Friday, September 20, 2013

Tween Teal Room Remodel

My daughter had a big birthday this year - 10!  And that called for a big birthday gift.  We converted her pretty, pretty princess pink room into a room more reflective of her current tween tastes.  Since she loves all things peacock, we went with a palette of aqua and teal with pops of green and purple.

I also wanted to use this opportunity to improve the functionality of her room, so that meant making a few frugal changes in her furniture.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on this, so I tried to modify what we all ready had or rely on thrifted and discount finds as much as possible. I'm so happy with the outcome.  Take a look...

We took her walls from pale pink to cool aqua.  I agonized over the color choice.  Too dark and it could have been depressing.  Too light and it could feel cold.  I ended up finding just the right color from Behr at Home Depot.  I always seem to end up picking Behr - something about the saturation and clarity of their colors just feels right to me.  We kept the high white shelves in place - they are so useful for displaying pictures and knickknacks while keeping lower surfaces less cluttered.  The area under her bed is useful for extra storage.  I found some great bins at Michaels to corral nail polish and doll clothes (and does that not say it all about being a tween - halfway between little girl and young woman - sniffle sniffle...) as well as stuff she doesn't need to access daily, like her gear and bathing suits for synchronized swimming.

We modified the arrangement of the room slightly by moving the bed away from the wall and giving her a good sized nightstand with lots of storage.  She is a big reader and needed a place to keep her stack of books and collection of bookmarks.  The nightstand was originally in the guest room and I thought it would be a good fit for her.  I painted it white with green in the cubby and did a harlequin pattern on top using painters tape to help form the design.  That lamp was originally hers, but it is now sporting a deep purple shade - a Goodwill find courtesy of my mommy.

Above the nightstand is a piece of custom art that I created from a thrifted frame.  It was originally a pale peach frame with a colonial blue matting surrounding a poem extolling the virtues of grandmothers.  I snapped it up because I liked the oval shape and that it had a mat all ready.  Once I got it home, I cleaned it up, primed it, and spray painted the frame lime.  For the mat, I painted right over that bad boy with acrylic paint and then slapped on a top coat of glitter for good measure.  I then went to and fiddled around until I created something that would fit.  My tween is really into synchronized swimming, so I populated the wordle with terms from the sync rho world.  I was so pleased with how it turned out.  All told, it cost $2 and took less than a hour of active work time.

Hanging from the window is a ribbon chandelier that I made from lots of ribbon and a small embroidery hoop.  The curtains were a close-out find at Ollie's - sheer white with aqua polka dots.  Only $5 a panel!

Her desk resides on the other side of the bed.  With a few modifications to the area, it's a little more functional now.  I covered her original French memo board with a pretty piece of calico that I found at Walmart.  Where the sheer lavender ribbon is stapled to the board, I hot glued iridescent rhinestones.  The pegs holding buckets were originally in our nursery (AGAIN with the sniffling).  I repainted them aqua and wasn't happy with the aqua on aqua look, so I tried to put a opalescent top coat on one to see if I liked it.  I'm still not sure how that will end up - I may just scrap aqua and go purple with those.  On the other side of the memo board are fabric-covered cork boards in pretty thrifted frames (only one is up in this picture, but eventually there will be two - the other one is aqua and as previously mentioned - aqua on aqua it too much aqua).  I'm a big fan of using walls for vertical storage to keep horizontal surfaces clear.  I hope that this helps her to keep her desktop clean and open and ready for work.

After I mounted all of the desk stuff, I found out that my hubby had bought a custom lattice-style memo board for the room at a craft festival.  He was so proud of himself because he NEVER buys decor (or anything really-  he is completely averse to shopping).  I'm thinking we might put that on her closet door since the desk area is full.  Funny story - the craft festival was in North Carolina - my inlaws live there - and when my husband inquired about the color choices, he was informed that (cue pretty southern accent), "his daughter might like this seafoam green and they also have a very nice Richard Petty blue."  Huh?  I've heard of a lot of varieties of names for different hues of blues, but never a "Richard Petty" blue.  Apparently that's a race car driver's signature color?  Can you tell we are not race car fans?  Does one call oneself a race car fan?

Moving to the other side of the room, we kept her 9 x 9 storage cube and swapped out the pink bins for blues, greens, and purple.  She originally had a 3-shelf bookshelf, which was woefully inadequate to hold all of her books, so we swapped it out for a tall bookcase.  We modpodged scrapbook paper onto the back of each shelf to give it some personality.  The books case is large enough to hold lots of books and her American Girl dolls.  Yay - they don't have to live on the floor any more!  I swagged the name banner that I made for her birthday party from curtain to curtain - it adds a nice touch.

Above the cube is a peacock painting we stumbled across at Ross - love it!  And for only $7!  Next to the 9 x 9 cube, we put her teal saucer chair and a little aqua storage ottoman - both from Target.  The ottoman is just big enough to hold a fleecy throw.  With a little lamp on the adjacent shelf, she now has a cozy reading nook to curl up in.

At right angles to the reading nook is her closet and then a little alcove just the right size for her dresser.  We mounted a thrift store mirror that was originally an awful pink and gold color - with a coat of glossy white spray paint, it's perfect in this space.  And then - the piece de resistance...  the custom accessory organizer.  It's made from a thrifted calendar holder.  I removed the back and sanded it down and then stapled chicken wire to the frame.  Next came a coat of primer and some lime spray paint, followed by affixing some cotton batting around the back to prevent the chicken wire from scratching the wall.  After that, I attached the lavender ribbon and screwed little cup hooks around the edge.  I am so happy with this piece.  It's fun and functional.  My tween can now see all of her accessories at a glance.  They are in one central location and are not occupying any horizontal space.  Clips are attached to a ribbon knotted through the wire.  Headbands are tucked into the wire openings.  Necklaces and bracelets dangle from the hooks.  Tiny items are corralled into a hanging bucket.  And pony tail elastics are color coded and loaded onto shower curtain rings suspended from hooks.  This project was worth every ounce of sweat.  If I ever make one again, I will remember that it's easier to snip chicken wire with scissors than wire cutters and it's easier to install screw hooks if you drill a little hole 1st (yes, I am that clueless about hardware) and I will try to find a frame with wider edges so there is more space for stapling.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Skylanders Party Planning - Part 7, THE PARTY!

At long last – I present to you... the summary of our Skylanders party. 

Yes, it has been over two months since said party took place, but better late than never, eh?

The activities went over really well.  The kids loved moving from station to station and acquiring crystals and gems to fill their customized pouches (tutorials on how to sew them and stencil them with fabric paint here).

The archery targets looked great and the flame arrows were really fun as well. 

Next time I would trim the flames down a bit to make it easier to nock the arrows.

The treasure hunt to find the treasure rocks went well.  And I was really pleased with how the treasure rocks turned out.  I used this tutorial:  Treasure Rocks.

The kids loved the ice orb smash and the tongue grabber game.

The wall of streamers was meh.  I ran out of time and wasn't able to put up as much as I wanted.  If it had been finished, I think it would have been fab.  Even incomplete, it added a nice pop to the yard.

I was very pleased with the rest of the d├ęcor. 

Streamers behind the food table provided a colorful focal point.

I was happy with my goofy centerpieces.  I used my elixir bottles and filled them with colorful beads for ballast.

I have to say that tissue tassels are definitely my new favorite thing.  After the party, I snipped the tassels off of the string, sorted by color, strung them on pipe cleaners, and hung them in the craft room to use for another time.
Sadly, the portal punch was a fail – I forgot that the pumpkin lights really only work in the dark.  Boo.  But the punch was good and the portal cardboard surround I made had a strong presence on the table.

We had too much food, as usual, but I don’t care – I love having the variety available.  Pizza, chips, water melon, and pineapple for lunch. 

The sweets table turned out really well, although we did end up moving it indoors to escape the oppressive humidity and voracious mosquitoes.  We made marshmallow pops dipped in pop rocks.  I displayed them in a diner-style shaker filled with pom-poms.

We also had chocolate dipped pretzels, a mini-cake with a simple buttercream stripe pattern topped with the logo on strwas, cupcakes with character and logo toppers, and my personal favorite - the Chompie Truffles.  I thought the red fangs made from candy cane jimmies (sorry – showing my Delaware roots – jimmies are sprinkles) were fun.

I was also excited to serve pre-scooped ice cream.  I bought mini-mason jars and put a scoop of vanilla bean in each the night before.  It was so easy to pull them out and stack them up on the sweets table.  I have a thing about sticky hands and drippy sticky containers, so I will be doing this from now on.  This little step easily reduced my stress level by several clicks.

For favors, we gave out silver take-out treat boxes.

They were filled with the same red and gold cello used for the flame arrows, which was very frugal of me, I think.

Inside we put:
Trigger Happy Chocolate Coins

Double Trouble Gumball Orbs (still leftover from Easter - will we never be done with these freaking gumballs?!?)

 Pop Fizz Pop Rocks (Dollar Tree)

 Zap's Sea Slime (Target Dollar Section)

 And Hex's Bone Erasers (no pic of those, unfortunately.  They were in the Target Dollar section with the grilling-themed stuff.)