Saturday, July 18, 2015

Crate of the Union

So we've been storing Jack's toys in an old diaper box.  And as classy as that is, I figured it was time to upgrade to an actual toy box.  The solution, I thought?  Crate!  Can't go wrong with crates.  No one ever goes wrong with a crate.  In fact, people evidently love crates so much, they're naming their kids Crayton.  (How I wish that were made up...)

And nothing went wrong per se, I just (AS USUAL) significantly underestimated the time and effort involved.  The real culprit was the crappy 1x3 furring strips I always buy because they're cheap.  I realized as I was making it, that since little, white, doughy hands were going to be groping around in there, I better make sure they wouldn't get skewered by the massive-angry slivers so popular in this type of wood.

Here you can see those doughy hands:  
(Aren't they just the cutest dough hands, unmarred by raging skewers of rogue wood?)

Anywho, an incredible amount of sanding ensued, which turned the project into a several day deal.  Some measuring, cutting, staining, gluing, nailing, and polyurethane-ing happened. Et voila. Le crate.  He seems to be pretty happy about it.

Until he realized, while tooching, that he can't quite reach the bottom of the box.  My bad.

So on this one, my verdict is probably to just buy the $12 crate from Walmart, even though it doesn't look as schnazzy and isn't the right size you probably need.  This one cost me about $5 in materials, but all sanding and little savings margin make Sam a dull girl.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Behind-the-Door Bookshelf Bonanza for $8

You may be asking yourself why I call everything a bonanza, and I would counter with, why aren't you calling everything a bonanza?  Don't be so hard on bonanzas; they can help you out with an alliteration in a pinch.

So I decided I wanted a place for Jack's books where he could no longer maim the ones in any kind of decent shape.  And stealing from the archives of the internets yet again, I made these delectable bookshelves behind his door.  (See how the books out of toddler reach have not been taped together 80 times?  Thems books ain't fer readin', just lookin' at.)

And the beauty is that I only used two furring strips, totaling $4.  I was going to use another set of strips for the lips of the shelves, but do you recognize that tongue and groovy groove?  I found a most satisfying use for some of our leftover hardwood flooring, and I think the groove adds a nice l'il detail to an otherwise drab bookshelf lip (Oh, you know how drab bookshelf lips can be).

So after cutting the wood to size, painting everything white, and locating our studs, I pulled out the ol' measuring tape and calculator, determined the most efficient spacing of said shelves, and went to work attaching them to the walls.  But here's the thing.  My beautiful internets led me astray.  I was led to believe that I could drill a screw right down the skinny face of the 1x3s, right into the wall with a 3" screw.  ...  But no.  Nnnope, bad idea.  Just not enough screw to securely hold onto the stud.  So, sad and dejected, I came to accept that I would need to secure the shelves with ugly L brackets ( an extra $4 :/ ), should a certain baby choose to hang off said shelves or overzealously return a book.

Sssssigh, so you can see them here, spaced to hit the studs.  Kind of awkward, I know; but not as awkward as what's in that poop silo.  Anywho, after securing the strips to the wall, I glued and nail-gunned the hardwood lip pieces to the face, filled up the holes with caulking in hopes of avoiding paint touch ups, discovered it looked crappy and would need paint anyway, painted them, et voila!  Les livres du bebe.

I think they're kind of awesome, as I'm psycho-obsessed with utilizing every cubic inch of home space without looking junky.  So instead of books littered throughout the room or piled up on the nightstand, now they're shelved in a space I wasn't using for anything but hide and seek.  As Larry David would say, "prettyyyy...pretty good."