DIY Dress Up Wardrobe

DIY Dress Up Wardrobe

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Madalyn has really been enjoying dressing up as of late, and the organizer in me knew that we needed a place to neatly store all of her dress up clothes and accessories! The sentimental side of me also wanted to re-purpose a dresser that I had been storing — this dresser was part of my bedroom furniture growing up, and I was really excited to be able to turn it into something really useful and pretty for Maddy! This was my first experience using Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, and it was a really positive one. I am already looking for other pieces of furniture to paint! The best party about the paint, is that you don’t need to sand the furniture at all. As you can see, the dresser I used had a super shiny finish to it, and it did not require any sanding to still end up with a smooth, non-shiny surface after painting! I also think that the cost for the paint is reasonable especially when you consider you are getting a completely different looking piece of furniture in the end.

I turned this…

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Into this!thumb_IMG_5156_1024

I wanted to give a quick tutorial on how I turned this dresser into a dress up wardrobe, and what supplies I used.

Supplies Needed:

  • Old wardrobe/dresser
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color of your choice (I used the color “Florence“)
  • Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax
  • An old t-shirt to use for a rag
  • ConTact Paper
  • Closet rod & pole cups (Home Depot)
  • Spray paint (for the closet rod)
  • Hangers & Clips
  • Mirror
  • Hooks for the sides
  • Optional: New Drawer Pulls (Hobby Lobby)

Directions:

1) Remove any drawers you are not going to use. Remove drawer pulls from the drawers you are going to be painting.

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2) Clean off the furniture. This is really important! There are multiple ways to prep the furniture before you paint it, including using mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. Your paint may not stick if the furniture isn’t clean — so don’t skip this step even if it looks clean!

3) Paint on your chalk paint! This paint was SO easy to use! I did two coats of paint on this dresser and the drawer. The first coat was dry in probably less than an hour.

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4) Apply the wax coat. This was the scariest part, but it was so easy! I just ripped up an old t-shirt and used that to smooth on the wax (the Annie Sloan wax brush was pricey so we skipped that and went for the economical option!). If you look really closely, you will see some streaks, but it doesn’t matter because it all just blends in and dries really nicely! I just used one coat of wax, but if you are going to be frequently touching the painted parts of the furniture, it does recommend using a couple of coats.

5) Line the inside of the dresser with ConTact paper. I did this because I didn’t like how the inside of the dresser looked and I wanted to pretty it up a little bit!

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6) Cut your closet rod down to size and spray paint it if you desire. Attach it to the inside.

7) Attach your drawer pulls.

8) Hang the mirror and the hooks on the sides of the dresser.

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9) Organize all of your dress up clothes and accessories!

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Madalyn loves her new dress up wardrobe, and I love that she has an organized place to store everything! Win-win! What do you think? Brave enough to try out some chalk paint now that you see how easy it is?!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Downstairs Playroom

Playroom Update

Playroom Project: Part Four

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Downstairs Playroom

Downstairs Playroom

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will remember that when our daughter was still an infant, we organized our “flex” room in our home to be a playroom for her. If you are new, you can check out those posts here. We have loved that room, and it is probably the most used room in our home. When Gavyn was born this past spring, we realized that we may need some more space. We knew we would now be getting into the world of girl specific toys AND boy specific toys. Yikes. I started to envision Madalyn having a space to play by herself if she wanted to just get away for a bit and maybe pull out some of the toys that she has that Gavyn shouldn’t be around since he would just chew on everything. So, the idea of a secondary playroom was born.

We always had some toys downstairs, because when we were down there to do various household tasks, it was nice to be able to bring Maddy down and still be able to entertain her. This is what our playroom looked like this summer:

It worked. It was fairly organized, and probably only 10% of our total playtime was spent down here. But, I knew that this wouldn’t work as both kids started growing and needing more space. Before we bought anything, we really, really, really planned this whole room out. We measured, we read reviews online for different products, and we had a plan. If there is anything I can recommend that we learned out of this process is that having a plan is the key to not wasting time! We purchased many of our items for this room from IKEA, and the last thing I wanted to do was be two hours away from home and have no idea if what we were buying was going to fit. So, measure, brainstorm and plan ahead of time to save yourself some headaches!

Here is our current downstairs playroom:

Big difference, right? We have only really completed this entire project in the last couple of weeks, but it has Maddy and Gavyn’s seal of approval. Every time Madalyn goes down there to play she loudly exclaims “I love this place!” 🙂 I’ll post some more pictures following, and I will detail out items that we purchased as best I can in case you are curious or want to recreate any of this. If you have any questions, just leave a comment!

Note: We did re-do the lighting in the basement. We had three flush mount lights that we replaced with recessed lighting, that is on dimmers. I LOVE it and it gives the room so much more light.

Paint Color: Behr “Ice Flower”

Rug: Ikea (We actually used the one we originally had in our upstairs playroom.)

I wanted the kids to have a reading spot and this worked out perfectly!

Chairs: Pottery Barn Kids, Anywhere Chairs

Bookshelves: Ikea Spice Racks (We painted these white.)

Shelving Unit: Ikea (I am sure you have heard of the Expedit shelving, but they now are called Kallax, and they have some really fun color options!) & Bins: Ikea

Clock: Ikea

I fell in love with this Ikea toy storage unit when I saw it online! Of course, they didn’t have the exact configuration of it that I wanted in the store, but we found that these worked just fine. This is just four individual tall units placed next to each other. I love these bins, too. They fit so many toys and they are so easy to wipe out! They are also so simple for Maddy to reach and pull out on her own.

Toy Storage Unit & Bins: Ikea

Note: I also LOVE the Container Store’s accessory bins. These are perfect for keeping those little toys all in one spot, and the quality and price are both great.

I wanted the kids to have a place for art and art supplies so I made this little spot in the playroom, just for that purpose. The table is washable, which has been a lifesaver, and the containers and shelf are just out of Maddy’s reach so she has to ask for them, which means I know when she has markers and when she doesn’t! The Ikea trash bag holders are attached to the wall and store coloring books, construction papers, and art paper. The containers on the rail hold markers, crayons, colored pencils, and paintbrushes.

Picture Frames: Ikea

Shelf/Ledge: Ikea

Rail: Ikea & Containers: Ikea

Table & Chairs: Ikea

Coloring Book Wall Holder: Ikea

Wall Decal: Etsy

Madalyn was gifted this easel for her birthday and she loves it! We do have a drop cloth to put underneath it for when she does paint.

Easel: Melissa & Doug

Spill Proof Paint Cups: Melissa & Doug

Drop Cloth: ALEX

Washable Dry Erase Markers: Crayola (These really have washed out of anything that they have gotten onto!)

Our fridge was looking too cluttered from all of these magnets, so we put up these magnetic boards so Maddy had a place to play with them, which also meant less fingerprints for me to wipe up on the fridge! The top one can hold artwork and pictures that she creates.

Magnetic Boards: Ikea

Magnets: Melissa & Doug

Our playroom testers…

So, while this was quite a process, I am really happy with how this room turned out! And we will get a chance to really use this space a lot in the coming weeks as our floors are being replaced and we will need a place to hibernate — at least we will be entertained! 🙂

Before:

After:

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project: Part Three

Playroom Project: Part Four

Playroom Update

Playroom Update

Playroom Update

Back in the beginning of the year, we took our flex room and turned it into a playroom for Madalyn. In case you missed those posts, check them out here:

Maddy has continued to grow and her playroom needs have evolved a bit since we first designed this room. I decided that we should add a couple of new things to this room, to make it really fit where Madalyn is at! Here are some updated pictures:

Magazine Racks for Book Storage

Madalyn LOVES to read. I would triple-capitalize the word “love” if I could. Most days she ignores all of her toys and reads. Because of Maddy’s love for books, I wanted to come up with a way to store her books instead of just using the bins. I wanted something that would be easily accessible for her, but that would also look nice in the playroom. I decided on the Hayden Simply White Magazine Rack from Pottery Barn Kids.

I purchased two of the racks so we would have enough storage space for her ever-growing collection of books. I also wanted to fill the space on the wall and thought that the two racks looked better than just one, in this case.

Maddy still has some storage space left in these magazine racks for more books! She enjoys walking over to the racks and picking out a book to read. She can not reach the top shelves yet, but I rotate the books around so she is still able to have a variety to choose from.

Also, I have to tell you, PB Kids customer service is awesome. We don’t have a store in our area, and when I called the closest store (a two hour drive away) to see if they had the magazine racks in stock, they offered to ship it for free to my house! Seriously awesome.

Table & Chairs

Maddy loves the table and chairs we purchased from Ikea recently. They are the perfect size for her now and they will continue to work for years to come!

Lucky for us, Ikea makes this table in the perfect color to match our playroom! This is the Mammut table and matching chairs. The plastic material makes this table perfect for a playroom — durable and super easy to clean.

I love that this room continues to grow with Maddy and couldn’t be happier about our new finds!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project: Part Three

Playroom Project: Part Four

Downstairs Playroom

Playroom Project: Part Four

Playroom Project: Part Four

I’m finally ready to reveal our finished playroom! Before I show you a picture of the completed room, I thought I would talk about the decor of the room.

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  • Lighting: As you know, this was one of our main goals in updating this room. We found the perfect light for this room at Ikea. It’s a pendant light and it replaced the plain and boring one we used to have in this room. One of the absolute coolest things about this light is that at night, it reflects the shapes on the wall and carpet — which Madalyn is still intrigued with every time we turn it on. I didn’t want lamps with cords that Maddy could pull on. She is crawling now and getting into everything. The less cords we have out, the better, so the pendant lamp achieved that goal! I love how perfectly the light fits the room and gives it a youthful look while still fitting in the rest of our home.

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  • Shelving: I think Hobby Lobby is one of the greatest stores ever created. Granted, you must have some time to wander around the store to really find the best deals and items, but it’s so worth it. Everything is reasonably priced (especially if you get their coupons), and I’ve had a lot of luck finding items for various parts of our home that really fit our style. I found these cube shelves on clearance at Hobby Lobby and knew they would fit into the playroom perfectly — and they have! I am still on the hunt for a clock that I like better (this one ticks really loudly!), but for now it works! Note: The wooden letters spelling “PLAY” are also from Hobby Lobby.

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  • Picture: Again, this was a Hobby Lobby find, on clearance. I loved the youthfulness of the picture and it matched the blue of the fabric on the cushions wonderfully.

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  • Pillows: The orange pillows were from Ikea. They were inexpensive, but still looked nice which made them perfect for this room, as I can imagine they will get played with and drooled on a lot!

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  • Rug: The rug was also a find from Ikea, and works great in this room. It’s easy to clean and it matches the blue color I chose just perfectly.

Note: I thought about adding curtains to the room, but given Maddy’s current stage of curiosity, decided against it. I’m more of a simple decorator. The less things out to dust, the better! 🙂

So, are you ready to see the finished room?

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We are really happy with how this room turned out. I really love how much room there is on the floor for Madalyn to play. Looking at it side-by-side to what it looked like before, it seems like a whole new place. On a side note, the little black blob on the rug in the night picture, is one of our little kitties – Calvin. He has made himself quite at home in the new room!

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A final update on our goals:

  1. Determine location of playroom. (Done!)
  2. Choose storage for toys. (Done!)
  3. Develop a plan for seating — for both adults & kiddos. (Done!)
  4. Decide on a decorating theme and color. (Done!)
  5. Change the light fixture in the room to something more inviting. (Done!)

I’d say we could call our first home project a success! What do you think?

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project: Part Three

Playroom Update

Downstairs Playroom

Playroom Project: Part Three

Playroom Project: Part Three

I did not know one thing about upholstery when we began this project. But, I knew that I wanted a cushion on top of the bench that would prevent Madalyn from hitting her head, and would provide comfortable seating for adults, and Madalyn (once she’s a bit older).

Here’s a picture of the benches, with the completed cushion:

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And, how did we create the cushion? Here’s how:

1. To start, I had to pick a color for the room. We currently have a little girl, so my first instinct was to go with pink (you can never have enough pink!). As I thought about it more, I realized that because this room was such a main room in the house, I would rather have a more neutral color. Also, we may not be done having kids, so if we had a boy, I don’t think he’d be too fond of pink cushions. I decided that a turquoise-blue would be a perfect fit.

2. After we determined the color, I needed to find a fabric. I chose an Indoor/Outdoor fabric from www.fabric.com. The exact pattern I purchased, is not currently on the site, but the brand I purchased was Richloom and I bought four yards to cover three bench cushions. The fact that the fabric is suitable for outdoors, meant that it would hold up in a room meant for play and that was very important to me. Since having the fabric, I can testify to the fact that it is durable and easy to clean.

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3. I ironed the fabric before cutting it down to the sizes that we needed.

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4. We cut the fabric down to size, leaving about 5 inches on each of the sides in order to cover all of the material and create neat-looking ends.

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5. The interior of the cushion is made up of three parts: 3/4″ MDF board, 2″ foam, and batting.

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6. To adhere the fabric, we used a standard staple gun. We folded and pulled the fabric up and around the MDF board as tight as we could and then stapled it down, putting staples about every 3-4 inches. We used the fabric pattern to help us keep the fabric straight.

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7. One of the trickier parts of the project for us, was stapling the corners in a neat fashion. After some trial and error, here is what we found to work the best:

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To see how the benches were made for this cushion, go here.

Here’s an update on our progress:

  1. Determine location of playroom. (Done!)
  2. Choose storage for toys. (Done!)
  3. Develop a plan for seating — for both adults & kiddos. (Done!)
  4. Decide on a decorating theme and color. (Started!)
  5. Change the light fixture in the room to something more inviting.

Part Four will bring you photos of the completed room!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project: Part Four

Playroom Update

Downstairs Playroom

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project: Part Two

We have been hard at work finishing up the details of Miss Maddy’s “new playroom”! I’m excited to post about the seating we chose, because (1) it was a time-consuming decision (2) we were able to create it ourselves and (3) it turned out really well!

I had seen ideas on Pinterest and various blogs of having a bench to sit on that would also double with cubes to hold toys. I loved this idea! Many of the options I saw used the Billy or Expedit bookcases from Ikea. The problem we had with this plan was that we don’t live anywhere near an Ikea, and the dimension of both of those bookcases didn’t fit our room how we would need them to. My husband, Bryan, had the brilliant idea to create something ourselves that would fit the room.

Bryan will be the first to admit that he is not a handy man. He has picked up things here-and-there as we have been living in our home, but he’s not the first to jump up and want to create something himself. With that said, these benches turned out FANTASTICALLY! I am so proud of him and all the work he put into them. Here is what the finished product looks like:

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How did we build them, you ask? Here’s how.

1.  First, we had to determine what size and shape the room would allow.  We have heating vents on the floor, so this was the required first step.

2.  After determining the proper total size, we decided to find the ideal basket next–that way we could choose the proper spacing for each cube.  Now, I had several things I was looking for in a basket, and I found them all with the ones pictured above. I ordered these cubes online from Target, and they are called the Room Essentials Yweave Basket, XL. They are truly the perfect cube to store toys because: (1) They hold a TON of toys. (2) They are really easy to clean. (3) They are plastic, but look nicer, so they give the room a nice look, but are also easy enough for Maddy to move around without doing too much damage to herself or anything else in the room 🙂 (4) They were affordable — I paid about $9 per basket. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find these on Target’s website (in the XL size) since we purchased them. They do have some in other sizes and colors, though.

3.  Once the total allowable size and cube dimension was chosen, it was time to purchase materials!  We decided to use sanded plywood for this project–so we headed to Home Depot and picked up 3/4 inch plywood for the majority of the project, and some 1/4 inch plywood for the backing.  In order to keep the project as neat and clean as possible, we cut the plywood to size, right at the Depot!

4.  After some light sanding of the plywood, Bryan pre-drilled all the holes for the project–this ensured there was no “wood splitting” while assembling with wood screws later.

5.  Once the pre-drill work was done, we headed to the local Ace Hardware store and picked up a Gallon of Kilz Latex primer and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Paint.  Because the area Bryan was working in was well ventilated, we decided to pass on the low odor, zero VOC paint.  We chose a simple white color called Vanilla Milkshake (yum!), to ensure the most flexibility with accent colors later.

6.  After a few coats of primer and paint, the “cubes” were ready to be assembled!  Bryan stuck with a standard wood screw to hold these babies together–and fastened the 1/4″ plywood backing with white finish nails.

Something to mention is that we did have to build a corner support unit out of 2 x 4’s and 1 x 2’s in order to be able to sit in the corner with enough support. Here are some pictures of that:

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Here’s an update on where we are at with this project:

  1. Determine location of playroom. (Done!)
  2. Choose storage for toys. (Done!)
  3. Develop a plan for seating — for both adults & kiddos. (Started!)
  4. Decide on a decorating theme and color.
  5. Change the light fixture in the room to something more inviting.

Part Three of this project will explain how we upholstered the cushion for the top of these benches!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part Three

Playroom Project: Part Four

Playroom Update

Downstairs Playroom

 

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part One

Since becoming a stay-at-home-mom, I’ve found that my creative gene has started to show itself more. Thankfully, I have the wonderful Pinterest website to help inspire me! One of the projects I have been inspired to take on is to create a space for my little Maddy Joy to call her own “playroom”. We have a room in our home, called our flex room, that was meant as an extra room — it could be used for a dining room, an office, or really whatever purpose we saw fit. This is what the room looked like when we first moved in…

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This room has no doors and two open walls, which makes it very welcoming and accessible. When it was just my husband and I in our home, we had more space than we knew what to do with. We used this room as just a spot to relax and hang out. We also used this room to put our Christmas tree during the holiday season.

Now that Madalyn has joined our family, we decided to use this room as a playroom for her. It’s conveniently in the center of our home across from the kitchen, so while she is playing here, we can easily see and supervise her. Our little babe is not yet crawling (although she rolls like a pro!), but we wanted to create a safe place for her to explore. Given that Maddy is only 7.5 months old, we are planning this room to be safe for her as she begins to move. As she grows older, I imagine our vision for this space will change. We also have designed this area with the thought that eventually her play area will be moved to the finished basement (lots of room!). Until she is old enough to play by herself, this seemed to be the most logical option!

Before we began, I made a mental list of how I wanted this space to look, and it went something like this:

  1. Determine location of playroom. (Done!)
  2. Choose storage for toys.
  3. Develop a plan for seating — for both adults & kiddos.
  4. Decide on a decorating theme and color.
  5. Change the light fixture in the room to something more inviting.

These were my main goals as we began and continued to evolve as this process really started! Stay tuned to see where we went from here!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project; Part Three

Playroom Project: Part Four

Playroom Update

Downstairs Playroom