Build it

target hack: DIY Rolling baskets

Let’s do a project today, shall we?

Awhile back, I started to notice a trend…a trend that I fear is here to stay (at least for awhile):   toys.  Toys, toys everywhere!  It honestly drives me nuts.

In about ten minutes Abby can stir a toddler tornado, which leaves every toy scattered across the room.  IMG_6002

A very very small and random sampling of said trend.

And while I acknowledge they are a necessary evil, I still want to feel like an adult who lives in a semi-nice, semi-clean, semi-uncluttered house once in awhile.  So I’m learning to be OK with toys as long as they can be contained.

Our house is such that our living room needs to house several toys – we don’t have a dedicated playroom and I don’t want all of Abby’s toys up in her room.   We spend most of our time on the first floor and reality is that toys need to be there if I want to get anything done so Abby can have fun.

I picked up a couple of these baskets from Target, but they weren’t quite doing it for me.

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They just needed something.  I really wanted them to have a lid to completely keep things out of view, but that didn’t seem easy.  So I decided to prop them up and give ‘em some wheels.  It would give them just a little somethin’ somethin’ while at the same time giving me some added functionality.

This project was really very simple and doesn’t require any fancy tools.

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Here’s all you need (quantities listed are for one basket):

  • (1) Basket (wicker worked well, but a wire basket would be cute too)
  • (1) Wood cut-to-size for a platform (it should be the same dimensions as the bottom of your basket).  Perhaps a 2″ thick piece to make it extra chunky?  That would be cute too!
  • (4) Caster wheels of your liking (I used these)
  • (4) 1.5” Screws (make sure you account for the width of your platform here) and a cordless drill

Now, because I’m cheap resourceful, I decided to make my own wooden platform out of scrap wood I had laying around.  This took some additional time because I had to kreg jig the pieces together to make a sturdy base.  You could just buy a piece at Home Depot and have them cut it to size for you.  Bada bing, bada boom.

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Next, simply attach your castor wheels to the platform with the provided screws.  I used a small template to make sure I was placing them in the same spot all the way around, but that’s just the perfectionist talking.  It certainly isn’t necessary.

Lastly, all I did to attach the basket, was set it on top of the platform, place a screw through the bottom of the basket, and screw it directly on to the platform.  I did one in each corner….so four.

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In all, this project took about an hour, and I have to say they’ve held up great.   And yes, I can say that because I made them way back in February.  Ha.  Let’s just say I wanted to provide adequate testing prior to sharing them with you, mmmkay?

Even with a toddler pulling them all over the house and occasionally sitting in them we really haven’t had any issues.  And I have to say, the wheels actually make it a heck of a lot easier to do a quick toy pickup…I just pull that basket around the room with me, fill it up, and push it right back under the table.   Much easier than lugging the whole basket around in your arms, in my opinion.  Fashion AND function….they’re a double-threat.

How do you contain the clutter at your house?  Or have you mastered the secret jedi skill of not caring?

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diy play kitchen

Well I did it.  I built a play kitchen out nothing more than a (carefully selected)  pile of wood.   And I needed to wait to write about it because there would very likely be an expletive  between “diy” and “play kitchen” in the title otherwise.

Those of you who know me, know that this was the bane of my existence last December.  It owned me.   It tortured me.   It consumed me.

It had to.  I had proclaimed to the world that this was Abby’s “big” Christmas gift and therefore all other gifts were centered around it.  Seriously.  Grandparents were buying pots and pans.  Aunties were buying play food.  The kitchen had to be done by Christmas.

And that my friends,  is the last time I will ever put that sort of pressure on myself.   Every night after dinner I would go out to the garage and work.  Cutting, sawing, screwing, drilling, kreg jigging, gluing, sanding.  Sanding.  Sanding.  Sanding.  Sanding.  Priming.  Painting.  Caulking.  Painting.  Did I mention sanding?

Let’s just say it took a lot of time.

But do you know what took just as much time?  If not even more?

Stalking Home Resource for the perfect faucet (then cleaning said faucet), scouring the dollar store for a sink that would fit, searching on Amazon for cheap 10.5” handle bars to use for a towel rack and oven door.  Researching how to cut Plexiglas so it doesn’t break (hint, have the hardware store do it for you!  Duh).  Strolling the aisles of the hardware store for matching oven knobs.  Googling for cheap “stove burner” ideas.    Tracking lost orders from Amazon with my oh-so-special purchases (yes that happened.  And no it never arrived).  Oh.  And sewing.  Don’t forget the sewing….which requires picking out fabric.  Something I am notoriously and painstakingly indecisive about.

Looking back I would say this project wasn’t that difficult and I probably would have enjoyed it so much more without the added pressure of a deadline.  I mean build a couple of boxes and attach some hardware right?  But for some reason it was nearly the death of me.  I blame the perfectionist in me.  I blame the stress of the Holidays.  I blame Pinterest.  All of them tried to take me down.  Tried to make me think I couldn’t do it.

But I did.

And it’s kiiiiiiind of awesome.

This thing is solid.   I did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself.  And praise the baby Jesus:  Abby likes it too.

So let’s just get on with it eh?  Because I’m starting to think maybe I didn’t wait long enough to write about this.

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Oh little kitchen.  How you look so unassuming.

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The answer to your question, is “yes.”  Yes the oven has a light.  Yes those stove knobs turn.  Yes that’s stellar attention to detail with the charcoal colored oven inside.  Yes that’s a real faucet.

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Because everyone needs a shelf for their tea set and baby bottles.

Oh, you don’t keep your baguette in the cupboard?  Weird.  Clearly you should.

I wish I could tell you that I documented this whole process for you.  But this was back when the last post I had written was in September.  And seriously, I had no extra time to document anything.  Both of these pictures were taken with my phone after I was so excited for “coming so far.”

HA!  Hindsight is 20/20.  And often hilarious.

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Like here, when I’m sure I was thinking “well look at me! One down, one to go. Easy Peasy!”

 

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Or here, when I was like “In the home stretch now!” hahahahaha! You wish.

 

Luckily….Abby seriously loves it.  She plays with it everyday.  When I’m at the (real) kitchen sink, she runs to her sink and does dishes.   She puts things in the oven, turns the knob, and bends down to check on them (I kind of die), she insists on using the drying towels on her kitchen after we wash her hands.  Her and dad “make stew” all the time.  She cooks an egg in the morning and brings it to me.

It was all worth it. 

Every cuss word.  Every late night.  Every stress-induces glass of wine.  Running my arse all over this damn town.  The violent illness that followed 3 hours after I deemed it “done.”

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Yep.  Totally worth it (heart melting).

So, I know when I was building this I was searching high and low for ideas and helpful hints.  And if you’ve come here looking for detailed instructions I’m sorry.  However, here’s my source list.

  • Kitchen Plans – Ana White
  • Wood – Home Depot (they were pennies different from Lowe’s)  Total was probably around $80.
  • Paint – Valspar Schoolboy Blue.  Oven paint was leftover test-pot grey I had on hand.
  • Sink – freakishly small “brownie pan” from the Dollar Store
  • Faucet – $3.00 local Home Resource find (score)
  • Towel bar – Style Selections 12.5” Brushed Satin Nickel Bar Cabinet Pull,  Lowe’s  $7.53
  • Tension rod for curtain – Room Essentials Tension Rod, Target  $3.99
  • Curtain – handmade.  Sorry, not sure of the exact fabric, but I found it all at JoAnn.
  • Hand Towel – handmade.  Used a cloth diaper (bought at Target) and just sewed some extra fabric on the end to spice it up.
  • Oven knobs –  Lux Burner Knobs, Ace Hardware  $23.99
  • Oven pull – Style Selections 7.5” Brushed Satin Nickel Bar Cabinet Pull , Lowe’s  $5.37
  • Plexiglass – cut-to-size at Ace Hardware $1.70
  • Hooks (for oven mitts) – Threshold Satin Nickel, Target  $5.99
  • Oven rack – donated from my personal collection
  • Stove burners – JoAnns.  They’re the painted backside of a wooden soccer ball disk thingy.

I hope that helps at least one person who is in the process of making their own #%)(@#% play kitchen.  I kid, I kid.

Kind of.

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xoxo,

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