Children’s art display

  I’ve been wanting a way for the kids to display their artwork, so when I scored this big empty frame with basically a built in shelf, I knew I finally had what I needed.
  I mod podged coffee filters onto the frame because it was damaged. Then I painted the coffee filters.   

Then I stapled a bunch of twine to the back, criss-crossing it until I liked the design and then Eli made me add more :-)

 Added some mini clothespins and we were in business!

  It’s hanging on two command hooks because it’s not heavy and this way if they pull it off the wall there’s no nails to go flying. I used hooks instead of strips because a) I wasn’t sure if they’d just pull the coffee filters off the back and b) I’m out of strips, I had hooks, and I’m not terribly patient ūüėČ 



DIY Fiber Art

So I’ve seen some fabulous yarn wall hangings on Pinterest, and I developed a major fiber crush on the whole look. So when I found this tutorial I had to make my own.

I had the yarn already, but with only one skein of gray and a skein and a half of the thick cream wool, it wasn’t enough for any knitting projects.

I wound twenty long strands back and forth between my hands and then doubled them up to make these thick bundles. The small aqua bundles are ten strands each. I basically looped it over my thumbs and wound it to make big loops that I cut after I’d tied them to the branch. I did it this way because I didn’t have anything large enough to wind the yarn around and my hanging is a much larger scale than the one she made in the tutorial.

My branch is 37″ long, and the longest bundle of yarn is 26″ inches from the branch. I wound that one almost as long as I could reach, so that bundle was about 60″ or so when I wound it.

The embroidery hoop is 12″. I just wove some yarn back and forth, wrapping it several times around the hoop each time. Then I added the three pom-poms to fill it out. Here’s an easy tutorial for how to make them on your hand, or you can purchase a pom-pom maker.

The whole thing is hung on a 12″ dowel because I needed something long to sit on the metal hanger.

This gallery system can be found here.

The photo board is a frame I found at Turnip Green Creative Reuse, a fabulous resource for artists and creatives here in Nashville. I wrapped it in burlap strips and stapled them to the back. Then I zig-zagged jute twine, stapling it as well. I didn’t draw a pattern I just kept going until I liked what I had.

I used bulldog clips (and will replace the mini clothespins with bulldog clips as soon as my new box arrives) to put up some art prints, and added coffee filter flowers made from this tutorial, and some pom-poms.

Folks, I might need an intervention. I can’t stop making pom-poms and coffee filter flowers.

And the third and final piece. I needed something narrower for this space and I remembered these two frames. Once upon I time I did professional photography and I was making a photo wall for a client. The frame company sent me these two without glass and backing, so I called and they sent me completes replacement frames. I liked these but I never knew what to do with them.

That was seven years ago. They are a rare exemption from my if I-don’t-use-it-in-a-year, it goes rule. I just knew I’d find a use for them.

I had some leftover hardware cloth outside, also about seven years old. I stapled it the back of the frames and connected the frames with a wide grosgrain ribbon.

I then covered all the staples and edges of the hardware cloth with wide masking tape, several layers thick so they wouldn’t mark the wall.

The “H” is just gray yarn woven around to fill the chosen squares up with yarn. I did use a yarn needle to make things easier but you could wrap the end of the yarn with a bit of masking tape too.

The heart is made up of coffee filters. I twisted each one and inserted it through each square. I poked all of them through until I got the desired design, then I trimmed off most of what was poking through the back  and applied masking tape to the stubs to keep them together. Then fluffed the filters and I was ready to hang!

I added a tight length of jute twine to hang the top picture from the gallery system, and used a single command picture strip on the bottom of the lower frame to stablise it and keep both pieces level.

Children’s spaces: outdoors¬†

A couple of years ago I set up a sand and water table on my porch by putting two plastic storage bins on a bench. Fast forward to this year and two children and the desire to keep sand from being tracked in the back door all summer, and I came up with a new rendition with more space and a mud kitchen addition. 

Two weeks ago I finally landed three full-sized pallets! They’re harder to come by than you would think. 

I built a pallet wall to give this outdoor “room” a little more dimension. 


I put two four-foot t-posts in the ground behind the wall, and propped lawn chairs against the front of the pallets until I could get them attached. 

 I screwed a 2×4 into the top of all three pallets attaching them to each other. The fabric on the far right is my first attempt at a shade cloth with a stop cloth. It started ripping in the wind, so I need to re-engineer it, or find a different solution. 

 Then I added some smaller scrap wood to match the depth of the t-posts, and screwed a 2×4 through the scrap wood into the pallets, with the t-posts sandwiched in between.   

Disclaimer: I’ve never done this before, but it feels very sturdy! Plus I built a bench with cinderblocks and 2×4’s in front of it. 

A shot of the sand and water, very mixed and muddied. A whole fifty pound bag of playground sand (from Lowes) fits in one of these 18qt Sterilite bins from Target
A week later, most of its gone! That’s a new record, usually 3-4 bags is all we need for the whole warm season. But they don’t seem to mind. 

 Side view of the cinderblock bench. Four cinderblocks and four 2x4s. These are untreated, and I should probably seal them, but they also aren’t touching the ground and I know from using untreated wood for garden beds that it’ll last about 5-6 years even when it is touching the ground. 
I leveled the bottom cinderblocks so they didn’t wobble at all and attached the top cinderblocks with landscape adhesive. Then I just ran the 2x4s through the holes and was done. I used 8 foot 2×4’s and the cinder blocks are about 6 feet apart. 

 Mud kitchen on the bench I built 6 years ago from the plans in this book. It’s a little wobbly for sitting on now but works great for this.  
More Mardi Gras beads! Hung over a branch and left to be discovered :-)