Thursday, February 28, 2013


I originally hung up all of our Christmas cards on this door, then decided it would make a perfect place to hang the kids artwork after I took them down.  It's about as simple as it gets.  Twine wrapped around a door and clothes pins to attach the artwork.  Done.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Simple wooden growth chart

A growth chart.  This is something that will be so fun to look at 20 years from now.  My sister Brittney made a vinyl growth chart for me a couple Christmas's ago, but unfortunately the vinyl does not seem to be surviving in a home with 4 little boys.  But the kids have had so much fun standing up to it every so often, measuring themselves to see how much they've grown, so I knew we needed one that could withstand the test of time.

This wooden growth chart proved to be a very simple and quick project.  If I had made it 6 years ago, I probably would have sanded it down, used stencils for the lines and numbers, painted slowly and carefully, and stained it.  Maybe I would have even added some kind of mounting device to the back so it could be attached to a wall.  But times have changed, and it can be a challenge to set aside even an hour to work on a project.  So don't look too closely at my crooked lines and hand-painted numbers.

I bought this piece of wood at Lowe's and had someone cut it there to 6 1/2 feet.  Then I did all of my measurements in pencil (this was the most time consuming part) and used my transfer paper technique to draw on the numbers.  Then I went over everything with black paint and called it good.  I guess I went for the natural look, didn't bother sanding it or staining it.  But I quite like how it turned out.

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I love the knots in the wood.  I intentionally chose a piece of wood that had them.

All ready to measure these fast-growing kids!  I'm planning on measuring everyone on their birthdays each year.  That way we can compare everyone's height by age.  Now I just need to find a good way to mark their height... markers? paint? wood burning?... I might need to experiment a bit.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

PVC Builders Kit

It's been way too long since I've posted anything on this blog, but I have so many ideas and thoughts I have been wanting to share!  Life got busy, and still is, but I'm going to attempt to share more often.

We had a very fun holiday season.  We went to Utah for the first week of December, but spent the rest of the holiday alone with our little family.  One new tradition we started was to have all the kids draw names and make gifts for each other.  John, Dan and Joe played an active role in making something for their secret person, but Will's project was pretty much all me.  There's not too much a 9-month old can do.  Will ended up with John's name, so I decided to make him a Builder's Kit using PVC pipes.  It was very simple and took about an hour to complete.  I bought the pipes and a bunch of different connector pieces from Lowe's, then cut the pipes to varying lengths.  And that's it!  John gets to make whatever he wants with them.

I used an old pillowcase to make a drawstring bag to keep everything in.

The PVC pipe building didn't stop there.  I later used some to build an ice skating walker for the kids.  My mom helped me, and we came up with a design that works well and can double as a soccer goal in the summer (once I figure out a good way to attach a net to it).  They can hold onto it while they're learning to skate, which makes things a lot easier when we take all the kids.
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We most recently used the pipes to make a marble run.  This was Joe's idea, and everyone loved it.

John wanted to make crutches to go along with Dan's Doctor kit.  A little slippery on wood and cement, but work great on carpet.

One of my favorite projects with pipes were the bows we made last summer.  The kids loved running around with them playing war and hunting for animals.  Really, the uses of these pipes are endless!

Have you tried building anything with PVC pipes?
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