Friday, April 26, 2013

Home Improvements: Reading Castle

Our living room/play room has been evolving since the day we moved in.  Thankfully.  It needed to evolve, and it's still got a ways to go.

We were recently left with a big corner space between the couches that looked too empty.  I had something awesome in mind to fill it with.

This was my inspiration:

although it wasn't quite what I really wanted for my boys.  So I just made my own adjustments and ended up with this:

Isn't it glorious?!  We call it the "Reading Castle."  Very boyish and fun.  I also bought some Ikea spice racks and painted them brown and put them on the wall to hold books, because we must have organized books near the reading castle.  (If you use the Ikea spice racks as book shelves, make sure to put in wall anchors in case your little boy thinks it's a good idea to use it as a step up onto the couch.)

It cost less than $15 to make.  Pretty awesome, considering you can buy them here for hundreds of dollars.  I just bought three twin sized bed sheets at Walmart and used an old hula hoop that we had laying around.  For the castle banner, I used scrap fabric, binding from the fabric store, and a fleur de lis stencil from the craft store.  To hang it, I used an old hook that we had laying around and anchored it into the ceiling with a heavy-duty anchor.

I really tried to simplify the design, since I'm a bit of a corner-cutter.  ;)  I just eyeballed how long to make the sides hang (I wanted them to drape on the ground just a bit) and instead of cutting out cone-shaped pieces for the top part (because my hula hoop wasn't the same size as the inspiration, and I didn't feel like doing math), I just cut out a circle a bit bigger than the hula hoop.  I didn't do the thread-pulling type of gathering with the blue fabric...I just folded it and pushed it under the machine foot as I went.  Not the best technique, but I didn't figure out how to properly gather until last week.  Oops.  Better late than never!  But I like my top better than my inspiration top, so it's all good.

The biggest problem that I ran into was pinning the top piece and the sides together.  It's a bit difficult to sew something in that shape.  But it's more difficult when you're left-handed and set it all up to sew from the wrong direction.  I ended up sewing it all together backwards.  Yes, I held down the reverse button on my machine for the whole thing.  What a pain.

But I love it.  And the boys love it.  And I love that it encourages reading, and helps with sensory processing, and looks cute in the corner of the living room.


Linking here, to one of my favorite home improvement bloggers!
TDC Before and After


MeganandClaudy said...

This is so incredibly fabulous. Your boys are so lucky to have such a creative momma!

Megan said...

This is adorable and you are right, perfect for the space! I have really wanted one of these but we don't have space for it, maybe someday! Love yours though. Glad your boys like it!

the cape on the corner said...

so cute! what a great little space to encourage reading!