Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maggie’s Nursery Projects

Maggie will be one next month, and I am now just getting around to taking pictures of the projects I did in her room. It was so fun to decorate for a girl. My mom and I went to Joann's last year and I picked out a fabric that I liked. I wanted something feminine, but not over the top girly. There were so many choices, but I kept going back to this fabric that had apples and pears with a blue background. It was so refreshing and cheerful.
Here it is:

Her crib bedding was made by my Grandma and was used by my sister, Chase and Parker. I just needed to change the ties on the bumper pads to something girly. I wanted to line some baskets with the fabric, make a bow board, and some wall art.
Here is what I came up with:
My inspiration was from this very talented lady! I actually traced the pear and apple from the fabric. I then enlarged or decreased the size of the images for the embroidery and felt cut outs.

The baskets with new liners. I used this tutorial. It was a little bit of a brain teaser, but once I figured it out it was very simple.

The bow board. I used an old memory board and covered it with new fabric.

Here is her name. This was the last project because we couldn’t decide on her name. My inspiration was came from a lady on Etsy. She had each letter framed separately. I thought it was so neat! Unfortunately, the link to her item no longer works. I embroidered her name on matching blue fabric and framed them in IKEA frames. I believe the frames were only about $5.oo. I found the fabric at Wal-Mart for about $1.50/yard.

I had a frame without glass from the game board art project. Got my inspiration from this blog. I found the punch at Michaels, and I had the paper in my scrapbooking stash. Very inexpensive and I was able to use the frame.

Here are the bumper pads with the new ties.

Game Board Art

My mom was de-cluttering her cabinets a while back. She came across some of my old board games. The games were missing pieces, so she decided to get rid of them. She threw them out in the trash can. A few hours later she went out and recovered them from the trash. She couldn’t bring herself to throw them away.
The next time she saw me she mentioned that she had these games and was wanting a way to save them. She mentioned that maybe we could frame the box lids. I took a look at them and loved her idea. After thinking for a while, I thought it might be easier to find frames to fit the game boards rather than the box lids. The game boards measured 19x19 I believe.
I started searching online for frames. I checked out Aaron Brothers and it was going to cost about $140 for 3 frames. I came across square frames from IKEA. They were perfect. They were 20x20 and only $20 per frame!
We headed over there and picked up 3 frames. We came home, cleaned the glass, and popped the game boards into the frames. As we were hanging them up, my mom accidentally stepped on one and the glass broke. I went back and picked up a 4th frame, and I used the glass-less frame for another project for Maggie’s room.

There were some game pieces left as well, so I decided to use them as well. I used the $1.00 wooden frames from Michaels. I painted them white. I covered some cardboard in fabric and hot glued the game pieces to the fabric/cardboard. They turned out pretty cute:

Chutes and Ladders Player:

Candy Land Player:

Memory Card:

These relics from my childhood have been preserved and gave our playroom some much needed wall art Smile.

Coffee Table

I am not a huge fan of lots of furniture and knick knacks. It makes me feel kind of claustrophobic. We also have little children, so the more we have the more they can run into or destroy. Sad smile However, we were in need of a coffee table. When we have people over, there was no place to put our drinks  food  in the Family Room. The kids needed a place to color and do homework. Abe needed a place to work at night. Maggie needed something to pull up on and walk around. It was time to look into a coffee table.

I started browsing Pinterest for ideas. The barn wood from other projects (here and here) came to mind. These ideas were really neat:

My favorite!! It had instructions as well which was very helpful. The only issue I saw was that it was a little too narrow. I loved the storage potential and the wheels. I wanted the boys to be able to roll the table out of the way, so they could wrestle with Daddy Smile .

I emailed my Grandpa the website. He thought it was doable! We went and scoped out the wood pile, and found some nice pieces. He and my Dad went down the next day and found AMAZING wood. We measured and chose the dimensions we wanted. It was very rough and we were slightly concerned about splinters. He ended up planing the wood and made it very smooth. He used L-brackets and dals to make it very sturdy. We envisioned 3 little kids standing on the table Smile. He worked very hard and about 3 weeks later the table was finished. We figured that the wood alone would have cost $300-500. I spent about $50 in supplies. I have no idea what you would pay for something like this, but it would be quite costly!!

Here is the finished product! It ended up being 48’x38’ and about 20 inches high. It is perfect for our family room. We use it all the time. So grateful for all my Grandpa’s labors!



Storage Area:


Side View:


Thursday, February 16, 2012

DIY Mason Jar Light Fixture

Note:I am new to writing tutorials and taking pictures for them, so I didn’t get pictures of some the steps. I am sorry in advance. I am willing to answer questions if something is not clear or pictured.


Thanks to Pinterest I found pictures of mason jar light fixtures. I LOVED them! Apparently, Pottery Barn sold a light fixture with mason jars (here is the one they sold for $399!!) that people reproduced for much cheaper. Here is a picture of the Pottery Barn version.

There were 3 blogs with DIY tutorials that were very helpful. I thought this tutorial was the most helpful with supplies to purchase and electrical instructions. This blog was helpful for some electrical instruction as well and also a picture of one fixture using wood. They also show how to make a wooden box. I also used Kara Paslay’s tutorial for some help. After reading all three blogs, I came up with my own idea and list of supplies.

The first and most important item was the piece of wood. I envisioned a piece of barn wood from the same collapsed barn that we made this from:


I talked my Grandpa into going down to the collapsed barn, and we went to town collecting wood. With the help of his chain saw, we came home with quite the stash of amazing wood. We have collected some of the nicest wood from this place. In another post, I will show the amazing coffee table that he made from wood from this barn. Amazing! I will treasure the memories of this day and the times spent creating with my Grandpa. He loves to work, and is so creative with using scraps and odds and ends! Here are pictures from that day:





We picked our favorite piece of wood from the wood pile. We used his table saw to cut out a space for the wiring. We made numerous cuts with the saw, and then he chiseled out the wood. I didn’t get pictures of this step, but it worked out perfectly. He then used satin Minwax Polycrilic to seal the wood. The piece of wood ended up being about 54” long. We determined that we could hang about 7 jars. We took into account proper spacing so the jars wouldn’t touch each other and what we thought would look the best. Here is a picture of the wood with the sealant and space for wiring:


With a list in hand, I headed to Home Depot and Wal-Mart for the rest of the supplies. Here is a list of what we needed:

Home Depot:

21 feet of 18-2 Lamp Cord-Go to the electrical section, and they have bulk lamp cord. They will cut you the length that you need. I used about 26 inches of cord for the short lights and 32 inches for the longer lights you will also need some extra cord to connect the cords.

7 Keyless Lampholders/Sockets-this is what I ended up using. They are on the same aisle as the switches and such. They are box sold loosely. I think it was simpler that using the keyless socket as far as the wiring part and it also felt more secure as far as holding up the jar.

Electrical tape

Wire Nuts-I wasn’t sure about the size, so I bought the bag of miscellaneous sizes.


7 Mason Jars-Quart Sized

Krylon Gray Spray Paint-I have found that Wal-Mart has the best price.

Other items you will need:

-Wire stripper and/or exacto knife

-Supplies to attach the fixture to the ceiling


Step 1- Cut your lamp cord to your desired lengths:I wanted four jars that were longer and three that were shorter. You will need to leave some extra cord to tie and knot and connect some wires (approximately 6-8 inches).


Step 2-Spray paint the cord. The cord will take about 24 hours to dry

Step 3-Drill holes for lamp cord. I used a 5/16 drill bit for the holes. For my 54.5” board, I started the first hole at 7.5 inches and spaced the other holes about every 6 9/16”. Drill a total of 7 holes.

Step 4-Drill Holes in Jar Lids using the same drill bit used in Step 3. Use a smaller drill bit and drill 4 smaller holes to let heat out when the bulbs are turned on.


Step 5-Feed the cord through the Jar lid.

Step 6-Attach cord to the keyless lampholders. Separate the lamp cord about 4 inches with an exacto knife. Un-screw the lid of your lampholder.  You will see two little “cone-shaped” pieces of metal (one is silver and one is brass). These will “pierce” the wire to make the connection. I know very little about electrical, but I learned that you connect the HOT wire to the BRASS and the NEUTRAL wire to the SILVER.

Neutral wire has a ridged casing:


Hot wire has a smooth casing:


Insert the wire into the lampholder and screw down the lid very tight. This will puncture the plastic casing and make your connection:







Step 7- Split and Strip the Ends of Each Cord. Use an exacto knife to split the lamp cord about 1.5 inches. Use a wire stripper or exacto knife to remove about 1 inch of the plastic casing on each cord. (I waited until after the cord was knotted to do this step and it would have been easier to do this before)

Step 8-Feed Cords up the Drilled Holes. You want to determine at this point how low you want each jar to hang. Tie a knot on the end of the cord, so the cord will stay in place.


Step 9-Connect wires to the extra lamp cord and split and strip each end about 1 inch. I cut about 6 inch pieces of lamp cord. Split and strip each end of the cords. Use a wire nut to connect the hot wire of the 6 inch piece of lamp cord to the hot wire of the knotted cord. Do the same with the neutral wire. Remember-Hot to Hot and Neutral to Neutral. Repeat until you reach the end. The only exception is that for the middle cord I didn’t use a wire nut. I just twisted the wires together. These wires will be connected to the wires in your ceiling. (I wish I would have taken a picture, but I forgot. Some of the other blogs I posted showed some pictures of this step.)

Step 10-Test the lampholders to make sure they work. I am no electrician and neither is my dad who helped me. However, he has been in construction for 35+ years and knows some basics about electrical. He helped me at this point. We took a cord  with a plug on the end from an old lamp. We wired our fixture to the cord and plugged it in. We screwed in a light bulb to every lampholder to make sure they were wired correctly. We found that some of the lampholders didn’t have a proper connection. We needed to screw the lid on tighter to pierce the lamp cord. Eventually, they all lit up and we were ready to hang the fixture.

Step 11-Attach wiring and fixture to the electrical box. You probably want to call an electrician at this point. My Dad was able to do it, but I would NOT have been able to do this by myself. I will say that this fixture weighed about 22 pounds which is a proper weight to hang from the electrical box. We did not have to drill into our ceiling which was great! It worked out well, but it took 3 of us to finish. My husband and I held the fixture up while my dad did the wiring and installation.

Step 12-Attach light bulbs and mason jars. I did not buy the “wide-mouth” jars, so regular light bulbs would not fit inside my jar. I had to purchase these:


Step 13-Stand back and admire your finished light!!



I spent a little less than $40 on this project. It helped that I didn’t have to buy the wood, but I like that price much more than $400. This light fixture will definitely be coming with us when we move!! I LOVE it!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

DIY Kitchen

For Maggie’s birthday coming up in about 6 weeks, we wanted to get her a play kitchen. We know that she will have a blast playing with her brothers with the kitchen. I looked around the Internet for something to buy. I found that they were pricey and many were not well made.

I came across some ideas on Pinterest and found some blogs with great ideas. The kitchens that I liked the most were made from old end tables or entertainment centers. They used the furniture as a base and revamped it from there.

Here is my favorite example:

Play Kitchen

Here are the end tables I found on Craigslist for $40!!



My Grandpa is going to help me get them completed! I can’t wait to see the final product!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

10 months!



We are into 2012 and Maggie is getting closer and closer to ONE! Last year at this time we were preparing her room, buying a new car to fit our family of 5, and preparing to add another little one to the family. We have adjusted to the 3rd baby, but her mobility is adding challenges. She is into EVERYTHING!! She gets into drawers and pulls things out. She loves to crawl in all the rooms to find things to put in her mouth. This child finds the smallest things and immediately puts them in her mouth! We are trying to be careful, but it is so tough to keep the floors perfectly clean.

She crawls around here like a mad woman! She is fast. She can stand up really well while holding on to things. She has now moved onto holding on with one hand. She can climb things pretty well, so she gets herself in some precarious positions. It is kind of funny!

Maggie celebrated her first Christmas. We had multiple celebrations with our family. She got a few things to play with, but we really didn’t worry about too many gifts. She really enjoyed the boxes and wrapping paper. We had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior and spending lots of time with family. It was a blessing to have Abe off for a week. The best Christmas present!!

She is now feeding herself. She loves to pick things up and she is really good at it!

Her first tooth is finally through right around January 18th. The second one is coming and will break through really soon as well. I can tell it won’t be long until the top 2 will pop through as well.

She was really sick again with a cold this month. Poor baby can’t seem to get well. We had to stay home from church quite a bit due to sickness. During that time she developed full on separation anxiety. She now HATES the nursery. She cries almost immediately, and I get called up to pick her up. Our other kids were the same way and Parker still struggles. One of these days we will hear a sermon. LOL!

Appearance: Her hair is starting to grow and fill in. Her eyelashes are also growing and they are dark and long just like Daddy! Swoon Smile

Sleep: She takes a morning and afternoon nap. They are 1-2 hours in length. She goes to bed at 6:00 and is very cranky if she is awake past that time. She is waking up one time during the night around 3:00 to eat and goes right back to sleep.

Diaper Size: Still in size 3. Thinking we will order the next size up for next month.

Clothing: She is now pretty much in 18 month clothes and some 24 month thrown in. We can get away with 12 month shirts because she seems to have short-ish arms. Smile

Height: I think she is about 29 inches

Weight: Approximately 18.5 pounds

Head Circumference: Not sure

Eating Habits: Like I mentioned above she is feeding herself sometimes. She can pick up chicken nuggets and meatballs which are 2 of her favorite foods. She eats some veggie purees still along with apple sauce. We are starting to give her what we eat for dinner sometimes. She also started eating butter and jelly sandwiches. She loves them! She nurses 4 times per day and now gets about 8 oz. of formula.

Development: She is crawling very fast, holding on with one hand to things, opens and closes drawers, says “mama” and “dada,” she recognizes her brothers by name (we ask her where Chase is and she looks at him and same for Parker), she is kind of loud, she likes to pinch HARD, and she begs for food all the time.