Lego My Legos

How about a riddle?  What is small, has sharp edges, hurts when stepped on, but kids love to play with?  I suppose many toys fall into this category, but around our house, the answer is Legos.  Always Legos.  In the past year or so, both boys have jumped on the Lego train, much like the Dauntless from Divergent.  Can’t say I blame them.  Legos encourage creativity and keep kids entertained for hours.  Now that we’ve established a storage and organization system, we’re all happy.

A quick internet search will show hundreds of Lego storage systems: sorted by color, size, etc., but this is what works for us.  It’s super involved and highly advanced.  Be warned.

One drawer in the entertainment center holds all things Lego.  Four shoe sized plastic bins hold extra pieces as well as built kits.

Lego-Organization-in-DrawerSeparating smaller pieces and minifigs into clear lidded plastic containers has saved us all much hassle.  I found these in the Target dollar spot last year.  More often than not, the big bin of Legos got dumped and spread all over the floor to find a specific piece.  For the boys, this was annoying to have to dig through the pile.  I was sick of having a mess on my floor, stepping on tiny daggers.


Want Kai, he’s right there, with the rest of the Nijago crew.  Probably battling neighboring Nindroids while we’re asleep.


Need a connector piece?  Check in the connector compartment.  To further organize small pieces, I separated into four groups.  Connectors, single small pieces, single and special double bricks, and minifig accessories.


Instruction booklets are kept in reach in a metal tin.  Close by, but not in with the rest to get lost or pages pulled out.


I think it would be cute to get one larger clear container to display stored guys, standing upright.

They can keep it in their room, but when they’re not playing, they can see their collection.  If (more likely, when) their collection grows, further organizing smaller parts in a hinged divider box could work really well, too.

Along with the large coffee table for building, this simple system has made Lego life more enjoyable.  Most importantly, this sorting makes sense to the boys.

Supply and Demand

Lately, we’ve had a problem area in my office.  The little area dedicated to the boys coloring supplies.  We’ve got a drawer of coloring books, stickers, markers, crayons, and scissors.


And a big pile of papers on top.  Oh, and a dollar thrifted hippo with three broken crayons stuck inside.


And every day, several times per day it drives me crazy.  Usually crayons are scattered over my desk top, tiny paper clippings on the floor, and pieces of tape stuck to almost everything.  So, I did a quick clean up.  The drawer divider wasn’t working well to hold supplies.  Instead, I stuck everything in a small Ikea planter and a candle holder.


The coloring books are still inside, but without the divider, we’ve got room for the stack of papers.  And a Grinch.  Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a Grinch.  Or a semi-cute, semi-creepy thrifted man boy bust.


He was cute, only two bucks, and hand crafted back in 1972.  Ben saw him just after I sprayed him white, but still finds him creepy.

How do you store your kids’ art supplies?  Please, please, someone, anyone! tell me you have a method that works.  I’m not sure how this will go.  I like letting my boys create as they wish, but I’m about to keep everything out of reach so they have to ask.  Help!

It Felt Nice

This Christmas, our theme is school, per V’s request.  He started kindergarten this fall and absolutely loves it, so it made sense when he wanted to carry it to Christmas.  Hobby Lobby had everything we needed to deck our tree.  Wooden letters and colorful felt.  I bought 8 different colored sheets of felt.  Then, cut them in thirds, lengthwise and then into 1/2 inch ish strips.


With my sewing machine, I stitched on long chain, keeping the pieces close to centered.


When I ran out of pieces, the garland was roughly 30 feet long.  Not bad for two bucks worth of felt!


We wrapped it around the tree, then hung our painted letters.  A few silver ball ornaments, last year’s cubes, and all the silhouette ornaments I’ve made of the boys.

And here she is, a school themed Christmas tree.


V and I talked about our Christmas theme in October, so it was funny to see a similar tree in Martha Stewart Living this month.


Colorful, letters, and painted wooden cubes.  Have you started holiday decorating?  Do you have a theme each year?  If so, what’s your theme this year?

Eames Inspired

In addition to the new shelf, our entry is getting a little much-needed organization.  For my next mini project, I took inspiration from the Eames Hang-It-All Coat Rack.  

No, I didn’t make a coat rack, though hooks are on my to do list.  Instead, I made a cute, colorful round ball sculpture.  


We had the live edge wood in the garage, and I found 1 1/2 inch wooden balls and a thin wooden dowel at Hobby Lobby, both 50% off.  


A few coats of acrylic craft paint on each ball, using the Eames color scheme as a reference.  A little wood glue in the ball hole to hold the random length sticks in place.  Then, I drilled holes in the wood base and glued the stick in.  The bit I used was slightly bigger, but toothpicks to the rescue.  After the glue dried, I sprayed it all with a few coats of clear gloss.  


Oh, I bought a new bulb for the lamp, too.  Now you don’t see the ugly, too long CFL sticking out.  

It’s a fun little piece with happy colors.  And the grain of the live edge is amazing.


But it has a purpose.  Oh no, this space is too small for a bunch of decorative only nick knacks.  


The real purpose is a hat and mitten drying rack.  


Now, when V comes home from school, I have a place to put mittens out to dry.  Because this is out in the open, we don’t have to look for missing gloves in the mornings.  In addition to coat hooks, I want a bin for mail, we need an outlet for the lamp, and I want to recover the ottoman seat in something more colorful.  

Check(er) Book

After sharing the tic tac toe board I got a crazy idea to make a checkerboard.  Out of a book.  While out looking for more bathroom stuff (tile and lights) I picked up a large hardcover book for a buck fifty.


Checker boards are 8 squares wide and lucky for me, my book was just a little wider than 8 inches.  So I taped off the edges and marked my grid, using a pencil to draw right on the book.


Then I used craft paint to fill in every other box until I had a checker board.  Twelve white rocks and twelve gray rocks from our yard serve as mini game pieces.  At least for now.  Maybe I’ll get glass pebble vase filler.  Beach glass or seashells could be neat, too.


V still doesn’t completely understand how to play, but we’re having fun.


And when we’re done playing, we can stash the pieces, er rocks, inside.  That’s right, I made a game board book box following these same steps.  Yes, I realize I’m completely crazy.


Now we have a discreet checker board that looks completely at home on a stack of books.


And we can easily flip it over to play a game.


Who’s up for a game of checkers?  And what are your weekend plans?