Saturday, September 7, 2013

Go ahead, Write on the Wall!

We were gifted an art easel a few years ago with a chalk board on one side and a white board on the other.  The girls love to draw on it, but I was getting annoyed with it sitting in the middle of the floor.  In my Pinterest wanderings, I saw a number of ideas over a long period of time that came together to come up with a plan to keep the drawing boards, but clear the floor space of our play room. 

The Inspiration

I saw this project for a large art center and loved the idea of putting the chalk and white boards on the wall rather than on the easel.  Then I saw this cool oil drip pan magnetic board and decided to add that to the wall.  To store the art supplies where they could easily be put away I loved the ideas of hanging small buckets on a rod that I saw here and here

The Materials and Assembly

I am terrible about taking "before" pictures, but our easel was a lot like this one.  It was really easy to just take off the white and chalk boards and simply attached them to the wall.  I used anchors for the top two screws, just in case.  I put them right up against the edge of the wall and against each other for two reasons:  First, that way they all fit without covering the outlet and second, that way there wasn't wall space in between to be colored on in and "oops" situation. 

I got the oil drip pan from Walmart.  Easy as can be!  I let the bottom rest on the floor and used two upside down 3M hooks on top to keep it again the wall.  The pink magnetic baskets to hold the magnets were in Target's school supplies (locker organization) this year. 

The simple and cheap cafĂ© rod I got at Target (I'm sure Walmart has them too).  Again, I used screw anchors on the rod brackets, just in case.  The little buckets were in the Target Dollar Spot a while ago.  I simply strung the buckets onto the rod and snapped the rod into the bracket.

And there you have it!  The girls love it and I love not having to walk or vacuum around the easel!  And, with the addition of the buckets and the magnet board, it is better than before!

Good luck and have fun! 

Stuffed Animal Zoo Tower

Looking for a great way to store all those stuffed animals?  I have put together a great one! 


Stuffed Animal Avalanche

We had a very large pile of stuffed toys stacked into two small baskets in my daughter's room for years.  Every time she took one out of the pile, the entire mountain would avalanche onto the floor of her room and would remain there until I got angry and shoved them all back into place while cursing stuffed animals and anyone who ever gifted one to my children (even me).  I wanted a new solution and I saw plenty of cute ones on Pinterest, but I don't build from scratch.  I need an easy hack to an already produced item.  My daughter's room is already very full of stuff too so it had to fit in the small area where her stuffed animal mountain already resided. 

Then I found this post on Pinterest and an idea was born.  This was cute, but this small shoe tree wouldn't even put a dent in her collection, so I went to Amazon and ordered the biggest shoe tree I could find.  I was also worried that once we started stacking the animals in there they would still tumble out so I decided to get some mini bungee cords to string between the baskets as the "bars" to hold everyone in place.  Now, all I had to do was wait for them to arrive! 

How to


Assemble and Place Shoe Tree

Simply put together the shoe tree as stated in the directions inside the box.  The only hiccup we had is
that there are two extensions to the tension rod at the top and we figured out after trying to muscle the thing down as hard as we could that we should take one of the two off.  One extension rod was enough for our height ceilings. 






Attach Bungees

Once the tree was assembled and in place I started stringing the bungees from the bottom of a basket to the top of the basket below.  I soon realized that the bungees could not be pulled tight or they would pull the baskets up out of place (the baskets were designed to be weighted down my shoes, not pulled up by bungees). 


So, I put the bungees on loose.  However, when I started loading animals, the bungees would come unhooked easily, rendering them useless.  So, I ran and got my pliers and pinched the bungee hooks closed around the basket frames.  Now they aren't going anywhere.










Load the Zoo

And enjoy the wonderfully clean (Ok, comparatively clean) floor of your child's room! 

It has been working so well in my daughter's room, I may put up another in our playroom for our puppet collection. 

Good luck and have fun!