Category: Home Decorating

Create a Wow Factor in any Room with Easy Decorative Fretwork Panels

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While planning for our impending move, I was really looking to try some new things with the space. I came across some images for fretwork panels and was immediately hooked. Of course, I had to pass the idea through my husband. Thankfully, he also liked the look of them, so I had my ‘all clear’.

I did quite a bit of searching due to the variations in price and design. You can definitely get smaller panels. Given my chosen wall was quite lengthy, I was looking for larger panels. I admittedly did an abysmal job of predicting how much I would need to purchase. Due to the expense of the panels, it was absolutely hopeful thinking to order low and hope it covered enough. If I were to do it again, I probably would have gone with the fireplace wall in this same room simply for the cost savings. Definitely a live and learn moment for me. Regardless, it sure turned out pretty!

 

Fretwork Panel Supplies

My chosen paint color was Sherwin Williams Succulent from the Emerald Design color pallet. I was slightly worried the dark green would be too much in the space, but the whole family has really liked it. After a little looking at how others attached the fretwork panels to the wall, I found different versions of screws, glue, and tape. I opted for the tape below that has super good hold. I’m slightly worried about the day I want to take the panels down to repaint but will deal with that day when it comes. 

 

Easy as 1, 2, 3

 

It only takes four small cuts of the gooey double-sided tape in the corners to stick the panels to the wall. So easy that even my seven-year-old was able to help with this project. The tape has a plastic covering you have to peel off of the second sticky side. After 10 minutes of fighting with getting the plastic off the little cut strips, we smartened up. We pulled the plastic off a good portion of the tape and then cut the pieces. It was so much quicker that way. After creating our assembly line of tape cutter, tape placer, transporter, and leveler, we were lightning quick getting it up!

 

 

This next step is THE MOST IMPORTANT step of the whole thing; use a small level ON EVERY SINGLE PIECE. As you begin to place the pieces, it’s super easy to start by lining up the pieces along the ceiling and corners of the room. You’ll feel quite confident the panels are level doing so, but it’s still your best plan to level even those panels. For my chosen pattern, I had to measure the middle of the squared pieces to ensure the crosses would keep everything in line. I readily admit I was nervous to start this project thinking that it was going to be difficult to keep lined up. After just a few panels, it was a breeze and no worry at all. 

 

 

Level, Level, Level………………and Level some more

 

 

And below is when I ran out of panels (for a second time) to finish the bottom….

 

Easy Cuts to Finish off the Fretwork Panels Wall

 

After waiting another week for the next order to arrive, it was time to cut the panels to size. I used my old-school radial arm saw to get the job done. Some day, I’ll get some updated tools. 

 

 

The ultimate satisfaction; seeing the pieces fit in beautifully against the trim. 

 

Fretwork Panels Wall Finale

And with the last of the cut pieces in place, this project was completed. From a picture, it definitely looks like more of a stencil, so it definitely has more impact in person. I’m now toying with the idea of strategically placing pictures in the centers, so there may be an update in the future!

 

From removing clutter to adding art that speaks to your happy emotions, your living spaces can contribute to your mental health. We all feel a sense of comfort sitting in this room together as a family. As noted in the article, How to Optimize your Space for Your Mental Health,

While there are many ways to improve your mental health including therapy, meditation, exercise, hobbies, a healthy diet, and time spent with loved ones, there are also small things we can do to create a shift in our mood. One of those small things is tweaking the space in which we live and work. These small changes and tweaks can make a world of difference in your overall mental well-being.

Very Well Mind

Don’t delay in creating your happy places! Check out some other home designs; Rainbow Room, Calming Corner, or Teen Bedroom Design

 

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Brilliantly Beautiful Kid’s Rainbow Room Idea

 

As I posted in a previous Rainbow decor and rainbow fan post, my middle child is an avid rainbow lover and has been since she was a toddler. We redid her room for her 10th birthday in full rainbow fashion. Nine months later we were getting ready to move. With the prospect of a new room to design, a rainbow room was still the desire. She wanted a rainbow tree similar to one I painted on a canvas for her. From there it was just a matter of figuring out how to get the rainbow around the room. That’s when the butterfly rainbow room idea was born!

 

Rainbow chair, rainbow shelves, rainbow curtains, and rainbow lamp from our previous room makeover.

Rainbow Room Tree Mural

I also have a lifelong love; of drawing and painting trees. That’s not to say I’m super great at it but it’s been a focus of many of my sketches and paintings. At my daughter’s painting party a few years ago, I painted a rainbow tree for her on a small canvas. We used that as the inspiration here. I started by painting the trunk using cheap acrylic paint. After the base coat dried, I started with the details to give it some dimension. 

Using bunched-up paper towels, I dabbed each color starting with purple onto the wall. I can attest that it’s much easier than trying to paint leaves. After doing a layer of coloring, I did another coat of a dark shade of each color. Again, the idea was some added dimension. That’s all it took to finish the tree.

Rainbow Butterflies in Action

I got a Cricut for Christmas and had been itching to use it for something. This was the perfect opportunity to create sheets of rainbow butterflies to fly around the room. Here’s the template I created, which I’m attaching free for you to use, Butterfly Template.  To start, I bought a rainbow pack of cardstock. With the template created and the cardstock in hand, it was just a matter of waiting for the many sheets to print/cut. 

Butterflies Lifting Off into the Air

Using a double-sided tape roll, I stuck each butterfly to the wall with the wings flapping out. My daughter wanted the 3D effect, which I totally understood. Some butterflies fluttered to the ground and needed a bit more stick to them. I placed a good amount flying out from the tree and then the rest fluttered around the rest of the room. 

Completed Rainbow Room

 

From removing clutter to adding art that speaks to your happy emotions, your living spaces can contribute to your mental health. I know my daughter is completely happy in space being surrounded by the colors and things she loves. As noted in the article, How to Optimize your Space for Your Mental Health,

While there are many ways to improve your mental health including therapy, meditation, exercise, hobbies, a healthy diet, and time spent with loved ones, there are also small things we can do to create a shift in our mood. One of those small things is tweaking the space in which we live and work. These small changes and tweaks can make a world of difference in your overall mental well-being.

Very Well Mind

 

Don’t delay in creating your happy places!

 

 

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Unique Rainbow Ceiling Fan Revamp for your Color Loving Kids

My daughter’s love of rainbows started when she was 2 years old. One of our favorite videos of her entails her proclaiming, “This is the most beautiful cake in the world, mom!!” as she looked at a rainbow cake in a board book. I couldn’t get out of that particular weekend without making her a replica of that rainbow cake. For her 10th birthday, I gave her a rainbow room makeover. After our recent move, we had another opportunity to go on a rainbow room adventure. We started with an easy rainbow ceiling fan.

Her fan is the same one in my parents’ kitchen. It has reversible fan blades, so I didn’t feel so bad about devoting this side to the rainbow update. 

Spray Paint Base

I knew that I was going to try spray painting, so I started with giving the brown a coat of white spray paint. I think any kind of spray paint would do.

After a quick drying session, it was time to use the air brush for a cheap win. If an airbrush isn’t at the ready in your craft space, a paint brush will certainly do. I liked the prospect of a lighter and even color. 

I used watered-down acrylic paints for my airbrush. Given airbrushing is pretty new to me, I haven’t quite perfected my airbrush technique. Things when alright until I got to yellow. I don’t think I made the yellow thin enough because it started to get difficult to spray. What should have been a quick task, ended up being a frustrating one. And such is life. 

To touch up a little of the splatter spots, I used a paper towel dipped in the watered-down acrylic paint. With a bit of blotting, it was ready to go back on the ceiling. I do the watered-down paint as a cost-saving method but I think I may opt to see the difference in purchased airbrush paints. 

Rainbow Ceiling Fan

The fantastic thing about the rainbow fan blades is that when it’s spinning, the circular rainbow really comes together. My rainbow lover was thrilled with the end result! Having physical spaces that you love definitely helps your mental space. When your stressed by your physical space, it’s going to be difficult to keep your mental space right.

Mental Health Awareness

It’s not just adults who suffer from mental health issues, children can struggle with it in much the same ways. It’s important to check in and keep a pulse on how they are doing and handling all the “new” ways of life.  On Our Sleeves is a Movement for Children’s Mental Health. It provides evidence-based resources to help kids cope during this challenging time, provided by the experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. 

A rainbow is often a sign of hope, the beauty after the storm, a pot of gold and good fortune at the rainbow’s end. For many, a rainbow carries a personal symbolic meaning–representing inclusivity and diversity, an all-embracing image of love and friendship.

For others, a rainbow might not mean good fortune and beauty, but something far off. The pot of gold isn’t there, or the love and friendship is there for others but not for them. Somewhere over the rainbow is far, far away. What does the rainbow mean to you? Share using #OnOurSleeves.

On Our Sleeves

For other creative activities to expand your mind and relationships, check out Crafting a Calming Corner to Assuage Parent and Child, How to Throw a Magical Harry Potter Party, Budget-Friendly DIY Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter or The Ultimate Cardboard Gingerbread House for Christmas Crazed Kids.

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Imagination Closet for a Child’s In House Getaway

A new house means new opportunities and ideas. While we were planning for our coming move, my youngest put forward two ideas for her new room. One of them was a galaxy with black paint. I loved her creativity but wasn’t ready to go full-on black painted room. Thankfully, the closet in her new room was soo much bigger than what we had at our Westminster house. That fact translated really well into shifting the idea into a galaxy-inspired imagination closet for her to use as a hideaway. With more time being spent at home during this pandemic, it’s definitely an opportune time to provide more creative spaces for play and mental benefits. For us, it was also a way to get my youngest to be excited about the move.

If you know a thing or two about play therapy, you know the beneficial effects that come with allowing a child to express themselves through pretend situations. Children who play pretend can come up with their worlds and characters, through which they emulate some of the social skills they’ve observed in the real world and figure out how they apply to any given situation.

Betterhelp.com

Paint Choice

I didn’t do much analysis on which paint to use. I went with the easiest to get. This Krylon paint had great coverage, so it only needed a few touch-ups after the first coat. With a lot of projects to complete, this was a must.

We took the weekend to paint several rooms in the new house. My oldest felt more comfortable helping with the hidden closet than painting rooms.

Bringing out the Stars

Using what spray paints I had on hand, I started on the details of this imagination closet. Colors included lavender, purple, teal, blue, gold, and white. Short bursts of color worked to bring out the galaxy. I did a quick google search of different galaxy pictures, as is my usual practice. I admittedly am not great at painting and drawing without a visual. Lightly pushing on the white paint spray tip was the way to get speckles of stars in this galaxy. It took me about 10 minutes to finish the spray painting of the out of this world imagination closet.

Time to make it glow!

After several nights of unpacking at the new abode, it was finally time to paint the closet with glow in the dark paint. It was definitely maddening to have such a long list of tasks while working my normal job during the day. I’d grabbed a bottle of glow in the dark paint at Michael’s for a different Halloween project but didn’t end up using it. It was a new paint type for me. It didn’t take much to put it on for it to glow. I was quite surprised by how well it showed for a cheap paint! We painted in the dark with a black light which was also a first. My youngest was thrilled by the activity and a great time for us to spend together in creative activity. 

My daughter commented on how her painting was terrible compared to my glow in the dark painting. I can’t say whether this self-deprecation and lack of confidence is a common difficulty with other young kids but mine definitely exhibit it frequently. When I have to help squash their self-doubt, it pushes me to reflect on my own mentalities and lack of confidence. I know I think similar things to myself so it’s really no wonder I hear it coming from them. I am thankful these creative activities present opportunities for discussion between us and chances for growth within us all. It’s a chance to combat those doubts and build confidence in different venues and skill development. 

 

Personal Benefits from this Imagination Closet Project

I am thankful this small project has provided a place to escape and be imaginative, and it continues to develop the relationships with my girls and my mental space. Even as adults, I believe we should all participate in a bit of imagination. It can’t hurt to escape from reality every now and again, especially when it becomes a bit overwhelming.

 Creative activities and imaginative games with others give us the opportunity to recharge our brains, take a much-needed break from our daily stressors, and help us connect with those around us.

Betterhelp.com

For other creative activities to expand your mind and relationships, check out Crafting a Calming Corner to Assuage Parent and Child, How to Throw a Magical Harry Potter Party, Budget-Friendly DIY Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter or The Ultimate Cardboard Gingerbread House for Christmas Crazed Kids.

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Capture Nature’s Beauty with a DIY Live Edge Coffee Table

 

As we were starting to furnish our new living room, I was really hoping to create something more unique. I refinished my grandmother’s antique trunk to use as the coffee table but ended up using it as a side table due to its height. I happened to come into possession of a thick cut of large tree trunk that became the inspiration for this Live Edge Coffee Table. The first step in the monster process of leveling out the thick-cut can be found in my other post. This post is about creating the base and top finish.

 

Live Edge Coffee Table Steps

Materials

  • 2×4’s (likely only 1 is needed but depends on your slab)
  • Decorative Metal sheeting
  • Pocket Screws & Kreg Jig
  • Spray paint
  • Resin
  • Wood screws
  • Stain (if desired)
  • Wood glue

Live Edge Coffee Table Finish Options

Version One

After much belt sanding and subsequent backache on my first slab, I was ready for putting on the finishing touch. For this one, the finishing touch was going to be the polyurethane coating.

 

When doing a clear coating, one coat is almost never going to suffice. For this slab, I believe I did 5 or 6 coats. The more you do, the more durable it becomes. Obviously, this means you’re in for a waiting game. No special tricks needed here; brush on the poly and wait the appropriate time to dry. Then, do a light sanding and another coat. Repeat.

 

 

I used to think it would be necessary to stain to get more color out of the wood. Unless you desire a totally different color, staining is not necessary. The polyurethane brings out the natural tones in the wood. Below you see the difference in the raw wood and the poly-coated wood.

 

After the polyurethane dried, the top was at long last complete. I can’t begin to describe the pride and relief in finally completing it. After having the huge slab resting against the wall for well over a year, while I tried to figure out how to tackle it, I didn’t know if I’d ever get it done. My husband had asked when we could get rid of it and I had told him I was giving myself one more month to find a way to do it. That was what I needed to kick myself into gear.

 

Version Two

By live edge coffee table number two come onto my must-do project list, I was ready to try a “brand new to me” technique, EPOXY! Epoxy (or resin) is essentially like doing 40 coats of polyurethane. I was admittedly a bit scared thinking about how it could go astray. After completing it, I can tell you it’s not that scary if you simply follow the directions. As the instructions will tell you, you have to mix exact amounts of the two chemicals and have two containers to use for mixing. The silly struggle for me was finding the containers because I didn’t feel like running to the store for something minuscule yet again. FYI, it’s much easier if you get these: 

 

 

My other unknown was how much would be needed. I decided it’d be better to have too much than too little so used the whole kit. Then, it was on to my very first pour!

 

The anxiously anticipated epoxy pour….

It was definitely necessary to use a flat scraper to spread it around the full surface. Speed is important here folks. The epoxy doesn’t take long to start drying on you. It’s also important to cover your floor to prevent it from adhering as it drips. I wanted it to go over the live edge to protect the bark. 

 

A smile because it was going well!

After the pour, it was necessary to blow on the air bubbles to get rid of them. A heat gun or hairdryer works, as does going “ha” on them with your breath. I went with the last method. My girls were perplexed by what I was doing. Thank goodness this project was prior to the pandemic!

The biggest issue I ended up having with version two was the extra porous edges. The epoxy completely absorbed into the edges. I ended up having to do another layer of epoxy to finish it off. FYI, epoxy is not cheap, so I was not thrilled by having to do another layer. My other recommendation (based on this experience) is not to do it in the garage where there are gnats. I kept having to fish those little buggers out of the sticky epoxy. 

 

Version 2: Beautifully Glassy Finish

The Base

 

I made two tables that needed slightly different bases based on the uneven bottom of one of them. The basic idea here was to create two interlocking rectangles.

 

Version One

 

The height of the leg is dependent on the thickness of the slab of wood and the desired height of the table. I wanted a height of 19 inches, so it would be at the height of the couch seat. The measurement of the ‘leg’ should be from floor to tree slab to hide the ‘base’ 2×4’s. The base 2×4 measurements depend on the width of the tree slab. I decided to make it about 4 inches less than the slab diameter, so it provided enough support for how heavy it was and the top of the legs would be slightly hidden. 

 

 

Although the four legs will be the same height, the four base pieces will not be the same. Two will be the full length. Then there will be four short pieces. In the photo above, you can see I have the right length of the short pieces when I place a test piece in the gap. With all the cuts complete, the next step is to create the pocket holes with the Kreg jig in the base pieces and drill in the pocket screws. Below, you can see I measured the midpoint on the cross-sections to ensure it would be square before screwing in the pocket screws.

 

 

With the pocket screws in place, this table base build was complete! It was so much easier than having to level the tree slab with a router; to that I’m certain. It was then just a matter of attaching it to the tree slab with long wood screws.

 

Version Two

Since my other slab was thicker on one side than the other from the chain saw cut, I used a board from a crate table I had made and repurposed. I had to adjust the height of the table lengths based on that difference to ensure the top would be level. (Talk about a pain in the behind.) Then, I built the base in the same way as version one.

 

Gotta make sure that table is level before you screw it all in!

 

Version two was actually the one I started with, so I thought the legs would be just as they were. I stained the base with a dark stain and thought I might have been complete. It looked quite blah, and my husband said he thought it would be better to have more of a solid base. That comment inspired me to consider decorative metal sheeting and away I went to the hardware store. Metal sheeting; another first!

 

Metal Sheeting

 

The first time I did this, I used metal cutting sheers (borrowed from a coworker) to cut to the appropriate height for coverage of all legs. It worked alright, but it was definitely difficult to keep from catching my skin on the cut metal. I cut three sides to fit the width of space leaving the stained wood leg exposed.  

The second time around, I learned my lesson with the sheers and used this handy dandy little tool to saw through the metal. I also decided on a different method for the edges of the metal sheeting. Given there was a border on the metal sheet, I didn’t want to cut more than one side. This desire gave me the idea to use the whole width of the sheet as-is for each space between legs and wrap around the leg.

 

 

Using glue epoxy and clamps, I held the sheeting in place while I screwed wood screws into the available holes to secure it to the legs.   

 

I hammered the edges of the metal edging so it wouldn’t be a hazard.

Metal Sheeting Version 1: Exposed Wood

Metal Sheeting Version 2: Covered Wood Leg

I hammered the overhang to fold over the edge to meet in the middle with the other side. I tried using some epoxy glue here. It didn’t work very well, so I recommend skipping it. My last step was to hammer in flat head nails on the outside edge to keep it from flaring out. 

Last of all, it was time to spray paint the metal sheeting for my desired bronze look to compliment the bark. It took two coats and then I was finished. Thank the LORD!!

 

Two Completed Live Edge Coffee Tables

 

I hope you enjoyed the rundown on how I created these two tables and it inspires you to overcome some of your own fears of taking on bigger projects. As you overcome those little fears, you are sure to build that self-confidence in yourself and your growing skills. For me, it expanded my creativity as well to think of new ways to get to a great end product.

 

*This page contains affiliate links. This means if you use one of my links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Cathartic Crafting!

Successfully Controlling Stuffed Animal Clutter with a Craft

 

OH THE CLUTTER!!

I don’t know about your household but ours has often felt the stress of stuffed animal collections gone wild. We were getting by with stuffing them into cloth hampers, but it hit a point where it just wasn’t enough. With Christmas just around the corner, I’m going to go out on a limb to say you’re hoping to declutter before the extra “joy” enters the house for the holidays. Below is a list of some fairly simple projects that are functional and visually appealing.

 

Stuffed Animal Clutter Projects to Complete Today

  1. Macrame stuffed toy holder by Fiber Art Love

To start this list off right, check out this utterly adorable macrame stuffed toy holder. The add of the flowers is just right. I haven’t made it yet but it’s going on my list of projects!

Image of Macrame Stuffed Toy Hanger

 

 

2. Corner Animal Cage by Down Redbud Drive

This little corner stuffed animal cage makes for a simple woodworking project. This one is definitely the maximum storage capacity leader. 

Stuffed Animal Corner Cage

 

3. Bungie Cord Box by  Shades of Blue Interiors

This bungie cord box is another take on the same technique but on an obviously much smaller scale. It looks super clean and accessible.

Stuffed Animal Storage

 

 

4. Toy Baskets by Mommity

I first saw this idea years ago and have loved it ever since. There’s something just simply charming about using these planters to hold all those lovies. 

These Stuffed Animal Toy Storage Baskets are a creative and fun way to store your children's stuffed animals. Perfect for small spaces, it gets all of the toys off of beds and the floor.

 

 

5. Hidden Drawers by Sunny Side Up

Admittedly, this is not a simple project for everyone but isn’t it absolutely fantastic?! I’m about to move into a new house and I’m ‘toying’ with the idea of doing this somewhere. 

pull out toy organizers

 

6. Chair Plushes by Rafa Kids

If you’re looking for something unique and cozy, this stuffed animal chair is it. 

 

7. Stuffed Animal Shelf by Futurist Architecture

Although inaccessible to little hands, this high shelf is cute and will definitely keep the floor clear of stuffed animal clutter.

Creative Stuffed Animals Storage Idea (73)

8. Stuffed animal chair by Googie Momma’s via Thread Riding Hood

After seeing this, I couldn’t wait to create this chair myself. I ended up using it for a Calming Corner and later for a reading nook. 

9. Crate Shelf Storage by Me

This six crate shelf can hold a ton of those squishy friends you tend to find on the floor. It came about from a crate coffee table that was just too small for the space. Check it out here. 

 

10. Hanging Toy Storage by Rain on a Tin Roof

A 5-minute project sounds like a gold mine with all the other to-dos on the list. This vertical storage is perfect for the circus theme room it was completed to compliment.

diy stuffed animal storage

11. Hanging Storage by It’s Always Autumn

If you love an ode to carnival rides, try this hanging toy storage. It reminds me of a Ferris wheel ride. 

Organize your stuffed animals with this easy to build hanging toy storage swing!

11. Hanging Cloth Bag 

My youngest’s room is always a mess, so it became necessary to add MORE stuffed animal storage. I have lots of extra material, so she was able to pick out the material she wanted. She completed it by gluing some paper butterflies and flowers to make it her own. Crafting is always best when we can all play a part. 

Stuffed Animal Clutter Mental Health Side Effects

The possibilities are really endless. Hopefully, you found one (or a few) ideas to get your clutter control craft underway. Clutter can negatively affect mental health for many minds, so it’s important to get it under control when it becomes unwieldy. According to Prevagen

More mess means more stress. Clutter can affect your ability to focus, your sleep, and your anxiety level. It also triggers coping strategies that make you more likely to grab junk food. That mess may even make you less productive.

Prevagen: How Clutter Affects your brain

And with that, I bid you adieu to start on your crafting and clutter control! 

Crafting a Calming Corner to Assuage Parent and Child

Anyone out there have perfect emotionally balanced children? I’m definitely not raising my hand to that one. In fact, we have nicknamed my daughter’s alter ego as “the hulk” because, while she’s normally such a docile sweet child, you better watch out when something gets to her. When she gets angry, you can hear the stomping and huffing from the other side of the house. Given my human service field, I’ve always talked to my girls about their emotions. Even so, my little hulk really struggled with controlling herself when she became escalated. There came a day when she actually asked if we could create a calming corner for her to fight off her anger. I was all for it because it would be a great way to help her learn the important skill of self-regulation.

Calming Corner Benefits

Self-Awareness and Self-Management: Calm down corners help children to practice identifying feelings and emotions to better manage stress, self-regulate and control their impulses. Having a space designed to support them emotionally and physically helps them feel safe and comfortable, allowing them to let down their guard to process different feelings.

Relationship Skills: Learning how to communicate one’s feelings and emotions can be difficult, but calming spaces such as this help children practice mindfulness and develop skills they need to identify their emotions and communicate them when necessary. Stronger communication skills help them form stronger relationships with others and develop skills in empathy.

Action for Healthy Kids

Calming Corner Seating Choice

First things first, seating. You could obviously choose a regular chair if that’s what you have on hand. I think a calming corner needs something soft and cushioning. I opted to knock out three birds with this one stone. We had stuffed animals galore and were running out of space, so it was a perfect time to use a Pinterest pin I’d saved long ago. I used Googie Momma’s via Thread Riding Hood pattern for a stuffed animal chair. I’m a true lover of budget-friendly projects, so I chose to use material from some curtains I’d made for our previous house. (This is exactly why I find it so hard to get rid of anything, you never know when you might come up with a way to repurpose it.)

I was able to dive into my creative mental space (check out Crafting my Mental Health Regimen), make a stuffed animal storage space saver, and a chair for the calming corner all in one go! I couldn’t believe how many stuffed animals this chair housed. Such a win!

Other DIY Options

Here are some other easy DIY Bean bag chairs to try: 

DIY: Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair in 30 Minutes

DIY Bean Bag Chair

Child Size Bean Bag Chair -DIY Video Tutorial

Curtain to Limit Stimulation

I happened to have a bed curtain, so I used it as the curtain for this space. I considered making one (of course), but my daughter said she liked this see-through one.

There are other ways to make a private space. Here’s one from She Builds Her Home using a curved shower curtain rod.

Stocking Your Calming Corner

A calming corner isn’t much of a space with out something to distract them from the emotional overload. Thankfully, with all the recent trends, we had a good stock of fidgets, squishies, spinners, etc. to stock her little shelf of distractions. She also put a whiteboard and marker for drawing. Check out Mindful Amazing for some great printables to stock in the calming corner. A weighted blanket or weighted stuffed animal would be a great add as well. How about some simple craft kits?! 

We didn’t go much beyond that but depending on the child, you might consider all the other senses. Noise-canceling headphones or a soothing sound machine for the child who tends to overload on auditory stimulation. A visual distraction, like a light machine or glitter bottle, would be another great option. For olfactory, an oil diffuser or scented lotions would work. There are really so many possibilities. To garner buy-in from a resistant child, let them decide what to put there.

Creating the calming corner together doesn’t mean they are automatically going to choose to go there when it becomes necessary, so be prepared to reinforce using it when needed. My hulk was super resistant when using the corner was necessary. Take one tantrum at a time to stay sane. 

For more resources on self-regulation, check out Child Mind Institute’s “How Can We Help Kids with Self-Regulation?

20 Brilliant Ideas for Decorating with Wooden Crates

Wooden Crates have been riding the decor trend for a few years now. I fell in love with them years ago after moving into my new house and looking for ideas to decorate the new space. The wooden crates stood out as an affordable and interesting way to get creative with home decor. After running through a good many pins over time, I’ve collected those which seem to be more unique and a few of the ones I’ve done myself. If you’re a DIYer like me, you like to try to do everything yourself and need some inspiration to get your own creative juices flowing. I hope this list helps with generating some of your own home decor ideas!

1. Hanging Closet Storage

This hanging closet storage by Table and Hearth has a such a cute look to it.

What a cool way to use vertical space! Hanging closet storage crates

2. Shelving

I’ve seen quite a lot of crates used for shelves, but this one adds a unique twist with the board used for anchoring. Check it out at Family Handyman.

easy wooden crate shelf project

3. Modular Shelving Unit

It might be the pretty yarn display that pulled me in, but I love this shelving unit concept by Make & Do Crew. Look it up here DIY Yarn Storage Shelves Using Wooden Crates – Video Tutorial

This yarn storage changed my life! Use wooden crates to build an easy shelf to organize your yarn, craft room or books. Perfect for knitters, crocheters and weavers!

4. Sliding Drawer Crate Cabinet

Try your hand at adding some hardware with this crate cabinet with sliding drawers by Virginia Sweet Pea.

DIY Crate Storage Cabinet


5. Locker Cubbies

Jaime Costiglio’s locker cubbies are a great combination of simplicity and creativity to create a unique wooden crate structure. 


6. DIY Crate Lockers

This next idea is so fun! A simple addition of hinges and doors and it’s a whole new look. Get the info from Little House of Four on these DIY Crate Lockers.

How to build DIY lockers


7. Coffee Table

There are quite a few crate coffee table ideas out there. This one stood out to me as being more creative in addition to being rustically appealing. Get the info at Pallets: Pallet Furniture Ideas. 

pallet and crate coffee table


8. Shutter and Crate Sofa Table

Follow Bless this nest‘s lead and throw in a long shutter with the wooden crates for this oh so cute sofa table.


9. Cushioned Stools

When I saw this awesome simple yet adorable idea, I was bummed I hadn’t ever considered it before. An easy storage seating idea for your little ones. Get the details at The Biggest Much.


10. Dog Bowl Stand

This isn’t your typical buy a crate and rework it project but has all the appeal of the crate look. If your looking for a DIY project for your pooch, check it out at Ana White.


11. Train Planter

11. There are quite a few planter crate ideas out there. I choose this one for its creative concept. Definitely not something everyone has room or desire to do, but it’s certainly appealing to see. Head over to DIY Wood Crate Train Planter Tutorial for the details.

DIY Wood Crate Train Planter Tutorial

12. Dog Bed

The little sleeping pomeranian kind of steals the show in this picture. If you’re able to look beyond that cuteness you’ll definitely appreciate the simple and appealing dog bed concept crafted from a store-bought wooden crate. If you want the details, check it out here Little Things.

DIY crate dog bed

13. Bed Platform

I’ve been looking at ideas for bed frames for my daughter and came across this interesting crate bed platform by Moved to Create. 

M2CBedDone


14. Desk

With virtual school in full swing, you can’t go wrong throwing together a desk like this one. Take a better look here Apple Crate Desk.

Apple Crate Desk


15. Closet Shelves

I had overbought crates when I was doing some building, so I decided to repurpose them in a simple fashion in our small pantry closet. I just stacked them up and they were ready for use. 


16. Square Coffee Table

When I was trying to figure out what to do for a coffee table in our new living room, I scoured Pinterest for ideas. I loved the look of this coffee table and went about making it. I also did a matching side table. 


17. Stuffed Animal Storage

The coffee table ended up being much too small for the space. I opted to disassemble it to remake it into a much needed stuffed animal storage shelving system. These days it doesn’t house so many stuffed animals. Check it out in the new teen space.


18. Laundry Room Storage

I’m looking to spruce up my small laundry room. I saw this cute idea on the Home Depot blog for laundry storage space. As a side note, I might go ahead and decorate my washer and dryer with some electrical tape to get this appealing look.

Easy and Inexpensive Laundry Room Makeover

19. Fruit Crate

If your like me and looking to wanting to switch out your fruit bowl, go no further. The Wood Grain Cottage can show you how to craft your own fruit crate.

DIY Stackable Fruit Crates I The Wood Grain Cottage

20. Nightstand

Check out Plaid for this simple nightstand with a pop of color and pattern.

Kid's Nightstand

I hope you found some ideas to fit some of your home decor needs. Thanks for checking out the list!

Free DIY Desk Plan Download for Your Virtual Learner

A week before our virtual learning school year started, my friend texted me to ask if I could build a desk she had ordered but had never arrived. I took a look at the pictures and the measurements she sent and agreed to building it. From my perspective, it was going to be a pretty simple project. I had already been planning to start making my niece a nightstand for her upcoming birthday, so drawing out a desk plan and putting it together could be done at the same time. With the plan in my head, away I went to Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Supplies

  • 1- 1″ x 2′ x 4′ plywood piece
  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ x 6′ pine
  • 3 – 1″ x 3″ x 6′ pine
  • 1 – 1″ x 10″ x 4′ whitewood board
  • Pocket screws
  • Dowels
  • Veneer Edging
  • Wood Filler
  • Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint and/or wax
  • Basket

Measurements and Cuts for this Desk Plan

The desk is 42″L x 24″D X 30″H.

  • 1 – 1″ x 42″ x 24″ 
  • 6 – 1″ x 3″ x 29 1/2″ 
  • 3 – 1″ x 2″ x 17 3/8″ 
  • 1 – 1″ x 2″ x 26 1/4″
  • 3 – 1″ x 2″ x 8 1/4
  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ x 11″
  • 4 – 1″ x 2″ x 9 1/2″
  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ x 8″ 
  • 1 – 1″ x  13″ x 9 1/2″
  • 1 – 1″ x 19″ x 9 1/2″ 

Cutting a Straight Edge

If you’re like me, you don’t have the fanciest of tools…yet. I would really like to have a table saw but am waiting for garage space and the affordable option to cross my path. I am not good at cutting completely straight without a guide. This inevitably means using older methods (aka pre-table saw invention methods) of getting to the desired end result of a straight cut. There’s no getting around that being a tough task.

I got a maple plywood piece that was the desired width to save me having to make two long cuts.

So, this “older method” includes using a straight edge and a circular saw with a rolling square guide on it. Measure out where the cut needs to be made and use a square to draw it across the full length of the board. Next, measure the distance needed from the edge of the board to the straight edge, so the blade will cut on the line. To keep the straight edge in place, you will use short clamps to clamp the straight edge to the board. 

If all you’ve got is a circular saw and board, you can accomplish this same setup. 

Ready to cut!

Cutting the legs

I went with a 10 degree angled cut for the legs (and subsequent cross beams). To do this, use a miter saw set to the appropriate degree. Both ends need to be cut at this degree for the desk top to be level with the floor. The length of the leg is 29 1/2″ on one side.

I used a flat board to check the length of the legs and to figure out how wide the top connecting piece would need to be. The bottom beam was cut to 17 3/8″.  I decided on this length to be at 2 1/2″ high from the floor. This would be the same for all three of the bottom supports. 

 

 

List of pieces cut at 10-degree angle

  • 6 – 1″ x 3″ x 29 1/2″ 
  • 3 – 1″ x 2″ x 17 3/8″ 
  • 3 – 1″ x 2″ x 8 1/4″
  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ x 11″

Time for Pocket Holes

Pocket holes are an easy way to attach boards together, so you can’t see the hardware from the outside. It’s faster and easier than doweling. Check out some of my other projects highlighting the Kreg jig and pocket holes; Composite Bookcase, Living Room Table set, and Shoe Box.

I put two holes in all of the leg and shelf pieces, including the 1″ x 2″ pieces. The hole placement was wider than the 1″ x 2″, which meant having to reposition after the first hole.

Putting the Desk Plan Together

I opted to clamp the legs to a sawhorse to keep it in place. There are tools that will hold corners together securely, but again, I don’t have those. The clamps did the job well enough while I screwed in the pocket screws. FYI, pocket screws are different than regular wood screws, so you do need to buy those specifically. As with any wood project, it’s also best to glue before you screw. 

I marked the 2 1/2″ mark on the legs to make sure the cross beam was in the correct spots prior to drilling.

Finishing Touches

Here’s a little trick for sanding that I learned from my parents. Wrap the sandpaper around a scrap piece of wood to make it easier to sand. I much prefer it to holding the sandpaper and to paying for the more expensive sanding blocks. Using an electric hand sander is also an easier option. 

I didn’t want the holes at the bottom to show, so I filled them in with wood filler. This particular wood filler dries pretty quickly, which is excellent for wanting to get a project completed quickly. Then it just needed to be sanded smooth. 

Desk Plan Wood Filler

Desk Plan: Putting it Together

I didn’t take photos of the assembly, because I was also trying to help with a bakery and lemonade stand sale that was going on at the same time. Life is never simple with three daughters in the house. To explain what I did; I attached the cross beams for the shelves to all legs prior to attaching the top. The shelves can be put on before or after the desktop is attached, just know that it’s hard to get to the pocket holes if you attach the top-shelf before the top. The base was completely together, so it was easy to just put the top on and attach it. For added security, I also drilled dowel holes in a few spots. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, but I felt more comfortable with it. All that was left was to put the glue on the top of the legs and secure the top with the pocket screws.

From there, it was time to put on the veneer edging to give the edges a finished look. This is necessary when using any plywood, unless you prefer the raw edge. This veneer edging is really simple to use. Cut it to size, iron it on, and sand it flush. That’s it! One tip; give it time to cool and set before sanding it, so you don’t inadvertently loosen the hold.

Finished Raw Wood Desk

A frame desk plan

I painted it white and applied dark wax to the edges and top with a paintbrush to give it a rustic or chabby chic look. It’s really up to your personal style what you do with it. 

This Desk Plan is Ready for Virtual School

If you’d like the download of instructions, click the download button:

Check out some other projects:

Super Simple Succulent Decor Ideas for a Struggling Plant Mom

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy succulents! And that is pretty much the same thing.

-Unknown

This quote pretty accurately describes my feelings about succulents and other plants. In doing some research, I found this article on the 11 Ways Plants Enhance Your Mental and Emotional Health from Psychology Today. Take a look at #7; Higher levels of creativity! Who doesn’t love succulents and cacti? This article on the Top 8 House Plants to Help with Mental Health explains why those plants in particular help with your mental health. During these uncertain times, it’s definitely necessary to do what you can to keep stress and anxiety at bay. With that being said, who’s ready to put together some succulent decor?!

Time to Run through Three Ideas

Simplicity at it’s Best

Cacti Succulent Decor

This simple set up comes by the way of Lowe’s gardening center, Michaels’ rocks, pots from a failed potting present and Target. The rocks were my attempt at creating a more prosperous environment for hen and chicks after many deaths. It sadly failed just like those before it. At some point, I will figure out how to keep them alive, but for now, I decided I’d be best to stick with simpler cacti for a bit. This bluish-gray platter was on clearance at Target and a perfect fit for these pots. So far, I’ve been able to keep these cacti alive by spritzing them with water I spray these cacti with a spray bottle once a week. The flowers have stuck around for months, so I’m at last doing something right. 

Long Lasting Succulent Decor

When my daughter said she wanted to have succulent decor in her ‘new’ room, I pushed for the fake variety for her. I initially found some individual stems at Big Lots months before, but we needed more than what I’d gotten. We went on a little mother-daughter shopping trip to Michaels. My oldest is talented in a great many ways but doesn’t typically go the crafting route with me as my other two girls do. It was a nice time to get away and pick out some items for her to put together. She picked out the extra succulents, the glass container, and the sand color. 

All that was needed was to throw the sand into the glass and arrange the succulents as she liked. I enjoy the look of this angled bowl combined with the varying heights of the succulents. In order to achieve that, we had to cut the thick stems with wire cutters to make it all work together. You can see it in her renewed room here…

Easy Square Plant Hanger

A little woodworking never hurt anybody…. Just kidding, it definitely could if you’re not careful. This square hanger is super simple and involves a wee bit of woodworking.

Materials:

  • 1″ x 3″ x 6″ pine
  • Wood Glue
  • Paint or stain
  • Hook
  • Small planter hanger
  • A Plant
  • Nail Gun
  • Saw (I used this arm saw, but any variety of saws could cut the 4 pieces of wood.)

There are only a few steps for this project.

#1 Cut the wood to size. Two 10 inch long pieces and two 8 1/2 inch pieces.

#2 Put wood glue on the ends of the top and bottom pieces.

#3 Use a nail gun to nail the top and bottom in place.

#4 Stain/paint it

15 minutes and you could be finished with all four steps

I found this wood tint and plant holder (seen below) at an A.C. Moore going out of business sale. Those items inspired me to make this rustic wood holder. I hadn’t used ‘wood tint’ before this, so figured I’d give it a go. Even after using it, I’m wasn’t quite sure what the difference was between it and stain, because they seemed mostly the same to me. Given that, I did a quick internet search. I found a post from Repurpose and Upcycle that provides an awesome explanation of the two and when to use one over the other. The wood tint seemed to provide good initial coverage based on this first experience. It also dried quickly, which keeps for the quick and easy strategy here.

I found these river rocks at Lowe’s as well. Simple is the name of the game. Put the plant in and spoon the rocks in around it. Then, it’s ready to put the hook into the ceiling of the square. It’s best to pre-drill a hole for the hook but it can also just be screwed in without it. The rope that came with the glass globe was too long, so I used some twine I had on hand. I also preferred the look of the twine, so it was a win-win.

Final Succulent Decor

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the simplicity of these ideas. Two of them can be found in my daughter’s newly made-over bedroom. To read more, click here…

Don’t forget that plants help with stress reduction, so go ahead and place them in areas where you tend to feel a little more stressed. I guess that’s why I love keeping them in my office.

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