Friday, June 13, 2014

Crate Expectations: An easy storage solution

Hello !  It's been a while !  Our little one has been keeping me very busy with, you know, eating, sleeping, pooping, and playing.  It's so exciting being a mommy !  I love every minute of it.

I have been doing some DIY projects around the house, here and there, but I've been very bad about blogging about them.  One that I finished recently is a bookshelf made from crates.

As I looked around our living room, with baby stuff here and there everywhere, I realized that I have no "baby stuff friendly" storage.  I needed a spot to throw his toys and books and other little things like teething rings and whatnot.  I knew I wanted something "cube" like and small to fit under our bay window. We used to have a wicker basket trunk that sits in front of the window.  Not too baby stuff friendly.  I started looking where every person now looks: Pinterest.  I found some ideas and figured that using some crates would be the perfect solution !

I purchased my crates at JoAnn fabrics.  Each time my husband or I were near JoAnn's, we would pop in with a coupon and get a crate.  Each one ended up being about $8, so around $32 for all the crates.  Could I probably have found them cheaper? Sure.  But with a kid in tow and not a lot of time on our hands, $8 per crate was a good enough deal. 

We had some leftover stain from the desktop that my father-in-law made a couple years ago and I had a sponge brush, so the only other things that I purchased were mending brackets to fasten the crates together.

First, I sanded the crates.  Some parts of the slats were a bit rough and I didn't want to risk any splinters.  Next, I painted each crate and let them thoroughly dry.  The stain does have a strong fume-y smell, so outside is best to paint and let dry.  Just make sure it doesn't rain!

After they were done drying, I used a drill to screw the mending braces on the backs.  Make sure to do this on an even surface and have someone nearby to help hold them together while you fasten them.  I used three big square ones at the top, bottom, and middle, then the smaller ones on both sides.  I also put furniture pads on the bottom so they don't scratch the hardwood floors and to give them just a teeny boost off the floor.  

When fastened together, accessorize !  I used my Cricut to cut out the word, "BOOKS."  I just taped them to the back with regular ol' scotch tape.  

Eventually, once Kevin is crawling, I will attach the shelf to the wall so that he doesn't pull it down on top of him. Aaannd, the plants will probably have to go as well.  Oh, baby-proofing.

I love how they turned out and they perfectly match the IKEA furniture that we have in the living room.  They are also a very functional piece of furniture for baby stuff.  There is one bad thing.  Our dog, Stout, would put his paws on the old wicker basket (which used to be there before the crates) to look out the window.  Unfortunately, he hasn't quite taken to the crates and is a bit skeptical of the new setup.  I'm sure he will figure it out soon enough so that he can continue his squirrel watching.  

These would look great in a playroom or nursery, painted in bright colors.  If anyone tackles that project, please share your after pictures ! I'd love to see them !

Now you can Do It Yourself, Too !


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