Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cameron's new wall art.

Slowly but surely, Cameron's old nursery is being brought up to date with new furniture (no more changing table!) and some new wall art (no more watercolor animals!). I'm working on a small budget, so I'm making almost everything myself, and shopping other rooms in the house for items to be repurposed for his new room.
I wanted to pop in and share a special project I've been working on for him that will hang on the wall once the room is finished. A few months ago while browsing CB2 online, I saw this giant abacus in the wall art section. When I saw it, I knew I wanted it for his room, but the price was, well... pricey. Too pricey for use in a budget kids bedroom, anyway. Immediately I began studying it, trying to figure out a way I could re-create the piece for less. I bought a couple of small wood planks, 8 dowel rods, and 80 wooden toy car wheels that I hand painted (yep, all 80!) to use as the beads. After a few hours of work (except for the beads- that took a few days) the abacus is complete!
Still drying at this point!

Apologies for the cruddy pictures taken from the garage! That's where the abacus sits until I'm ready to hang it. Regardless, Cameron still plays with it all the time!

Painting all those beads was a little time consuming- but I couldn't find beads I liked that would also slide across the dowels easily. I love the way these turned out, and glad I took the time to do it. I'll post instructions soon (in case anyone is interested), but I ran into a problem because the frame of the abacus was a little wobbly. I tried to fix that problem by drilling a couple of too-big screws into the wood, and unfortunately split the wood on one of the planks in the process. I've actually decided to re-do the frame, and use much smaller screws to make it sturdy since it's going to get played with pretty frequently. No worries though, crafting the frame was SO simple and quick (unlike painting all those darn beads). And even after purchasing more wood for round 2 of the frame, the total cost for the supplies was just under $40.
I can't wait to get it hung in his new room! I'll definitely take better pictures. I'm going to build him a tall bookshelf from plans on the Knock-off Wood blog, and then the room will be complete!


Kristen said...

you are so creative! Good job!

Tamara said...

That's awesome! I love that you're willing to try to make anything, you always do a great job!

Meredith said...

That looks so fun!

Bekah said...

I love how you make all this different stuff for your house! It always turns out awesome!

Walking With The Wheats said...

You have alot of patience to paint all of those beads!

Anonymous said...

Your creativity and handiness amaze me!!!

Rebecca said...

I love this! Where did you get the beads?

Tina Taft said...

Hi Leslie,

DH and I have decided on a math themed nursery for the in utero geekling and I ran across this part of your blog. You had mentioned you were going to post building instructions and I cannot seem to find them :( I however SUCK at this blogging thing. Care to link me to it as this would make a PERFECT addition to Seth's room <3. My email is tina.m.taft Thanks so much!


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