The project that started it all Part 2:

This post is the second part in a series read the initial post here…

Welcome back!  hopefully you are here to check out all the cool ways I made my daughter Isabel’s play room interactive and 3D.  I wanted to make this room a full sensory experience for her as she got older and could be exposed to more things that she would know not to put in her mouth!

How did I do this you ask? Oooo these projects below are the best part of the playroom in my mind and I will take it project by project.

Project 1: Tree

In this room we have some pretty high ceilings you may have noticed from the photos, so how could I make it more to scale?  Add leaves of course!  I went through my stash of scrapbook paper and used some patterned and some solid paper.  I popped those sheets into my Cricut and set the machine for various sizes of circles.

This photo was taken before I knew I was going to have a blog post about it someday, so I don’t have photos of each step unfortunately.  But after the circles were cut on the Cricut (huge timesaver btw) I took to my sewing machine.  I loaded some dark green thread and fed my circles through it.  I didn’t use a special needle like I probably should have, but as much as I love my sewing machine it still intimidates me most of the time.

After all the circles were sewn together I cut them into strips of various lengths.  I attached a short piece of ribbon to the first circle with a tiny staple (in hindsight I probably would have found a prettier way to do this, but it turns out you can barely see it)  So once the ribbon was on I took a white (so that it would blend in with the ceiling paint) thumbtack and up the ladder I went.  I stuck the various strips in a semi-circle to mimic what a real tree might look like.  I was pretty happy with the outcome…

The leaves kind of remind me of a willow tree which always makes me think of story books and fairy tales.

Project 2: Flowers

This project was quite possibly the easiest out of the whole room.  I had some tissue poms (Martha Stewart Pom kit found at Michaels) from another project that I was dying to use and to my surprise they happened to be just the right size for the inside of my flowers.  Now full disclosure here I am not paid by anyone to endorse their products on this blog but I must sing the praises of the 3M brand and all its Command line products.  If it wasn’t for them this playroom would have never come to life!

I took the tissue poms which had a ribbon attached to the top of them, I cut that ribbon shorter and tied it in a loop.  I then took some Command hooks and put it on the wall and hung the pom – voila – instant 3D flower!

Project 3: Mushrooms
Well these didn’t go 3D as much as interactive.  Raided my stash yet again (by now I hope you realize this stash is huge, I am a borderline hoarder but too OCD to let it get unorganized) and found some white felt.  Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I took the felt and matched it up with the size of the mushroom dots I had painted on the wall.  I then cut them out and took another great 3M product self adhesive velcro squares and put one side on the felt and one on the wall.  Here are the finished mushrooms…

Project 4: Butterflies
This is another one of my favorite things in Isabel’s playroom.  A climbing vine of foam butterflies.  Here I used my stash of foam and bought some pre-cut butterflies at Michaels or maybe Target, I don’t remember but I know they have them at both stores.  I used the pre-cut butterflies to trace more onto the foam from my stash so that all the butterflies would look the same.  Cutting them all out was time consuming and certainly a labor of love but it was something good to do while I watched tv.
To get them on the wall I cut little strips about 3-4 inches long of ribbon and hot glued them into a loop on the back of the butterfly.  Using the command hooks and starting at the bottom of the baseboard I started layering the butterflies all the way up the wall.  I ran out of butterflies and ended up having to run out and buy some more of the pre-cut so that it would reach all the way to the ceiling.

Project 5: Leaves on a flower
Ok so I take it back that the flowers were the easiest project of this room, these leaves were pretty simple to install.  You can find them at Ikea and not only do they look great but they are fairly inexpensive as well.  They are called Lova Bed Canopies and go for $14.99 each

Project 6: Bumble Bees
For this project I started with some card stock from my stash, toilet paper rolls I had been saving and some black tissue paper.

I first cut strips of yellow for the body – the same length as the toilet paper roll

Then I used the Cricut to create the double layer eyes.  In order to make sure they stuck right the first time with the paper cement I used my awesome set of tweezers from Making Memories.  I made sure to make them align in all different ways so that it would add some expression to the bees faces.

I cut the smaller stripes again on my paper cutter and just stapled them on to the toilet paper tube over the seam of the yellow paper.

I used my big Paper Shapers hole punch I think it is 1″ or 2″ not sure? to make the faces/heads of the bees.

I attached the eyes to the heads again with some good old rubber cement like I did with the eyes

To get the heads to stay on the bodies I used my Making Memories paper punch to create a hole through the face and the toilet paper tube.  I then used super small brads I had in my collection to hold the heads onto the bodies.

To make the wings I simply freehanded what I wanted them to look like, cut out that first drawing and used it as a template to complete the rest.

To complete the bees I stapled the wings on, made their antennae with pipe cleaners that I hot glued on the inside. I stuffed the bottom of the toilet paper roll with some scraps of black tissue just to fill in the tube and make it look more solid.  In order to hang them, I used the left over black ribbon loops from the butterflies and hot glued them to the back of the bodies.  Back up the ladder I went to hang them using my trusty Command hooks.  I added whimsical flight trails with some spots of black paint.  I think this just added to the overall effect -I love these little guys!

You might notice that there is a frog on the wall and there wasn’t in the first post.  Once I got the bee’s up on the wall the mushroom looked awkward so I painted the frog with left over paint from the grass, added the red grosgrain ribbon as the tongue and I just stuck it on with some left over command strips.  The inspiration behind the frog came from this pin on pinterest.

Project 7: Bee Hive

You can’t have bumble bees and not have a bee hive.  For this project I originally tried the string dipped in glue laid over a balloon.  Well unlike everyone else who saw it on pinterest and had it work it unfortunately did not work for me.  My trouble was as soon as the balloon popped the string collapsed. Instead, I found a great paper mache recipe via pinterest and it turned out to work much better for me.  

I first blew up the balloon and then covered it with the paper mache mixture and newspaper.  I let that dry for almost a whole week (I got busy with work but after last time I was afraid if I didn’t wait long enough it would deflate again so it worked out well)

I picked up a large package of yellow tissue paper at an awesome local store called Palmer Packaging.  They have so much variety and sell huge packs of tissue/ribbon/boxes in tons of colors, patterns etc.  I then cut the tissue into long strips that were easier to work with then the large sheets.  I wanted it to look like a beehive you would see in a story book, again very whimsical, so I created the tiered look.
Trying to hang this thing was quite an event.  Originally, I was going to hang it from a hook on the wall but I realized there was no easy way to do that without compromising the structure of the hive.  Then I turned to the ceiling.  I was going to punch a hole in the top but again that would have compromised the structure.  I then took some twine I had in my stash, wrapped it around the hive and used four strings to tie together at the top to provide balanced support.  I then tacked that twine into the ceiling and it has worked great ever since.  This project was the most trying and required the most problem solving for sure but as always the outcome was worth it!

Project 9: Caterpillars

For this project I took some inspiration from Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I loved the color combos he used in the book so I did the same for Isabel’s.

First I picked up these fluffy poms at Michaels along with some floral wire (note the wire on the spool is too thin to penetrate through the center of the pom.)  I then fed the wire through the middle of each pom.  I had to use a thimble by the end since it helped me get more power to push through the middle (ended up saving my fingers too)  I got about three caterpillars to each piece of wire.

Then using wire cutters (thanks Dad for these in our tool box) I snipped them on each end.

Using some needle nose pliers (also in the tool box my dad gave us) I curled the ends of the wire so that if Isabel got a hold of them she would not hurt herself.

Once they were secured on each end, I bent them to make it look like real caterpillars would in nature.  I also added some pipe cleaners for antennae.  Using the trusty Command hooks yet again I hung them in places that Isabel won’t be able to get to for awhile since they do have wire in them.  As soon as I put them up she immediately noticed them which was so fun to see.

Project 8: Art Wall

I contemplated this art wall for awhile.  Being as obsessed with creativity as I am, I knew I wanted a place for Isabel’s artwork to be put on display prominently.  The straight clothesline attempt wasn’t for me, I wanted something more.  I kept seeing this pin on pinterest and I wanted to incorporate it somehow but “dream” just didn’t seem to fit.

It hit me – Create!  Use create instead of dream and it’s perfect for the art wall.  I headed to the dollar store to pick up thumb tacks and went to Jo-ann’s for the embroidery thread.
I used some leftover card stock and my Cricut to cut out the letters.  I taped them all together and then taped them to the wall.  Then came the obsessive part… carefully placing all of the thumbtacks evenly so that the thread would achieve the right look. Above I am almost done, you can see both the template and the tacks.  When you do this project make sure you take plenty of steps back to look at it.  It looks much better from a distance than up close.

Once I was done with the “Create”  I used leftover scrap ribbon and thumbtacks to make the “art clothesline”  I had picked up some mini clothespins at Michaels that worked perfectly to hang the art.  The clothespins do not puncture the art in anyway or bend it either.  
I have a pretty obsessive policy about how and when things go up on the art wall.  All art must be scanned on my computer before it gets hung up.  Then I rotate out what gets displayed and as a piece rotates out, I evaluate it as to whether or not I want to keep the original.  Most of the time I toss the original and don’t feel guilty since it is saved and nicely organized on my computer.  It’s a great solution for those of you that have kids at school who come home with a new project every day.

The finished art wall!

Project 10: Hydrangea
This project was exceptionally time consuming but well worth it.  I found this tutorial for paper flowers and wanted to find a way incorporate it in the playroom somehow.  The corner above the leaves (Lova Canopies) was the only one that didn’t have a little something extra going on, so I thought lets add some hydrangea (my favorite flower.) Here are ALL of the steps…
Off to Palmer Packaging I went to get my tissue paper…  I bought two shades of blue and green.
I cut them into squares that were about 6″x6″ layering various shades and amounts of each color into each pile.
I folded the squares in half and cut the petals
Once done with cutting all the petals I took just a regular stapler and stapled the pile right in the middle
One layer at a time I lifted the tissue, crinkled and shaped it to get what I was looking for
Finished flowers before going up on the wall
To hang the flowers I had run out of Command hooks at this point and since they aren’t cheap I decided just to stick a thumbtack in the center of the flower and call it a day.

Now for the finishing touches…

To finish the room off, I used pink gingham fabric I had leftover from her birthday party to create these curtains.  They may not be the right length, but for safety purposes I didn’t want Isabel pulling on them so I intentionally left them short.  They are pulled back using the cutest lady bug ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby and the ribbon hooks on to two larger Command Hooks I had used in the house elsewhere.

I also added a green Mammut table and 4 pink Mammut chairs from Ikea.  They tie into the theme perfectly!  I hope this has helped inspire you to make a special space for you and your children to play together!

Posted in: DIY

7 thoughts on “The project that started it all Part 2:

  1. HeatherNunes says:

    Also, I have the same Ikea table for my girls and we have 4 Ikea stools-one of the best purchases ever! We use it for crafts, snacks (the lip around the edge prevents most spills from leaving the table), puzzles, pretty much everything.

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