A New Way to Display Art – Old Window Screens

As I mentioned in a recent post, I like to use what we have around our house before going out and buying something. Early on in summer, I was tired of seeing the old window screens stacked behind our garage, so I searched Pinterest and found this pin.  I knew we could figure something out for a bulletin board for my daughter’s room.

I picked the two best looking screens and cleaned them off with a our garden hose, which actually pulled off some of the old paint for further “distressing” of the wood.  Between some hardware stores and Hobby Lobby, I manged to find mini clothespins, eye-hooks, and D-hooks for hanging the screens on the wall. With a little help from Daddy O. at the end of summer, we managed to create and hang up these two screens.

The Finished Product

full view of window screen art boards

Two window screen bulletin boards proudly display my daughter’s art.

close up of window screen art boards

Close up of the screens, so you can see the vintage, distressed wood. It actually matches nicely with our older home!

Now our only issue with the screens is that we didn’t make one for my son! A larger window screen is waiting by Daddy O’s tool bench to make it happen.

What “junk” have you re-purposed into something functional for your home?

Oh yeah…I also did some crafting with big cardboard boxes too! See the train and kitchen I made out of carseat boxes.

Childproof Christmas Decor and Crafts

As I decorated this Christmas, I broke out the same Scrap Fabric Tree that is now 2 years old! It’s hard to believe it survived a few holidays and being in storage. These were some easy crafts to make with little kids.  Enjoy!

At 15 months old, my son is just at that age where we really need to watch him to make sure he doesn’t get into something he shouldn’t.  He really is quite good, but we had a few incidents with him pulling down our Christmas stockings (and holders) that were placed on a bookshelf, where he routinely will pull books off of the shelf to “read.” This led me to re-do some of our Christmas decorating to make it more childproof.  First and foremost, I moved the stockings up to higher ground.

Second, I created a kid-friendly tree out of felt. I probably spent less than $4 on several sheets of felt from Wal-mart.  I just made it up as I went along, gluing pieces of felt to a paper grocery bag (probably could have cut it closer to the tree’s branches), and cut up ornaments while practicing shapes with my 3 year old.

Childproof Felt Christmas Tree

Childproof Felt Christmas Tree – so easy to make & was fun for them to play with. (Though I was the one putting the ornaments back on constantly!)

I have been taking down some of our everyday pictures hanging on our walls, and replacing it with holiday decor. This was another project I did with my daughter, gluing scraps of fabric to scrapbook paper.  An avid quilting relative gave us these scraps, and Christmas time was the perfect inspiration for this project!

Scrap Fabric Tree picture

Scrap Fabric Tree picture – still hangs up 2 years later in our home!

Last, but not least, we ended up with a smaller Christmas tree than last year, so we had many more leftover ornaments that did not have a place on our tree this year.  I saw this pin and was inspired to display some of my own ornaments on our chandelier.

Chandelier decor with pretty ornaments

Chandelier decor with pretty ornaments

I also have made some of my own cardboard Christmas trees that are not nearly as beautiful as the ones on the link I provided.  They ARE, however, a lot of fun for my 3 year old, who uses them as pretend trumpets!  Here is another link to a Christmas tree project that I thought looked cool. The framed ornaments also looked like something worth trying, but I haven’t found the right materials yet.  If you have any childproof or child-friendly crafts, please share! Happy decorating & happy crafting!

Newsflash: Cardboard Toys Don’t Last

I knew that, right?!

When I set upon making the Cardboard Kitchen and Cardboard Choo Choo Train, I knew it wasn’t going to be a keep-forever type of toy.  I was simply making use of some old cardboard boxes in my basement, hoping that they’d have more value as my kid’s toys instead of in the recycle bin.

Since CARDBOARD happens be a a popular search term on my blog (geez, my writing on other topics must be so thrilling), I thought I’d share a look at these cardboard toys almost one year later.

What can I say, it’s been well loved, and a cheap toy for hours of enjoyment for my kids!  I have been thinking about pitching it in the recycling bin, but just saw my kids playing with it yesterday.  It will be a fixture in our basement for a bit longer it seems.

The Cardboard Train Engine has fared slightly better than the kitchen – a testament to my superior cardboard construction skills.  It still has that slight lean to the right in the cab – again a testament to my superior cardboard construction skills.

More Cardboard Craft Ideas

As part of the Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge, I found some other bloggers with more cardboard craft ideas.

  1. I love this post from Zing Zing Tree. Egg Cartons, Houses, Cars, and Story Diorama. Check it out for some fun craft projects on a smaller scale (it won’t take up as much space as the cardboard kitchen or train engine)!
  2. The Little Crafter that Could shares an awesome cardboard letters project. This would be really cute in my kid’s rooms!
  3. Finally, the BEST CARDBOARD MASTERPIECE that I found comes from Japanese artist who goes by Upunushu: Matsumoto Castle.  Apparently she has been working with cardboard since 5th grade and is now in her twenties.  All I can say is WOW!  You have to check it out!

Quick and Easy Easter Bunny Craft

I felt inspired by Crafts by Amanda – Cardboard Tube Bunny Rabit on Pinterest yesterday, so with an eager 3 year old helper, we made our own version yesterday.  Instead of paint we used colored construction paper and double sided tape and glue.

After cutting the cardboard rolls (and covering an old container in purple to make a big bunny), I adhered the paper, glued on the pom pom noses and tails, and used some marker for the eyes, whiskers, mouth and ears.  I had some scraps of felt and fabric that I cut into shapes for the cute bow and clothes. Pretty cute, huh?!

I’m all about quick and easy crafts – especially with little kiddos with short attention spans!  I also like using whatever we have around the house to create little projects. As we wait for more spring-like weather, crafting has been a good boredom buster in our home.

board Tube Easter Bunnies

Cardboard Tube Easter Bunnies – paper, pom poms, markers

For more craft ideas, check out my craft and kiddos boards on Pinterest, or see these related articles below.  Happy Crafting!

Enjoy the Little Things

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

– Robert Brault

In taking a break from my job search, I am doing a lot of little things around the house. I am amazed at how this one SMALL change I made in our home is really bringing me happiness every time I see it.

I updated the shelf lining in our bathroom medicine cabinet and closet. Check out the OLD ugly patterns and the new and improved version.  It just looks so clean and pretty now!

What little things have you done lately that are making a difference in your day?