I know I mostly write about gardening but occasionally I have other things in my life I would like to share. I have been working on a special baby gift for the last couple of months for my sister and brother-in-law and although it is not garden related I thought I might share it anyway.
I have been trying to work more on my woodworking skills (which do come in handy while gardening) and I wanted to make a small bookshelf for the baby. Now as a former teacher, setting up an environment for a baby or child is very important to me so I didn’t just want to give the baby a bookshelf but an entire reading “environment.” So my gift expanded as I began working on it and I love the results.
First the bookshelf. I came across this cloud bookshelf while searching the internets and thought I could make this myself! So after a little bit more searching I found a DIY version over at Lay Baby Lay. Although she made a heart bookshelf I knew I could easily make a cloud shape instead. I asked for my dad’s help and to borrow his saber saw and after breaking two blades we had clouds! Although the construction is fairly easy, you do need two sets of hands to hold the wood together while assembling.
First we cut down the 1 x 10 x 4 common board into two 2 feet length pieces. I attached them with four #6 1 – 1/4 brass screws making sure to counter sink the screws. Then I took a large piece of cardboard to make a stencil to figure out how big I wanted the clouds to be. This took several tries but once I got it right I traced my stencil onto the 1-1/8 inch x 23-1/4 inch x 4 ft. edge-glued board. I used a saber saw to make the cuts. The rounded edges of the cloud proved to be a bit difficult for the saw blade but working slowly helped.
Let’s move on to setting the mood for reading…
Since my sister-in-law has hardwood floor, the baby would need a cozy rug to be placed in front of the bookshelf. And a baby always needs a sleeping cloud pillow to keep him company while reading. I made this cloud pillow using some of my mom’s scrap fabric, and her sewing machine. I hand stitched the eyes and cheeks using embroidery thread. For a simple cloud pillow tutorial you can click here.
Now you can’t have an empty bookcase so I searched for books about clouds, stars, and other classics to add to the shelf. I also added this Sleeping under the Stars nightlight because you can always use some mood lighting when reading books.
I framed an inspirational quote for the baby (and parents) because one must always remember to, “Keep calm and read a book.” For me, usually it is a gardening book.
I wrapped everything in craft paper and heart and cloud washi tape! I made little cloud tags to write little messages to the baby on some of the gifts. I also used my new skill of embossing to make handmade cards and wrapping paper.