October 13, 2012

Play Room Time

This was a really exciting project for several reasons.  My husband and I were ready to reclaim our living room and clear out the toys after 2 1/2 years of being overrun.  We finally converted a basement guest room into a play room for our little guy.  He loves cars, trucks, trains, planes- anything with a motor!  So we got him a great rug that looks like a little town with roads running everywhere, so he can drive his cars all over it. To make it feel like his own little world, we put up stickers of vehicles all over, and strung cloud lanterns I made from the ceiling.  I got the idea for the lanterns from this site.  I also had the idea to run a ribbon between two wall hooks, and use curtain rings with clips as a makeshift art gallery.  I'd seen something similar in different catalogs over the years.  I'm really impressed we were able to put this room together for less than $100!  Directions for clouds and artwork below.

Cloud Lanterns

  • White paper lanterns (I found a pack of 5 at Party City that came with butterflies that I just didn't stick on)
  • LED battery tea lights- be sure to get the kind that are no heat so they won't cause a fire hazard.
  • White stuffed animal filling (I found mine at JoAnne's Fabrics)
  • Glue gun and glue (about 10 sticks for 5 lanterns)
  • Screw hooks (one for each lantern.  I used white to blend in with the white ceiling.)

  1. Assemble lanterns.
  2. Pull apart stuffing into handful-sized patches.  While it seems like it would be easy to just keep it in the "roll" and roll it around the lantern, that approach won't give you the cloud-like feeling.  It will just look like you rolled cotton around the lamp, which is what you did!  Trial and error taught me that. :-)
  3. Plug in glue gun and heat up.
  4. Apply a strip of glue the length of the lantern, and apply stuffing quickly before glue sets.  Repeat across entire lantern, varying application of glue so it is in patches- not repeated vertical rows.  You don't want the lantern to appear orderly.
  5. When lantern surface is covered, look over for thin spots.  Push aside surrounding stuffing, apply a small loop of glue, and apply more stuffing.
  6. Repeat application of glue and stuffing for remaining lanterns.
  7. When dry, place an LED tea light in each lantern.  It's ok if the light isn't fixed in place anywhere.  For all but the extra large lanterns, it shouldn't fall out after you've slipped it in.  Do keep the light near the lantern opening so you can turn it on and off easily.
  8. Tie strings to top of lanterns.
  9. Drill small pilot holes same size as hooks in ceiling for each lantern.
  10. Screw in hooks.
  11. Tie a lantern string to each hook.  Vary the height among the lanterns so they aren't all at exactly the same level.

Art Gallery

  • Long length of ribbon, varying depending on wall and desired length of "gallery", plus two smaller lengths of ribbon for bows
  • 2 Command or other removable wall hooks
  • Curtain rings with clips
  • Laser level
  • Artwork!

  1. Affix laser level to wall.
  2. Stick wall hooks in line with laser.
  3. Tie one end of ribbon around one hook.  This knot needs to be heavy duty.  My husband tied one end while I held the other around the other hook.  He knotted it multiple times, looping around the hook over and over.
  4. String curtain rings onto ribbon.
  5. Tie other end of ribbon around other hook with another heavy duty knot.  I recommend someone hold the already-knotted side while you do this, so you don't pull at the other knot too much.
  6. Trim excess ribbon from each end.
  7. Tie a bow onto each hook to hide knot in the ribbon.
  8. Clip artwork onto curtain rings.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see that LED lights is becoming more available and more affordable.


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