Friday, September 28, 2012

Make It: Half Door

Perhaps I should have called this post The Ghetto Dutch Door.
I'm sure you've all seen those fabulous "dutch door" tutorials on Pinterest. {If you haven't and you have a few minutes - there are some REALLY awesome ones out there!}

However, if that's what you're looking for you -- you've come to the wrong post! :) I didn't have the budget nor did I want to spend that much time on this project. I did, however, have an ugly hollow core, no panel door that opened into the Playroom. The first few months that we lived in the house we simply took the door off. Wild Man can't really be trusted alone in the playroom with little H. He would kill him - or throw tonka trucks at him - or strangle him with a batman cape. You're laughing. This is my daily life, people. It's crazy. The constant battle to protect little H. But back to the door. We just took it off. Which worked for about 4 months. Until company came and then the playroom DIASASTER was like BAM! in your face! It was a little embarrassing.

So that's what brought me back to the "dutch door" idea. 
But I wanted "dutch door" on a budget.
I wanted to be able to see the boys play ... 
and I wanted to be able to use the existing door and hardware.

Again, I was going for cheap and easy.
(get your mind out of the gutter.)

So I simply took the door that was already there and cut it in half. Well, not exactly in half. I cut a few inches above the middle hinge and knob. 
 Then I added a simple 1x2 to the top with Liquid Nails.
 and finished it off with caulk and a coat of white paint. 
I told you it was simple!

 Oh and just for fun I added a $7 peephole ...
so he can see the "bad pirates" coming. ;) 
and stuck his Pirate Map on the inside ...
 so he can find his treasure! 

This is the view from the Hallway.
It looks a lot better than an "empty" doorway.
 It hides the majority of the mess ...
allows me keep little H alive. :)
and provides the perfect place for Wild Man to play Pirates.
I'd say my job here is done! ;)

What do you think?
Am I crazy?

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Walker

This little guy is on the move these days ...
 It's pretty adorable.
and it makes life VERY interesting.
and very busy! ;)

because now I have two little monkeys to chase.
I'm tired already. ;) 
see you in two years friends.
I kid, I kid.
sort of.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Toddler Fun: Baking Soda + Vinegar

 I don't know about you but science wasn't always my favorite subject. Until we did something cool like dissect a cat or make exploding volcanoes, and then I loved it! 

I was supposed to be cleaning out the cabinets this morning, when I stumbled upon the Vinegar and Baking Soda. I instantly remembered the erupting Volcano science experiment I did in 5th grade! We instantly stopped cleaning and started playing! ;)
I'm sure you have everything you need to turn your kitchen into a science lab!
You just need some vinegar, baking soda and food coloring! 
I set it all up on a tray for Wild Man, like this. 
 He was so gentle at first, spooning the dyed food color on the tray of baking soda ....
 and he was SO amazed by the fizzing results!!
 Then he started touching it ...
 and then spooned all the baking soda into the bowl of vinegar ...
 and that is when the REAL amazement kicked in.
He LOVED it! 
 Then he just started dumping the vinegar .... 
and things got crazy! ;)
and a little messy! 
until we ran out of supplies.
and then there were tears.

We will definitely be doing this again! 
Wild Man is still talking about his exploding volcano! 

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Make It: Indoor Pirate Play Fort

A month ago Captain Nelson requested a "Pirate Fort". Unfortunately, an awesome outdoor pirate fort/play house isn't in the budget. We also don't have unlimited play space indoors, so I started brainstorming ways to make my favorite Pirate a fort ...
These were my requirements for the fort:
- Something that I could set up and take down quickly/easily
- Something that would not take up a lot of space when stored
- Something the boys would LOVE and require them to use their imagination
- and something that could GROW with him!

so this is what I came up! :)
Welcome to Pirate Camp.
I decided the hallway outside the playroom would be the perfect spot! I knew that I wanted Wild Man to have access to his toys in the playroom, so I didn't want to block the door. That means that my "fort" only has three sides, as the fourth side is the wall/door to the playroom.
The secret to our pirate camp is the Shower Curtain Rods and Shower Curtain Rings.
This was the simplest way I could come up with and it works! :)
It's really easy to take down and it just stores in a bag in Wild Man's closet. 
So do you want to make your own Pirate Fort?
Here's what you'll need:
- 2 Twin Flat Sheets (Walmart, $5/each)
- 2 Tension Rods/Shower Rods (Walmart, $5/each)
- 2 packs of Shower Curtain Rings ($1.16/each)
- Any "Pirate" decorations, Dollar Store

So I promise my tutorial is probably way more complicated than actually making the fort! I didn't take pictures while sewing ... I had a very antsy toddler breathing down my neck the whole time. I was on a deadline people. Unfortunately, two year olds don't understand "Hold on while I take a picture for my blog", haha.  

Let's get started! The first thing you want to do is cut your brown sheet in half. This will be the two sides of your fort. Now it is time to decide how "wide" you want your fort to be. Mine is about 3/4 of the Blue Twin Sheet. (Save the other 1/4 you will use it later).

 Sew the three "sides" together! I decided that I wanted my "seam" to be on the outside of the fort (since it would be blocked by the hallway), so I just sewed it accordingly. This is easy, I promise. Just place two sheets together and sew a straight line! ;) Then add one more sheet. You'll have a 3-sided box (if you call it that). I cut two slits in the "front" of the fort for a "door". I just used some bias tape to "neaten" up the edges because I was lazy and didn't want to iron a hem.
Now let's attach the shower curtain rings to the sides. I just cut VERY tiny X's, using fabric scissors and slid the shower curtain rings in. You'll only attach the shower curtain rings to the brown sheets. The blue one will just pull taut when you put the tension rods up between the hall walls.
 Wild Man DEMANDED a "top" -- so I just cut up the remainder of the blue sheet into thin strips. I didn't even bother to make them very nice, just ripped them. Again, I cut little X's and added it to the shower curtain rings on either side (so the rings have a blue and brown sheet). I thought it kinda looked like waves. or maybe sails. All appropriate for a Pirate Fort, right?
I added a few extra decorations from the Dollar Store. They had just pulled out the Halloween stuff. I randomly found the Pirate Flag at a thrift store for .49! Score.
The boys LOVE their pirate fort.
and I'm not going to lie ... I love grabbing a pillow, plopping down on the floor and listening to Wild Man's story about sailing the ocean, sword fighting with Captain Hook and stealing Treasure.
Oh and in case you were wondering, a flashlight is a must in the pirate fort.
and the "port hole" you see above is one of their favorite parts ....
you can find a good tutorial for that here.

So what do you think??
I know that probably seemed really confusing.
I promise it's not.
What was unclear?
I'll answer any questions as best I can. 

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Friday, September 21, 2012


Just do you know ... 
NEVER leave your computer alone with your toddler.
Not even for a moment while you chat with a friend.
He will knock it off the couch.
Pour your half drank Diet Coke on it.
and you will literally hear the hard drive fry when you plug it in.

Then you will place it outside to dry.
and your curious one year old will drop it off the ledge.
Onto the concrete,
destroying any hope of it EVER recovering.

How do I know this?
Well, it happened to me this morning.
Just another day in paradise. 

Thank goodness for my dear friend Mozy.
He's been backing up my pictures everyday for the past year.

But please excuse me while I mourn the loss of my dear computer...
and let's hope I can hijack my husband's from him in the meantime.
He's not so keen on loosing his Fox News time.
I'm not too keen on loosing my bookmarked blogs.

It's a sad, sad day.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Make It: $1 SuperHero Cape

 There are a LOT of GREAT Superhero capes out there.
But this one is a little different.
Why you ask?!
Because it's EASY, SIMPLE and CHEAP!
Like $1 cheap. 
Can't beat that, right?

So you want to know the secret?
It's this TANK TOP from the Dollar Store. 
 Yup. It cost a whopping $1. 
Note: You could probably make two capes from this, by using the front and back - Making it .50 per cape -- but I just used the front (with the longer straps) and saved the back for scraps.

So run to the dollar store.
and buy EVERY tank top they have. 
That's what I did ;)
We have a LOT of birthdays this month. 

So are you ready to make an awesome SuperHero Cape?
Let's get started!

1. Cut the tank top straps.

 2. Now cut down the sides of the Tshirt, so that you have two separate pieces. 
You don't have to hem this, Knit doesn't fray.

3. This is what you have right now. Just the front of the "cape". 
 We're almost done. Seriously. I told you this was easy! ;)

4. Now sew on two pieces of velcro. One on each strap.
Note: You could make this no-sew by using iron on {washable} velcro.

5. Now it's time to add the "super initial". I just used some scrap fabric I had and free handed a design. This part is optional. Wild Man has been wearing a blank cape for days and hasn't noticed - but this one was for a little girls birthday present, so I wanted it to be personalized!
 I ironed the fabric on using Heat N Bond LITE!
Note: You could make this NO SEW by using HEAT N BOND ULTRA.

 6. Now sew around the edges for extra durability.
Superheros tend to be a little rough and rowdy and we don't want this falling apart! ;)
That's it!
Step back and admire your super cute, super fast, super cape! :)

Now whip up a coordinating Super Hero Mask ...
(Tutorial & template coming soon)

and you have the perfect gift for any birthday girl (or boy!)

oh and did I mention it will cost you less than $2!!!!
and it will only take you about 20 minutes!!!
 but bring endless HOURS of make believe fun!!!

Handmade gifts are the best.
If you make one, I'd love to see it! :)

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