Happy Friday, friends!!! Before I get into my latest organizing project, just a quick thank you for all the virtual hugs and words of encouragement on Wednesday’s post! I always take a big gulp before publishing personal posts like that one and am so relieved when you guys really dig what I have to share. I received some great questions from you guys, as well as some awesome “attagirl” comments from some fellow military spouses – you guys are the best, and I love that I can be so real with you guys and you can be real right back! Thank you!
Now…onto my latest “Organize This” project. I am loving tackling these small little organizing projects around our home. Not only is organizing one of those tasks I could honestly do every day, but these are good small projects for me to focus on now that we are winding down our time in this house. I like to think that the more small organization projects I knock out and can come with us, the easier it will be to find our new normal in our next space. Right? 😉
Today, I’m chatting about…
This organizing project has a bit of a back story that goes something like this:
Most of you long-time readers will recall that our playroom (pretty much) looks like this: our big Expedit filled with toys on the far wall, and just to the left, a Magnetic Learning Station with buckets filled with all sorts of flash cards, magnetic letters and other small toys.
At least that’s what that corner looked like until a few months ago. Pretty much ever since I set up that darling Magnetic Learning Station (ummm…2+ years ago), Henry never really went near it. Every now and then I could get him to play with the letters, but mostly, that precious wall space went un-used. #Projectfail. So when I wanted to update our Command Center with some Preppy Magnetic Boards, I snagged the magnetic sheet from this space because it wasn’t getting used. Then the shelf came down, the pails went out to the garage to hold other things, and all the flash cards, magnetic letters and other small toys got tossed haphazardly into the blue bins (do you see where this is going?)
Well, all of a sudden, a switch has flipped in Henry’s little brain, and he is OBSESSED with letters (I attribute this video). And when I say obsessed, I mean we are looking at, talking about, and playing with letters non-stop these days. You better bet all those letters and flash cards were dug out of the blue bins and have since been laying all over the playroom floor. Friends, I have little magnetic letters EVERYWHERE! #ouch
These itty bitty toys and flash cards and games needed a proper home…STAT. And since I’m trying not to shop, I decided to shop my home..which led me to my craft closet and my fabric stash…which led me to my sewing machine…which ultimately yielded these cute little peek-a-boo toy bags!
(Okay – quick disclaimer: I was planning on sharing this fun and simple sewing tutorial today, but this post was turning into a monster with well over 30 photos! So…don’t hate me, but I’ve decided to split it up. Come back here bright and early on Monday and I will have ALL the details for whipping up these darling little bags for you. They are so fun, quick, and easy…and we honestly have been LOVING having them to organize all sorts of bits and pieces around here so you won’t want to miss it!)
After a night of sewing (and re-bonding with my sewing machine, which I haven’t used in ages!!!!), I had four cute little peek-a-boo sacks. They hold just the right amount of stuff and close with Velcro – ideal for little four-year-old hands! They can stand up or lay flat, making them perfect for all sorts of items. Into our bags went magnetic letters, flash cards, small card games, and a set of puzzle pieces that didn’t come with a decent box. Suddenly everything that had been swimming around the bottom of our blue bins had decent, handy, and colorful new homes! Can I just say how much I love those citrus-y colors?!?!
Henry LOVES these little sacks and started carrying them around the house as soon as I made them. I could see how special he felt when he asked what I was working on, and I said they were for him!
So…in addition to finding a way to keep all the letters together, I also needed to replace the magnetic surface I confiscated just weeks prior. #iswearheneverusedit!
We had an extra magnetic calendar that we weren’t using regularly. It was actually a great size (16×20″) and on a pretty sturdy frame. It’s an easy size for him to carry around, and we’ve been having fun snuggled up on the couch playing with all the letters with this board on our laps. The only problem…at least for me…was that the calendar grid was a bit distracting! I remedied that with a stretch of patterned contact paper I’ve been hoarding!
I simply cut a rectangle that was just a bit bigger than the magnetic surface and carefully applied it to the board (smoothing out bubbles as I went). I then used an X-acto knife to cut away the excess paper. This little makeover took me about 3 minutes. It’s so much more pleasant to look at, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it now matches our playroom! Henry is now one little letter-loving happy camper, and Mama is pretty excited to have all these random bits corralled and coordinated!
These little sacks now tuck into our blue bins oh so nicely. Finding all those little pieces is now simple and hassle-free, AND they all have a good place to go when it’s clean up time! I would have made another 4 or 5 of these sacks, but ran out of vinyl! I can now think of a dozen uses for them!
My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This tiny toy bag project is exactly that: quick and easy enough to do today or this coming weekend! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:
So, there’s our relatively quick and simple storage solutions for our latest toy conundrum! What do you guys think? Do you have a need for similar little sacks in your house? I can’t wait to show you how simple these bags come together – come back here on Monday and I’ll have all the details for you. Until then – have a GREAT weekend! I am working on one more DIY framing project (see that bulletin board up there in those photos??? It’s next!) – I hope you’re not too sick of framing projects yet. I’ve got to get them all done before we return the power miter saw 😉 Hope to have the details for that for you up here soon too!
Have a great weekend!!!!
Pssssttt…this isn’t the first time I’ve DIYd some clever toy storage. Check out how we store our puzzles here:
How we store our other small toys here:
And how I keep track of toys in my purse here: