Cute Valentine’s Craft and Art Organizing Tips!

When I was helping my mother-in-law clean out the Playroom Closet in her house, we came across the cutest little Valentine’s craft called the ‘Lovebug.’ Here is the one we found:

IMG_0154

I actually have no idea if this was made by my husband or if it was one of his siblings, but I loved the idea. Soooo…I stole it for my own kids.

20130213-165022.jpg

It’s so simple and we already had all of the supplies, so that made it even better! Just a Popsicle stick, construction paper, pipe cleaners and crayons. Easy!

I am constantly trying to find new ways to store and organize photos and art projects so that they don’t take over my house. I do have a scrapbook for the kids crafts, but since Evan started preschool a couple of weeks ago, I know the sheer volume of felt, crayon drawings and tissue paper animals will soon overwhelm me.

I take pictures of the kid’s crafts whether I decide to keep the actual craft or not. That way I always have a record of them. For my husband’s birthday last week, I gave him a framed collage print of my favorite of Evan’s art from 2012. Here is what it looks like:

Evan's Art - 2012We are going to do a new one every year for both of the kids. When the frames get to be too much, we will just put the 8″ x 10″ prints in a photo album. And of course, I will always have the files on my computer too.

I love to have some of the actual crafts, so I will keep on doing my scrapbook for my favorite pieces. However, I try to keep the paper in our house to a minimum, so I’m hopping on board the technology train to help me wrangle in some of the paper clutter. Scanning, JPEGs, and collage prints are some of my very favorite ways to preserve memories.

How do you preserve your family’s memories but also contain the paper clutter?

~Erin

 

Closet labels – gone right or wrong?

I recently made some clothes dividers for my kid’s closet. I was inspired by a few different versions from Pinterest and blog land. As I searched I realized how popular these are becoming. Most of the one’s I found have sizes for baby clothes, such as Newborn, 3-6 months, etc. However, I decided this was not the direction to go (even though I have a baby) because I don’t have more than one size hanging in the closet at any one time. So I decided to go by type of clothes. Here are the categories:

-Short Sleeve, Long Sleeve, Pants, Jackets

Since I have 2 boys, I wanted a set for each of them, so I needed 8 total dividers. First I bought some wooden O’s at Hobby Lobby and got out some craft paint I already had:

I painted the backside of the O’s, which didn’t go quite as planned. I have mentioned before that my craft skills leave something to be desired and I have actually had these craft paints in a ‘craft supply drawer’ for about 5 years. So some of the paint was a little dry and didn’t cover well. I figured that was ok because they would be the backside of the labels. However, it still looks like my 3 year old did this part of the project.

Then I traced the O’s onto scrapbook paper and cut out the paper.

Then the plan was to Mod Podge the scrapbook paper onto the O’s, sand down the edges, and put a coat of Mod Podge on top. Easy right? Well, not so much. When I tried to cut out the paper with an exacto knife, the paper was a little rough around the edges. Sanding will take care of that, I said to myself. Well, I just started sanding away more and more of the paper so I threw my hands up in disgust at my sandpaper and left it on the floor of the garage.

When I put the Mod Podge over the top to seal it a little bit, it just left visible streaks on the paper instead of drying clear and smoth. Maybe it’s my Mod Podge naivety and I just don’t know what I am doing, but I definitely did not like the finished result at all. It looked sloppy and jagged.

Luckily I had only done 4 O’s in the first round, so I made some tweaks for round two. First off, I decided not to paint the backs of the 2nd set.

After I had traced out the O’s, I Mod Podged them on and LIGHTLY sanded the edges. Then I just used a clear coat spray on top. This added a little protection but there were no brush strokes.

Time for the labels! I just made the labels in Word. I did some on transparent paper and some on cardstock, so I could see how each style looked.

You can see how I did labels for the 4 sections, but I also did the letters ‘E’ and ‘O’ because I was making a set of each kid.After I had glued almost all of the transparent letters on (just using a VERY light layer of Mod Podge), I realized I liked the cardstock on Evan’s better. Too late! I had already done 3 out of 4, so one of E’s got the cardstock and is now mismatched. Then I did a quick once over with the spray sealer.

You’ll notice that the ‘short sleeve’ label is on the left side while all the others are on the right. This is because the short sleeves are on the right side of the closet and everything else is on the left, so I wanted to make them as easy as possible to read.

You can definitely see the rough edges, but I do like the overall look. When I first started this project, I was daydreaming about how I would write my blog post on it. I would leave you with all sorts of encouraging words and inspirations like “These turned out better than I imagined” or  “This was so easy and fun” or “I love how quickly it came together”. Buuuuuutttt…..they didn’t turn out nearly as good as I thought they would, it was not an easy project and it took FOREVER! But I”m still proud of myself for pushing through the project and again, I learned a lot from my mistakes. And I actually have some great ideas and lessons on how to improve them for next time. Yes, I am already plotting a project redo!

Just a beginner

So in my journeys through blog land, I am constantly coming across cute diy/craft projects I would love to try. The problem is that I’m not very crafty. I try my darndest and usually disappoint myself, but I get an A for effort. I have oodles of scrapbooking stuff, but it sits mostly unused…It’s sits well organized, but still unused. I also have a plethora of yarn, material, paint, and other stuff I just ‘know I’ll get to someday.’ Because I WANT to be crafty. I mean I desperately want to be!

So, I’m taking baby steps. Today’s project was finding a cute and cheap way to store plastic trash bags in my bathrooms. Up until now, they have just been shoved under the sinks, only to have me find that they have somehow grown and multiplied and now take up about 80% of the space. I had to get these under control!

So I took two empty containers I had been saving for just this sort of thing (one was a powdered Gatorade container and one was for powdered baby formula).

My plan was to cut one small hole in each lid so I could get the bags out and then cover the bin with scrapbook paper. Easy breezy right? Well, I hit a couple of roadblocks:

-First, the diameter of the cans was bigger than my scrapbook paper so the paper didn’t fit all the way around! I thought to myself: “Not only is this under my bathroom counter, but if I turn the uncovered part to the back, no one will see right? Well, in theory that is correct. But I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my first craft project so sub par.  So I cut an additional strip of paper to cover the blank areas.

-New problem! Now there were two visible seams on each container. Again, I could have just turned them around, but no! I needed a way to cover them. So I took some ribbon and glued it down the length of each seam.

-Ta da, right? Well, no. Now the space in between the ribbons looked weird and empty so I needed to add something. So I found some scrapbooking letters I had and personalized a little bit.

-Now for the lids. I thought I was soooo smart. I was going to use up the rest of a can of textured spray paint we had to paint the lids since they were either bright white or bright purple. So I started spraying. Well, one of them got a giant pool of spray paint in the middle and then I ran out of the paint when the other one was halfway done. After the paint dried, the ‘pool’ didn’t look so bad so I used that lid. I just used a different white lid for the other one and it doesn’t bother me.

So here they are!

Bag Holders – Before & After

A homemade, cute and essentially free place to store my little trash bags! And after one day, my husband said “I already used your little trash bag holder thingy”.

Cute and useful!

More projects to come!

~Erin