Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Handmade Holiday

I've been turning my crafty attention from house projects to Christmas presents. 'Tis the season after all! Awhile back, when we were busy converting our dining room into a play room, I posted about my intentions to turn an old coffee table into a train table for my son. That's still the plan, but of course, I now have grander ideas for the table.
I was inspired by this post of an amazing, home made playmat on this blog:
Seriously, it is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. She also says it took her 50 hours to complete, and I have absolutely no sewing skills myself, but I breezed over those facts.
My plan now is to paint the top of the table with chalkboard paint, adhere velcro strips to the edges, and create a removable play mat with trees, roads, rivers and buildings out of felt. It will be a multipurpose table that my son can play with cars or trains on the top, then take it off and use it for a drawing table. I am super excited about it. I've already bought the felt, my mother-in-law had some extra chalkboard paint that she gave us, so this will not only be a handmade, thoughtful present for Sebastian, but it will be cheap too! If it turns out well, the gift will have saved us about $70! (A train table would cost us around $80, an easel would be $25ish and so far all I've spent is $10 on felt!)
I will be using an Ikea Lack coffee table instead of the honey oak table with a drawer we also have in storage. One, Matt's not too keen on painting the nicer, more expensive table with chalkboard paint. And two, we put the table in the playroom, and it's much bigger and more square than I remember. The Ikea table has dimensions more similar to a commercial train table. Plus, if we ruin it, it was on a $25 table. It has a shelf underneath that will be good for storing trains and chalk.
I am really, really excited. Some of my favorite memories of gifts were of the more homemade persuasion. My dad made my brother a wrestling ring for his WWF toys when he was little, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. They once gave me a room makeover including a homemade book shelf and curtains, and I still remember walking into my bedroom and seeing it transformed. I hope Sebastian will be as excited as I am!

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