Encores for old doors and drawers!

I’m sitting here at my desk and it looks like a crime scene. The perpetrator? My terrorist toddler, of course.

He has emptied the drawers out, colored all over my chair with highlighters, taken six bites out of two pears and left them oozing on top of a pile of printer paper, and figured out how to pop all the keys off my keyboard. He has strewn the contents of the drawers throughout the house, including some CDs that contained family pictures, which I found inside the rice cooker. This all happened in the span of maybe four minutes while I was making lunch.

Do you think maybe, if he had a desk of his own he would leave mine alone? A mom can dream.

If I ever finish putting these keys back on my keyboard in order, perhaps I’ll make him one of these:

Bright Art Desk Before


Bright Art Desk

A cute DIY desk made specifically for little ones using repurposed cabinet doors!

This is the brainchild of Autie at iCandy handmade. She reports that her kids ADORE their mini desks and haven’t tried to melt family pictures in the rice cooker even once since she made them.

Bright Art Desk 1


And just like those leftover cabinet doors getting a colorful and fun new purpose in life, so did this old IKEA drawer insert that Medina had lying around. If you don’t have an IKEA drawer insert lying around, you can always check the IKEA ‘as-is’ section. I’ve found many a good deal there.  If you don’t have an IKEA nearby, I am sad for you. But any old drawer should work, as long as it’s sturdy.

Oh, you probably want to know what she did with it, huh? Let’s take a look…


Under Bed Toy Storage 1


Under Bed Toy Storage Before

Sweet underbed storage! So cute and functional! She added casters to the bottom so her 3-year-old son could roll the drawer in and out easily, and added dividers because duh.

See the whole tutorial on her blog Grillo Designs.

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Merry Kitchmas: a kid kitchen makeover

It’s never too soon to teach your kids their way around a kitchen. For instance, not to brag, but my two-year-old son is already somewhat of a cheese artisan. He loves to stand in front of the fridge and scream “CHEEEEEEEEESE!!!” until I open it and hastily give him a cheese stick, at which point he takes one bite and throws it behind the couch. Obviously this is to continue the aging process and more fully develop its flavor. He also likes to hold down the ice maker button until the floor is covered in ice and sit in the middle of the mess sucking on ice cubes. I don’t really know what that one’s about.

Point is, he’s going places.

If you’ve got a child in your life who shows an interest in the culinary arts, why not build them a play kitchen to start practicing? Perhaps they’ll thank you by naming an artisan cheese after you someday.

Andrea created this adorable play kitchen for her son’s Christmas present, using an entertainment center that someone was giving away.  I just never get tired of seeing these old things being repurposed!

Play Kitchen Before


Play Kitchen


There’s so much to love here, from the little shelf bump-out she built to hide the holes meant for electrical wires, to the photo in the window of her actual backyard, so her son could look ‘outside’ and see his swingset. She used a towel bar to make a realistic fridge door handle, and a calculator serves as the keypad on the microwave.

Almost everything was created out of second-hand items and things she already had around the house, bringing her total to $30! Brand new play kitchens can cost six times that. She saved a ton of money. Not to mention cheesesticks.

Get all the details on Andrea’s blog Arch.

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Big Boy in a Little Loft

When I first became a mother, my grandma gave me some wise advice: “Mama,” she said, looking gently into my eyes, “Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” Hmmm. Wait. I think that might actually be a Waylon Jennings song. Anyway, it was something along those lines. Something about how time makes you bolder, and children get older, and I’m getting older too? Yes, that’s what it was. No, I’m not confusing that with another song. My grandma is Stevie Nicks.

It’s a darn shame, but kids really do grow up fast. One minute they’re all excited about their fire-truck toddler bed, the next minute you’re crying because they don’t even fit inside. But look at the bright side: now you can have all kinds of fun doing a big-kid bedroom makeover!

Ashley’s little guy has had several room progressions as he’s grown and her style has developed.

little boy modern bedroom makeover - before

little boy modern and bright bedroom makeover - after

Doesn’t it look great? Youthful and fun and just right for a *sniff* growing boy.  See all the changes it’s been through on her blog Bigger Than the Three of Us.

And if we swing around to the other side of the room, we’ll discover that she turned this overstuffed closet into …

closet loft makeover - before


closet loft makeover - after

… a super cute and streamlined reading loft! Because no matter how old you are, a loft in your closet is the coolest. Plus now he can actually reach all his little clothes on the little hangers down below. Cuz himz still a wittle guy.

Check out the reading loft reveal on Ashley’s blog to see more!

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All Work, No Play-Kitchen

Kids these days don’t know how good they have it.  Why, when I was a kid, the only electronic device I had was an electric blanket. I had to share with my sister so we wouldn’t freeze to death in winter. What fun!

I never ‘texted’ my ‘friends.’ I didn’t have friends, because I was too busy doing things like hauling rocks from one side of a field to another. Hooray!

And there was no such thing as fancy ‘play kitchens.’ *scoff* No, we played in a REAL kitchen. And by ‘play’ I mean we peeled potatoes until our knuckles bled. Wheee!

OK, my childhood wasn’t quite THAT rough.  Although, I did actually do all of those things. And I never did have a fancy play kitchen. But I turned out mostly pretty fine.  Still, why take that risk with your own kids? You’d better build them that fancy play kitchen of their dreams just in case.


Blue Kid Play Kitchen Before


Blue Kid Play Kitchen

Lydia and her husband set out to do just that for their little girl. They started by trolling Craigslist and found a little dresser to serve as the stove and oven.  When her husband went to pick it up, he returned with a file cabinet that the seller just gave away after hearing what they had planned to do with the dresser! He was so excited he even gave them a piece of plexi-glass to make the oven window.  People are cool.

They also ran into some luck at Lowe’s when they went looking for a faucet.  Her husband was adamantly opposed to buying a real faucet for a fake kitchen.  Can’t say I blame him; those things are pricey. But when an employee heard their predicament, he reached under the counter and gave them this perfectly adorable one for $5. It was a broken return that he hadn’t gotten around to sending back to the company yet. Isn’t it great when things just come together like that?

Grand total for everything including supplies and accessories: $82!

See more on Lydia’s blog Huckleberry Love.

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