Okay friends, time for the project breakdown on the playroom reveal earlier this week. I’ll tackle the four projects from easiest to most challenging, here we go!
The Play Table:
After shopping around online and finding only plastic tables in my budget, I spied this ad on Craigslist the weekend before the install and literally jumped for joy. It was a used Pottery Barn Kids chalkboard table with a storage center in the middle for crayons, art supplies, etc. and four solid wood chairs. It was perfect! I quickly emailed the owner and drove over to grab it mere moments after she replied to my email telling me it was still available. $45 buckaroos was a total score!
The chalkboard surface was worn and scratched but the rest of the table was in great condition, so I sanded the surface with the orbital to get it nice and smooth. Next I taped off the wood and primed the surface, and followed it up with two coats of teal paint to bring it back to life.
Such a cute addition to the space with plenty of space for arts and crafts.
The Billy Bookcases:
All of you regulars know we installed Billy bookcases to look like built-ins in our own home last year, and we knew from that experience they were sturdy and easy to assemble, plus you can’t beat the price. I picked up two 31” wide units and one 15” unit on a trip to IKEA, then Victoria painted the backs that fresh green while Matt assembled them. Warren secured them together with screws to eliminate seams between then secured them to the wall studs to prevent tipping with several ‘L’ brackets (one is seen below). Matt built the frame with 1” x 2” strips of wood to attach the crown molding.
The crown was attached to the new frame above and gives it a more finished look. You can see there’s a small gap underneath but that’s easily filled with paintable caulk. Three cheers for caulk, the DIYers remedy for just about any imperfections, right?
Plenty of storage for books and smaller toys!
The Rod Pocket Window Panels
Cristin and I discussed the durability factor of the fabric in the kids room and decided outdoor fabric was the way to go! She found this wonderful modern wavy stripe fabric called ‘Poolside’ by Richloom and I had it shipped to my house. We removed the rod from the family room space (woven shades will replace the old lacy curtain in there) and recycled it in the playroom, raising the rod up to the same height as the frame on the wall map on the opposite side. I measured the length at 98” and then stitched up the panels at home.
Since we were working with a large window and I wanted the panels to be functional not just decorative, and since the fabric is only 54” wide, I knew it was best to double the width. Plus I think panels just look better when they’re fuller. The full length of the final panel was to be 98” so the total measurement of the fabric, allowing for a 1” hem on the bottom and top and 4” extra for the pocket was 104”.
To match up the pattern, I had to be careful with my cuts but thankfully I had purchased enough fabric (12 yards) to be able to get the pattern to match up horizontally.
Tip: Always plan accordingly if you know you’re using double panels of fabric – check your pattern repeat and buy the necessary extra yardage! The first step is hemming the vertical lengths together for each panel and making sure the pattern matches up.
If you want your panels to be lined, now is the time to repeat the same step for fabric liner. Once your two pieces are attached, hem the edges in this order:
1. Hem the bottom first (attaching the liner to the inside of the fabric. 2. Then hem the vertical lengths (again attaching the liner to the inside as you go). I always roll the unfinished edge of the fabric under the stitch for a cleaner edge. I didn’t use a liner on these panels since the window backs to a private fenced side yard, but for any panels that are visible to the outside world, I think it’s always best to line them.
Sewing the top pocket is last, and also the best time to double check your measurement to make sure your length is perfect. Depending on the size of the rod for the curtains, the curvature of the rod can add up to ½” to ¾” inches to the length when hung, so be sure to accommodate for that.
I was working with a ¾” thick rod and I like to make the pockets about 1 ½ to 2” bigger than the rod to ensure they panels can easily slide back and forth.
And up they went on the rod, thankfully hemmed to the perfect length, just touching the carpet, but not above it nor puddling beneath.
The Wall Map:
Oy, that map! We started with not one but two types of wallpaper adhesive, one from the store another that came with the map and they were a total disaster. When I say disaster, I do not exaggerate. The map and paste on a textured wall were a horrible combination there was so much bubbling and rippling I almost tore my hair out in frustration when we tried to apply the first panel to the wall.
I’ve used this paste before with success but it didn’t work at all this time because the wall was so heavily textured so after a full hour of agonizing over the paste issue, we abandoned it completely.
And so we turned to Plan B. The wall map comes in 8 large sections and it’s huge, measuring almost 9’ x 13’. We had to trim inches off the top, bottom and sides to get it to fit the wall. Good news though, the edges overlap about ½” inch which was just enough to use a different method – a heavy duty stapler and double sided tape. Yep, it’s true!
We were able to staple the perimeter of three sides of each panel, then used double sided table where they overlapped in the middle on the fourth side. If anyone needs a diagram of which sides to staple and which sides to tape, I can add it to the post!
Can you guess which place my girl was asking just how far she had to travel to get to? That’s Laurie being so kind and giving her a geography lesson on the location of a certain magic kingdom.
Just like with wallpaper, make sure you remove your plates and carefully cut the paper to fit electrical sockets or light switches.
We added some door trim to frame the map and cover the unfinished edges. Matt cut the edges at a 45 degree angle on our compound miter saw then caulked them while Kim gave them a fresh coat of white paint.
The final result was a smooth and seamless map on the wall trimmed out as a giant art installation to inspire all the kiddos.
Next month is the kitchen makeover, we’re hoping to get in done by the end of June, but you know how kitchen remodels go, rarely done in your scheduled timeframe! :) Thank you so much to the new group of donors, we are so so grateful for the financial support for the Alma Project!
If you missed the room reveal and grand tour, click here!
All the best,