Posts Tagged ‘nursery’

Emma’s Room

Back in late February I was tidying up Emma’s room — which primarily involved finding better homes for several stacks of clothes that don’t fit her anymore and were sitting on top of the bookshelf — when I realized that I never posted photos of her room as a whole. There have certainly been a lot of glimpses here and there, but I always intended to do a full run-down of all the neat things in there. Since she’s now a whole lot closer to 2 years old than newborn, and her room will probably start to evolve away from being so “baby” in the near future, I wanted to document it before it’s gone!

We have a four-bedroom house and Emma has the “middle” of the three non-master bedrooms. (The smallest is our guest room, and the largest is our office/study. The square footage of Emma’s room is actually the same as the office, but the office has a higher ceiling.) Her door opens into the hallway at an angle, which gives her room a sort of little “entryway.”


This is the view as you walk into her room! The walls used to be builder beige — just like every other room was at one point — and we decided to paint them light blue to fit with our very loose theme of “the sky/things that fly.” Jose replaced the original boob light with the ceiling fan a few months before she was born. It is really hard to find a ceiling fan that isn’t either really old-fashioned or way too modern, so we just went with a basic one from Lowe’s. It was a pain in the butt to install, but I’m glad we did it anyway.


The two big windows are great because they let in a lot of light during the day. We have faux wood blinds, which means the room never gets truly dark but fortunately, Emma has always slept just fine so we’ve never needed blackout shades. I made the curtains and although it took me over a year to actually finish them — and when I did, they turned out a lot flimsier than I had anticipated — they’re good enough for now. I do think I’ll replace them in the near future when we get to the point where this becomes a little girl room.

The glider came from Babies R Us and was a gift from my parents. At first, I wanted something that looked more like an armchair but that type was so much more expensive! I do have occasional thoughts of recovering the cushions with different fabric, but that’s pretty far down the list of priorities so I doubt it will ever happen — that’s why we got the neutral beige color. The quilt draped over the back is the triangle quilt I made for her 1st birthday.This little green table next to the glider came from World Market. It’s metal and I think is meant to be outside on a patio or deck, but it works just fine in here.


The floor lamp that sits between the glider and her crib came from Target, and I thought we would use it all the time — but when Emma was an infant, the light would shine directly into her eyes when in my lap, and now that she’s bigger, the small lamp on the dresser sheds enough light for reading books before bed. We so rarely turn on the floor lamp that I’m thinking of moving it upstairs to the bonus room where it would be more useful.


The clock hanging between the windows was made by my mother-in-law, who does a lot of ceramics. We found the unfinished piece at a local ceramics store when she was here for a visit early in my pregnancy, so she bought it, took it home, painted and fired it in her kiln.


I looked at a ton of cribs before Emma was born and ended up just going with a simple one from Walmart’s website (which they no longer appear to sell). I liked the style as much as anything else I saw, and it was a lot cheaper than most of the others. It came with the rail to turn it into a toddler bed when she’s ready, but it doesn’t convert to a full-size bed like many do. I was ok with that, since I figured we’d probably just buy a new bed anyway when she’s ready for a twin or full.


The wall decals over Emma’s crib came from this Etsy shop. I actually ordered the airplane and clouds first, and then ordered the name portion after Emma arrived since we didn’t finalize her name until right towards the end of my pregnancy. I made the crib skirt using the same fabrics I used on the curtains.


The bland beige carpet came with the house (and will someday be replaced) but I ordered the area rug from a Zulily sale — and then they emailed after the fact to say oops, it was sold out! I ended up finding it online at RugStudio, although it was backordered there as well. It took several months but finally arrived in September, when Emma was about a month old.


We looked at several different stores (some baby, some not) for a dresser and eventually picked one from Babies R Us that I can’t find on their website anymore. For now, it doubles as a changing table — which, for the record, I think is TOTALLY the way to go (vs. buying an actual changing table). The table lamp came from Target, as did the diaper basket I think, which was a gift from my mom. The moon nightlight was a gift from Erin and although we didn’t use it for a long time, Emma has recently discovered it and loves to point it out and watch it change colors. I will probably move it to her bookcase, where she’ll be able to reach it herself.


The hot air balloon mobile in the corner was a gift from Becca and Byron and Emma likes to point at her “ba-oos.” Above the dresser, I put together a gallery wall and I LOVE it — although lately, we have had a couple issues with Emma kicking the bottom photos and them falling, so I need to either secure them better or take the bottom row down for now. (I also need to replace a few of the photos with more current ones!) The white frame at the top has Emma’s birth announcement, and the long frame with three photos has one of me as a kid, Emma as a baby, and Jose as a kid. I also have a couple photos of Jose and me, which might seem weird, but Emma likes to point at them and say “mama dada.”

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The three non-photos are all pretty awesome. I bought the print from this Etsy shop — the quote says “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night” and it’s from a poem about an astronomer. The larger of the two cross-stitched pieces is the first stanza of “Hey Diddle Diddle” and the smaller piece has the poem about little girls being made of sugar and spice. Both pieces were done by my grandmother for ME when I was a baby — the dates on them are 1978 and 1979! It’s so cool that I’m now able to hang them in Emma’s room. (I reframed the larger one but the smaller one is untouched from when it hung in my parents’ house.)


Another special hand-me-down is this rocking horse that my grandfather made for me as a baby. Emma has only recently gotten big enough to climb on it by herself, so she pulls it out from time to time when we’re hanging out in her room.


The wall between the door and her closet is occupied by a bookcase and a couple floating shelves. The bookcase came from Ikea (in case that wasn’t already obvious) and the shelves from Lowe’s. The green bins (also Ikea) hold blocks and blankets and toys, and the top shelves are a mish mash of toys and books. This is probably ~50% of her book collection — the other half lives in a bookcase in our family room. The floating shelves are really for display more than anything, since she obviously won’t be able to reach them for quite a while, and they’re not sturdy enough to hold anything heavy like books anyway. The dolls were all mine as a kid.


This cross-stitch piece with Emma’s name and birthday was a gift from my cousin Casey, and the shadowbox is something I made a few months after Emma was born. It has her hospital bracelet and the knit hat — made by my grandmother — that she wore when she was a newborn. The little clay alien-in-a-diaper is a pin, one of many awesome pins Jose’s cousin Peggy made for my baby shower in Corpus Christi. On the left is one of the two mums I wore at that same baby shower. Peggy made this one too — she’s so creative!


The teddy bear on that shelf was MY teddy bear as a kid — and it’s wearing the birthday hat I made for Emma’s first birthday. The little silver cup is a keepsake I bought shortly after she was born…and of course you can spot the camera for the baby monitor. For a long time, we just sat the camera on the edge of the crib but once she was able to pull herself up, we moved it to this side of the room. The ribbon bulletin board is still full of cards from my baby showers and after Emma was born, although at some point I expect to start using this for Emma artwork and things like that.

So that’s it! Emma’s baby/toddler bedroom! It is definitely a fun place to be.

Baby Room Curtains

Back when I was still pregnant and starting to put together Emma’s room, I decided to make curtains. But much like the crib skirt that I started in July and didn’t finish until October, I started the curtains in July and didn’t finish until…last week. Yep, that’s 13 months to make 4 curtains, which seems ridiculous and I admit that it really is. But the full story is more complicated. See, I planned this project pretty thoroughly — I measured the windows and ceiling height, decided how much hem allowance to include, decided how to split the two-tone panels, and put all the numbers together to determine exactly how much fabric I needed. But I also wanted to keep things reasonably priced and that’s what turned out to be my major mistake…


The bottom line is that I went too cheap on fabric! The solid green fabric was cheap and therefore very thin — it puckered along every seam, and I never figured out a way to stop that from happening. In addition, I didn’t buy enough fabric — in my efforts to save money by minimizing the yardage needed for this project, I decided to make two curtains from a single piece off the bolt. In other words, the original fabric is 44 inches wide, so I decided to make two 20-inch wide from a single length. I could make 4 curtains from only 2 length of fabric which sounded great! But the thing about curtains is you generally want them to look nice and full. And with a piddly 20-inch width, it’s really hard to make that curtain bunch together and look full.


I made the first curtain back in the fall at the same time I was finishing the crib skirt, and was so disappointed in how it turned out that I never finished the other 3 panels. The lighter blue/green dotted fabric at the top (and that I used for the crib skirt) was great — it was a nice quilting cotton that had a little more weight to it and therefore both looks nicer and was easier to sew. The green solid was just toooo flimsy and cheap. For several months, Emma’s room had that single little curtain hanging from the rods. Sad. So last week I finally decided that since I still had the fabric and it had already been cut to size, I might as well finish. Four curtains, even if they’re kind of crappy, are still happier than just one.


So voila. Now you know the story of my sad, sad curtains. Sewing-wise this is a super easy project — but make sure you consider your fabric choice carefully!

Door Decor

One of the many (MANY) craft projects that’s been on my list for a while was some kind of cute door decoration for Emma’s room. This was pretty low priority and I wasn’t sure it would ever happen, but it turns out that Joann’s is running a contest via Facebook called “Create with 8” that challenges people to make something using 8 materials from a list of about 20 different items. Winners get a $250 gift card, which turned out to be just enough motivation for me to finally knock a door decoration off my list! Who knows if I’ll actually see anything, but either way, I get to enjoy my creation.


Since the whole idea was to use 8 materials from the list, I picked the 8 materials I thought would work best for what I had in mind (styrofoam, yarn, felt, buttons, scrapbook paper, ribbon, paint, and a wooden letter) and roamed the aisles at Joann’s with a general blue/green color scheme in mind. When I got home (I did this a couple Fridays ago when I had taken the day off work), I just pulled everything out of the bag and made the rest up as I went along.

I cut out the interior of a styrofoam disk to make a ring, then wrapped the ring in yarn. The yarn was just one skein that varied in color from white to yellow to green to blue — but when I started wrapping, I was surprised to see that it ended up making stripes around the outside. It was a neat and totally unintended effect.


The white background is a piece of felt, and I sewed a ring of buttons around the edge. I painted a wooden letter E, then backed it with two different sheets of scrapbook paper. After that, I just added a piece of ribbon and it was ready to hang on Emma’s door!

DIY Crib Skirt

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I went into labor with Emma on a Sunday — the exact Sunday, in fact, that I had planned on finishing up a couple projects for her nursery. I cut the fabric and made the bias tape for a crib skirt at the end of July. I finally sewed it together in October. And yes, I’m finally blogging about it in December!

Side panel

I found several good tutorials for making crib skirts, and chose to go with a pretty simple technique. Instead of making a full, four-sided skirt with a swath of unseen fabric in the middle that sits under the mattress, I “cheated.” My “crib skirt” is really three separate pieces — one for the front and one for each side. I didn’t make anything for the back, since the crib sits against the wall and you wouldn’t see it anyway.

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Each piece is attached with a combination of sew-in and self-adhesive velcro. The loop side of pieces of sew-in velcro is sewn to the fabric, while the hook side of pieces of the self-adhesive stuff is stuck to the crib. For the front, the hook pieces are stuck to the metal mattress springs and on the sides, the pieces are stuck to the wood. Since it’s on the inside where you’ll never see it, I wasn’t worried about leaving sticky residue on the wood.

Side and front panels

But the best part of making panels instead of a more “traditional way” crib skirt is that this one can be easily adjusted when we have to lower the crib mattress in the future! For the front panel, instead of having to re-hem the whole panel, I can just relocate the velcro so that more of the fabric is tucked under the mattress. The side panels can stay right where they are, since they’re attached to the crib frame itself. Clever!


I also taught myself how to make an inverted box pleat to add a little detail. There are two pleats on the front panel and one on each side panel. This technique was really easy — the most challenging part is just making sure to measure correctly. I made 2-inch pleats, which means adding 8 inches of fabric to whatever the desired finished length is.


Ta da! Even though it took me 6 months to finish this project, the true time spent was only a few hours. I loved the way it turned out and it makes Emma’s crib look so much cuter.

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