Giving old toys new life.

Today I’m participating in a series called Die Ugly Toys Die, thought up by the amazing Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone.


The concept behind it is taking toys that you would normally throw out and transforming them in to something cool and usable.  If you’ve been following the series on her blog you’ve seen some really cool DIY transformations so far.

Today I’m showing off what I do with toys that have reached the end of their life at my house…or have they?


Let me introduce you to Mr. G.I. Joe and his troop.
A toy staple in a boy’s toy collection.  I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with these plastic figurines.  They’ve entertained my boys for years but hot dang!  Have you ever stepped on one of these in the middle of the night? You would have thought you actually stepped on a grenade.  For being so small these things can do serious damage to the bottom of your foot.

I don’t have a hard time letting go of too many things but toys seem to be a challenge.  There are just so many sweet memories attached to them.  It’s not like getting rid of the toys will mean getting rid of the memories but it feels like that sometimes.

Instead, I like to turn retired toys in to art.


I took a glue gun to  a handful of these guys and glued them to a frame.  My oldest son may not play with GI Joe’s anymore but they look cool framed and hung on his wall.


And it doesn’t stop there…I’ve also hung and framed some old arrows.



As well as darts…


Then there was this vintage Printer’s Tray which I filled with tons of boyhood trinkets.

IMG_6286 with logo


Just because toys are old doesn’t mean they have to die…some of the time.
Sorry stuffed Elmo, you have to go.

Keep following the “Die Ugly Toys, Die” series on Stefanie’s blog Brooklyn Limestone.

Boy Bedroom Reveal.

It’s the oldest boy’s bedroom reveal day!
Let us all sigh a breath of relief.
I had this dream that my boys would grow up best of buddies, never fight, love sharing a room (obviously I have only-child-syndrome).
Ehem, I stand corrected.
Best to give them their own rooms.
Without further adieu…


I embarrassed to show that this is what we started with.
Kind of like that junk drawer everyone has but ours was a whole room.  (Please tell me we’re not the only one who had one of these).

Mid-process looked like this:


I fell in love with the gorgeous reclaimed New York brick from Brick-It but once we put it up but it just felt like too much going on and made the room feel too dark.  See previous post here.
So one coat of Silent White by Clark + Kensington later…

Today’s view:



(Yes that is the “BANE-OF-MY-EXISTENCE-METAL-DRESSER”…well sort of.  I’m actually still working on it.  I found another one that was slightly bigger and thought…”Meh, why not really try and kill myself and tackle another one?”  That was a train wreck so I sent it off to a miracle worker named Amy of Distressed By Design who sanded it down BY HAND to reveal the beauty under the paint.  I’m just about ready to send the first one off to her next.  More about her soon).

The wall opposite had not been painted in at least 10 years.


Up went some planks, on went some paint and down came that 1970’s light.



Then there was the issue of this wall.  The room is long and narrow.  The boy wanted to whole room to be painted blue.  I tried to explain to him about being too dark and lighting so in the end we compromised on just one wall.


After the wall was painted it was definitely blue…A LOT OF BLUE (Blue Fedora by Valspar).
In attempt to break things up and add some personality I was inspired by this room and decided to try out my hand at a similar treatment.

IMG_7154 graffiti

Now I have to admit I’m no artist.  My ability is limited to stick figures and things I can draw with a ruler.  No problem.  I downloaded a ton of images from Etsy and my new favorite site for images and fonts called Creative Market (you can see the images on my Pinterest page).  Next I pulled out my trusty overhead projector , shot them on to the wall and traced them with a paint pen.






This nook was so akward.  Putting corner shelves in was the best move ever.








I’m in love with the new bedding especially the wool blanket from Faribault Woolen Mills.  My dad used to have several of these heavy wool blankets.  When he moved I urged him to sell them at our garage sale.  I now cringe that they’re gone.  Oh the follies of youth.






Bed: Vintage, painted two-tone Smoke Gray, Oil-based by Rustoleum from ACE Hardware.
Stripe sheets: West Elm.
Gray sheets: Ikea
Yellow and gray wool stripe blanket: Faribault Woolen Mills.
Pillow: Etsy.
White paint: Silent White, Clark + Kensington, ACE Hardware.
Blue wall: Blue Fedora, Valspar, ACE Hardware.
Bedside wall light: School House Electric.
Ceiling Light: School House Electric.
Brick Wall: Brick-It.
Pull down Map and Blue Stool: School auction on Public Surplus.
Radio on shelf: Dot&Bo.
Wall clock: Alice Lane.
Wall hooks: Pottery Barn.
Joshua tree art: Joss & Main.
Wall planks and shelves built and installed by Springer Builders found on HomeAdvisor.

Corner shelf tutorial here.
Plank wall post.
Brick wall post.

More on the room here:

*Some affiliate links present.  I received some items for use in this post.*

2015 Family Reunion.

Where has the summer gone?
I blinked and we were in July.
We’ve been keeping crazy busy and sad to see summer go by so quickly.
A few weeks ago we met at the Warm Springs retreat in Hanna, UT for our 2015 family reunion.
It was the same place we met for our 2012 family reunion but this time it was immediate and extended family…aunts, uncles and tons of 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins.
Each family was assigned an activity at a certain time of day. It was like the Disneyland of camping. Aside from the river, playing in the spring, biking, basketball and volleyball, family members each planned activities for everyone to include elaborate treasure hunts, relay races, human inflatable balls, laser tag, learning Polynesian dancing, crafts, outdoor movies…best camping trip I’ve ever been on (except for the cotton trees shedding).

My very talented sister-in-law put together this video of our reunion:

2012 Reunion: