DIY Superhero Art

Found this quote on Pinterest and knew it had to be in our house somewhere.  When finishing our $187 Boys Bathroom Makeover I was looking for cheap free artwork and thought I could somehow make this quote work as art. I considered painting it onto a canvas, but didn’t want to spend $30 on a large canvas.  But I did have lots of scrap pieces of wood leftover from the board and batten I had installed in that same bathroom.

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero

 How to make your own rustic wooden sign

Cut your scrap wood pieces to the desired length (mine were different widths but that’s the look I was going for).  And take 3 smaller pieces of wood for the back braces.  To attach all the boards onto the back braces with the liquid nails that I was already using to attach the board and batten to the walls.  Warning Be careful not to use too much glue as it will squeeze out onto the front of the boards.  And this stuff does not come off!  I have a few spots on mine that drive me crazy every time I look at it.
Stain the front of the boards, I used some leftover “oak” stain.
Let it dry for 24 hours and use stencils to trace the letters onto the board with a pencil.  I found my stencils at A.C. Moore, and used 2 different fonts sizes (2″ Times New Roman and 1″ Times New Roman). Then the fun part- hand paint each of the letters. This took me a bit of time, but it’s a good sit-in-front-of-the t.v. kind of project.
To hang it I found 2 of these hangers and nailed them to the back.

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Beyond The Picket Fence Katie's Nesting Spot

Wooden Backyard Playhouse

When my mom offered to boy the boys a backyard playhouse, I think I was happier than the boys were.  We already had a plastic Little Tykes playhouses that I had found on Craig’s List for $20, but the boys were quickly outgrowing it.  And I desperately wanted a prettier playhouse.

So the search began, with I had a long list of requirements…
  • wooden
  • under $300
  • fit 4 kids easily
  • included extras (ie. little kitchen, door bell, etc)
  • durable
  • not too girly
  • EASY to construct
Bayberry Playhouse by Toys R Us $249.99
I had found the Bayberry Playhouse at Toys R Us for $249.99 but it was a bit small and the reviews on constructing it said it took hours and was a nightmare.
Monterey Playhouse by Sam’s Club $269.00

My mom saved the day and found the Monterey Playhouse with Toys at Sam’s Club that looked perfect, except the price.  It was listed online for $449.00, way more than I wanted too spend I wanted my mom to spend.  But after an online search I discovered that if you picked the playhouse up at a Sam’s Club store it was only $269.00. Why it doesn’t say that on their website makes no sense!  So of course we chose that option.  We picked it up and had to take all the backseats out of our minivan to get it to fit. 

Now for the part I thought might end our marriage. Yeah we’re not one of those handy couples.  We started on a Saturday and thought it would only take us a day, but with the constant interruptions from the boys it took us 2 days.  It took about 5 hours total to construct and we ran into NO problems!  The instructions were easy to follow, made sense, and all the pieces came labelled.  This was a nice surprise to both of us.
Our Playhouse!  I considered adding little flower pots in the flowerpot holders but with 2 boys what would the point be!

Originally we thought we would have to build a little deck for it, but it sits on a flat patch of our yard.  We have a corner of our yard that has playground mulch covering it.  So we don’t need to worry about mowing the grass around all the toys.  
I had to personalize it with some vinyl letters I cut out with my Cricut machine.  I also added the word ‘hi’ above the doorknob.  And I figure if the playhouse starts to show it’s age and fade in the future I can just paint it.

The boys and their friends love it and I hope we can get 4 or 5 more years worth of play out of it. 

You Are My Sunshine Art

I came across this super cute diy “You are my Sunshine” art over at aka design.  This one is fabulous but seemed a little too complicated for me, so I simplified my version. 
I had a scrap piece of plywood in my garage that I stained with one coat of a walnut stain.  After drying I painted one coat of white over top of the stain.  I had borrowed a friends cricut machine (oh how I want one of my own) and used it to cut out the letters.  I used 3 different font options for my lettering.  I placed the letters on top of the white paint.  And gave it a good coat of yellow paint.  Once dry I peeled off the letters.  I know you’re wondering why I wouldn’t have just placed the letters on top of the finished product, but I wanted a hand painted, rustic look.
At this point I took my mouse sander to it and just sanded off enough paint to age it.  You can take off as much or as little as you want.  I then painted the thin white border and the bunting by hand.  I added a fine line of black paint along the edge of the letters to give it a shadowy effect.  And of course gave it one more go with the sander. I think I may love using my sander a little too much.
diy sunshine art
 It just makes me smile =)

Toddler High Chair

There are lots of things people don’t tell you before having kids.  Probably because you will never have kids if you know these things.  One of which is that you will spend the first year constantly trying to clean a high chair that will never actually be clean again.  It’s one of those impossible things, like fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans.  
So after four years of living with our highchair I was so happy when my youngest was finally old enough to sit in a booster chair.  But that quickly became a sticky mess too. 
I thought maybe he was old enough to just use our chairs, but his little head barely made it over the table.  This would not work.
So I had my eye on the Ikea Ingulf Junior chair but with the closest Ikea 3 hours away, and the price being $49 per chair.  I knew there must be a better option out there.
I spent a couple of weeks scouring Craig’s list and came upon this super cute wooden high chair for $5!  It was missing the bottom foot rest but for $5 I could live with that my boys could live with that.  I immediately emailed the seller and after two weeks of emailing back and forth (sometimes I really hate Craig’s list) that chair was finally mine.  
I had my heart set on painting it yellow.  But in the spray paint aisle of the hardware store my 3 year old somehow convinced me it should be red.  
wooden high chair
In the end he was totally right and I LOVE the red (spray paint “Red” by Valspar).  I also borrowed my friends Cricut machine and cut out the letters ‘sit’.  I think I  say ‘sit down’ about a thousand times during any given meal in our house.  So I thought this was appropriate.
I was thrilled with my little chair for about 3 seconds.  That’s when the fighting over it began.  What was I thinking! Of course with 2 kids I would need 2 chairs.  So the hunt for chair number 2 began.  The next weekend I headed down to the Raleigh State Fairgrounds flea market.  I found one for $15.  I thought that was a fair price, but wanted to see if I could get it for a little less.  I asked the seller if she would do $10 and she immediately said yes  Whew that was easy!  Saved $5 which was enough to cover the cost of the spray paint.  For this one I got my way and painted it a cheery yellow (gloss “Gold Abundance” by Valspar).  LOVE it!
Once dried I sprayed it with Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Protective Finish.  I will be wiping these down A LOT so they certainly needed some sort of protection. 
toddler chair
And now no more fighting, at least not over chairs!

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Summer Time Car Wash

I know everyone has pinned this on Pinterest already, but is this not the most amazing idea ever!  Who on earth comes up with these things!  Far more creative and amazing people than me, that’s for sure.  But I sure can copy a great idea! 
Now I just had to figure how to actually copy this!  I found detailed instructions for a similar carwash over at  Instructables.  Why reinvent the wheel when someone has done it for you!  Assembly took less than 20 minutes, it’s that easy.  It involved a couple of cuts with a hand saw and just fitting the pieces together. 
But it did take a long time for me to figure out what I needed to buy at the hardware store.  I had never shopped in the PVC aisle before and didn’t know the difference between threaded, non-threaded, bend, coupling, tee, elbow, yikes the hundreds of little boxes of white plastic pieces can make a girl break out in a sweat. I suggest just finding someone who looks like they know what they are doing, handing them your list and asking for their help.  This will save you lots of frustration and maybe 2 extra trips back to the hardware store to get the right piece!
pvc carwash
pvc pipe carwash
Now for the fun part- decoration! I found an old pool noodle in the garage cut a slit down the side and slid it on the sides, to act as the car wash ‘brushes’. And I added some of those super cool sponge balls to hang from the top.  The boys love smacking them as they ride through.
The total cost was $11 (including the dollar store sponges) and I think my boys would agree that it was $11 well spent.