September 26, 2012

The Big Nursery Reveal

It's baby time!  Well... not quite yet... but we're ready for him whenever he gets here, because this little Nursery is done!  

Once I finished with some handmade art, including the bird mobile, the "How Wonderful" poster and the Faux Rhino Head Mount, it was time to put it all together.  First I had an issue to solve with a very awkward window:

 Isn't it strange that the only window in this room is tucked right against the corner?  It's not a lighting issue, since this room has 18' vaulted ceilings and 2 huge skylights, but it does make decorating pretty tricky.  It was obvious that I needed some kind of a window treatment, but curtain panels on both sides of the window made  it feel cramped, and the panel on the right covered half of the window.  Instead I went with a bamboo shade + light curtain panel combo which gave the window dimension, texture and balance. I started with this light linen curtain panel from Target for $14.99.  Instead of buying 2 panels, which I knew would cramp up the window, I purchased just one and cut the panel into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other.

Even though I thought I was done with the sewing machine at this point, I pulled it out one last time to sew a new quick hem on each raw edge.  I used my smaller panel on the inside corner, and the larger panel on the left to give the appearance that the window was more centered and bigger than it is.  Paired with a dark bamboo shade I found at Home Depot, I think it fits the space now much better.


The next step was to sort out the gallery wall of items I had to place above the daybed and find a layout that I liked.  

I cut a piece of paper to fit each item, and taped them to the wall first to make sure my spacing looked good.  Then there was nothing left but the hanging.

I collected a variety of different items that fit the vibe of this room.  Like this adorable wooden deer head that was the first gift to baby Boomer from my incredible cousin Morgan.

I was really excited about these 3 1960's vintage puzzles I found on Etsy for just $20. (For the set!)  I love that they're clearly children's images, but because they are vintage they don't feel too cutesy or cartoony.  I framed them in different sized Ikea Ribba frames to vary them up a bit.

The puzzle creates a little extra texture in the frame.

Here's Mr. Big Horn and a picture frame with Boomer's first photo that the Hubs and I picked up in the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon.  The zebra bobble head is from World Market.

I got the bobble heads online in a set of 2 for just $12.95.  I actually had a free shipping and 15% off coupon from them, making each of these guys just $5.50!  Unfortunately the giraffe seems to be a bit more popular and is on back order, but I have a little spot on the shelf open and waiting for his arrival.

This clock was also a great World Market find, just $9.95 plus the 15% off discount and free shipping!  A clock is a must have for me in a Nursery to help track the time and duration of feedings, and I love how this one fits the old world explorer feel.

I love how everything came together and feels cohesive without being to "themey."  I can't decide what my favorite part is.  I'm super proud of the daybed I built, and I love the bird mobile...

I also adore this wicker hamper I found at Ikea that perfectly fits the space and the vibe.  The "How Wonderful" poster makes me sappy every time though...

 I wouldn't say this room is 100% done, as there will always be little tweaks and additions I'll want to make down the road.  For now though, its ready for our little explorer's arrival. 

What do you guys think?  I get that this type of nursery isn't everyone's cup of tea (where's the rocking chair?), but I'm totally digging the uniqueness of it and how it's built to work for me.  The best part though is that it is filled with a bunch of hand made, original items just for my baby.  From the daybed to the art, to all the sheets and fabrics, I cut, built, painted, stained, glued and sewed more than 80% of the items in here, giving me the Nursery I wanted on a budget I could afford.  I keep finding myself wandering into this room, laying on the daybed and spending alone time with my little man.  I can't wait until he gets here to show it to him. 

September 24, 2012

DIY Faux Rhino Mount

From the get go this Nursery plan was begging for some sort of faux animal head mounted on the wall.  We considered moving these ones from the Loft, or even purchasing this amazing one from West Elm.  There are so many different variations out there on this idea right now, from porcelain, cardboard, papier-mache and acrylic.  But when I found an easy to DIY wooden inspiration, I knew it was my chance to make a super affordable one AND get to use my saw again. Crafting is so much better when it includes saws.  

I started by sketching out on the computer how I wanted my shapes to look.  Then I printed this rhino and this mount on 11 x 17 paper, which I've uploaded so you can do too if you'd like to give it a try.

Then I went to Home Depot and picked up 1 1"x12"x4' solid pine board for $4.88.  I had a bunch of extra 3/4" plywood at my house that I could have used, but I wanted the edges to be finished since I was planning to stain it.  It you're going to paint, MDF or Plywood would work just fine.

Next I cut out my shapes and traced them out on my board.  I used a jig saw to very carefully cut out each one.  It took a little time and patience, but luckily wasn't that difficult.

Then I sanded all the edges smooth with a 220 grit sanding block. I rounded the edges just a bit while sanding so that it wouldn't be too sharp.

Next I used my paper template, folded in half to find the exact center of my mount.

Using wood glue and two 1 1/4" screws from the back I attached the rhino to the mount.  Make sure to drill a couple of pilot holes with a drill bit first so that you don't split the wood of your rhino when the screws go in. 

I found a can of dark walnut stain in my supplies and applied 4 coats total to get a nice, dark color. 

And attached a simple handing hook I had left over from another project.

Don't mind the unfinished back, no one will ever see it.  And here's Mr Big Horn all complete and up on the wall.  (Don't be gross, my 4 year old came up with that name... sicko....)

You may notice that I have a few other things up on the wall that I can't wait to show you guys, because this Nursery is nearly done!  But that's a post for later this week.  For now- what do you guys think?  Am I the only one that loves a good faux animal mount?  Have you made or purchased any for your house?  I love the rustic, lodgey feel it gives this house.  Yep, lodgey is definitely a word.  Don't bother looking it up.  Really. 

September 21, 2012

How Wonderful Life Is...

After finishing up the natural bird mobile, I was ready to get to work on that big, empty space above the dresser.  You know, that big space right in the center, smack in the focal point of the room.  I wanted something interesting enough to fill that wall, but not too big or crazy that it would compete with the old world mural.

 My plan was to find some art using the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, a song I have been singing to Little Boomer for months now, Your Song by Elton John. I'm not embarrassed to say that my 16 year old self  first fell in love with this song after hearing Ewan Mcgregor's version on Moulin Rouge. (Okay, maybe I should be embarrassed, but I'm letting the freak flag fly.)  The sweet honesty of the lyrics get me every time.  Sap.

I did a quick internet search and was shocked with all the different versions already out there. The internet is the best little inspiration machine ever.  (Well, when used for good instead of evil that is.) I've linked all the images so you can check back to their original awesomeness if you like.


At the end none of these looks really fit the feel I was going for with this nursery, so I took a little time to create my own.  This kick bootie free font I found has a very natural and rustic feel to it.  Almost as if the type is made of different patterns of flannel. 

Note: I do realize that Elton John's version is, " is while you're..." but the Moulin Rouge version says, " is now you're..." and for baby I feel like that one is a bit more fitting.  And here it is in an Ikea Ribba frame:

And because I'm a giver, if you're interested, I'm adding my version to the other fabulous options on the web.  You can download it here. I sent mine to Costco and printed it as a 16"x20" for only $6.  Enjoy! More fun Nursery projects to come next week- we're almost ready for this little bambino!

September 18, 2012

It's a Bird... Mobile

 Once I had finally finished up my dozen+ sewing projects for the Nursery, I was getting pretty antsy to get stuff up on the walls.  It still looked so bare in there, and I’m anxious for this space to feel like the warm and cozy nursery I had intended.  While the old world map mural does a nice job to fill up the space on the wall above the crib, this corner now seemed really empty.

 Originally when I had planned for the crib to fit under this alcove, my plan to was to make some sort of mobile to hang above the crib.  The new configuration makes it tough to hang a mobile directly above the crib thanks to the vaulted ceilings, but I figured I could still place a mobile in this far corner and our little man could look at it from either the crib or the changing table.  I Googled “DIY Mobile” for ideas, and was immediately blown away by this simple, nature loving version from Spool.  They even provided a super easy pattern and instructions to follow.

Even though I was D.O.N.E. with the sewing machine at this point, I did have a lot of great fabric scraps left, and I loved the idea, so I took the sewing into overtime to create this one last project.  The instructions were really easy to follow, and before I knew it I had this:

The bird is a little tricky to turn right side out, but nothing that these fat fingers couldn’t figure out.  Thankfully I had yet another hoarded throw pillow that was perfect to take the stuffing out of to fill up my birds, giving me this:

Then it was just a matter of creating 8 more.  I cut out all my bird pieces one evening while watching TV with the Hubs after bedtime.  I ran upstairs for about 30 minutes to sew the pieces together, and then I headed back downstairs to turn them right side out, stuff and stitch them closed.  Hubs isn’t even phased anymore by my “crafting while relaxing.”  He gets me and knows it’s impossible for me to just sit still and relax, so its better for everyone if I can find a way to accomplish something while watching TV.  We all have our own brand of crazy.

The next day Ry and I went on a hike to find the perfect sticks for his baby brother’s room.  I love how excited the little guy is to meet his brother.  He hasn’t been at all jealous yet of any of the stuff we are making or buying for his brother, he is just excited and wants to help me make it.  Makes this preggo lady tear up every time.  Just like those Mom commercials during the Olympics. (Seriously- I can't be the only one that was sobbing...)

Putting the mobile together was by far the trickiest part.  First I attached the birds randomly to the sticks with a needle and fishing line.

 I discovered that I couldn’t just wrap the fishing line around the sticks to hang them though, as the heavy part of the stick (the birds) would always spin with gravity causing the birds to hang upside down.  I picked up a few tiny eye bolts for $2 at Home Depot though, which was the only item I had to buy for this project.  I drilled a tiny pilot hole in the stick first before twisting the bolt in.

 While the eye bolts helped, I would be lying if I said balancing the mobile was easy.  The birds twisting forward on the branch even 1/4” would throw the entire thing into a death spiral.  I found using a bit of hot glue at each of the birds and eye bolts helped to keep all the pieces in place without twisting.  One frustrating hour later I finally had this:

Fun- right?  I love that it adds a bit of interest to this corner, but still feels natural and minimal.  Hubs agrees that it's a "manly mobile," which I'll take as a compliment.  And for a $2 total cost- you can't beat it!  What about you guys?  Has anyone DIYed their own mobile?  There are so many great ideas out there on the internet, and I love the idea of something unique and hand made in a baby room.  Given how much time I will likely be spending in this room for the next year or so, I'll be glad for some interesting and beautiful things to look at.