how one crafting project destroyed my spirit, tested my strength and made me feel completely inadequate

This is the story about a mom that desperately wanted to create a simple little project for her daughter’s nursery:  toy crates on casters with a cushioned seat on top.

It didn’t seem too hard. Maybe max a day to complete the project but after a couple trips to Home Depot, I quickly realized maybe I bit off more than I could chew.

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The box itself was simple enough to put together. I purchased it from Ikea and stained it in Miniwax’s Simple Walnut (my new favorite stain with a heavy presence in new baby’s room). Adding casters was easy. What seemed like 480 screws later, I had completed the base and it could function as a toy box.

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I wanted to create a cushioned seat that could be removed (I later realized a little hatch system would take this to the next level but honestly, I can’t even right now). I measured the inside of the box so it would fit snugly inside and the outside/top for the cushion piece. I picked up some inexpensive MDF and plywood to construct the seat part. Making the cuts was pretty easy. Home Depot won’t do exact cuts (and to be honest, they kind of jack up most of my cuts anyway) so I went over to my favorite garage workshop and used all their fancy cutting tools until I got the perfect pieces for my project. A little bit of wood glue to stick together the two and it was done. Seat base completed and ready for toys.

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disaster.

Now the challenging part. I didn’t think it would be super challenging but this is what truly tested my spirit and made me want to quit trying anything new in the future. I thought it was going to be super simple. I was going to buy some real cushy foam and just wrap the most gorgeous printed fabric around it and boom.. it’s a masterpiece. Nothing could go wrong. I picked up some awesome 2″ foam pieces from Hobby Lobby and went home to start on my project. Once I got the foam semi-securely on the board with spray glue, I started looking at my fabric. There was no chance in hell that this perfect fabric would work… I didn’t have enough for two. Cue pregnancy emotions… on the verge of tears. I thought okay… crafting is about adapting to each situation. I would use the pretty fabric in the middle and find another solution for the base. I wanted to see what it would look like completed so I wrapped it with another thing of fabric I had and realized omg… that looks terrible. Could it be too cushy? Yes, it could and it was. So now, on top of having to go buy more fabric, I had to buy more foam. Skinnier, less offensive foam.

Back to Hobby Lobby I went, pretty fabric in hand. I went through a bunch of options and finally settled on this bright orange that made everything pop in the pattern. I figured I would use that underneath and cut a section of the patterned fabric and sew it on top. That’s like basic sewing skills and would take seconds to whip up. I also bought some 1″ foam.

My MIL told me one of the keys to sewing is having an excellent iron and ironing board. I never realized that to be more true than on this project. Trying to measure out the fabric, create a clean, even line (with the silkiest, most temperamental fabric everrrr) took an embarrassing amount of time. I can’t even think of how many hours I poured into trying to secure this patterned fabric to some basic fabric but I can tell you Erin left, played a soccer game, came home and watched a couple episodes of DDD and I was still working on this project.

Once I finally sewed the fabrics together, I reached for the staple gun. Unfortunately it was puckering everywhere but I just rolled with the punches and pretended like it was intentional. No seriously, at this point I was talking to myself and had a heart-to-heart outloud in my bedroom. “It’s okay Audrey… no one will notice… plus don’t you think it gives it more of a boho flair??… yeah totally”. When finished I had all this extra fabric hanging everywhere, not allowing it to fit securely in the crate. At this point I wanted to say EFF IT and throw the whole thing in the trash. I took a massive deep breath, drank some water and reevaluated. I could do this.

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If at first you don’t succeed… reach for a glue gun. I grabbed some scissors and started hacking away at the extra pieces. Since I stapled every 2-3 inches, there was a gap in between where the fabric was just a mess. I put some glue in the crack and sealed it all up. Eureka! I think we’ve got it. I literally beamed with delight as it was almost midnight and I think I was just a little delirious. I kept bothering Erin (who had already gotten wrapped up in blankets with a sleep mask on) forcing him to look at my progress.

I went back into the nursery, placed the top on the crate and basked at the glory of the finished product. It wasn’t perfect by any means but it was completed… and never again will I ever attempt to make a toy crate on casters with a cushioned seat on top.

Enjoy new baby. Enjoy.

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4 thoughts on “how one crafting project destroyed my spirit, tested my strength and made me feel completely inadequate

  1. akw62307 says:

    It turned out cute! I totally understand what you went through to get the end product. I love craft stuff but at the same time it makes me angry periodically!

    PS – Palmer is getting so big! 🙂

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