Anyone who knows me knows I love big bold pop art graphics. You can see just how much I love painting them from my umbrellas over at Nohwear. So I knew that whatever I did for the little bot’s room would be big, bold and fun. But what? At first, yes, I wanted to do a Discworld themed room, but it seemed too old for her. It seems something a 6 or 7 year old could appreciate more than a 2 or 3 year old and I’m thinking we’re going to be here for a while. The design of the Bot’s room started when I found this company Fabric On Demand. I had looked around at bedding for babies and hated most of what I saw. I’m stubborn and generally, I hate the idea of paying for anything I can do myself. We have had some severe kitty health problems this year. One of which we know won’t be with us much longer. Watching them play one day, I thought about how I hope to teach our little girl to love her kitties as much as we do. With that, combined with discovering the fabric company, the plan started to develop. Gizmo, our youngest kitty is constantly getting into trouble. And he’s always chasing the other two. And healthwise, he’s going to be the Bot’s best friend for a long time. One day he gave me the cutest look like the one that’s looking up inquisitively. From there I started making kitties in different troublemaker poses. After I had them all done I arranged them on the template I made for the sheets and used extra kitties to fill in the blank space of the fabric with the intention of using them for a mobile or something. I sent off the fabric design and waited the results.
The fabric arrived a bit later than anticipated. I wasn’t disappointed, just anxious, but they more than made up for it. Apparently they had a bad batch of fabric and had to re-run my design which caused the delay. I have to say, it makes me appreciate the quality control of the company and in full disclosure, they did make a blanket for me based on the design to make up for the delay completely surprising me by including it in my fabric shipment.
To make the fitted crib sheet I followed the instructions found here Bundles of Love. Note, our mattress is not very thick. When I made my sheets, they’re actually made for a thicker mattress. Our crib can change into a toddler bed and likely we’ll have to buy a thicker mattress down the road at some point. Because of this, I didn’t adjust for the thin mattress so I can continue to use them as long as possible. I did sew the corners using french seems. (Oooh lookit me learning new skills.) And I also used elastic around the entire edge of the sheet even though the instructions said use it only at the corner.
After I designed the sheets, Bob909 said he liked them so much we should do them on the walls. I looked at a number of graphics companies about having removable vinyl stickers made but the cost was just out of our budget. So painting them was my only option.
To make the stencils: I did an estimated measure of how big I wanted each cat based on where I wanted them placed. I took the illustrations from the sheets and scaled them up in Illustrator. Then I printed them out on multiple pages, taped the pages, cut them out, traced them on the wall then painted them.
I wanted some simple shelves on the walls for some little toys that we wanted in her room but not necessarily at reach. I found the shelves at Bed Bath & Beyond as a 4 pack. After they were hung we put up some special contents. The Gir I bought Bob909 back for our first X-mas. The Paddington Bear was his from childhood. (Incidentally, the light blue quilt hanging over the crib was his baby blanket too.) The Penguin was the stuffed animal I gave my mom in the hospital before she died. It was also present at our wedding. I wanted a place for her to watch over our girl. On the shelf on the other wall are 3 music boxes that I got as a girl from my Grandpa and mom.
This shadow box was a gift I made for Bob909 for Valentine’s day 2008. It says “I love you for the way you make my heart sing.” The words were printed on brown paper bag with black ink. The heart is made from some decorative paper I had laying around. I added some glow in the dark stars and put it all together. Up until now it’s been in the living room on top of a book case. I thought it would look really pretty in her room so in it went.
Bob909’s mom found us a swing at a church rummage sale. The colors were atrocious though (I’m not a fan of the dull earth-tone fad that has been so popular for baby stuff the last few years). So I ripped out all the seams of the swing seat cover, picked out some cute striped fabric. Traced the original fabric onto the new, cut it out and sewed it back together. In order to keep the seatbelt holes and such easily I simply reused the polyfill and backing materials. I’m most proud of my making the ruffle at the top since it was my first time doing that. And the ruffle was made using fabric that I use elsewhere in the room on boxes and for her hairclip frame.
The hairclip frame was made pretty simply. I got the frame at Ikea and took out the glass. I bought a roll of corkboard and spray glued it to the cardboard that came with the frame. Then I spray glued this fabric to the coarkboard. Now I will attach some ribbons to the board which I can attach her barrettes and such too.
This Ikea Expedit bookcase was the perfect size to fit under the window in her room. And the fact that Ikea’s storage boxes are so big and sturdy was the icing on the cake. However, I didn’t want to see all her toys and such so I decided to cover them with the same fabric I used on the hairclip frame. Escher, our oldest kitty, is sitting on the window seat, looking like she’s one of the toys. The bookcase on the right was some old thing I was given at some point, the finish on it was horrid. So Bob909 sanded it down and I painted it black. It’s just deep enough to hold some children’s books but it’s also perfect for little stuffed animals.
Here’s our changing area. Another Ikea Expedit, this time it’s the 2×2 which happened to fit snuggly between the bathroom and closet door. Above we’ve got another kitty and a mirror that I’ve had and loved for years. It’s cute to see it reflect the kitties on the opposite wall on it. And surprisingly, I didn’t make the changing pad cover. Bob909 picked it up and we’re going to go with it for now. (I’ll probably end up making one soon enough, we’ll see how my DIY energy holds up after the Bot is born.
Obviously you can see that all three kitties approve of the room and the work we did. Now we’re just waiting for our daughter to arrive and then we can see if the way we’ve set it all up works for us or not. I’m guessing there will be some changes, maybe some hooks for coats and thing on the doors or something. I need to pick up another box from Target for under the bed (where we’re keeping the bed clothes). Other than that, there’s only one thing I would change if I could. That’s put in a black or mirrored chandelier for lighting instead of the one we’ve got. But, since we’re renting, I’m not really interested in paying that much and figuring out how to rewire a very old room.
So now you can tell we’re 38 weeks and ready to go!