I love that Connor is really getting into coloring and painting and wanted to draw. However, I hate that when he wants to do it, it takes me so long to get things together that he has moved to something else. I knew that I wanted to get things organized, but I didn’t want to pay for something. I have a lot of stuff so I knew that I couldn’t just through stuff into one of those little shower caddies. I searched for a while through Google and through Pinterest I didn’t see anything that I liked. I was determined to make something with my own two little hands. I always have scrap wood laying around that I thought I could use. (I also use it for Connor’s art projects – find out more here) So I found a caddy that I thought would work.
It used aluminum cans to hold stuff and then you attached the cans to some wood and added a handle. I thought instead of silverwear, I could put crayons and markers and such. It hardcore failed when I made it. I couldn’t get the inside of the cans to not be sharp. I sanded and sanded. I have 3 cuts on my hands as I write this from this project #PinterestFail. Back to the drawing board.
After scouring the internet for about a week, I couldn’t find anything that I liked. I knew what I wanted to put in it so I decided to design it myself. I sketched something very rough and made tweeks to it over a day or so and then finally when to work on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I went to the dollar store and got some of those little pencil holders and figured that I could use them to hold all of the crayons, markers, pencils and such. I didn’t want them to be plain silver (it’s for kids so it should have fun colors), so I decided to spray paint them with left over paint I had. Turned out pretty cute!
I had a pretty large piece of 1/2in plywood so figured that I could use it. I cut some pieces of plywood for the sides and bottom. Please don’t tell me dad, but I didn’t always measure twice, cut once. I did have to make a couple of tweeks to the cuts I made. I used my circular saw to make all the cuts which made it really easy. I sanded all the edges down so that there were no rough edges since little hand will be using this. I used some left over paint and painted the whole thing red. I really wanted to take pictures of all the separate pieces, but I was overzealous to put it all together because I could see how cute it was going to be. #AliciaFail. Sorry
Once they were dry, I needed to put the whole thing together. Now I’m going to give you a little lesson on plywood. Plywood is very thin sheets of wood glued together. If you put something in the edges of the plywood like screws, it loses it’s strength and can break/split. Therefore, I couldn’t just screw this thing together. I needed to find another way to put it together. This is for my kids to use, and I have a Connor. If you don’t know him he is a combination of the Tasmanian Devil mixed with Wile E Coyote. If he can break or destroy something while being crazy and hurt himself while doing it, he will. I needed this thing to be strong and well put together. So, I called my dad to find out the the best method. He suggested that I put it together with gorilla glue and then tack it with wire nails. I had all of these things so – onward ho! I glued everything and let it dry for about 4 hours before started to put some 1.25″ wire nails. You can see the glue, but don’t worry it dries clear.
It doesn’t look to bad if I do say so myself! But, you can see how awesome at painting I was since I forgot to paint the edges of the both sides….I fixed it after.
After it was tacked and dried, I went on to add a few more little touches. I knew that I wanted to add someplace to keep paper. From redoing our kitchen, we had some stuff we used for spacers left over. It is white on 3 sides so I didn’t have to paint it and about an inch think – it was perfect. I cut it to be a little longer than an 8.5×11 sheet and I cut 2 little pieces that I used to screw it on to the caddy. I know you are thinking, “But Alicia, you just said that you shouldn’t use screws when using plywood.” I know I did, but I was screwing these into the face of the plywood which is where all the strength is. It didn’t break down any of the structural integrity of the plywood, I promise!
I also knew that those pencil holders would be a little shallow for some of my brushes. I had some plastic piping left over from my dad creating our No-Touchy Zone around our tv. Side note – how cute is it? It has held up for over 2 years. Advantages to having a handy-man as a dad.
Anywho – I cut a spare pipe into 4 different lengths just to give some fun design to these boring old white pipes. I glued them into the corner. I also glued the pencil holders down since I could just see this caddy crashing to the ground and everything going everywhere. The more things that are glued down, the better!
After that, I just got to put everything in it’s place. We have 2 different types of crayons, markers, glue, paint, rulers, brushes, paper, and play-dough.
This now sits on my dinning room table and is used at least once a day. I am pretty proud of making this from complete scratch. It’s not 100% perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Let me know what you think of my fun little kiddo craft caddy!