Doll Closet DIY Reblog

bearhaven:

This week, instead of showing something I did around the house, I thought it might be time to reblog one of my most popular posts on how to build an inexpensive doll closet!

Originally posted on Bear Haven Mama's Tales:

Sophia’s 18 Inch Doll clothing available at Bear Haven Boutique

Does your daughter have an American Girl Doll (or similar 18 inch doll) or possibly Barbie Dolls or Stuff a Plush with lots of clothes and accessories, but you have no way of keeping it organized? Well I am here to help! I am going to guide you in creating a doll closet for storing all her doll or bear clothes, shoes, and accessories. And it uses somethings you may already have or can get pretty cheap!

First, you want to find a two shelf bookshelf.  You can find them for less than $20 usually in stores. For aesthetics, you want one with a back on it, and if you want it to match your daughter’s room or playroom, you can either find one in a matching color or paint it. Your choice. So assemble the bookshelf…

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Beat the Winter Blahs with an Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub!

I have been under the weather for the past few days, so I am just feeling kind of blah. Because I have been abusing the hand sanitizer to keep from spreading germs, my hands are really dry, so I thought it might be a good time to make this really easy homemade sugar scrub!

Here is what you need:

1/4 cup Olive Oil. I used extra virgin so my scrub is a little on the green side

1/2 cup sugar

4-5 drops essential oil (optional). I used Eucalyptus oil because it was handy, and I have a cold.

Pour the sugar into a bowl, add the Olive Oil and mix. Then add the essential oil. It feels so good. Your hands and other dry parts will thank you!

Here is what mine looks like, it is not pretty, but it works. It also makes a great gift. All you need is some ribbon and empty baby food jars!

easy homemade sugar scrub

Wine rack Re-purpose

As much as I love a glass of wine now and then, I don’t usually have the opportunity to use my wine rack for the purpose of entertaining as much as I would like. We also have been needing a bit more counter space, so I thought it might be fun to use it for my morning coffee. It also made a nice display for my mommy friends when we had our holiday party this past weekend.

Here it is:

coffee bar

coffee bar2

The nice thing about this particular wine rack is that I can still store my wine bottles for a grown up evening. I also have enough room for coffee mugs as well. I can now have my coffee maker, latte maker, syrups, teas, cocoas, and everything all in one place. If you would like to have a coffee bar, you could also use a simple buffet table or re-purpose an old dresser.

So what kinds of DIY projects are you working on this week?

Building a Fort with your Kids

By Stefanie Slater, Bear Haven Mama Contributor

   The weather dropping to 12 degrees the other day was not my choice of weather. After living on the east coast in Maryland my entire life, I do look forward to the seasons changing. However, I do prefer Spring, Summer, and Fall. Winter is a fun time though, especially when we get snow. However, there is a mild winter and then there are the days that just get downright bitter cold. Those days started off this week, and all I can say is brrrrr!

The usual routine after my picking up my daughter from school would be to let them burn off some of their energy and play outside. When it is below 20 degrees and having a hat, gloves, and a scarf on with a coat is not keeping you warm…..it is time to head inside. This is one of those day to come up with something fun to do inside.

When I was a child, we put our heads together and would come up with the coolest fort ever! You know what I mean. The couch was involved as well as the closest chair or recliner. After throwing the blanket over the chair and pulling across to stuff between the cushions of the couch, you have a fort. So, a fort is what we make in the living room, and the kids “camp out” eating snacks and watching television. Who said we cannot camp out indoors? We are all for it, well at least the kids are. By the time you put the fort up it is nearly impossible for me to fit under the blanket because of how low it is.

 

So next time you are out of ideas for indoor play time, get creative and make a fort. Eventually the little ones will get creative on their own and probably make a fort 100 times better than I ever did. Until then, I will stick to my usual layout and hope it stays up!

National Get Organized Month

By Stefanie Slater, Bear Haven Mama Contributor

January is National Get Organized Month!!! Have you started cleaning out your closets, making piles to donate old toys and clothing? If you have not then join in with millions others who are taking the step to get organized. Being organized will help you to be more productive in your home. Does your five-year old daughter still need that baby rattle? I do not think so. Grab the trash bags now and write your local donations name on it to start filling them up!

So now that you got the motivation, where will you start? I like to tackle the kids rooms and the basement. Those two link together because the basement is where most of the kid toys are. The holidays are a time where many spend time with one another, but it is also a time when your home is filled with more toys, toys, and more toys! So if you are bringing in the new, make sure you are getting rid of items that can be donated.

There are many products you can buy to help organize your child’s rooms and toys too. One item I LOVE and definitely thinking about buying more than one is Closet Maid’s Stackable Cubicles. They come in a few colors, but I always prefer white myself. I think when you buy the fabric bins in the bright colors and mix them up they really pop! Coordinate with other fun colors for a basement playroom and your children will never leave!

If you are like me then you have several toys that are small, and can be lost in a regular toy bin. Using the fabric bins in the cubicle is a great way to stay organized, and be sure to grab your label gun! Hey, being organized also does include labeling too. I know many moms are getting super excited about just being able to label things. Plus, this is always a great learning process for your children too. They can learn to spell out the word of a toy or a piece of furniture as they are using it.

So Happy organizing in 2012! I hope to hear about your organization projects you are taking on!

Tips for making life easier

I have no idea where this originated, but these are some great ideas, so I had to share them with all of you!

1. Hull strawberries easily using a straw.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture
will disguise dings and scrapes.


 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or
computer screen with WD40.


 

 

 

 

 

4. Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box
by securing with a rubber band.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Overhaul your linen cupboard, store bed linen sets
inside one of their own pillowcases and there will
be no more hunting through piles for a match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone & iPod
in a bowl.  The concave shape amplifies the music.


 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Attach a Velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a
stocking over the vacuum hose.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting
crosses into a box lid.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. For those who can’t stand the scrunching and
bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Forever losing your bathroom essentials?  Use
magnetic strips to store bobby pins, tweezers
and clippers, behind a vanity door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty
soles rubbing on your clothes.  And you can
find them in just about every hotel.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy.  Magnets
hold the plastic cups down to make them
tip-resistant.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Bread tags make the perfect cord labels.


 

 

 

 

 

16. Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones, so
much more fun and easier for kids to eat.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper
bag.  Much healthier and cheaper than the packet
stuff.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough
over the top and voila, you have cookie bowls for fruit
or ice-cream.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. Freeze Aloe Vera in ice-cube trays for soothing
sunburn relief.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21. Create a window-box veggie patch using guttering.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. Use egg cartons to separate and store your
Christmas decorations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23. Add this item to your beach bag.  Baby powder
gets sand off your skin easily, who knew?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone knows the origination of this post, please let me know, so I can credit the author! Hope you find these tips useful!

Arts and Crafts Birthday Party

Invitations:

If you are going to have an Art Themed Birthday Party, why not start out the experience by making invitations? If you have some stamp sets, use cardstock and make some cute invites. If you don’t have a stamp set, you could also decorate the invitations with stencils and stickers. Make sure you note on the invitation for the children to bring an old t-shirt or smock to wear, so that they do not ruin clothing with the art projects you do.

Decorations:

If you have any children’s easels, set them up. Also take some of your child’s recent artwork and hang it around the room like a gallery. Use Art Paper rolls to decorate the table with paint brushes and paints in the middle so that the kids can color the their seating area. If you have young children or do not wish to use paint, you could also put markers and crayons in the center as well. If you have enough room, you will want to set up stations for your various art projects to keep the chaos under control.

Activities:

Spin Art Fun

Here are some suggested activities for your stations. You probably want between two and four crafts depending on age and attention span. Also save a station area for your food. I will explain that part in a bit.

  • Coloring pages: You can print these for free from Crayola.com
  • Play-doh Station: Let the kids create using modeling dough by making your own and getting some fun tools or save yourself some time and get a kit like a Clay Play kit from Melissa and Doug.
  • Decorate Your Own Door Hanger: It is fun and also doubles as a party favor
  • Spin Art: The kids get to spin their own design onto cards.
  • Beading: Again, another fun idea that is also a great party favor.
  • Sand Art: If you don’t mind the potential mess, this is an activity kids always enjoy
  • Paper Plate Crafts: The DLTK’s website has a lot of fun ideas for paper plate crafts from masks to puppets.
  • Paper Bag Puppets: Using these templates from DLTK, the kids can make fun puppets to take home.

Paper Bag Puppets from DLTK (posted from their site)

Food:

This is where that extra station will come in handy. The food served is edible art in the form of Decorate Your Own Cupcakes and Sundae Bar

Cupcakes: For this, you need plain cupcakes and whipped topping (like Cool Whip).

Ice Cream: Pick One or two flavors for the kids to use and colorful bowls if available.

Using small cups (think paint cups) to hold the toppings, include fun things like sprinkles, colored sugar, gummy bears, crushed graham crackers, Skittles, crushed candy bars, and M and M’s.

The kids will have a blast creating and eating their “art!”

Treat Bags:

You can use the artwork the kids made as the treats or fill treat bags with things like play-doh,mini stamp sets, crayons, coloring books, and notepads.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have tried this party, I would love to hear about it!

Zebra Party!

Last week on the Bear Haven Facebook page, I asked everyone what kinds of parties they would like to see. The response came back as Zebra Party! So after some thought and a bit of research, here is what I found.

Invitations:

I found some really cool invitations here: http://www.celebrate-it.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/zebra-stripes-invitation.jpg

They are very colorful, you can print them for free which is awesome!

Now for decorations:

I did not find a lot of Zebra patterned decor at my usual decoration stores. So here are some ideas that might work instead.

  • Use Bright Colors. I have noticed that the Zebra themed hats and apparel all seem to use hot pink, bright blue, and neon green. So take some basic black and white plates, napkins, and plastic-ware and mix it up with brightly colored table cloths, balloons and streamers.
  • Find Pictures in magazines or color your own. Try to use some bright colors in there as well.
  • Use a Zebra Stuffed Animal as a centerpiece.

As for Games and Activities:

  • Coloring contest. This is great for smaller children and can be done while the children are first arriving. You can use the zebra coloring pictures from www.freecoloring.info.
  • Jungle Animal Bingo. I found these cool cards through www.animaljr.com.
  • Pin the Tail on the Zebra. Use one of the Zebra Coloring Pictures as your zebra. Then cut strips of black construction paper for the tail. Put tape on one side of the tail and play just like you would for Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
  • Stuff a Zebra. If you buy a party pack from Bear Haven Boutique, you not only have an activity that takes about a half hour to complete, but you also have a party favor that will not be thrown away when the party is over.
  • Zebra Pinata. I found this one at Target. While I am not over the moon for Pinatas, my kids love them and so do their friends.

Refreshments:

  • Zebra themed cake. Have a striped theme cake. If that is not possible, have a white iced cake with bright flowers. Decorate it with Oreos.
  • Striped Hershey Kisses. You can scatter them on the table and invite the guests to take them home with them as well.
  • Oreos. Dark Outside, White Middle. Perfect for a Zebra Party!

Extras:

  • Special Birthday Hats. We now carry personalized Birthday Hats that double as a souvenir for the birthday child!
  • Autograph Books
  • Goodie Bags. If you don’t use one of our kits for a birthday activity and favor, you can always put together your own bags. You can include things like Zebra Beanie Babies, Animal Silly Bandz, bubbles, stickers, and striped Hershey Kisses.

If you are planning a Zebra Birthday Party and find this information useful, I would love to hear how it turns out for you! Also if you have any other ideas, please feel free to share them! Happy Partying!

How to make an inexpensive doll clothes closet!

Sophia’s 18 Inch Doll clothing available at Bear Haven Boutique

Does your daughter have an American Girl Doll (or similar 18 inch doll) or possibly Barbie Dolls or Stuff a Plush with lots of clothes and accessories, but you have no way of keeping it organized? Well I am here to help! I am going to guide you in creating a doll closet for storing all her doll or bear clothes, shoes, and accessories. And it uses somethings you may already have or can get pretty cheap!

First, you want to find a two shelf bookshelf.  You can find them for less than $20 usually in stores. For aesthetics, you want one with a back on it, and if you want it to match your daughter’s room or playroom, you can either find one in a matching color or paint it. Your choice. So assemble the bookshelf and make your lower shelf be about 6 inches high. You want to make sure that your clothes will be able to hang nicely. Then you will need a tension rod. place it about 2 inches from the top and VOILA! You have a closet for all your dolly clothes! You can use the lower bottom section of the closet for shoes and other accessories and the top to hang the clothes. It is simple. It keeps things organized, and if you have to buy the materials, it should only run you about $25.

I have done a similar set up for doll and bear clothing, but don’t have it currently set up. My daughter has a big closet in her new room, so I have it organized in there. However, this worked really well before that. Hope it works for you too!