Friday, May 11, 2012

110 Playroom Progress: Great Crate Book Storage


Wahoo!  We checked another task of the playroom checklist!  It's getting closer and closer to being called donzo!  Well, as done as any room ever is... knowing me it will get it's share of little tweaks here and there, but the wish list for the room is slowly diminishing.

This week we tackled the book storage project. 

When it came to storing books in our playroom, I just had a few simple requirements... The books had to be easy to reach, easy to put away and in a safe location.

Awhile back I found a few unfinished wooden crates from JoAnn.  Since the hubs and I each had a coupon, we each scored one for just over $7 each.


We planned on using them on the floor of the pantry... but as I was trying to dream up some DIY book storage for the playroom... I kept finding myself coming back to the crate.

I had painted each crate white...


To create book storage for the playroom, all we would have to do is cut the crate right down the middle.  To do this, the hubs just used a table saw:


He cut the two handled sides first, then went right down the middle of the bottom second.


And we instantly had two pieces.  We could have used painters tape to ensure the wood wouldn't fray, but we didn't have any issues at all. 

Then, my Mr. just installed some simple wall hanging brackets to the edges of the crate.



I really really wanted to use the empty wall space next to the window, but I knew that would mean kids standing on the bench and pulling on the new book shelves.  So instead, I decided to balance out the entertainment center and put them right on the wall at kid level.



Because the bottom of the crates had slats, I just improvised and cut an extra school folder we had, to fit the bottom of the crate.


Anything could have worked, poster board, a placemat... whatever is clever!


We used drywall anchors to attached the shelves to ensure they are nice and strong and safe!



Super inexpensive and super sweet!

Still a few more items to finish up before I can call this room update complete:

  • Paint entertainment center
  • Update light fixture
  • Window treatment
  • Additional seating
  • Additional toy storage
  • A fun wall treatment
  • Photographs/Artwork 
  • Book storage 
  • Basket Labels

I have absolutely zero ideas for artwork and how to best fill that giant wall of trees on the opposite side of the room.... So time to start scouring the www for inspiration.  I have a feeling that the wall art is the piece of the playroom puzzle that will pull the whole room together!

110 comments:

  1. Have I told you that you're a genius yet today? ;) ♥

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    1. Thanks! You'd be surprised how often I hear that about me :)

      Delete
  2. Be still my book-lovin' heart! This is brilliant.

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  3. LOVE the crates...where'd you get ones like that..I usually can only find the ratty crappy

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    Replies
    1. Hello!
      The crates are from JoAnn's http://www.joann.com/wood-crate/xprd74816/

      ♥Emily

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  4. Wow that is such a good idea! I'm in the middle of organizing my kids' room so this would help a lot. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. What a cute, clever idea. I always have to be frugal in my decorating and I like that you're careful in your spending too. It goes to show you can have a great design and do it affordably!

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  6. I love it, they fit so perfectly there.

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  7. Oh my goodness, brilliant! I really love this idea.

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  8. Where did you get those pillows that are in the basket? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I was going to ask about the throw pillows too :-). Can you share the fabric source? I am working on my babies' nursery, and I think this fabric would coordinate perfectly!

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    2. Lauren and Heart and Haven, This is Lesley at ChaoticallyCreative.com I am not sure where Jen got the Fabric for the pillows or if she bought them already made but I have been planning on using it for my son's room. Here is an etsy shop link that sells it I hope this helps. http://www.etsy.com/listing/56636358/daydream-organic-cotton?ref=v1_other_1

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    3. Thanks friends! The fabric was found on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/swankyswell?ref=seller_info

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  9. You should do framed colored paper against the tree wall. Like red. With a white frame. It might look cool with something a little less busy.

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  10. Brilliant idea! So cute and functional.

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  11. Love this! I know that most of it is a little girly, but I just love the idea of Katie Daisy's artwork hanging in a playroom - http://www.etsy.com/shop/thewheatfield?ref=pr_shop_more

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    1. I agree - I love it all and I love the colors she uses! Thanks for the suggestion! <3

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  12. I would do an arrangement of empty white frames in various sizes. Get cheap highly carved ones at garage sales and paint them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have definitely pondered that idea! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  13. Cute! I have had my eye on these crates for awhile. I just haven't found the perfect thing for them yet. ;)

    Have a Happy Mother's Day!

    xoxo
    Kristin
    theocdlifestyle.blogspot.com

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  14. You've knocked another one out of the park! What a brilliant idea. I love this cheap & functional DIY project.

    Also, where did you move the cabinet door wall art projects that used to be under the playroom window?

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    Replies
    1. Right now they are leaning against a wall waiting to find a new home {since they don't fit where the bench landed}. I am either going to use them in the playroom again or move them to our hallway upstairs. I will be sure to update you when it happens. :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  15. Gorgeous playroom! I am totally playroom envy :)

    xo,
    Allison
    http://barretts1234.blogspot.com/

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  16. Little Pea!!! Hands down one of the best books ever, also check out the other two Little Hoot and Little Oink.

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    Replies
    1. I will have to do that. We love Little Pea, it has special meaning since I call my boys my little P's.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  17. Oh my, that's cute! I'll never look at wooden crates the same! :)

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  18. Love it! It might be cute to go with the woodland creature theme for your wall art since you already have some of those elements in the room. Maybe frame white silhouettes of critters on a green or blue backdrop? (kinda like the owl pillow you made)

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, that could be oh so adorable! Loving it! <3 Thanks so much for the idea!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  19. It looks so great! I love it. For art work maybe your boys can each draw a picture and you can mat and frame them. They would look so cute grouped together on one wall. Happy shopping! Have a great weekend! :)

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    1. I absolutely want to find a way to incorporate their masterpieces! :) Thanks so much for the suggestion.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. These could totally help you incorporate their art:

      http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Change-Artwork-Frame-Artwork/dp/B007FWIXYG/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1341941380&sr=8-10&keywords=frames+for+kids+artwork

      I love the acrylic ones, but they are a little more pricey:

      http://www.amazon.com/Art-Arcylic-Display-Frames-Square/dp/B005OKQ0IM/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1341941380&sr=8-8&keywords=frames+for+kids+artwork

      Delete
  20. I saw this the other day on Pinterest. It'd be cool to do but instead of photographs, you could display some of your sons' favorite artwork :)

    http://lilyandcompany.wordpress.com/2011/06/page/2/

    ~Jodi T.

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    Replies
    1. P.S. I'm referring to the old window frame ;)

      ~Jodi

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  21. where did you get the letters spelling out TOYS above the entertainment center?

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    Replies
    1. The letters were from JoAnn, the sunburst mirror was from a thrift store. You can find the details here on the blog: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/04/ha-i-labeled-wall-now-too.html

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  22. I have often wondered to myself why you did not do the tree stencil wall treatment to the wall where the window is for many reasons.

    Artwork will not look good on it, Period. It would have been easier to leave the window walls blank (no artwork) and save the back wall for an artwork/photo frame display. It also would have made that odd ledge blend into the rest of the wall.

    Now you're stuck and I am afraid everything you add to that accent wall is going to compete with it. It will be very interesting to see how you pull this off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very Rude .If you can't say something nice do not say anything at all.

      Delete
  23. I've been wanting to do a wall crate storage thing for our bedroom but haven't gotten around to it yet. This is certainly inspiring! You did such a great job, it looks fabulous.

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  24. What a fantastic idea! I might try it for diaper storage next to my changing dresser. I could later use them for books as you have. Did you see this somewhere or come up with it on your own?

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    Replies
    1. Totally on my own. I surprise myself sometimes! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  25. This room is looking really cool. I'm loving all the really cool and inexpensive storage ideas. I still think that chalkboard table is the BOMB! What happened to the kids' art gallery? Did you find a new place for it? Can that be incorporated on the tree wall or would that be too busy? Thanks for all the great inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Pamster!

      Right now they are leaning against a wall waiting to find a new home {since they don't fit where the bench landed}. I am either going to use them in the playroom again or move them to our hallway upstairs. I will be sure to update you when it happens. :)

      Delete
  26. So awesome, Jen!!

    Okay, about the artwork, this is what I would do:

    Get 1 medium sized tree trunk, (in my head I picture the same size diameter as the white ones on the wall) Cut it to fit perfectly from the bench to the ceiling.

    Cut it vertically down the center. This would create two pieces with flat backs.

    Secure the trees to the wall.

    Hang a wire, string, branches, etc. from tree to tree. Use clips to hang pictures and artwork.

    Carve your family initials in the tree.

    You could even hang frames from the tree.

    It would work well with the wood tones of the frames you put on the basket, I think it would be a nice slight rustic playful feel. The plus is you are not committed to any certain picture or artwork, it can always rotate.

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    Replies
    1. Oooooh- I was going to say something similar! Put family pictures on the tree wall. You know, FAMILY TREE!

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    2. Love love love! This will absolutely stay in the potential ideas column! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    3. So glad you like the idea, Jen!! PS: it was me who left the comment, I just wasn't logged in. I can't wait to see how this room turns out, I am SO in love with it thus far!! Have a great day! :)

      Delete
  27. Awesome! Your playroom is such an inspiration!

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  28. that is such a great idea! i love it!

    -Deborah, http://gardeniadreams.blogspot.com/

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  29. What a clever and beautiful way to store books... you're always such a source of inspiration! Thanks for sharing and God Bless!

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  30. I totally agree with my Co-Commentors :) You did a great job with the book crates and I love love love the idea!!

    oh and I really like this artwork display: http://cleanandscentsible.blogspot.de/2011/06/kids-art-display.html

    think it'd be great for a kids-playroom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is fantastic! We have a similar system and love it!

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  31. Jen, I'm curious...do you keep a rather large stash of container-type items somewhere? Many of your simpler projects (such as blueberry's new home-hurricane/tray/sugar dish) seem to be possible through the use of containers that you already have, but that aren't necessarily swiped from use in another part of your home. Is that accurate? If you do keep a stash, in what way do you accumulate those items? (garage sales, thrifting, stumbling upon a good sale or even a good splurge, do people even offer you things because they think you are just the person who could put it to good use?) In other words, do you tend to shop forward, knowing that something that you've found will someday, somehow be used? And finally, if you do, what sort of characteristics do you look for so that you know it will be useful at some point?

    Is this a better question for iHeart Answering? I wasn't sure since this question wasn't specific to me. It's just something I've been wondering.

    The playroom is looking beautiful! Can't wait to see more!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anita!

      I had originally purchased the sugar dish for some cotton pads in the bathroom and then found another dish at a thrift store that I liked more so I swapped it out. I typically have a one in, one out rule, but when it comes to storage, I do have a bin of items I can snag from. I rarely get rid of old storage, because it's often so versatile, I know I will find an other use for it some day. So if I see something amazing at a thrift store I may snatch it up. Storage items are one of the only types of items I let myself do this for since I can always use storage. It's a sickness.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  32. I love these! Never would have thought of doing it with crates....genius (:

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  33. I am in love with this room! I am currently in the process of making over my son's playroom and I am dying for an entertainment center like this one. Ideas on where to find one that isn't outrageously priced?!

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    Replies
    1. We found ours on Craigslist for a fabulous price! Hope that helps!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. HA! I am doing the same thing right now! searching on craigslist for that one piece for our game room!

      Delete
  34. Your brain is so full of awesome ideas, it's amazing what you can come up with!

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  35. Great Idea! Also, The little Pea is my FAVORITE kids book ever. So adorable and clever..

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  36. What a great idea and I finally moved to a city where I am close to a JoAnnes!

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  37. What a clever idea!! And hooray for JoAnn coupons.

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  38. Hi Jen! Adorable and creative storage - Love it. I just had a thought for your art dilemma. I have been socking away the dust jackets that come on some of our favorite hardcover books. in the past I would just toss them in the trash, because we always ended up tearing them and then it was just a mess. but then one day I looked at my little pile, and thought - holy cow. These would make perfect additions to our walls slip them in a frame with a mat, or even hang them from clipboards - free art! And it's book- related. yay! So, I haven't gotten around to putting mine up yet, but I bet you would do a bang up job. ;-) Love your blog!

    Anne
    becausehomeshouldbegreat.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Such a super smart and super lovely idea! I adore it!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  39. gosh! looks so lovely! I love it!

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  40. Why don't you paint magnetic paint on the wall and literally make a map puzzle for that big blank wall? It is where each state is it's own puzzle piece.... so cute. I saw it on Pinterest and want to do it myself!!

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, that wouldn't work on our stencil wall, but I am stashing away the idea for the future! So smart!

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  41. Great idea!!!
    I have seen the ikea herb racks used as a book holders but your creation is alot deep and looks a whole lot more solid!! Ohh and nicer!!

    http://simpleas124.blogspot.com.au/

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  42. Smart thinking!

    Just a word about how to maximize Joann coupons: Joann has its newspaper coupons, its emailed coupons and its flyer coupons. If you have one from each of those sources, you can use one of each in a single transaction for a total of three coupons. The key is to double check that the bar code numbers are unique which is not hard to check. It won't work to print the same coupon three times from one source (ie. don't take your email coupon and print it three times) or try to use two of the same coupon from your newspaper and your neighbor's.

    I hope that makes sense. It's always nice to save money when possible.

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    Replies
    1. Great to know! Thanks for the tip!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  43. These are awesome! I was wondering where the pillows came from? The ones in the basket under the book crates? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah!

      I found the fabric here on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/swankyswell?ref=seller_info

      My girl Amanda from Our Humble A{bowe}d sewed them up for me. :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  44. Great idea ! I love those crates. For artwork, why not using some of your sons' drawings ? It looks nice and would probably make them happy. Thanks for sharing all your ideas with your readers !

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    Replies
    1. I absolutely want to find a way to incorporate their masterpieces! :) Thanks so much for the suggestion.

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  45. I just stumbled upon your blog the other day and I just can't get enough! You are simply brilliant. Thanks for sharing your talent! My house will benefit!

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  46. Don't you just love checking things off that list?! So fun to vicariously do it with you! Ha! Thanks for sharing great ideas!

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  47. I love what you did with the crates -- great idea! A mom could always use more storage!

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  48. Love this idea-it's so simple and adorable! Definitely keeping for future use, thanks for sharing!

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  49. Such a smart idea! As far as the artwork is concerned, have you thought about framing your kids' masterpieces? Would add a playful kid-friendly touch and they would be so proud! You could also get multiple prints made of the same design on different shades/contrasts. Just a thought!

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    Replies
    1. I absolutely want to find a way to incorporate their masterpieces! :) Thanks so much for the suggestion.

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  50. What a great idea! I love your playroom... We are moving to a new house soon where we will actually be able to have a playroom. I'm taking notes!!!

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  51. Jen, I love your blog.You are one lucky women to have a husband who will help you like he does. My husband would never do that. God bless him.Does he have a brother? Keep up the Great work.

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    Replies
    1. I totally giggled out loud. No brothers ;) And I couldn't agree with you more, I am a very lucky lady!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  52. I have been following your blog for a few months now but hands down this is my favorite project! What a great idea, and something I would have never thought of myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  53. I love this idea!! It is so simple, and looks great!

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  54. This is just beautiful! Especially the ceramic egg tray. I saw the tray online a few weeks ago and died over it but I had no idea what to use it for other than eggs. Thanks for the lovely photos!

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  55. Oh my goodness, those are adorable! Hmmm...may be perfect timing for me, as well, since we're moving this week :-)

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  56. Hey Jen, How about looking into using your kids hands to create wall art. There are a lot of cute finds on Pinterest and I have LOVED doing these projects for my home with my boys...they also make cute inexpensive gifts for family! Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Such a sweet idea! Thanks for the suggestion, I will absolutely keep that in mind.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  57. Love this idea! Might have to borrow it for my son's big boy bedroom :o)

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  58. I LOVE it!!! I just moved into a house and am having a hard time deciding what to do with the boys playroom! Thanks for all the great ideas!

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  59. I have been trying to come up with an idea for this very same thing, and you've totally saved the day! I was wanting some Ikea shelves but since I live no where near an Ikea, that was never going to happen. Assuming I can get my hubby to pull this little project off-it's a perfect solution! Awesome idea!

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  60. Thank you for this idea! I've been wanting to use the IKEA spice racks in a similar way on a small wall in the kids' room, but they're not selling them the last couple times I've checked! this is a great alternative :)

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  61. I love your site and I get great tips from you! As for art I found a set of colorful alphabet stickers on 4 12x12 sheets on clearance at our local grocery store. I bought 4 cheap frames from hobby lobby and spray painted them red for a fun pop of color, and instant art!

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  62. What an insanely smart idea! We are in the process of updating our daughter's bedroom and I wanted to do some sort of "bookshelf" like this. This may just be the winner! I love it!

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  63. Going to tackle these this weekend. Did you spray paint them or hand paint them?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Meg!
      I used a paint with a built in primer and did it by hand. However, I am guessing you could get away with spraying them :)

      Good luck with your project!
      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  64. Hi! I have been wanting to make these for a while and I finally did! Where did you find the brackets to hang them? I am having a hard time finding something like that.
    Thanks!!
    Janelle

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  65. Hi Janelle!

    We found them at Home Depot, but I am guessing any home improvement store would carry them.

    Thank you!
    Jen

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  66. Great idea!! Just wondering - is that a copy of "No David" I see among the books? Love, love, love that book! And BTW, is there anything more fun than shopping for kids' books?

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  67. Hi, I am wondering where you got the hanging brackets for the shelves. I went to home depot and couldn't find any and the sales people looked at me like I was crazy when I showed them the photo of the brackets! I also wonder how well the brackets have held up to carrying the weight of the shelves and books. Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks and great idea. I am trying to make these for my daughter's room that she will soon be sharing with her new sister! We need storage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Marimar!

      I believe we found them at a local Home Improvement store, however, which exact one I don't recall {we frequent Ace Hardware and Home Depot most frequently}. They have held up remarkably well! Fingers crossed you can hunt some down! Best of luck to you!

      Delete

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