Little Mermaid Birthday Party

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

I both love and hate birthday parties.

I have fun planning them and setting them up, but I also stress myself out and always try to accomplish way too many projects. I think I fared slightly better this year; I only party prepped until about 9 p.m. the night before and had plenty of time to set stuff out the next morning before the party began. Granted, I worked on setting up and baking goodies for the party all day on Friday, but that’s beside the point.

I had so much fun with this party because there were so many great ideas on Pinterest and because I’m a big Little Mermaid fan (who doesn’t love herself a little Ariel?). When my daughter said she wanted a mermaid party, I was all in.

I kept the Disney side of it to a minimum and tried to class it up a bit with watercolor details on the labels, signs and invite and a blue/turquoise color scheme. I kept some of the classic elements of The Little Mermaid by using mini forks (aka “dinglehoppers”) to hold the food signs and using clever wording to name the treats.

Here’s a preview of how it all went down:

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

The front door was decorated with a “Mermaids this way” sign and seaweed made from green crepe paper.

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

The hallway entrance also got some seaweed embellishments.

Mermaid birthday party invite | TheMombot.com

The invitation. Available in my Etsy shop

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

I made my little mermaid a seashell t-shirt, which I think is adorable. She wasn’t too crazy about it because it was far less flashy than her mermaid top that came with the skirt she is wearing, but I eventually convinced her to wear it. I bought the t-shirt at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 and cut the neckline, sleeves and bottom hem (which I made shorter in the front than in the back). Then I created the seashell design (available in my Etsy shop as part of the party package) and printed it on transfer paper and ironed it onto the shirt – so easy! Then I washed it and rolled the edges of the shirt a bit.

Little Mermaid Party Table Decor

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

I covered the table with a white tablecloth and scraps of fabric that I already owned in the color scheme. All of the plates, napkins, cups and even the sand buckets were from the Dollar Tree.

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

The backdrop was meant to look like waves made from blue crepe paper. I’ve also got some gold seashells taped behind the waves that I drew and cut out from gold posterboard. I sewed together some white and sparkled cardstock to create “bubbles” that hung from the ceiling.

Little Mermaid Birthday Cake

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

The cake was pretty impressive, if you ask me (because I am definitely not a baker). First of all, the inside was a crazy blue color. Did you know they sell blue velvet cake? They do. One the outside edge, I created an ombre wave effect with icing and I covered the top with turbinado sugar, which looked like sand. I also added some seashells (purchased at Michaels) and a little Ariel figurine that I bought at the Dollar Tree. The cake was good – probably because it was LOADED with sugar…

Little Mermaid Birthday Party Food

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

One of my favorite features on the table was the food signs. I found mini forks at the Dollar Tree and stuck them in plastic cups filled with sand and a couple of pearls. Then I wove the food sign through the fork prongs. Voila – the perfect “dinglehopper” sign holders (available in my Etsy shop).

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

Some of the breakfast goodies served included “tiny flounders” (i.e. goldfish), “oyster muffin tops,” “berried” treasure yogurt & granola, “thingamabob breakfast cookies,” and “Ariel’s applesauce cinnamon bread.”

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

We also needed a fancy drink, so I made “sea water” using lemonade, water and a packet of Kool-Aid blue lemonade mix.

Little Mermaid Birthday Party Games & Crafts

Little Mermaid Birthday Party Game | TheMombot.com

The girls played a game of “find the pearl,” which they thoroughly enjoyed. I cut out seashells from gold posterboard and glued a white circle to the bottom of one (which acted as the pearl). Then they went around in a circle while music played and when it stopped they each picked up their seashell to see who had the pearl. The winner got some bubbles (see below). We played until each girl won (because 4 and 5 year olds can get pretty crabby about that sort of thing).

Little Mermaid Birthday Party Favors | TheMombot.com

Labels available in my Etsy shop as part of the party package

Little Mermaid Birthday Party Craft & favors | TheMombot.com

I’m a big fan of having a take-away craft at each party, so this year we made pearl necklaces. I pre-cut and knotted thin ribbon and then (using a very small amount of tape, otherwise it won’t thread through the pearl) attached a paperclip to the end of the ribbon that wasn’t knotted. The girls used this as their “needle” to thread through each pearl. After they had thread all their pearls, I knotted the other end of the necklace and tied it around their necks. Aren’t these girls adorable??

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.com

 After all the fun and festivities, it was time to cut the cake and sing “Happy Birthday.”

Little Mermaid Birthday Party | TheMombot.comAnother year, another party. I can’t believe I have a five year old. (If only she weren’t pushing on my boob in this picture…)

 

DIY reclaimed wood clipboard display

DIY reclaimed wood clipboard | TheMombot.com

Until we moved to Colorado a year and a half ago, I had never had a fireplace, therefore I’d never had a mantle. When we got here, I was like, “What the heck am I supposed to put up there?” Which, naturally, led to hours of trolling Pinterest for mantle displays (because there are, like, a bajillion mantle pins).

Now I love decorating my mantle for each passing holiday, much like the rest of the Pinterest addicts. I like to change out seasonal artwork, but don’t always have frames handy. Plus, ever since I hung Ruby (our little DIY antler friend), things have gotten a bit more rustic up there and I wanted something to complement her.

So I decided to create a clipboard display made from reclaimed wood; something that would allow me to easily change out artwork whenever I felt the need.

Hobby Lobby usually serves all my DIY needs, and this time was no exception. I picked up a pack of reclaimed wooden boards that I’d been eyeing (but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger on because I couldn’t figure out what to do with them) for $7 (plus I used a 40% of coupon, so they were crazy cheap). I also picked up some clipboard hardware for $4.99.

DIY reclaimed wood clipboard | TheMombot.com

DIY reclaimed wood clipboard | TheMombot.com

This project was so easy (although I guess I shouldn’t speak for my husband since he did all the work…). We used some leftover 1x2s that we had in the garage and cut them a little shorter than the width of all the boards when they were laid next to each other. He cut 2 boards, one for the top of the display and one for the bottom. Then he simply used 1 1/4” screws to secure the 1x2s to the wooden boards so that they would form one solid display piece.

DIY reclaimed wood clipboard | TheMombot.com

All that was left was to screw in the clipboard hardware. I placed it up high enough so that when I clipped an 8×10” print on the board, it would be centered vertically. P.S. I didn’t need to trim the reclaimed wood boards down at all because they were just the right height for what I wanted, but you could definitely trim your boards to size if need be before you begin the project.

The project can end here, or you can add another 1×2 with a hinge to the back side of the display so that you can give your display a little kick-stand, allowing it to stand up on its own. I did this initially because I used two of these displays at a pop-up show and they had to stand on their own on the table. But when I was finished with the show, I removed the kickstand from one, knowing that I would be leaning it up against the wall on my mantle.

clipboards-art-show

I love the finished product! It’s the perfect little rustic display for my mantle and gives some visual height to what I’ve got going on as well.

Documenting life (it’s easier than you think)

I personally have always struggled with keeping up on documenting the year. I am good about taking photos and organizing them on my computer, but in all my years of being married and having kids, creating photo books for the year has just never happened.

Last year I vowed to make a change, and I set out to create a new product that I thought might make it possible – something simple and easy to keep up with, but still filled with lots of tidbits from our most memorable moments of the year. It ended up being a combination of a photo album, scrapbook and journal; it is preprinted in a 10×10” size with cute designs that eliminate the need to decorate and fancify things with embellishments and scrapbook paper (unless you wanted to do that, too).

2014/2015 photo album and journal | TheMombot.com

(see more about the original album here

You guys – I totally did it. I fully documented life in 2014 and I am completely done with my album – and it’s not even January 1st! I don’t have the hellish task of sitting down for hours upon hours to complete a digital photo book for the year looming over my head (a task so daunting that I’m pretty sure that’s why I’ve never done it). And the journaling prompts are perhaps my favorite part because I filled them out as the year went on; making them current and full of info that I would have forgotten had I done a book at the end of the year.

I am SO pumped to have this complete.

Year photo album & journal | TheMombot.com

I have to say, at first, it was hard to narrow down all the photos I wanted to include into just two 10×10” pages (each month has a 2-page spread). But as the months went on, I learned to edit and only keep one great photo from my favorite events, or to create small collages. For anything that didn’t fit in, I printed it out and put it in an envelope that I adhered to the back of the book – I also plan to edit my videos from the year and stick a DVD in this envelope as well, but we’ll see… one challenge at a time).

Year photo album & journal | TheMombot.com

When I began documenting at the start of the year, I spent quite a bit of time figuring out what photos to include and then I sized them down, creating collages on a 4×6” photo. Then I would cut out my tiny photos and paste them in my book one by one. After a while I got smart and realized I could just create 5×7” collages for each big event and then paste the whole 5×7″ photo in instead of cutting each tiny photo out. It has saved me SO much time.

Year photo album & journal | TheMombot.com

I also began using Printicular, a free photo app that pulls photos from your phone and online accounts and uploads them directly to Walgreens for one-hour printing. They print 4×4” photos, so you can get your Instagram pics printed quickly and easily! This totally sped up the process as well; I could choose photos and have them printed up while I sat on the couch and watched a TV show with the Mr. at the end of the day.

2015 photo album and journal | TheMombot.com

To keep up with it, I tried to sit down and fill out the journaling prompts once a month (they literally take about 3 minutes). Of course, sometimes I got a few months behind, but looking back at the photos from that month was enough to remind me of the goings-ons and helped me fill in any blank spaces. And figuring out what photos to use from the month was pretty simple, as long as I kept up with organizing them (something I discuss here).

Year photo album & journal | TheMombot.com

photo-album-close2

For me, this album works.

The thought of creating a 200-page album totally freaks me out; but one with 6 or 7 photos for the month? Totally doable. I have even tried Project Life in the past, and though I loved it, I couldn’t keep up. All the options they gave me made me feel like I HAD to be creative and so I went overboard (as I always do), and thus I pooped out somewhere around July. So I intentionally made this album simple so that I wouldn’t feel pressured to do to much. If all I could do what paste in a few photos and fill out the journaling sections, I was good.

Year photo album & journal | TheMombot.com

If you want an easy way to document life in 2015 and can relate to how I feel, then give it a try! I know I sound like a salesman here, but I genuinely loved documenting this year for the first time ever and I’m a believer in my own product. I am sharing it because I want others to feel the weight of documenting lifted off their shoulders as well! You can find the product in my shop.

And if you’re interested, I’ll happily give you $5 off the price.

photo-album-coupon

Enter “2015ALBUM” at checkout to receive the discount. Good through 1/31/15

Gifts for him {2014}

There’s still a full week left until Christmas.

Still on the hunt for that perfect gift for your man? Your brother? Your dad?

Don’t worry – guys can be so hard to shop for, but I’ve found some great options. Make it easy on yourself by sticking with the basics – the more plaid, antlers, wood or leather – the better. Pretty much anything that makes him feel like a man is a safe bet.

Several of these finds have expedited shipping options so you’ll get your gift in time, and if you’re a member of Amazon PRIME, you can get qualifying items in two days.

So without further ado, here are my top picks for “gifts for him” this Christmas:

Gifts for him 2014 | TheMombot.com

1. Lumberjack Scented Beard Oil, $19.95
Are you married to a lumbersexual? Yeah, me too. This beard oil has the mighty aroma of fresh split cedar wood with notes of musk cologne. It’s a done deal.

2. Men’s Catchall, $37.50
Somehow I think my husband would still manage to lose everything if he had this handmade catchall, but it’s worth a shot!

3. Leather Cigar Case with Cutter, $23.97
I once bought my husband a pipe. I think it was the best thing I could have ever done for his ego. I’m pretty sure a leather cigar case will be a must-have in the next couple of years, too.

4. Handmade Leather Wallet, $52
A quality wallet is a must-have for a grown man. Once you pass the age of 12, I don’t think velcro wallets are acceptable anymore. From the packaging to the leather and stitching, this wallet screams “man.”

5. Personalized Men’s Stationery, $13
Sometimes dude send notes too. And they’ll feel much better about doing it if they have antler stationery.

6. John Hanly & Co. Irish Lambswool Scarf – Made in Ireland $39.95
If a man is going to wear a scarf, it should be plaid. And if it’s plaid, it should come from Ireland.

7. Shawl Collar Cardigan, $94.80
I’m kind of obsessed with buying my husband shawl collar cardigans. He likes them, I like them; it’s a win/win. I buy him one just about every year. I love how they marry grandpa with hipster. I mean, how cute – I mean, cool – is this guy?

8. Genuine Leather Laptop Bag, 15” Vintage & Eco-Friendly by RusticTown, $89
Just about every guy needs a laptop bag or satchel for work or school. I say don’t skimp and buy faux leather; this is one time when it’s necessary to go all the way. Real leather lasts longer, grows better with age and smells like a man.

9. Bill Murray Wooden Bottle Opener $13.50
Dudes love Bill Murray. I still haven’t figured that out, but it’s a fact. Coincidentally, a lot of them also like beer.

 

*Disclosure: Affiliate links used

Easy Monogrammed Notebook (DIY Christmas Gift)

diy monogrammed notebooks | themombot.com

While searching for ideas on what handmade gifts I could give some friends and family members this Christmas, I saw an article on decorating notebooks in an old Family Fun magazine. And then I thought, hey – my daughter could totally help me make these (everything is cuter when a kid helps make it) and I’ve got blank notebooks in my crafting stash!

I had wisely picked up a pack of 6 small notebooks with plain white covers at Hobby Lobby when they were 90% off after summer; I think they were part of their VBS stuff that they were trying to get rid of. Definitely a good move on my part!

So instead of creating some notebooks with sailboat pictures like the article suggested (BORING), I grabbed some leftover letter stickers I had from when I put together our play room, along with some butcher paper and wash tape, and the girl and I went to work making monogrammed notebooks.

They were so easy as long as you’ve got all the materials on hand.

diy monogrammed notebooks | TheMombot.com

Here’s what you need:

  • Notebooks (even if it’s got a decorated cover, you can glue over it, so check those $1 bins!)
  • Crafting glue (I prefer acid free glue from Helmar; it doesn’t cause paper to wrinkle and dries clear)
  • Butcher paper or scrapbook paper
  • Washi tape
  • Letter stickers
  • Ruler

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Trace your cover onto the butcher paper. Cut out shape, making sure to cut a straight line along where the spine of the notebook goes (I used a paper trimmer to get it straight).
  2. Spread glue on your notebook cover.
  3. Smooth the butcher paper on top of the cover, matching up corners. Use a ruler to smooth out the glue and squeeze out any excess, while also getting rid of bubbles.
  4. You can let it dry for a bit or move on to the next step. I waited a few minutes (my glue sets really quickly) and put something heavy on top of it to help with curling.
  5. Put washi tape along the spine of the notebook (or anywhere else you please!)
  6. Put a letter sticker on the cover.

Boom. So easy.

Here’s a little video tutorial:

We made one for Mia’s aunt and uncle (because what adult doesn’t need a notebook to jot down grocery lists, to-do lists, etc?) and some for her little friends in Preschool. If they love to color, write and draw as much as my almost 5-year-old, then they’ll be thrilled!

DIY autumn burlap banner

Last year I decided my mantel needed some sprucing up, so I took about 15 minutes to create a burlap banner using some simple burlap ribbon and twine. It hung over the fireplace during Thanksgiving and satisfied my need for something easy and fall-like.

DIY Burlap banner | TheMombot.com

But this year, I decided it needed a little somethin’, somethin’ – especially because the burlap sort of blends in with the tiles surrounding my fireplace. So I went to town creating a stencil of the word “autumn” and painting it on my banner using white acrylic paint. The result was enough to make me go “yippee!” It looks 10 times better than it did last year and the upgrade literally took me 30 minutes.

DIY autumn burlap banner | TheMombot.com

DIY autumn burlap banner | TheMombot.com

Feeling in the mood for a little autumn DIYing? To make this banner in under an hour, here’s what you’ll need:

Supplies:

  • Burlap ribbon (mine is 6″ wide)
  • Twine/Hemp Cord
  • Big needle (I used a large plastic crochet needle)
  • White acrylic paint
  • “Autumn” stencil template (download here)
  • Xacto knife

Here’s how:

  1. Cut 8″ pieces from your 6″ ribbon (or adjust to size according to your ribbon width). If you’d like, vary the bottom edge of each piece to create different shapes like mine (some at an angle, some in a triangle point, some with an inverted triangle).
  2. Thread your needle with the twine and sew a couple of stitches through the top edge of each banner piece (make sure not to get too close to the edge since burlap unravels; 1″ is a safe margin). Keep threading banner pieces until you have achieved your desire banner length.
  3. Cut out your stencils with an Xacto knife from the download provided above, or make your own. My letters are about 3″ x 3″ in a serif font (Hoefler Text).
  4. Lay each letter stencil on top of a banner piece one by one and paint over the stencil with white acrylic paint and a wide brush. I used a stippling effect (dabbing up and down inside of sweeping side to side) when painting to keep my paint within the stencil. Each time you paint a new letter, lay down a fresh piece of newspaper or scrap paper underneath because burlap is very porous and the paint will soak through each time you stencil. If your banner has more than 6 pieces, you’ll have to center the word “autumn” and surround it with blank banner pieces.
  5. The best part is you get immediate satisfaction – since the banner needs to hang to dry, you can put it up in its final resting spot and enjoy it right away!

Need a visual?

Here’s a quick little video tutorial that I put together for the stenciling/painting process of the banner. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes a visual helps!


How to make a burlap autumn banner from Amy Taylor on Vimeo.

DIY fall decor

fall2b
Ahhhhhhhhh, fall.

Though I have fully embraced it now, in early September/October I was so enjoying the warmth of summer that I resisted the onset of fall for quite some time. I was loving the feeling of the sun on my skin and the ease of throwing on a simple dress and some sandals and heading out the door; so as the leaves started to turn and the temperature dropped, I began to pout.

But I think I’ve finally come full circle. This week I lit the fireplace for the first time since last winter, I made chili and lit a pumpkin pie scented candle, and suddenly all seemed right with the world. The crisp, cool air is growing on me and I think I’m finally ready to pack away the swimsuits and pull out the boots – and the fall decor.

Now that Halloween is over, I can focus on sprucing up the house a bit for fall and Thanksgiving. I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of Halloween decor… in fact, I pulled it out this year to decorate, but then I ended up taking it all down and replacing it with fall decor pretty much immediately. It’s just not cute and I don’t feel like it makes my house homey, so I resist it. But now that Halloween has come and gone, I can go all out for fall and not feel guilt over skipping ahead.

I’ve been keeping my eye on some DIY projects for fall and slowly making a to-do list. For starters, I am loving some of the ideas below. From a wreath for the front door to a Thanksgiving-appropriate banner, I intend to have this house autumn-ready in just a couple of weeks.

Have you started decorating for fall yet?

DIY Fall Decor | TheMombot.com

Little Bo Peep and her sheep {Halloween 2014}

Good news! Little BoPeep has found her sheep!

Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com

Coming up with costumes this year was pretty easy. I had found a little lamb costume last November at Pottery Barn for $22 (originally $69) and quickly snatched it up for the baby I was cooking in my belly. If you ask me, there’s no cuter lamb than my little Graham (yes, it rhymes).

Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com
Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com

I knew Mia wanted to be something extra girly this year after last year’s Dora debacle, and I still have some influence over her so I talked up Little Bo Peep pretty hard and told her about all the ruffles and lace she would get to wear. It was an easy sell. Lincoln has no opinion yet as to what he wears, so he too, would be a sheep.

Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com

I purchased Lincoln’s costume from Chasing Fireflies, knowing they had a cute sheep one, and Graham’s was already bought, so that just left me Mia. Little Bo Peep costumes are pretty lame on the whole. There are some gorgeous ones on Etsy that run about $50-70, but that was a little out of my range considering she would only wear it for one day. So I decided that hers would be the only costume I made this year.

True to form, I made it last weekend… I had such big intentions to make it in mid-September, but one thing after another prevented me from doing so (and by “one thing after another,” I mean procrastination). When I finally went and got all the fabric and sat down and sketched something out, it actually came together pretty quickly.

Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com

I made the whole thing from scratch, using her regular clothes to create patterns. It was my first time making a circle skirt (success!) and my first time making a shirt with sleeves for such a little person. I almost threw in the towel a couple of times trying to sew those darn sleeves in. But in the end, it all worked out even though I made some modifications along the way.

She absolutely loves it, which is all I needed (it’s just too bad she’s so camera-shy… she said sarcastically). I am pretty happy with it too, and oddly enough, I even enjoyed making it – you know, except for the sleeves. I also decided to forego the traditional bonnet that Bo Peep wears and I think that helped keep the cursing to a minimum…

Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com
Little Bo Peep and her sheep costumes, Halloween 2014 | TheMombot.com

Now we get to party hardy at Mia’s school this morning and then go out for trick-or-treating tonight. Which means mom needs to sweat and curse twice today (and I already did that yesterday for these photos) while trying to dress three kids in costume… yay. Have I mentioned how much I looooooove Halloween??

The candy I steal from the kids after they go to bed almost makes it worth it. Almost.

DIY faux deer head (for under $50)

DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com

I have become ridiculously obsessed with deer heads. Perhaps its my Michigan roots, or perhaps I just got bit by the deer head trend. Either way, I’m too far gone.

Over the course of a few weeks, I started seeing pictures like these on the web that had me drooling…

home trend: faux deer head, antlers, taxidermy | TheMombot.com
1. West Elm | 2. Bliss-athome.com | 3. TheDesignerpad.com | 4. Rainonatinroof.com | 5. Mathewsfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com

And I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Suddenly the space above my fireplace seemed very empty and in need of a friend. The problem? These faux deer heads usually cost $99+. It wasn’t exactly in my budget, so I started doing some digging around.

Turns out, you can DIY one for under $50 – and people all over the internet are doing it!

Here’s how…

Purchase this 8 Point Buck Deer Head Bust Wall Hanging (a little rustic in all its painted glory) for under $50. At the time I purchased it, I bought it from a different seller for $33.50 plus $9.49 shipping, so I spent $42.99 total. It doesn’t seem like that option is available anymore, but prices on Amazon change all the time. There are plenty of sellers right now selling it for under $50. The size of this deer head is perfection (not too big, not too small) and it’s made of resin, making it both lightweight and durable.

DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com

You’ll also want to pick up some spray paint. I used Krylon’s glossy white spray for the head and metallic spray in Caramel Latte (satin) for the antlers. You could also paint the antlers a glossy white if you want it to be monotone, or something crazy like black, pink or yellow (which I almost did). The beauty of this deer head is that the antlers already come detached, so painting them a different color from the head is simple (and you can always repaint them later if you change your mind without even detaching it from the wall!).

Set out your pieces and spray paint that sucker.

DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com

Hang on wall. Attach antlers. Done.

DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com

In hindsight, I wish I had sprayed the head with some primer first to make the glossy paint stick a little better. This particular head has fake hair that is quite detailed, so getting the paint in-between all the crevices took about 4 or 5 coats before I was satisfied with the coverage.

Can I tell you a secret? Numerous sellers on Etsy are selling this exact deer head spraypainted white for $85-$150. Look at how much money I just saved you! Of course, if you aren’t a DIYer, then you can certainly buy one already done. White Faux Taxidermy also has some really lovely options at decent prices, though they are smaller in size.

But back to my little creation… The kids named “her” Ruby. She looks so friendly, don’t you think? She’s already dressed for fall, and you better believe she’ll be wrapped in a scarf for the holiday (my husband is shaking his head at me right now).

DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com
 
DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com
 
DIY faux deer head for under $50 | TheMombot.com

 

 

*Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links

Our teeny, tiny playroom reveal

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

You might remember a couple of months ago when I shared photos of some rather inspiring playrooms and play areas here on the blog. I started researching them when I realized we were in serious need of a playroom for our older two kids; our house felt overwhelmed with toys and sometimes I just can’t deal with a 2 and a 4 year old running circles around our kitchen and living room, even if they are laughing and having fun. So creating a play area in the basement seemed like the most logical idea.

The problem is, our basement already houses a desk for my husband, a sewing area for myself, and a pull-out couch for guests. The only space that was left was an odd little room right outside the door to the basement bathroom. It’s sort of like a long hallway with a closet and serves no real purpose. When the idea popped into my head to transform this area into a playroom, my husband readily agreed and gave me the go-ahead I needed to make it happen. I chased after the idea fast and hard because I was so darn excited, and I think I had it mostly pulled together in a matter of days!

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

Quite frankly, it’s been our saving grace. My oldest, Mia, heads down here every day for one hour to do “quiet time” while her brothers both nap, and mommy gets some much-needed alone time [insert collective sigh here]. When the kids are driving us crazy because they have too much energy or if I am trying to cook dinner and they won’t get off my legs, I send them down here to run, play and do whatever they please (there isn’t too much that they can destroy, luckily).

Because I had such a small space to work with, I pulled ideas from some of my favorite playroom picks in this post and incorporated what I could. There is a strange lighting fixture that can’t be changed or moved, so I had to work around that, and if I was allowed to paint the walls, I would have in a heartbeat! But this is just a pre-cursor to the awesome playroom I plan on creating for the kids when we finally own a home. Although it’s not as elaborate as I would like, it definitely serves its purpose.

So here’s an in-depth tour of our teeny, tiny playroom…

[ t o y  o r g a n i z a t i o n ]

I am all about organization. When a room is cluttered with toys, it drives me nuts. So my first order of business was to create some toy organization. I wanted something that would last and wouldn’t need to be replaced in a year, so we decided on this Three Bin Storage Cubby in white for $99. It had good reviews and mimics some much more expensive cubbies I had been eyeing from Land of Nod. We only bought one for now, but I like that if I ever want more, they have 2 or 3 cubby options that will attach to the top of our existing bin (so far the cubby is holding up great, in case you were interested in the quality).

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

For the rest of the organization needs, I headed to my favorite spot – HomeGoods. That’s where I picked up the tall wire basket for holding balls and all the cloth and metal baskets that sit atop the toy cubbies. The big grey basket holds all of Lincoln’s cars, while the smaller blue one holds Mia’s stuffed animals and dolls.

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

 

[ s p a c e   t o   c r e a t e ]

Both of my kids love to draw and color, but markers and crayons unsupervised with a 2 year old? No thanks. I’ve cleaned too many walls in the past to know that that is a bad idea. So instead, I put up a large chalkboard. I love that chalk can be washed off of anything! I planned on buying a piece of plywood and painting it with chalkboard paint, until I went to Home Depot and discovered that they sell ready-made chalkboards in the size I needed for something like $9! The extra few dollars I spent on it vs. a piece of plywood and paint was WELL worth it.

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

I also have a little metal green table [ purchased at Ikea many moons ago as it was going out of stock, so I got the table & 4 chairs for $30! ] sitting in front of a closet. The table moves around our house often, depending on our needs (it’s perfect for when we have little dinner guests), but when it’s in the playroom, it works perfectly as a little coloring station for my 4-year-old budding artist (who is allowed to use crayons and markers). Speaking of the closet – which I don’t really have pictures of because, hey, it’s a closet – that houses Mia’s giant Barbie house and any other toys we want to hide away. When we have houseguests, there is still enough room for them to hang some clothes in there.

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

 

[ d r e s s  –  u p   c o r n e r ]

I really wanted to get Mia’s play clothes out of her bedroom and in one central location, because I was tired of stepping on plastic princess heels and magic wands every time I entered her room. So I created a little dress-up corner with a stand-up mirror that I found at HomeGoods, a hanging rack and her trunk to hold miscellaneous items. I used simple scrapbook stickers from Michael’s to add words on the wall, and the awning above the dress-up corner is made from an old chevron curtain I had and two tension curtain rods. Anytime Mia can stare at herself in the mirror and practice her poses, she’s happy.

Teeny, tiny playroom reveal, playroom ideas | TheMombot.com

 

Thus completes our tiny tour. By the way, most of these pictures are shot from the doorway, so this really is the size of the entire room.

I look forward to having a larger space for the kids to go one day, but for now, I think this is all we need!

 

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