Archives For Nursery

As excited as I was to move Jack out of the crib, I was a tiny bit heartbroken when I realized I’d soon be taking down the mobile I so lovingly created. I hated to just cast it aside.

I’ve got a plan to reuse the yarn balls, but first I tackled a smaller project: creating a piece of embroidery to fill the green painted hoop. I started working on it several weeks ago using a spare embroidery hoop, then just moved it over to the green one after we’d set up Jack’s new bed and taken down the mobile. My first attempt involved tracing an image of tree rings that I found online. When it was finished I wasn’t sure about the outcome so I texted a picture to my friend Lauren and asked what it looked like to her.

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So with that I started over, this time keeping it simpler. I used a backstitch for the rings and lettering and two rows of split stitches for the bark. And to avoid any unintentional resemblance to anatomy I stitched his name in the center instead of ever-narrowing rings. It’s supposed to look like his name was scrawled on a tree stump.

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The green and brown are perfect accents in his room.

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I love the addition of something round to the collection of items on his wall. I’d like to add something else to the right side but I’m not quite sure what yet.

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It’s kind of symbolic–the rings of a tree are a visual marker of growth and this is a space for a growing child to play and rest.

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It’s hung on the wall with a nail and secured in place with some museum putty. Since he’s not confined to the crib anymore I went ahead and added a bit of putty to everything else on the wall, too, just to make sure that he doesn’t accidentally pull something down and hurt himself when he’s in there alone.

I’ve been working on this embroidery project on and off since May so I’m thrilled to finally have it completed. Next project: stringing those yarn balls into a garland to hang from the ceiling!

Way back in April Nick’s parents gave us a pair of twin beds that their boys slept in when they were kids. I used gel stain to darken the wood and then had to wait a while until we could get a mattress and hardware.

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The stars aligned this weekend and Nick was able to bring a truck home from work on a weekend when we already had plans to visit his parents about an hour away. They had a twin mattress that wasn’t being used so we loaded it up. We decided to only set up one of the beds for now because Jack’s room is so small. Someday we may move him into the larger guest room and set both beds up then, but for now one bed is plenty. These beds have been in storage for a while and the accompanying hardware is nowhere to be found. I tried tracking down replacement hardware, but from what I understand there is no standard sizing for these sorts of fasteners and the company that made the beds has since gone out of business.

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I decided to just attach the rails with some sturdy brackets instead. Nick and I measured, marked, and drilled until brackets were attached to all four posts, then measured and pre-drilled holes in the rails before attaching them in place. I’m considering adding another small bracket on the top or side at each corner but they’re surprisingly sturdy as is.

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The bed came with a set of slats and what google tells me is called a “bunky board.” I love that it offers more support than slats alone without the bulk of a boxspring.


I made up the bed with a set of basic white sheets and this blanket (in gray pickstitch). It’s so much softer and cozier than anything I saw in the kids’ section and I love the way it looks.

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Jack was really excited about making the move into his new bed! I think it helped that my mom got him this book for his birthday a few weeks ago. Here he is at bedtime on that first night (Sunday).

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As excited as he was, he definitely needed a little more support falling asleep that night. I ended up laying down with him for a little while, then sitting in the chair, then sitting in the living room with his bedroom door open and telling him to lay back down whenever I saw him sit up on the video monitor. But I am shocked to report that he never got out of bed! Even in the morning! I’m also hopeful that we won’t need the guardrail for long, but I’ll watch him carefully for a while to be sure. He hasn’t moved around much at all so far. I still need to add a waterproof mattress cover and contraption for toddlerproofing that outlet behind the headboard (both on order from Amazon), and I have plans to rework the mobile that I made to hang above his crib, but setting up the new bed was the only major change required to take this space from nursery to kid room.

It feels like the end of an era, y’all. As I stood on his bed to remove the mobile hanging from the ceiling above I remembered being hugely pregnant and climbing into his crib to hang it a little over two years ago (I actually bent the metal mattress support standing on it with my big pregnant self). Here’s a throwback pic for nostalgia’s sake:

And OMG I can’t even.

Well y’all, it was another rather unproductive weekend at the Tryforos house. My pantry doors are still wonky and my microwave is still plugged in with an extension cord, but I did eat some crawfish and I did knock one item off my to do list: staining these wood beds that Nick’s parents handed down to use for Jack to use. It was a big project and I don’t have a garage or carport, so my plan was to assemble both of the beds under a canopy to provide some shelter from the elements. Turns out I couldn’t assemble the beds because I was missing some parts (like all of them), but it all worked out because I could learn all the pieces up against the poles of the canopy and pull them 1-2 at a time into the middle to work on.

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Since I didn’t have much luck stripping the old finish, I used General Finishes gel stain. I’ve heard that it’s really great for this sort of thing.

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A friend warned me that the gel stain she used on her kitchen cabinets peeled and chipped so I did some reading and learned that the best way to prevent that from happening is to apply it more like a stain than paint. So I worked in sections and used a clean sock to wipe it on, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it off.

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It took about three hours spread over two sessions yesterday afternoon, but it still was a much faster process than stripping off all the old varnish would have been.

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We’re not expecting any rain for the next few days so I’ll be leaving them outside as long as I can to get most of the stink off. In the meantime, it looks like I need to track down some locking bolts!

I’ve been really dragging my feet on refinishing Jack’s new bed. After I realized that sanding it all down to bare wood was going to be unreasonably time consuming I thought that gel stain might be the answer, but I couldn’t find any at Lowe’s and it wasn’t available for free shipping on Amazon. I had read that General Finishes was a respected brand so I visited their website and learned that I could pick some up locally at a wood furniture store (All Wood Furniture on Airline if you’re around here). It was $25 for the quart which is about how much I would have paid online with shipping, but I got to pat myself on the back for supporting a local business.

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The consistency is even thicker than paint. I dare say it could be mistaken for chocolate pudding if it weren’t for the smell.

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I decided to test it out on an inconspicuous area before committing to a big project. I pulled aside one of the rails intending to do just a small area on the inside, but a little went such a long way and it went on so easily that I went ahead and did the entire piece. Here it is compared to another rail. This is without doing ANYTHING to prep, not even a light sanding–the instructions do recommend roughing it up a bit,  but I didn’t. I just brushed on a very, very thin coat with a brush and stood back in amazement.

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Y’all. It’s only going to take me one coat and no sanding to refinish the entire thing. I’m stoked! I tried it out on one of the guard rails that I got partway through stripping and although it did turn out significantly darker the splotchiness is not a big issue like I thought it might be. I can totally live with that, especially since there are four guard rails and I can’t see myself ever using more than two at a time.

I’m hoping to refinish both beds this weekend (if you remember we got them as a pair, but I think we’ll only be using one for now). My plan is to set them both up in the backyard so that I can access all sides without having to flip pieces over while they’re still drying. I’m concerned about where to go from there, though. It says that it needs 14 days to cure–does that mean that it can’t come back into the house for two weeks? It’s times like this I really wish I had a garage.

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