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Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 | 2 comments

Mermaids, Butterflies, and Princesses: An Enchanted Shared Bedroom

Mermaids, Butterflies, and Princesses: An Enchanted Shared Bedroom

The couple in this installment, Joe and Christi, took one big room and split it into one medium and one small room to accommodate three little girls. The couple loves their Del Ray farmhouse and have no desire to move anytime soon. Together, they designed and constructed a whimsical space for little girls who love princesses, mermaids, fairies, and the colors pink and purple. Here you can see the opening they created between the rooms, with Joe working as the DIY contractor. The opening is flanked on either side with fanciful drapes that the girls can close for more privacy. In the middle, they hung narrow wall-mounted bookshelves. The far room is for the older girl, the nearest room is for the younger two girls. In the bigger of the two rooms, the sisters have loft beds on either side of the room, each with a fun slide instead of a ladder. The beds are high enough to allow for the girls to hang out underneath but not too...

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 | 2 comments

A Wild and Wonderful Winter Birthday Party

A Wild and Wonderful Winter Birthday Party

My oldest son turns 6 years old today. Of the many things I love about him, I think it’s so cool he loves to do projects around the house with me. In fact, he uses DIY Del Ray as a verb — “Mommy, are you going to DIY Del Ray this?” So of course I was excited when he said he wanted to have his birthday party at home. This meant that together we could plan the food and games, make the decorations, and “DIY Del Ray” the whole event. Since the party is in January, a winter wonderland theme made the most sense. Our plan was to decorate with cut-out paper snowflakes, make a snowman-shaped cake, and have other games and activities related to winter. Pretty simple. Space is an issue so we had to keep the guest list short — just a handful of friends and of course Jack’s best bud, his little brother Calvin. This would also be the first year for the dreaded drop-off party....

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 | 3 comments

Small-Scale Studios for Young Artists

Small-Scale Studios for Young Artists

I’ve recently chatted with several parents about how they display their kids’ art. Which ones do you keep, which ones do you sneak in the trash so your kids don’t see, and how do you encourage creativity in a small space without your house feeling cluttered or looking like a daycare center? Here are few ideas. In my house, I designated a small wall in the dining/living room area as a place to keep art supplies organized and to display the kids’ favorite projects. Jack loves having his own “art wall.” I attached an IKEA RIBBA ledge shelf on the upper part of the wall. This serves double duty — displays art projects and hides the awkward thermostat. The pictures only lean alongside the thermostat and do not block airflow to the register. A string hanging below the shelf holds additional projects, attached with small binder clips. This rod with hooked cannisters (also from IKEA) holds markers, crayons, and glue sticks. Need some markers? Just unhook the can and take to the table....

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2011 | 2 comments

The Making of a Sock Monkey

The Making of a Sock Monkey

The sock monkey is a model of DIY ingenuity. A long time ago, someone had the wherewithal to figure out you can take an old pair of socks and create a stuffed animal in just a few simple steps. Genius. I made my first sock monkey several years ago. I made a bunch that year for all my friends’ kids — different style socks, different colors, some in the traditional red-heeled Rockfords, and some in whatever I could find at Target. My youngest doesn’t have one yet so this is his year to get a sock monkey for Christmas. Step 1: Get socks! You can use any kind of sock with a distinct heel. The more interesting the sock, the most interesting the monkey. If you get the Rockford socks, you’ll get the instructions for making a sock monkey inside the pack. Otherwise, just follow along here. You’ll also need a sewing machine, needle and thread, stuffing, and embroidery thread or yarn. Step 2: Cut socks One sock will...

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Posted by on Nov 30, 2011 | 13 comments

The Many Uses for Chalkboard Paint, Part II

The Many Uses for Chalkboard Paint, Part II

Back in August we shared some ideas for using chalkboard paint in your home. Well, we’re back with more ideas — chalkboard paint is so versatile and so fun! I love chalkboard paint so much I used it as my kitchen backsplash. I was afraid it would make the small kitchen look even smaller and darker, but so far it hasn’t. In the corner by the stove there is an entire wall for the kids to doodle. (Don’t worry,  the kids aren’t allowed back there while the stove or oven are in use.) And if I’m cooking and I need to leave myself a note, I can just write it on the wall — comes in handy when you are inventing a new recipe. One tip: Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat otherwise the first coat rubs off. You’ll need 1-3 coats, but each coat dries pretty quickly. We mentioned these gift tags in our last post and I’ve been itching to make them ever since. I...

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