Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting Crafty: Labels for the baby's room

Back in November, I posted about my obsession with magazines.  I think I've probably subscribed to about 6 or 7  more since then (for pennies of course).  I'm fully aware that my time to leisurely read a magazine is coming to an end, but I plan to enjoy my time with them until my upcoming schedule of "up at all hours of the night" prevents me from enjoying them in the same way.  Last week, with my ankles propped up (due to the swelling), I was leafing through one of my magazines and saw an idea for labeling kitchen containers with vinyl chalkboard labels.  If you've been reading the blog, you know I like to organize and then reorganize my organization ; )  I had already been thinking about the best way to organize the baby's room and how we could  make it quick, easy and changeable for when our needs change.  As much planning as I might do in advance, I realize that it might all need to change once he gets here.  But, I have a plan for that!  Changeable/removable labels!

So here's the "inspiration idea":
When I looked up online how much these suckers were - I was like... "Um, No.  For 12 labels, I'll keep my $35 and find a cheaper way to make them myself".  2 trips later to Michael's and AC Moore - and I had it!  Check out my supplies below:

I found brown chalkboard paint on clearance for 3 bucks (it's the color I wanted - we're doing green, white and brown as the primary colors in the nursery), label punch (used a 50% off coupon for this sucker and got it for $7.50), 5 square sheets of pink polka dot vinyl wall stickers on clearance for $5 bucks (I knew I was going to paint over it anyway - so who cares about the color it started with!) and finally a box of chalk (used a 25% off coupon and got it for $1.50).  Not pictured is a foam paint brush that I already had at home.

First step was to paint 1 of the 5 squares of polka-dot vinyl wall stickers with 3 coats of chalkboard paint.  Below is what 1 coat looked like.  It's important to let it fully dry between each coat.  I gave mine 12 hours between each coat.
Then, after the 3rd coat was applied, I let it dry for a full 24 hours.  Then I needed to "set" the paint with chalk.  I took 1 piece of chalk and rubbed it across the vinyl square in both directions to get a good coating.  Then dusted off the excess chalk with a paper towel.

Next up, I cut out my labels using my label punch.  I was able to get 25 labels out of 1 sheet of vinyl!  Let me remind you, it was $35 for 12 online ; )  So I essentially could make 125 labels out of the supplies I bought ($17 total) if I wanted to - but for now, 25 should do me and I'll save the supplies for another project.
After I was done cutting out all the labels, it was time to give it a whirl.  We're not sure exactly how we're going to organize the dresser drawers.  We have a dresser that Ryan refinished for us that has 9 drawers in it (bought it at goodwill for $20 bucks and he rebuilt the drawers to make sure everything was like brand new.  I'll post pics, but unfortunately, I don't have before pics).  I wanted to make sure to label each drawer with sizes or type of clothing so we know what we're reaching for and where to put things away with all the laundry we're surely going to be doing.  So this is just an example of the labels stuck on our dining room wall (and yes, they came on and off the wall with no problem and no damage!)
The only disappointing thing was that it was really hard to write with a flat edge piece of chalk on the labels.  I said to Ryan last night "I need something like a chalk pen".  Well, a short google search later - and I now know what I'm going to get at the store the next time we are there.. a chalk pen!  Who knew they actually made these things!?!

All in all, a very easy project that could be done on a much larger scale if needed.  I'm quite pleased with my savings.  $17 in supplies for up to 125 labels vs. the $35 for 12 that I found online (and those were black - ick!)  More crafty projects to come - our kitchen table looks like a craft table at the moment and our living room has becoming our temporary dining room ; )

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