gathered. I even used some fabric with some animals, cut out and stuffed. This is a great way to get creative! You can also change out these activities once Little One tires of them.

To assemble the play gym lay out all the pieces. Make sure all the activities are threaded along the dowel. Insert the dowel through two pieces of the legs, ensuring the legs are situated so the angled pieces will lay flat on the floor. Next, thread the ribbon through the holes, fixing the length so that the play gym sits even.

I have found that the dowel sits tight enough that I haven’t been concerned about it shifting around. However, if it is loose you can also place a small screw through the legs into the dowel to ensure that it is steady.

DIY play gym

DIY Play Gym

The play gym is all finished! What fun for your Little One and mine! This has been a lot of fun and as my Little One has grown, I have some plans to turn it into a new fun play toy…so sit tight for that tutorial!

Have you tried making this or another DIY play gym? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below. This play gym was a great addition to our nursery, which you can check out here.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 4

Yay! Our small bathroom makeover is DONE! This makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. I am going to blame part of that on the baby and the other part on me just losing motivation. But I got my mojo back and the makeover is done! I am so excited about how this turned out. The bathroom transformed from a room that was a major bummer to a space that I actually enjoy being in. So sit tight for small bathroom makeover part 4!

The last step of this makeover was the finishing touches. You can see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to see how this bathroom transformed.

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The Budget

I had a goal of staying on a budget of $300. Lets see how we did below:

Grand Total of $228.5 – yay, under budget!

Door Updates

Both our closet door and bathroom door were in need of updating. The closet door was a louvered one and way past its prime. We exchanged it with this one from Menards. My hubby painted it the same color as the walls and changed out the plastic door knob that it comes with to a sleek sliver one. We have exchanged all the closet doors in our house to be the same as this one over the past couple of years. This was the last one that needed to be replaced and it feels good now that it is done.

Next we took down our bathroom door. Once it was outside on the saw horses we took off the hardware and sanded it down. It then got a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. This door was in really good shape but it was just starting to look really grungy. The hardware had been painted over main times and were mismatched. This simple update of the door really made a world of difference.

Shelving

So you might have seen the wooden shelves that I made for the bathroom in my part 3 post. I really liked these shelves and they turned out great. But then I went to install them in the bathroom and they looked out of place in there. I think they were too dark and looked bulky, too. I like the shelves and will definitely use them in a different room of the house, but just not the bathroom.

Sometimes that happens, though – something just doesn’t work in a space. I put a lot of work into these but I was okay with moving on to a shelving unit. Then I spent the next couple of weeks trying to find something else. I looked at my favorite stores and Pinterest for inspiration. I kept coming back to a rope shelving unit, but I wasn’t sure. Ultimately, one day I just decided to go for it and make the shelving unit and if I didn’t like it I would scrap the project.

Well it turned out great and better then I expected! You can read the full tutorial here on how I made this awesome (if I do say so myself) rope shelving unit. I was so surprised on how easy this actually was to make. In fact, it was way easier than the other shelves I made.

I have decorated it with some odds and ends that I had in the bathroom already and a couple of new plants. Having plants in the bathroom was an important goal for me. Beyond looking great they help add oxygen to the house and absorb moisture, which is important in a bathroom.

Finishing Touches

A soap dish I got from an art fair in town over the summer.
Textiles

This is a small bathroom so I didn’t need to go overboard with the accessories for it. I did update the bath mat, opting for a 100% cotton one from Target. I also re-installed these amazing hooks for hanging towels. These hooks came from a little boutique and they have moved around from bathroom to bathroom with me. They have now been with me through 3 different apartments and a house. They are iron and very sturdy. I have had them for years and they have really held up.

I got the above soap dish from an art fair during the summer. It was reasonably priced and looks so cute. Sometimes it is worth holding back on just running to the closest store and instead taking your time to find a gem like this one.

I also upgraded to some new cotton towels. I found these great bath sheet towels from Target. They are so soft and are 100% cotton!

Lighting

We had an old fashioned light that was true to the era of the home, but it looked strangely industrial. I didn’t want to replace the the whole light fixture because the base was still functional. Instead I replaced the globe to this classic white one. You can find the same one on Amazon here.

Window Treatments

There is one window in this bathroom and it used to have blinds on it. I would always have it closed for privacy, but I missed the light that came through the window. When demoing the bathroom I removed the blinds and patched the holes in the molding. I ended up selling the blinds on a Facebook market place.

Using a tension rod that I had on hand, I got some curtain rod clip rings and cloth napkins to create these cute little curtains. I love these because they are 100% cotton and easy to clean. They also let all the morning light in.

Counter Top

As an experiment I covered my dated, yellow-streaked, laminate counter tops in contact paper. I was hoping to get something like this. However, I remembered that I had leftover white contact paper from another project so I just used that. This was definitely an experiment and I am mixed with the results. It made a very big change to my bathroom. However, this contact paper is on the thinner side so the pattern of the counter top shows through a little bit. It was also hard to get a nice cut around the sink. Maybe with some practice I could get better at it. The good thing is that it is really easy to clean. This isn’t going to last forever but it will look better until I am able to replace the counter top for something else.

This bathroom makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. It has been finished for a while but I just haven’t been able to get it together to take photos. I am planning on doing a bigger remodel further down the road, but for now this update has freshened up the bathroom and made it a room where I don’t mind spending time.

Small Bathroom Makeover