Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DIY Nursery Progress...

I am happy to say that the nursery is coming along nicely! It's a good thing too, considering our due date is only 7 weeks away (wow!). Along with the crib and dresser/changing table that we recently placed in the room, we received the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids, got a navy blue rug from Target (thanks sisters!), put some color on the walls, and I was able to tackle two DIY projects this last week in my free time that were on my "Nursery To-Do" list. The room is starting to have character and I can't wait to share photos later on of it being more complete. In the meantime, I wanted to share the "art" I created for little Matthew's space :)

Knowing that we wanted to create a room that wasn't too "themey" and overpowering, yet didn't lack color and boyish touches, we thought (okay, I did most of the thinking) quite a bit about what kind of feel we wanted to have in the room. We prefer old and vintage over something new, yet we like to mix the two for something unique. We kept coming back to using transportation as accents in the room because we felt we could incorporate both old and new in ways that would give the room character. Of course, decorating a nursery takes $, and we realize that while we may have a nice vision in our head of what we desire the nursery (or the house for that matter) to look like, it all takes time. Also, our sweet little boy will be just a baby and I don't think the design of his room will matter to him just yet, so long as he has a place to sleep and lots of love from his mama and daddy. My list of fun "Nursery To-Dos" was prioritized based on what we have money and time for - hence the two DIY projects below.

Here is some art from Pottery Barn Kids that I fell in love with after searching for something to go on the walls that just "felt" right. Unfortunately at $69 a piece, we knew it was out of the question so I opted for a DIY version instead.

I knew that I had one 16x20 canvas laying around from a couple years ago and made a list of what I thought I needed to create my own version of transportation wall art. After sketching it out on paper and printing off outlines of a plane, truck, boat and car from the internet, I headed to the store to get the rest of my supplies. Here's my finished piece - the empty corner is where we'd like the rocker to go whenever we get one.
Cost of supplies:
    canvas - free
    transportation print outs - free
    5 sheets of scrapbook paper - $0.88 (1/2 off sale at Michael's and with 25% off coupon)
    2 bottles of paint in cream and white for background - $4.66
    black paint pen - $2 something (I'll say $2.50)
    mod podge - free
Total: $8.04 

How I Did It:
I began with painting the canvas a tan color by mixing the white and cream paints, then proceeded to take a rag and wipe it off, giving it a grunge/rustic look. While that dried, I traced my printouts from the computer onto the scrapbook paper I felt would look the best. Cut those out, centered them onto my four sections I had measured and penciled onto the canvas, and mod-podged them on. I then painted the white lines (note to self: don't keep trying to make it "better" - stick with simple!), used the black paint pen to write the letters and words, and lastly covered the entire canvas in mod-podge for a more finished look. I did it in two days so it would have adequate time to dry. Matt was surprised at the finished product, as was I, although when I see it on the wall I do get bothered by one imperfection in particular. I just tell myself it's hand-made and that makes it unique!

My second project, a hanging branch mobile, was inspired by this photo found on the blog Dear Lily. She has a tutorial there and this is one of the many inspirational projects you can browse through. Not to mention, her photos are beautiful! Anyway, I attempted to create my own hanging branch and headed out into the yard to go on a stick hunt. Thankfully, our niece and nephew visiting a while back had collected a nice pile in the yard that Matt had been adding to as he picked up after some storms. I just dug through the pile holding up this stick and that, breaking off little pieces here and there until I decided on two that I really liked together.

Matt and I love it! It only cost us $5.28 because the branches, spray paint, acrylic paints, and string were all things we had on hand. The little wooden transportation pieces were something I lucked in to at the local store for $0.88 a piece - don't you love when you find something perfect at the store and you weren't even looking for it at the time?

How I Did It:
For this hanging branch mobile, I lightly coated the two branches with yellow spray paint and then a dusting of white. I painted the wooden airplanes, cars, etc. with acrylic paints we had in our craft container. Using a light blue string that would blend in somewhat with the wall, I tied it carefully onto the pieces so they would balance evenly. Next, I baked my sweet hubby some brownies. You see, he was working hard editing weddings for Taflan Pictures, and I knew a break was just what he needed. A break that included brownies and hanging up the branch for me ;) He screwed the 2 branches together in the position I liked, held them up to the ceiling (being 6'5 1/2" has that advantage) and then carefully placed screws into the ceiling. We made sure to tie string onto each screw, connecting it to the branch and it all went up nicely. Together we tied and wrapped the strings holding the wooden pieces in place and ta-da! We have a hanging branch mobile! (If you want more details, just ask and I'll share).

So there you have it - some DIY nursery projects that have been crossed off the list in the last week. We're pleased and are anxious to get some more things crossed off before our little one arrives!

**I must mention: My lovely youngest sister came over a few weekends ago to help me paint two coats of Ships Ahoy! blue onto the walls of the nursery. I couldn't have done it without her! Thank you Meredith! At first it took a while for Matt and I to get used to considering we've never really had color on the walls of any home we've lived in aside from tans and whites (the joys of past rentals). Now we love the happiness of the color and are pleased with what life it added to the room.**
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