Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DIY Child Desk using Cabinet Doors

I saw this on Pinterest (of course!) and fell in love with it. My kids constantly fight over table space so having two separate areas for them to color is a must. This little desk provides them with a personal place to craft and store their supplies.





My 2 & 5 year old can use these comfortably. I’d guess a good age for this size desk is 2-7 depending on child’s height.

I wasn’t involved with the building of the desks, the men handled that thankfully, whew!

But hopefully the photos are self explanatory.


Door/Drawer fronts – Found mine at Habitat Restore



4 – short table legs (mine are from Lowe’s)

Piano hinge


Wood Glue/Nails/Screws


I couldn’t find a cabinet sample with the front already attached so the guys had to create their own from plywood. They cut it to size, chopped out a hole and glued down the drawer front (will be a pencil tray later)



Sanded door cut-out. This needs to be really smooth because the child’s arms will rub all over this area.


Next step was to create a box for the cut-out area. This is where they will draw and store their coloring books.



Box attached to the cut-out area


Legs attached and ready for extra sanding, caulk and paint


Used cup hooks and metal buckets to store their crayons/pencils/markers


After painting a piano hinge was added to the door, I may eventually add a handle to make lifting the door easier.


I painted Kellan’s buckets blue….he’ll just have to live with the hearts though


The top was painted with chalkboard paint so they can personalize the top

Lego Trays

These were made by my Husband and the Grand-dads for the kids.

Super easy to make and the kids love them.

2 – 1”x2” 15” long boards

2 – 1”x2” 16.5” long boards

1 - 15'”x15” 1/2” thick piece of plywood

2 – drawer pulls

1 – Lego Building Plate 628

Tube of Construction adhesive for Plastic/Wood

Optional – Vinyl letters & Paint

Simply attach the 1x2's to the 15” plywood using pocket holes in the plywood. Nail the ends together to stabilize the sides. Sand, Caulk (optional), Paint (optional), Glue on baseplate and screw in handles. Add vinyl letters if you wish. For a complete step by step guide visit “That’s My Letter”


A couple tips: If your baseplate doesn’t fit properly after painting the wood you can always trim it down using scissors. I made my vinyl letters using a Silhouette Cameo


Christmas Wrap Storage

I prefer using a rectangular tote for storing Christmas wrap, ribbon, tags, boxes and bags. All the items are easy to access and it stores perfectly with the other Christmas totes in the attic. Add a few trays to organize the small items.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Etched Glass Money Jugs

We’ve had these three glass 1 gallon milk jugs for awhile. Something found in our grandparent’s backyard. I love using them for spare change. Divides the coins up so it’s easier to roll and makes it very difficult to reach in and grab any dollars! But they were a bit plain……






Armour Etch Cream

Silhouette Cameo is handy but you could use your own vinyl stencil, hand-cut using an Xacto knife

Jugs, Jars, anything glass that will hold coins

Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Made a 1, 2, 3 design using Silhouette Software and cut it out on vinyl using a Silhouette Cameo


Step 2: Applied the vinyl to my jug and wrapped any other exposed glass with cling wrap. (Etching cream will spread to other areas)


Step 3: Applied cream as per directions, left it on for 20-30 minutes. Wash off.


Wrapped twine around tops, hot gluing as I went.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Jo Totes Rose Camera Bag Review

I love my Jo Totes Millie but was in need of a larger bag for days when I require extra space for Camera + Kids. Carrying a camera bag and a diaper bag just isn’t practical. Originally I was thinking of purchasing the Gracie but the colors and design of the Rose appealed to me a bit more. Here is my Jo Totes Rose Camera Bag in Coral
A few stats from Jo Totes:
  • Exterior material: lambskin pattern, water-resistant, top quality faux leather in coral
  • Interior fabric: black cotton with tiny white dots
  • 1/2" foam sewn into the lining of all four sides and the bottom of the bag
  • Four adjustable pads made from 1/2" foam (two with soft velcro panels for horizontal placement)
  • One adjustable, large padded divider for ipad/tablet
  • Removable and adjustable cross-body strap
  • Optional shoulder pad
  • Durable and smooth-gliding metal zipper
  • Optional-use magnetic closures on top for times when your bag is less full, or in place of using the zipper when quick access is necessary
  • 8" drop from shoulder
  • Exterior: pleated sides; large zippered back pocket; rosette and pleated front panel
  • Interior pockets: two open pockets; one zippered pocket
  • Metal color: brushed silver
  • Four metal feet
  • Size: 16 3/4" x 11" x 6"
I’ve taken this bag around town a few times now and overall I am satisfied with it. The color is definitely “Coral”, it was a bit pink in other review photos I saw online but it’s definitely a true coral color, pinkish but in an orange tone (does that make sense? lol).
  • Holds a good bit
  • Lots of dividers, so many that I couldn’t even use a couple of them, but that gives you plenty of layout options
  • Cute design, colors/interior colors
  • Sturdy
  • Padding is thick
  • Love the magnetic clasps up top for quick access
  • The small details like the latches on the side that give it style and function
  • Metal feet on the bottom, great for protection against dirty floors
  • Wipes clean easily
  • Doesn’t scratch too easily
  • Can be a bit awkward to close with tall items due to the way the top is more narrow than the bottom
  • I haven’t found a way to comfortably use the interior pockets since most of the items inside cover them up, this is probably just a problem with me since my bag items are tall and not all camera related.
  • It’s a big bag, I’m not sure if this can be considered a "Con" though since it’s inevitable with the padding and storage capacity…. I found that I couldn't use the longer strap since the bag looked awkward sitting on my hip. Tucked under the arm using the short handles was the only way that I could get it to not be so ostentatious. All these problems may not affect someone who is accustom to larger bags though. I’m 5’3” average frame so it doesn't take much bag to swallow me up. The shoulder strap will definitely be handy during a photoshoot though when function is more important than style.
  • The metal zipper although sturdy tends to snag and scratch. I have to be careful loading my equipment and watch my hands since the zipper is a bit rough. This is one of those things I expect to eventually just adjust to and not be bothered by.
Pocket on the back, I stick my IPhone 4s with attached case in here, for quick access.
Interior zipper pocket (a bit difficult to reach once everything is loaded in bag), I put my CF cards in here since they’re not something I need access to often
2 interior pockets 1 large, 1 small (a bit difficult to reach once everything is loaded in bag), I haven’t found a use for these. They are so close to the top of bag that it’s hard to pull up the zippered edge and slip items in there. Might work for a battery charger or business cards though…..
I only used 3 dividers. There is also another short divider provided and a long divider available for a tablet/ipad.
What can you squeeze in there?
Normally I don’t carry all my lenses and flash but wanted to show that it will fit in this bag if you need to carry everything!
For days out with the kids I’ll usually just bring my camera with attached 50mm lens (a good all around lens) and that leaves room for snacks, clothes and juice boxes.
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