wrapping paper crowns and storage boxes edited

“When are we going to make princess crowns?” This is what I hear as my four-year-old daughter, Adalyn, comes into the kitchen where I’m slaving over a gourmet meal of hot dogs and mac and cheese. This was the first I was hearing of the request to make princess crowns, but that didn’t stop her from making it sound like I was behind on meeting her demands.

While I don’t normally give in to her requests so quickly, I remembered that I had just purchased some pink wrapping paper for another project (see below) and thought maybe I could kill two birds with one stone (that’s such a morbid saying).

So, I got out the wrapping paper, some rainbow duct tape I bought for the cheap storage boxes I was going to make later in the week, and I began creating a princess crown.

First, I cut a strip of paper and measured it around her head. Then I put a strip of duct tape on the top and bottom of the strip to reinforce the designs I would cut out later.

wrapping paper and duct tape 1 edited

I quickly Googled what a crown looked like and tried my best to replicate the design. She wanted it to be “sparkly,” so I found some sequins in my craft box and helped her glue them on.

decorated crown edited

Here’s a picture of my little princess sporting her wrapping paper crown.

princess ady edited

After hers was complete, she decided we should make one for her little brother who was napping. I used some boyish paper I had in the closet and box tape instead of duct tape for the inside. He was excited to be included when he awoke from his nap, but decided he would be a pirate king. He’s saying “arrr.”

asa the pirate king

So, there you have it. Cheap crowns that were probably trampled by the next day. But anytime I can cheaply indulge my little girl’s imagination, I am willing to try.

Cheap Storage Boxes

My daughter’s closet had become a disaster of knick knacks, old clothes and puzzles that were taking up too much room and were not easily accessible. So, I decided I wanted to find some storage solution. Because buying pretty storage boxes wasn’t in my budget, I decided to make them.

Step 1: Gather up all of the ugly diaper boxes from the garage

edited diaper boxes

If you don’t have a plethora of diaper boxes, seek out a diapering friend or ask the grocery store for some extra boxes.

Step 2: Cover the boxes with wrapping paper

edited box with wrapping paper

This was a learning process, and the last two looked better than the first two. I sort of wrapped them like a present and folded the excess paper over the sides.

Step 3: Place colored duct tape around the sides.

edited finished box

This isn’t necessarily a must for every box, but I thought it made the boxes look cute. And Ady is very into rainbows, so it worked. I also added a stick-on, vinyl, chalkboard label so that I could change the box’s purpose if I so chose.

Step 4: Weed through the mess and put the boxes to good use.

closet boxes edited dollhouse box edited

I threw away a lot of things we didn’t need and consolidated. I also put some of the puzzles in plastic bags if their boxes were falling apart. I also used one of the boxes to hold all of Ady’s dollhouse furniture and accessories that usually end up on the floor by the end of the night.

There you have it. Cheap storage boxes that will help simplify (if that’s even possible) your life.

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“I Trying”

It’s been a stifling, hot and humid summer in Central Texas. But last weekend, the heat succumbed to a small cold front that brought a breezy sigh of relief.

For my two-going-on-twelve-year-old, Ady, this weather meant one thing –time at the park. Her little round face and the soles of her tennis shoes lit up at the thought of walking down the street to the neighborhood playground. So, we packed up the wagon and our squirming two-month-old, and headed down the road with our slightly overweight dog panting behind us.

The playground is nothing special. It’s probably 30-years-old and desperately needs a paint job, but to Ady it’s a castle just for her. She bound through the dusty pebbles and conquered the stairs she’d been afraid to climb the last time the weather had been tolerable enough to play outside.

But as she made it to the highest point of the structure, she saw something greater to experience–the tunnel slide. With it’s height and lack of speed-regulating curves, the “big slide” was exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

“Go on, baby. You can do it. We’ll catch you,” we chanted from the opening at the end of the slide.

She peered down at us, alternating between smiling and looking like she was going to cry. She tried putting one leg down into the slide’s open mouth. No, too scary. Now, the other leg. No. still too scary. Then her arms and head. Nope. Not going to happen.

We repeated our encouraging words, but each time she attempted to go down the slide, she retreated back to the safety of the wooden platform. She trusted the structure. Even though her parents were telling her everything was going to be okay–she could do it; there was safety at the bottom of the slide–she still couldn’t make herself take the risk.

Each time she made an attempt and pulled herself back to security, she would say, “I trying.” She wanted to take the risk. She knew what she had to do to make it happen, but she was afraid.

Finally, my husband climbed up the playground equipment (in one step I might add – he’s 6’4”) and stood next to her. He picked her up, slid both legs into the open slide and gave her a little nudge. Down she went. Although the first few seconds were terrifying, there was nothing but pure joy and pride at the end of her wild ride.

“I did it, Mommy,” she said with a big smile.

This whole incident might seem ordinary. It seemed that way to me until days later when I was bringing my burdens to God. I was telling him that I was scared, that I knew what I had to do, but the risk seemed too great.

“I know I’m not there yet, Lord, but I’m trying.” There was that phrase again. I realized in that moment that I was looking at my Heavenly father through the tunnel slide. He was telling me that I could do it; that he would catch me. He wasn’t going to let me fall. But, I was clinging to my safe wooden platform.

It’s time for me to take a risk and let my Heavenly father be there to catch me. I just have to have faith that there’s joy and pride at the end of my tunnel.