Update your child's room with these playful projects.
Finally, a place for the contents of goody bags from parties past! Fill a glass lamp base ($99; lampsplus.com) with bouncy balls, toy cars, Legos, or small plastic animals. Bonus: You'll never have to step on those !&?#$ things again.
Chances are you have a stuffed animal that hasn't gotten some love in a while, so give it a new job -- as a doorstop! Any large, flat-bottomed cuddly toy will work.
What you'll need: Large stuffed animal, dry rice, seam ripper, needle, and thread.
- Open stitches along a bottom seam and gently pull stuffing out.
- Replace stuffing with dry rice until toy regains its shape.
- To reseal, double up thread and close hole with a whipstitch. If you're worried about leakage, go over seam again with a second line of stitching.
There will be more brushing and less whining, thanks to this easy project inspired by our friends at our sister magazine Family Fun. Use a craft knife to cut square holes (big enough to fit the bottom of a toothbrush handle) into a hollow plastic dinosaur. Let Mom or Dad wield the knife.
Remove the wheels and hardware from an old skateboard, then mount it on basic shelf brackets ($4 each; IKEA stores) to create a totally rad space for all of your kid's odds and ends.
A coat of paint turns plastic animals and wooden blocks into bright bookends. We used Learning Resources' Jumbo Jungle Animals ($30 for a set of five; learningresources.com).
What you'll need: Large plastic animals (Learning Resources Jumbo Jungle Animals/Jumbo Dinosaurs, $30 for set of five; learningresources.com), 4x4s cut to size (the ones shown are 81/2" long), sandpaper (100 grit), drop cloth, spray-on primer suitable for plastic, spray paint (gloss finish), and superglue.
- Sand ends of 4x4s to smooth.
- Using the spray-on primer suitable for plastic and following instructions on the can, prime plastic animals and 4x4s. Take extra care with animals; their shape makes it very easy to miss spots. Let dry completely.
- Using spray paint as instructed, paint plastic animals and 4x4s. More than one coat will be needed. Let dry thoroughly.
- Use superglue on feet or body parts that will touch wood and place animal on top of 4x4. Let dry overnight.
Attach that little-used xylophone to the wall with screw-in eye hooks. It makes organizing your daughter's jewelry child's play.