Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gift Wrapping Station

I suppose I am a bit late with this post considering that Christmas is 11 days away, but I am finally ready to start wrapping as far as being almost done with shopping is concerned.  I decided that I would share my wrapping station with you in case you need some inspiration.  I have done a post on my scrapbooking/wrapping area before, but today I will just give a quick refresher on how my wrapping essentials are organized.  This is my little corner in the basement.  Unfortunately, it's hard to get a good picture without my husband's weights making an appearance, but you get the idea.  

I do the majority of my scrapbooking at the desk on the right and I do wrapping on the desk to the left and all over the floor, of course!  Most of my wrapping supplies are in the cubbies on the left side of my IKEA Expedit, so it makes sense.  I store a lot of stuff in magazine files such as tissue paper, sheets of wrapping paper, cellophane bags and sheets of gift tags.  Most of my gift boxes fit neatly here as well.

I keep my greeting cards in plastic container divided by occasion.

On my desktop, I have the necessary scissors, pens, markers, tape, etc.  

I keep almost all of my Christmas gift bags in an organizer on a door.  I keep wrapping paper rolls in a large container that I picked up at Target.  Obviously, I am still lacking in the Christmas wrapping paper area.  I absolutely LOVE this container because it is tall enough to accommodate those really long rolls of wrapping paper.  I also love that it has a flip-up lid for easy access.   I have a smaller, similar container for my non-Christmas wrapping paper.

In the armoire to the left of my desk, I keep all of my non-Christmas gift bags.  I also store some gifts in here throughout the year.  Whenever I buy something that I plan to give for a future birthday, I store it in here.

I also have a rolling gift wrap cart which is great for smaller rolls of wrapping paper, gift tags, ribbon, bows, tissue paper and gift bags.  I love that I can roll it over to wherever I am wrapping whether it be at my desk or somewhere else in the room where I need floor space to wrap something.  My cart is from the Recollections collection at Michael's.  

Other than needing to run to the store to stock up on actual wrapping paper, my wrapping station is ready to go!  Where do you do your holiday gift wrapping?  Are you ready or do you still have to do the shopping part yet? 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY Advent Calendar

December 1st is literally right around the corner, so I had to get my Advent calendar up this weekend.  Normally, I have been using this chalkboard to track our seasonal to do list, but I really wanted to try the Advent calendar this year.  Check out Pinterest and you will find endless ideas on how to make your own.  This is my take.  I picked up a few supplies from Michael's and JoAnn's and I was ready to go.  The idea is that inside of each day's envelope there will be a fun, Christmas-y type of activity planned for the children to do.  Most are as simple as coloring a Christmas picture, taking a family photo in front of the tree, doing a Christmas craft, baking cookies, watching a Christmas movie or "bigger" things like a trip to Build A Bear and a visit to our local lights show.  I planned everything out on a blank calendar sheet first and if it looks like something won't work out for a certain day, I can always switch the cards out.  I went with the "easier" stuff for work/school days and the more time consuming activities on the weekends or my vacation days.  My calendar is 24 days since they know what happens on the 25th.  :)

My envelopes are actually miniature paper bags.  I numbered them with some red ink and numerical stamps.  I hung them from ribbon and a mini garland using tiny clothespins.  

I wrote the activities on little tags and made them a little festive by adding some Christmas washi tape.  I popped them in the paper bags, added some wooden ornaments and some cute Christmas tags and I was done!  Super easy!  

My chalkboard is always in the same place in our dining room.  I just added some garland, lights and candles to make it more festive.  I also swapped out our family beach picture canvas with a Christmas wreath.  I scored this wreath at Michael's last year.  It was $2 during an after season sale.  Love that!

I am in love with this thing and I am just as excited about it as the kids are.  It's super pretty and festive and was simple to make.  As my son says, "easy peasy, lemon squeezy!"  Have you been working on any DIY projects for this holiday season?  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Organized Puzzles & Games

I have quite a long list of spaces in and around my house that need to be organized or updated.  From something as big as nearly the entire garage to things as small as my glove compartment.  I tend to get to them in order of what is bothering me the most at the current moment.  Since I have been working on the storage half of our basement recently with our tool and paint organization and, practically all year, my craft corner, I felt the need to work on other things in that room as well.  When we moved into this house, the board games just landed in the basement on a bookshelf and that's where the majority of them have been ever since.  I have also been storing games and puzzles in our dining room buffet.  These particular ones are for younger players.  Since the kids play most of their games on the dining room or kitchen table (or kitchen floor, or bedroom floor, or living room floor... you get the idea), it makes sense to keep them upstairs.  Of course, pieces end up all over the place and then I just toss them in a drawer or a container whenever I come across them.  My container was getting full and therefore, it was time to take a better look at how organized, or disorganized, everything was.  

Here is the buffet in our dining room where I keep our most used games and puzzles.  This piece is from IKEA.  I didn't like the look of seeing the games through the cabinet doors, so I purchased some contact paper and covered the glass panels.  It's not my favorite contact paper print, but I purchased it on a whim through Amazon and just went with it.  A nice feature of this buffet is that the cabinets lock, so the kids can't pull out the games without us using the key.    

The left cabinet contains the games.  I was able to fit two of the memory games into small plastic containers from Michael's.  I enjoyed throwing the beat up boxes away.  

The cabinet on the right contains all of the puzzles.  Most of the puzzle boxes had seen better days, so I put them into plastic containers instead.  I simply cut out the picture of the puzzle from the box and put that into the containers as well.  The puzzles that didn't fit into my small containers, I put into zip lock bags.  I also labeled some of them with my Brother label maker.  

I am using the top two of the buffet drawers for game storage as well.  The top drawer has card games and some other random games and the second drawer has Trouble games which I took out of their boxes.  I just taped the instructions to the back of the board.  

Here is a picture of the basement bookshelf before my little overhaul.  It wasn't horrible, but it needed some work.  

I actually ended up swapping it out with a white bookshelf from the playroom that we were no longer using.  The white just went better with this particular space.  The games down here are mostly for players ages 8 and older.  As the kids get older, we will adjust what we keep upstairs.  This is a fine place for these games anyway, because this room is right off of our family/TV/bar room (don't mind the mess you see in there).  To "organize" them, I mainly just grouped them by ages (adult, 13+, 10+ and 8+) from top to bottom.  A few exceptions being some poker kits on the bottom shelf.  I keep our Checkers "blanket" game in a little basket.    

And finally our puzzles and games are looking good!  I don't think for a second that this will erase the problem of finding random pieces here and there, but I am a firm believer that when you find the right system for organizing something, it will work.  Whether I make it work because I spent a whole afternoon on it or the kids miraculously put their stuff back where it belongs from now on, it will make game and puzzle time more fun and easier to clean up and put away.  With that, one more space is checked off the list!  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Girls' Bedroom Update

The last time I wrote a post about my daughter's bedroom was over a year ago.  Back then, our oldest had her own room, while the three others shared.  I have since decided to have a girls room and a boys room.  This called for doing a complete redo in each room.  My daughter's room became the boys' room and their room became the girls' room.  My husband wasn't too happy that he had to disassemble and reassemble their furniture.  He handled that while I repainted both rooms.  It was quite a stressful week or two to say the least.  Anyway, I was never totally satisfied with how everything was set up in the girls' room.  The other week, I just decided I had to fix it.  This is what it looked like when I finally couldn't take it anymore.  It needed an overhaul full of rearranging, subtracting some pieces and throwing a lot of junk in a garbage bag.

I switched the placement of every single thing except my older daughter's daybed.  The TV was mounted onto the wall, I added a little craft project and a gallery wall and rearranged the closet.  My older daughter has a lot of little toys and she is a collector of anything and everything.  When she wasn't around, I threw so much stuff away.  Call me a mean mommy, but it had to be done.  I now have a spot for everything that we kept.  The tricky part is getting the girl to put it back.  I know that every few months I will need to purge her stuff again, but for this moment, it's all good.  Take a look around..

I still need some cord covering to hide the TV cords.  I will nag my husband about that ASAP.  

The closet is going to be a work in progress for a little while as far as clothing is concerned.  I have been wanting to start hanging more of the kids' clothing, so this is the start.  My younger daughter's clothing is all still in the changing table dresser drawers which is in the boys' room.  Once she is potty trained, I will move her stuff into this room, but for now it makes sense to keep it in the changing table.  

The top bins store a variety of items.  From the left, they contain clothing for my younger daughter in the next size up, young girl's makeup and jewelry that I don't prefer either of them to have without my help, and arts and crafts kits.  I used some Target Dollar Spot chalkboard labels to label them.  The pink basket has some drawstring backpacks and other little bags in it.  The purple container houses the Rainbow Loom. 

The Closetmaid cubes on the bottom contain my daughter's collection of goody bag toys (you know, all that junk from birthday parties), headbands/hair accessories, purses, dress up clothing and accessories and doll clothing.

The small bookshelf just outside of the closet is where we are keeping some of her little art projects, books, legos, doll house toys and a variety of other little creatures, aka McDonald's toys.  Ahh.  That string of lights is looking awfully fluorescent in this photograph, but I can assure you that they are a pretty pink color and give off subtle light.  

My daughter's daybed is from the Hemnes line at IKEA.  I love that it has 3 large drawers underneath.  In these drawers are barbies and accessories, pajamas and extra sheets and blankets.  

I moved the desk over to the corner under the window and got rid of the little cubbies that we had over it before.  The cubbies just didn't work in the space anymore.  I am sure that I will find a new home for them soon.  On the desk, I just have two boxes to keep paper, pencils, crayons, notebooks, etc.  My older daughter doesn't use this for homework, but she likes to sit at her little desk and do art projects here and there.  A broken jewelry box somehow made its way from the garbage back to their room.  Until I can pull a ninja move and sneak it back out, it has also found a home on the desk.  Trinkets galore in there.  

I got this cute latch box from the children's decor section at Target.  I love it.  

I whipped up a little tassel garland to hang over the crib.  Truth be told, I first hung up my gallery wall over the crib and THEN thought about glass picture frames falling on my toddler.  These tissue paper tassels are out of her reach, so I feel much better about this than the gallery wall.  This was super easy to make and you can find tutorials all over Pinterest and YouTube.  I made mine using an HGTV tutorial here.

The gallery wall could very well be my favorite part.  Some of the frames I had in their room already and the rest took a few clearance frames from Target and some shopping through my own home.  The small dog canvases are from Target.  My younger daughter LOVES dogs, so when I saw these, there was no way they weren't coming home with me.  The colorful frame in the lower left is from one of my daughter's arts and crafts kits she got for her birthday.  She chose the picture of her sister to put in it.  I don't remember where I got the Ariel sign or wall stickers.  The silhouette of Ariel was an Etsy purchase, but I am not sure of the shop.  It came with immediate downloads of most of the Disney princesses.  Neither of my daughters has a favorite princess at this point, but my favorite princess is Ariel.  They don't seem to mind.  :)

I love this "magazine cover" with Ariel on the front.  All of the story titles are adorable!

And that's about it for the room update!  So far, so good.  I like it much better than what we had going on before.  Stay tuned for some more room updates as I have recently done mini makeovers in our living room and master bedroom.  Have you been doing any room updates lately?

You might also like: