Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trofast Ikea Hack

Does anyone really have enough storage?

I always ask myself this when putting away the girls' clothes for the thousandth time.  Maybe they just have too many clothes (darn you, Target clearance!) or maybe I just don't have enough places to put everything, so it gets cluttered.  I decided that the next time I went to Ikea, I would get another Rast dresser and jazz it up to match the one that is already in the girls' room. Here's a photo, and even though I am really much better at sewing than painting, I just have to point out that the middle drawer was completed by my daughter, who was 4 at the time, lest you think that was my handiwork. 
What I made.

What I wanted to make.

Now imagine my sadness when I finally made it to Ikea (it's two hours away) and their Rast dressers were out of stock. Ack!  What am I going to do? Thankfully, thanks to Pinterest, I had seen several different ideas already on making a storage bench out of their Trofast line.  Here's the original link I liked, as well as this one and this one too. I'm pretty handy, but actually building something without directions is out of the question for me right now (I'm also having a baby in a few weeks!), so I decided to go with the Trofast bench in solid pine (it's pretty solid and somewhat heavy).  After assembly, I spray painted it white and then added in the buckets / tubs from Ikea.  

Here's a snapshot of how the completed bench turned out:

Looks pretty good!
Obviously, I was inspired by the links above and wanted to make a cushion for the the top.  It just so happened that a few weekends ago JoAnn's was having a sale on foam (60% off!, that's a deal in my book!).  So I dashed over and grabbed about a yard of some 2 in. foam.  I found this girly print in the clearance rack for $5/yard:

This awesome print was a steal at $5/yard!

I ended up doing my own pattern for the cushion cover, and made the cushion just a little bit smaller than the entire top of the bench. It fits really nicely, and I'm super happy with how it turned out. I sewed the whole thing on the sewing machine and even got the corners to look nice, now that's an accomplishment!  The total size of the cushion is 35.5 in by 15.5 in.  It's has an underside like a pillowcase, so I can remove it and wash it. The cushion only took me one day to finish, sewing a little bit here and there so my feet wouldn't swell up too much, and I love how easy Ikea's furniture is to put together. I used one can of primer + white gloss to cover the wood.  The girls love it as much as I do!  On to the next project...

More storage = one happy mama. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Let's use up those broken crayons!

If you're even half as much addicted to Pinterest as I am, you've probably seen this activity before. Here's a link I used to start with: Here. I was curious to see if itactually worked. (Spoiler alert: It does!) Another friend wanted to do it, but didn't have the space in her home, so I got some more friends together, and we got to work! It was actually really easy, but I learned a few tips and tricks along the way.  Check out how cool these turned out below!

It took me two tries to get these beauties!

My daughter thought they needed a friend.

Basic Directions:
Start by gathering all your broken crayons or pick up some cheap wax crayons at the dollar store. It's very important that they are wax, because I tried to use some fancy art crayons that the kids had already broken and they didn't melt at all. Then I had to try and remove them from a hot muffin tin of melted wax. Not fun.Ouch.

We sprayed our muffin tins with the tiniest bit of non-stick cooking spray and then filled them up as much as we wanted with crayons of similar color in each muffin cup. Let your imagination go wild here, any color combo would probably work and would make for some fun crayons! You can also use any kind of muffin tin that you want, there are some cool-shaped ones that go on sale around the holidays, so be on the lookout for a good deal. I think these would make fun presents!

Pop the tin in the oven at 225 degrees and check them every few minutes.  We found that some of the colors seemed to sink to the bottom and a clear-ish wax was left on the very top.  I tried to remedy this on my second go-around by mixing each color with a toothpick before letting it cool.  When the crayons are all melted, you can let it cool on the counter and then put it in the freezer to cool completely. This will also make the crayons pop right out of the tin! I did break one crayon by just dumping the frozen ones out on the counter, so be aware of that.

And that's pretty much it! Enjoy!

A tip:
One of the websites talked about using tin foil to line the muffin cups, I definitely don't recommend this! Either go out and buy a cheapo one or pick one up at a thrift store. Lining the cups with tin foil just made them look yucky and crinkly (I like them better smooth) and some of the wax leaked anyways, so it was a lot of work for nothing. I ended up combining the crinkly crayons with some leftover crayons and making new ones that I like a lot better.

Taking all the tin foil off my crinkly crayons. 

I like the color, but that's about it. Messy!
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

End of Summer

So tomorrow is the big day! The first day of school for my oldest daughter, kindergarten! I cannot believe she's grown up so fast! In an effort to get out of the house on time (school starts at 7:55am, which is really early for us), I made a picture chart with all of the important things she needs to do to get ready and off to school on time. I'm crossing my fingers it works! I created a document that shows the basic outline of what I put on the checklist. You can edit it here. I added some basic clip art pictures, but it would be fun to add photos of your child doing each step too! Happy 1st Day of School!