DIY: I think I can, I think I can

My mom’s group did a pretty smart thing by suggesting that instead of inviting everyone to each child’s individual birthday party, that we would have just one collective party and everyone would bring one gift.

I’m very glad for this because whatever kind of birthday party I would pull together would inevitably one-upped by someone else in the group who put together real goody bags and not the ones I would buy from the Dollar Store, filled with tootsie pops and scratch tickets.

You see, I’m not very good at crafts. Oh, I’m a genius at planning crafts. I can fulfill the “Supplies Needed” check-list, but after that, my brain is a sieve.

When I first fitted Nathan for cloth diapers, I had the very lofty goal of sewing all of them. I used a pattern to cut out the shape on some worn flannel, sewed a straight line and then remembered that I have no craft skills whatsoever. I ended up buying a couple dozen Diaperaps off Craigslist. I have about five yards of awesome polar fleece and a sewing machine that will probably never need to be oiled because I never use it!

And as we’re about to move into our new place (we close in SIX DAYS!), I’ve been flooded with ideas of what I can do myself, but at the same time, I am reminded that I’m very good at step 1 of DIY projects but cannot remember any time I’ve reached step 2.

I’ve been obsessively scouring the Apartment Therapy/Design Mom/Design*Sponge triumvirate, oohing and ahhing over what very smart and handy people do with small spaces. I need to be smart and handy because I want to do this to Nathan’s room, but I don’t want to spend $400. I like the concept of a tree, but I want to keep with an island theme. My idea is to make Nathan’s room a bit more tropical without hearing, “Sha-la-la-la-la-la, go on and kiss the girl,” in the background.

Is it possible to make a vintage wall-paper coconut tree by someone whose only experience decorating a wall required only scissors, scotch tape and back issues of Seventeen?

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  1. BoReGo says:

    You need some burlap, contact paper, good sharp scissors, green in three different colors (fabric) and no sewing I promise. If you want to do it, I will show you how. How many coconut trees? Anything else?

  2. The thing about burlap is that it’ll be rough and I’m afraid the cats will scratch at the burlap.

    I also like these decoupage ideas from Martha Stewart.

  3. Wow, Mona, Nathan’s almost 1! Besides the mom’s group thing, are you going to do anything? We just pizza and cake at home with my sister’s family. We are doing the same thing this year again.

  4. BoReGo says:

    Decoupage is sooo cool and so much fun. I miss doing stuff like that. With four kids now, I just settle for painting the walls and imagining a decor.

  5. Butrfly4404 says:

    Telling yourself you can’t do it is the worst thing to do. But the best part about it all is that it’s YOUR house and you can do whatever you damn well please and answer to NO ONE about it. Except maybe Nathan in a couple years when he says “Mom, what the hell is that supposed to BE on my wall?”

    Just go for it, if you mess it up, you can always fix it.

    We just painted the kid’s bathroom a really BLUE blue, hoping to paint tropical fish on it, but now I’m scared to mess up the fish and have to repaint!

    If I hung burlap on my wall, my cat would think it was a special prize for her. Maybe paint the trunk and just use the burlap for the coconuts?

    I love your mom’s group idea! I hate planning parties – especially when they induce competition.

  6. i’m not exactly sure how i stumbled onto your blog, but i’m hooked after reading a couple of entries! as for your tree…a very simple idea:
    find some great wallpaper that you like, rent an overhead projector, tack the paper you want to use for the trunk to the wall, project an image of a tree onto the paper (you can make it as big as you want that way) and trace it! Then you just cut it out, attatch it to the wall, find a leaf pattern and make your leaves. ok so it took a lot longer to write that, but it really would be simple and you would only need a good pair of scissors, a pencil, and an overhead projector!

  7. Butrfly–That’s the great thing about home ownership: the mess I create is all mine.

    Biddy–GREAT IDEA. I think I saw someone do that, but it took your suggestion to dredge it out of my memory. Thanks!

  8. Design Mom says:

    Good luck on the new room design. I think the planning and schemeing is half the fun, especially because it’s free!

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