Inexpensive Kids Wall Art Collage

This post was originally a guest post over with Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,  back in the olden days of summer of '12.  When I had been blogging but a mere 6 months.  Seems like forever ago actually.

Today I received an email question about this art so I decided to just do a post about it.  
Heather G., this posts for you!

My kids are not exactly little anymore.  For the most part they have quit blessing me with art made in elementary school.  13 years ago we had company coming and empty walls with emptier wallets.  I needed something to fill space that I didn't have to take out a loan for. 

Like FREE was what I was thinking. 

With six kids the one thing I have is kids art.  They wonder why I saved the stuff, but I see not only their memories, but my memories when I look at the crayon drawings, tissue paper butterflies, and self portraits.

At the time there was no internet for me to get any great art display ideas, I had to use what was on hand.  I told my husband I needed something BIG that I could make a collage on and fill the walls.  He returned with large pieces of sheet rock from the garage.  I sat on our bedroom floor surrounded by my kids art making collages, 5 big boards of years worth of art. 

13 years later I can't bear to take them down, although I need to add a sixth board somewhere since the youngest couple of kids don't have any art on the walls. 

Stairway Wall Art
This hangs in the stairway.  There is no rhyme or reason to the way the art is arranged, other than it had to cover the sheet rock.  If it hung over the edge I trimed it off.  As each piece of sheet rock was filled my husband screwed the rock right to the wall and then attached some trim around it while it was already on the wall. 

No rocket science involved, and nothing drastically creative, we had to be quick, remember? was coming!

As the years went on these paper mache masks started to appear.  My kids all had the same elementary school art teacher and she never deviated from what she had them make.

I think the green one must be a mouse, but I have no idea what the one below is.  A purple pig?   A purple bald clown pig?  With white furry eyebrows?

One by one I started adding the masks to the wall.

Deep, Dark Hallway between kids rooms
 Look at the bottom left of the photo above, that is a dog butt!  This photo bombing of Mo's is really starting to be distasteful.   You can also see towels folded in the distance which is an improvement over the photo I used for Kristins post - she got a sheet hanging up to dry!  

You all know I am such a princess I never do laundry right?  HA.... wrong.  

Family Room
This collage ended up becoming part of the wall in the family room.  One daughter made all her people with heads shaped like hearts and the other daughter always gave her people belly buttons.  My oldest son was a Ninja Turtle fan.  He also colored a picture of his daddy's new truck when he was 5 years old.  It looked just like it and we thought it was pretty good for a kindergartner.

#3 kid, (#2 son) made a self portrait in 2nd grade.  
Rather disturbing that he was an armless jail bird.

The hall way between rooms is long and dark and I've never even considered taking their art down to hang something else.  I guess I should thank our company for planning a trip when they did.  If they wouldn't have been coming to vacation with us, the walls might still be empty, or worse yet, not have my memories hung to admire every day.

The frames below are made from inexpensive cove molding around the sheetrock. The cove was mitered and attached right on the wall after the sheet rock was hung. 

I see there is one paper mask among the others -  must of been a substitute teacher or low funds at school for that kid.

The paper mache masks have all fallen off the wall a time or two.  Not because my kids ran willy nilly down the hall wielding swords or throwing balls or anything like that of course. 

All the frames have a piece of plexiglass over them to preserve the artwork and that is what makes them look like a giant frame.  We used plexiglass instead of real glass for the same reason the masks may have fallen off the wall a time or two!  We had to protect the whole thing from any Superman, Spiderman, or Hulk that might pass by.

Yes my kids were allowed to run and play and at least the glass in these frames could never break!

Follow on Bloglovin


Bed Spring Bulletin Board

What do you get when you cross a crib bed spring, a rusty meat hook, and some old pieces of chippy painted wood?

Wrong.... not some sort of horror movie!

You get a bulletin board for a teen boys bedroom.

I am not taking credit for the idea of using a bed spring as a bulletin board, you know who you are that provided me this concept.

First you re-spray the bed frame from the bronze color that you sprayed it last fall when you wanted it bronze and never got around to making the thing, to a silvery tone.....

Then, you have someone who is faster with a screw gun, drill screws from the back of  random sized different colored pieces of chippy wood scraps right through the frame of the newly silver bed spring and attach all those pieces of wood.

(*The whole time knowing full well this idea is all in your head and you might have to say something like, "I don't like it, now take all the wood back off".)

* Note; I liked it.

And then you end up with a bulletin board the perfect size for the new Rock & Roll dresser you painted and plopped in your teen son's room.

As you start gathering his treasures from around the room - laying on the nightstand, the floor, inside the closet - you ask yourself if he is starting a sunglasses collection, and why the cowbell isn't on the drumset?

But you end your thoughts by contemplating that if you were a 14 year old boy you might just have bragging rights, because really.... do you think anyone else in your class at school has a bed spring hanging from a meat hook in their room?

Follow on Bloglovin


Rock & Roll Dresser, the Encore

September 2013:  the mission .... to finally get rid of one smelly brown dresser.

If you've been rocking along with me, you know that last year I made a brown Rock & Roll Dresser for my son from a yellow lemon I found on the side of the road.  He loved that dresser.

There was a good reason however that it was free on the side of the road and it soon became obvious.... it smelled, umm, well.... like a mens urinal.  I thought it would air out so painted it anyway.  Finally my nose couldn't take it anymore and I banished it from the house.

Funny, but the menfolk around here didn't notice the stinky aroma.

And honestly, while I loved the chestnut brown of the first dresser, it really never did much for my sons greige room.

Everyone knows Rock & Roll will never die, so long live rock.... and enter dresser #2.

The little rocker made me promise the new one would look as much like the first one as I could make it, and I kept my word.  We reused everything we could off the old one, and this one smells good.

Basically I did a copy cat of my own project.

Bliss Ranch copied Bliss Ranch! 

I had to hand paint the Hotel California album cover drawer.  And unlike #1, this time I had a Cameo Silhouette for doing the other lettering.

I also painted the dresser a better color for his room, CeCe Caldwells Pittsburgh Gray.

The whole thing looks like it's been on the road with the band - sort of like an equipment crate loaded and unloaded over the years, worn and faded.  Just the look I hoped for and also a look I know well.

This dresser belonged to the grandfather of my son in law.  It is a heavy solid maple piece that had been painted white.

It looked like the picture above.

Yes I realize there is no photo above, just white dead space.  I couldn't find the before photo.  I took it in Spring and it's somewhere in photo helll on my computer.

There are actually two percussionists in the house, three if you count my daughter who gave it up after a couple years in favor of the piano.  Someone is always banging on the drums or the ivories, and sometimes I'm banging my head on the wall.

The sides of the dresser mimic a pebble washed pair of dark grey jeans.  The right amount of "cool".

Dresser #1 had the small drawers along the top.  As you can see #2 has them down the middle.   We reused our dogs old tags as the drawer pulls, and Brawn again cut out the centers and put in wire mesh.  I did have to modify the belts for the handles.

To top off the dresser, I made a bed spring bulletin board with chippy old pieces of wood and it's now hanging above the new rocking dresser.

And yes Little Rocker loves the new dresser just as much as the old one, and so does his mama.

Base coat of white came with the dresser.
Under color of letters, Caldwell Mississippi Mud
1 coat Ce Ce Caldwell Pittsburgh Gray
Waxed with clear Annie Sloan

Rock on!

Follow on Bloglovin


The Elements of a Teen Boys Room

To give you an idea how long I have been working on my youngest son's room, the above photo was taken last year.  I purchased the letters at Junk Bonanza.

Looking at the picture I see this was sometime before Brawn made a new table top.  And even before that, August of 2011, is when his whole room was started.  Before I even considered starting a blog.

The olden days.

And sometime between last year and yesterday, I lost an O.
My Roll is now only R ll.

That just doesn't have the same ring to it.  Rock and R ll.

Fortunately Junk Bonanza is this month.  Maybe I can get another O.

I told you a couple posts ago about the secret of the original Rock & Roll dresser.  The stinky secret about the smell of that free yellow dresser, and how the scent never went away.

The smell didn't go away, but last spring the dresser did.  It now lives in the smelly garage.

The two twin pallet look headboards are above the beds, where they have been for a year when I first posted about them.

The bed spring bulletin board now needs to be repainted, it doesn't match his new dresser quite right.

It never got hung up, and today I couldn't find it to give it that new coat of paint.

And what is this thing waiting for stain?

When a set of three lockers isn't the height you want, you kindly ask the man with the tools to build you something to raise it up.

For all of you bloggers who have used pipe in your home designs....the nightstand below is 15 years old.  Ummm hmmm, 15 years old.  I called it being resourceful back then.  It matches the pipe curtain valance and the pipe shelving we made all those years ago in our boys room.

Back then it was occupied by two boys, neither of which is the current occupant.

So old in fact the wood is getting a new darker look, along with the shelves.

And how about a huge, heavy, real slate chalkboard right out of a school.  I picked it up this summer for $5.00...... and as I type, the tray is currently drying in the garage after a new coat of silver spray to clean it up.

But Little Rocker was sad.
He had no dresser.
No bulletin board hung.
His Roll was missing it's O.

So I am getting the goods together, no more procrastinating, and pulling all the elements for his room together.

I warned the lazy dog that the next batch of photos he will not be obscuring the new good smelling dresser.

Rock & Roll Dresser Take 2.  The slightly larger, different configuration, almost identical copy of one of my own projects.

This weekend my goal is to find my O, because, well...... that's the only way I can really roll!

As per Shannah @JustUsFour, the winner of the $250 Target gift card giveaway was Stacey Roberson.  Congratulations Stacey.

Follow on Bloglovin


Old Photo Window Valance

I spend way too much time by my computer with one lone window dressed only in a mini blind.

It used to have a fabric valance, which was just something I urgently picked up at Target before company arrived one time.

Since often I don't take things down to clean them till it is also time to get rid of them, there was a rod waiting in anticipation after I took the valance down for washing.

About 15 years ago I picked up a box at a garage sale and it had some vintage photos inside.  I couldn't throw them out, so I hung 'em high instead.  It took 15 years to get around to it and I am sure I came close to throwing them out many times.

I find the hair-do on the groom funny.  He has a highway down the middle, but he's not bald.  Maybe it's a reverse mohawk?  Maybe he's a clown when he isn't getting hitched.  Maybe it's just humidity, something like that happens to my hair too.

This was quick and easy to do.  I had some clips in a drawer so I just strung them on the rod and clipped the vintage photos to it.  Doesn't get much simpler than that.

The walls in here are chocolate brown.  I've had some bead board waiting to be hung for a couple years now.  Maybe this fall?  Painted a nice creamy color it would really brighten up the space.  Or maybe I'll just paint the room instead.   Or maybe I'll convert an unused room to an office?  Maybe I'll just have another cup of coffee instead.

These were all real people, and I'm pretty sure they never thought 100 years ago that they would one day hang as a window treatment in someone's home.

Makes me wonder what will become of all the pictures of me after I'm dead and buried!

The Post Partying At:
Knick of Time Tuesday @KnickofTime
Ivy & Elephants 
It's A Party @DIYbyDesign

Follow on Bloglovin


Shopping at H&M Home

We have an H&M store here at the Mall of America, along with every other store a shopper could possibly think of but I let my finger's do the walking online so I would be sure I could get what I wanted.  (Notice I did not say *needed*).  I don't shop often, so I didn't want to come up empty handed after a trip driving to the mall.

My friend Kelly at The Essence of Home turned me on to the fact that H&M Home had some cool looking stuff, for reasonable prices.  Seems every time I find something I like with lettering on it I turn away from the price.  These were reasonable, as in pretty cheap for items with graphics on them.   

And they were items with graphics on them that I actually liked.

I have not done any shopping other than thrift stores and garage sales for quite a long time.  Truth is I just don't need anything.  So this little shopping spree was a big deal for me.

But while I don't need, occasionally I still want.  And I gave in.

Kelly is now on Brawn's list of banned bloggers.

The railway hand towels, etc., landed in the boys bathroom.  No we don't have any sort of a rail road theme anywhere, I just liked the graphics.  Same with the pillow cases, which I'm not sure where I will put.  I got two.

These aqua towels could maybe-sort-of kind-a, be considered needed.  Daughter is redoing her bed and bath in aqua accents.  She loved these, so they are now hers.

While I really like how they look, the towels are not high quality by any stretch of the imagination, but they should look really nice in her bathroom when it's done and hold up decent.  It's not like a family of 8 is showering and drying off with them.

These dish cloths came in sets of two, and they were cheap,  $3.95 a set so I got two sets not really knowing what they would be like.

The graphics on these are awesome and they hold up very nicely.  I like how they look in the sink and I like how they wipe stuff up.  But they are a bit weird, they are like thin dehydrated sponges when they first arrive, stiff enough to put in a frame.  I wish they were larger, the size is a little awkward for wiping down the counters and wringing back out.

I did pick a few things I LOVE.......

This pillow cover is excellent.  So excellent I didn't know where to use it and when I went to fetch it, in search of finding it a home, I discovered it was gone from my chair.  Daughter seemed to think it looked awesome on her bed.  Not sure how anything could look awesome ON her bed, it is usually covered in clothes.

The Olive pillow came in two colors, white with dark graphics, which I loved, but opted to get this darker one.  Again, the price was right and these covers are nice, I will include the link, they are $5.95 {H&M pillow cover}.

But my favorite *want* was the tea towels.

These tea towels are fantastic.  Perfect for making stuff, covering a chair cushion, whatever.  They are generously sized, I have two of them waiting for some great idea to pop into my head.

There was a lot of stuff I wanted, but didn't need, and I didn't give in to it all.  They had some fabric bins with graphics, some bottles with the same graphics, a cute French looking apron, and a bunch of other stuff that you probably don't need either, but just might have the same case of *I wants* that plagued me.

Don't forget to enter the $250 gift card giveaway going on.  Who's gonna win?  Maybe you!

Follow on Bloglovin


$250 Gift Card Giveaway To Rock On

How about a Rafflecopter $250 gift card giveaway?  
Target, Michaels, Staples, Visa....

Lots of great bloggers in the bunch to follow and meet as you get your entries going.  Sure 'ya gotta jump through a few hoops, but somebody's gonna win and it won't be you unless you enter.

$250 smackaroos.  I could get my craft on with that much moula. 
So what are you waiting for...... rock click on at the end of this post. 

And because this is a rocking gift card giveaway, I've got a teaser for 'ya. 

Remember the Rock & Roll dresser I made?  
Well it had a secret.  And it wasn't a good one.

After it got all painted up in it's musical coolness, and put in my son's room, we started to notice an odor that was not directly related to my son.   Like ummm.... well maybe animal.  Because it definitely wasn't vegetable or mineral.  

As much as my son loved the dresser it was outta there.  Pppppppppppp Ewwwwwwwww.  Now I know why it was out at the curb with a FREE sign.

Little Rocker said ok, fine, now you have to make me another one just like it.  So stay tuned for the encore.

Rock & Roll Dresser #2....In Concert Soon.

Oh yeah Jenny, I got your number..... again.  #6 kid, #4 son is calling.

And if all that isn't cool enough for you, stop over at Nellie Bellies where I'm guesting today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow on Bloglovin


Norway has a Kodak Moment

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I would have to agree.

It's even sweeter if you like the imitation better than what it is imitating.

And such was the case when I opened an email from Norway and saw this.....

via En Vintage Drom

The writer told me how my dresser inspired her to make one of her own.

Now I want to copy the copy.

And how about those old time graphics on the side doors?  Pretty nice.

The blog is in Norwegian (that's what they speak in Norway right?) but the email came to me in English.

It wasn't the first copy of my Kodak Dresser.

This one is mine.

Another lady emailed me with this one that she made.....

I walked by my suddenly boring brown bedroom dresser and gave it a sideways glance today.  I could paint it white and put black letters on it........


Stop back in on Monday and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a giftcard.

Follow on Bloglovin
Disclosure Policy for Bliss Ranch:
From time to time there might be a written review of services or products on this blog for which Bliss Ranch may or may not have received that service or product for free. Receiving a product or service for free or at a discount will never dictate what is written on this blog or guarantee a favorable review. All opinions here belong to Bliss Ranch and Bliss Ranch alone. Bliss Ranch is not monetarily compensated to write anything on this blog... period! For the complete privacy policy please see the tab at the top of the blog.