Posts Tagged ‘diy’

When my mom first moved to Austin she rented a home less than a block away from a railroad crossing. Every time we visited Granny he’s run over to the window to watch the trains go by. This would happen at least twice an hour.

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Then, we went to Disney World. We knew our already train-obsessed toddler would love the Walt Disney World Railroad. Little did we know just how much he would love not only that magical train around Magic Kingdom, but every single ride or vehicle that resembled a train. From the parking lot trams, to the monorail, to the PeopleMover, he was in heaven.

If we had a dollar for every time he said “choo choo” throughout our trip, we would have enough money to fund our next three Walt Disney World Resort vacations.

If you didn’t know it already, he LOVES trains.

But now that I’ve driven that point home, it explains why I’m converting his gender neutral whimsical jungle nursery into a train room fit for a mini train enthusiast.

The room isn’t complete just yet, and this isn’t a grand reveal, but I’m off to a good start and wanted to post a tutorial for making these train tracks on the wall.

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

I first came across a photo on pinterest from an unknown source, but the blog that had shared the photo didn’t know how it was done, she just assumed it was “easily” done by bending aluminum piping. Well let me tell you, that’s not as easy as it seems. So I went my own route and found a way to get the same look for much less work, and less money.

It took some trial and error to figure this out but in the end, it turned out way better than I thought it would and my train-lover is thrilled with the choo choo tracks on his walls.

So here’s how you can make your own!

Train Room DIY Wall Train Tracks

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Supplies

Other handy supplies you have around your house:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • 3 sheets of paper

Step 1:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Before I left the hardware store I had an employee cut the wood into slats the length I wanted. The first time I had them cut into 18in pieces but it felt way too long, so I had them cut again into 13in pieces, which I think is perfect.

Step 2:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Spray paint all of your wood black. Be careful to get the front and back as well as the sides so they’re black from all angles you look at it.

Step 3:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Spray paint the rope silver. Since the rope is fabric and a bit more absorbent it may take a couple coats and a second can of spray paint. I tried to keep my can of paint closer to the rope, and tried to roll the rope up so that as the paint blew all over, it was more likely to fall on more rope.

Step 4:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

As your pieces dry you can begin to mark where you want your track to go. I found the easiest way for me to do this was by cutting up strips of paper, and taping them to my wall where I wanted the tracks to lay. It gave me a good visual without having to draw and erase all over my walls. It was easy to move the pieces around, step back, and move them again and again. I also used a ruler to help keep my tracks evenly spaced. Just remember your track pieces will be wider than your trips of paper. Finished, mine are each about 6in apart.

Step 5:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Cut small pieces of heavy-duty mounting tape and attach them to the back of each piece of track. Then trade a piece of track with each piece of paper on your wall. Don’t press too hard in case you need to rearrange a piece. Once you have them all lined up the way you want, go back and press firmly on each piece of track.

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!
(Optional: You can also nail them to the wall at this point).

Step 6:

New bed for toddler

Using more strips of mounting tape, start at one end and slowly attach your rope as the rails for your train track. I put my rails about 2.5in in from the edge of the track. I measured as I attached to each piece of track to make sure the rails would stay parallel all the way down.

I started on one side of the track, went all the way down, THEN cut the rope and used the remainder to go back on the other side. I only bought 6 yards (it was only $.99/yard) and was cutting it very close. I could have used another 3 inches.

Step 7:

Once you have your rails lined up where you want them, go back and use finishing nails to permanently attach them to the wood. (Or not, I haven’t done this all the way down yet because the tape is working just fine at the moment).

And you’re done! Now step back and admire your handy work!

DIY-3D-Train-Tracks-Wall-2

Hope this tutorial was helpful. If so, please pin and share away! If you have questions leave them in the comments and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

What do you think? It feels nice getting crafty again!

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

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“Summer isn’t as fun as it used to be,” my husband told me the other day in the kitchen. “When we were kids I loved summer, and always looked forward to it. Now I hate it.”

Speak for yourself buddy!… I wanted to say.

He went on to tell me how awesome fall is because it’s not as hot, and there’s football.

Yea yea, I get it. We’re grown up now and some of the novelty has worn off. But for our kids, summer means swimming, and popsicles. And from here on out it’ll be known as the time for vacations, no school and playing with friends.

I can’t help but feel like I haven’t been the most fun this summer (ok, this was before we left for Disneyland, now my daughter REALLY can’t complain). But when my kids are at school their teachers have lesson plans and activities and all sorts of fun things planned out.

I see other moms with all these screen-free goals, and crafts and activities. And here I am, an unorganized mess just flying by the seat of my pants (how I thought I could homeschool I have no idea).

I decided to challenge myself to come up with some fun preschool water activities we can do at home to liven up and cool down these hot Texas days.

So far we’ve done one. HA! Ok, I’ve got three more weeks to improve my record. Oh, and if you could trips to the pool then that improves my score.

Preschool summer water activity DIY Alphabet Soup

When I was at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago I noticed a foam alphabet puzzle. I grabbed it cause for a dollar, it could be fun to mess with. Little did I know my kids would have so much fun with this thing.

Big T loves to take all the pieces out and bring them to me, naming the letters he knows. My daughter likes to try to fit them all back in the puzzle correctly.

I decided it would be fun to incorporate these into a water game we now like to call Alphabet Soup.

Here’s what you need:

  • Letters (the first time I did this I used a combination of foam letters and magnet letters off my fridge) The foam letter packs are just $1 at the Dollar Tree.
  • A big bowl or tub.
  • Water
  • Ladles or big spoons

That’s it! My kids helped me fill up the bucket, we added the letters and then as they scooped them up I had them yell out the letter they found. Lil’ J even scooped up letters to spell a couple words.

Preschool summer water activity DIY Alphabet Soup

So it’s a super easy preschool water activity that they played with this for a good hour, and had fun splashing around, and cooling off a little. Of course this could be done inside as well but you probably will want to put a towel down.

I have to admit, I’m EXTREMELY impressed with my son and his letter recognition. I mean not to brag or anything but he’s really really good at it for just turning 2 thanks YouTube Kids!… I mean, my diligent instruction time.

I recorded it so you can see what I mean. I’m telling you, he knows all but maybe four.

 

As (if) I experiment with more (super simple) activities that are a hit for my kids I’ll share them along the way.

Though I’ve only had a few “mom wins” so far this summer, I think about what I remember from my summer months. I loved playing with my friends, reading as many books as I could, watching every Disney movie we owned, staying up late and sleeping in. My mom didn’t plan specific ways to keep us entertained, and I think it helped me learn to be creative on my own.

So even if I don’t improve my fun-activity record, I think my kids will be ok too. We’re still making memories together, they’re just not all Pinterest-worthy.

What summer memories are you making?

Preschool summer water activity DIY Alphabet Soup

So I’m seven months late. My bad. Things have been crazy around here. But I thought I should hurry up and share how Big T’s nursery turned out before we move in a few weeks.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery

As you may remember, I decided to go with a giraffe theme. I love giraffes and I thought they’d be cute for a boy or a girl. Since we didn’t find out Big T was a boy until he was born, this theme–Along with a touch of chevron seemed perfect.

His room is sorta a nursery and craft room combo, but he doesn’t seem to mind sharing. When we move he will have his room all to himself, so I may ditch the chevron sewing machine cover, or incorporate it into my craft room somehow. We shall see.

DIY Alphabet wall tutorial

This alphabet wall is probably one of my favorite parts of his room. In a last-minute effort I got a few of my friends tohether and we decorated all of these. I’ve seen sets for sale on Etsy but they cost a pretty penny, and none of them had all of the elements I wanted– A button ‘O’, a “Disney” ‘W’ and other colors I like.

Here’s a quick tutorial:

1. Search for a set of plain wood letters on eBay. I bought this set on eBay.

2. Get a group of friends together, preferably crafty friends who have a lot of paints and skills. Shoutout to my friends Laura, Hope and Melissa for helping me with these! They did all the super cute ones. Lil’ J also gets a shoutout for decorating the ‘&’ and  ‘X.’ She loved helping.

3. Gather a variety of supplies: Scrapbook paper and modge podge, acrylic paints, even fabric, to decorate your letters to your choosing.

4. Lay out the letters and strategize what colors you want where. I made a plan for my favorite letters beforehand, then made sure not to put similar colors or patterns next to each other.

5. Paint, glue, and modge podge like mad!

6. After the paint dries, modge podge the top for an added layer of sealing.

7. Hang and enjoy! I used double-sided command tape to hang them on my wall.

Ty's-Nursery28-copy

Ty's-Nursery17-copyI’m not sure if I’m going to re-hang the alphabet wall betters in his room, or hang them in the play room once we move. I’m kinda leaning towards playroom as it seems more appropriate.

Since his nursery also doubled as a craft room I tried to keep the spaces separate but organized. His white bookshelves store a few books as well as his swaddling blankets (we seriously have over a dozen of these gorgeous muslin swaddling blankets by Aura Weavers and Aden and Anais), baby wraps, diapers, wipes, and a low basket of soft toys for Lil’ J to reach for her brother.

My mom gave me the baskets on top of the bookshelves. They had pink ties that I took off and sewed my own giraffe-print ties. I also spruced up the plain brown canvas baskets by hot gluing some chevron ribbon I sewed into ruffles. At the time I didn’t know Leechie was a boy, but I figured it wasn’t too girlie. I still find it cute.

Giraffe gender neutral nursery shelves

I also used the same ruffle ribbon technique on the green baskets on the diaper changer. I bought them from Ikea for Lil’ J’s room but wasn’t using them, so here they went! I keep the large one stocked with burp cloths, and the small ones hold his bow ties, and socks.

I used the same diaper changer and dresser I had used for his sister (she got a new big girl dresser) , but took off the pink drawer knobs and ordered some chevron and brown ones off Etsy. Over there I also changed out his light switch for a cute one I found on Etsy. And I hung a second piece of whimsical artwork I found by Nidhi. She is amazing! I couldn’t buy just one.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery diaper changer Ty's-Nursery12-copyTy's-Nursery21-copy

His funky crib bumpers are called Wonder Bumpers. I won them in a raffle I donated to. They are reversible and the other side has a pretty blue damask design, but I thought the brown was more versatile for the gender neutral nursery theme I was going for.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery crib bedding 2

His amazing minky blanket is custom courtesy of Rocker By Baby. We are not a very “punk-style” “skull enthusiast” family, but Amber always manages to make the perfect item for my kids. Lil’ J still loves her mix tape blanket. But OH I forgot how soft her minky is. I need to read up about keeping it this way. He sleeps on it every night. I bought the boppy cover to match.

The adorable safari quilt was handmade by Big T’s great-grami. And the two friendly giraffes are sound machines that his sister loves to play with.Ty's-Nursery01-copyTy's-Nursery20-copy

His giant friendly giraffe kinda replaced the idea of a mobile. One of my awesome readers emailed me when she noticed it was on sale for 50% off one day on Amazon. So instead of it being $100, it was only $50. It’s cute, and gives him something to stare at. Soon enough I’m sure he’ll be trying to ride on it.

Over his bed I also hung a very elaborate, very detailed vinyl tree that I finally finished taking the last sticker off of yesterday. I went the cheap route and got a $50 one off eBay that was split in like 100 different pieces that I had to puzzle together. If I get another I’ll definitely shell out the extra cash to get one that I can pull off in one or two pieces.

Also above his crib is the giraffe piece that inspired me to go with the giraffe-themed nursery. I love it!

Ty's-Nursery13-copyTy's-Nursery19-copy

And in the craft side area of the nursery I have a rocker chair I thought I’d sew a cover for, and for the foot stool, but instead I just draped with a crocheted chevron throw I ordered from a local woman. For the foot stool I just literally wrapped some extra fabric I had around the cushion it. It works!

Giraffe and chevron themed craft roomTy's-Nursery27-copyI wanted to tie in a bit of safari on my craft desk, and I fell in love with this elephant lamp. Originally I thought I’d do an elephant-themed nursery, so I’m glad I still used a bit of that in the end.

What do you think? Love it? I really do! My daughter’s was decked out with lots and lots of pink but I loved going the gender-neutral route here, and I think the whimsical giraffes really fit my sweet boy’s personality. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep it yellow and brown but I plan to set it up similar to this after the move. He’ll have more space though since it will no longer be a nursery/craft room combo. Perfect timing too cause my little big guy thinks he wants to start crawling.

Update: We’ve moved and our popular alphabet wall is now in the playroom.

DIY Wooden alphabet wall letters tutorial. #playroom #nursery #disney

Here’s where everything is from. If I’ve missed something you’re wondering about, let me know!

Chevron curtains/ iDecorateWithPillows Etsy
Vinyl tree/ eBay: Design4Wall
Giant giraffe/ Melissa and Doug via Amazon
Giraffe sound machines (big and little)/ Cloudb
Wonder Bumpers/ Go Mama Go Designs
Minky giraffe blanket/ Rocker Bye Baby
Minky booppy cover/ Rocker Bye Baby
Giraffe artwork: Savannah & Up and Away/ Nidhi Chanani Etsy
Custom white picture frames/ Ebay: Tabby7
Plain wood alphabet wall letters/ eBay: Anyshka_2
Elephant Lamp/ Carters via Amazon
Light switch cover/ ModernSwitch Etsy
Popup baskets/ Ebay (beige), Ikea (green) and Walmart (brown)
Diaper changer/ Craigslist
Drawer knobs/ Whimzicality
Polkadot burp cloths: HeartlandShop Etsy
Chevron throw blanket/ Handmade locally
Sewing machine cover/ YellowFarmHouse Etsy

Before I knew if Big T was a boy I browsed Pinterest for style ideas for little baby boys. I love boutique-style clothing for my daughter and I wanted my son to be able to look just as adorable in snazzy clothing.

I came across this tutorial to make a cardigan onesie. And while they are SO adorable, the directions made me a little anxious. Mostly the part of dealing with knit fabrics, all the buttons holes and whatnot. I figured there must be a simpler way to get the same look and that’s what I set out to do. I am not the craftiest person in the world, and I like to make things as easy as possible.

DIY Onesie Cardigan

Not only did I figure out a fool-proof way to get the job done, and make a cardigan-style onesie that goes on line a regular onesie–Over the head so you don’t have to mess with all those extra buttons. And the best part is it only cost a whopping $2 to make this thing–If you shop like I do. Sure beats the price tags you’ll find searching Etsy for similar styles.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

I went to one of our local children’s resale shop–Once Upon a Child. They have TONS of onesies, only $1 each. I picked up as many cute styles as I could find, mostly aiming for the striped or bright solid colors. I also went with mostly short-sleeved styles for now because come on, Texas is freggin HOT.

diy-carigan-onesie-price-tag

Then, instead of messing with cutting and attaching stretchy knit fabric, I decided to use bias tape. I found some from this Etsy shop. She let me split up the colors and yardage, so I got 1 yard each of 11 different colors for $11.

I already had buttons and thread, plus scrap fabric for the bow ties, and I was good to go. Want to make your own? I’ll walk you through it.How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

First, here’s what you’ll need:

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.
Onesie
Scissors
Pins
1yd Bias tape–I like the double fold 1/2 inch tape
Coordinating thread
And a sewing machine to attach the bias tape
Buttons

Step 1 (pictured below)
Create a point at the center of the onesie, parallel to the under-arm area of the sleeve. That’s going to be the point of the v-neck. Using a straight-edge, draw the lines of the V up to the shoulders. Then draw a line down the center of the onesie.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

DIY-cardigan-onesie-step-1.2

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

Step 2 (pictured below)
Cut along your lines. Then cut the onesie trim around the collar area.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-2.1

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-2.2

Step 3 (pictured below)
Open your bias tape and slide the cut edge of the onesie inside to the center fold of the tape. Pin. Note: You don’t need to go completely around the onesie with the bias tape because we’ll overlap where the V connects.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-3

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-3.2

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-3.1

Step 4 (pictured below)
Sew the bias tape onto the onesie. I stitch all the way around to connect it, starting at the bottom. Then when I get to the opposite side of the straight line, I top stitch the other side of the bias tape, closing the onesie again.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-4

Step 5 (pictured below)
Add buttons. You can do this carefully using a hot glue gun, or stitch them on with needle and thread.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-5

Step 6
Spice it up with a coordinating onesie and/or bow tie (super easy tutorial for those coming soon!)

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.
Using different colors and embellishments could totally girlie it up, but my girl is too big for onesies now so these are all for my little guy.

Like the tutorial? Have any questions? Leave them in the comments section. And please share with your friends!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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