Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Timmy's room

One of the things Tim and I couldn't wait to do when he got back from deployment was decorate Timmy's room.  We searched for inspiration in blogs, Pottery Barn Kids, Etsy, and Land of Nod.  Making a huge fuss over our kids' rooms is something we really enjoy doing together.  Then I discovered Pinterest, and had all kinds of fun pinning all of our ideas on a board and seeing them come together in one place.

Here is Timmy's room before:
At this point, it was just a blank slate.  This room has been through a couple transformations in the year-and-a-half that we've lived here.  First we turned it into Annie's room, not knowing at the time we would be moving her in with her sister in only 6 months.  It would have been practical to put the girls in a room together from the start, since we knew we'd be adding to our family soon.  But I was very reluctant to do that, and with good reason -- those two started making all kinds of trouble once they started sharing a room.  When Tim painted the room again last March, we picked colors that would be suitable for both a guest room and a boy's room.  We were trying to use a little bit more foresight this time, as Tim doesn't enjoy painting all that much.
We settled on an old-timey sports theme for Timmy's room.  It was an easy choice since we already had a few sports-related knicknacks.  The baseball clock was made by Tim's godmother and aunt Jayne as a gift for him in 1981.  It is signed and dated by her.  Tim had to order some special parts for it to get it back in working order, because when he got it out of storage at his parents' house, the hands were gone.  I think once we dusted off that old clock and got it working again, our minds were made up we were going to design the whole room around it, as tiny as it is.  
The piece de resistance is the scoreboard.  Tim got the idea for it, as well as the 'how to' from a blog called That Village House.  It took us a couple weeks to complete, and was a lot of work, mostly done by Tim.  I was an extra set of hands and eyes.  (Thanks to me, the tail on the apostrophe is on the bottom.)  First we got a big old piece of half-inch thick plywood, and Tim found the size and font of letters and numbers to make.  We did not have a Silhouette machine, like Lindsay from That Village House.  We made our own stencils after the kids were in bed, with X-Acto knives and card stock.  That part was pretty tedious, and I might have complained a lot throughout that process.
I was laughing because Tim said he was taking this photo as evidence that I'd done any work on this project.:p
Next, Tim painted the board dark green and white.
Then Tim became violently ill and we had to take a hiatus for a day or two.  After that, it was time to trace the letters and numbers onto the board and paint them.
Tim had to remind me that this was supposed to be made with love, not with curse words.  I had a lot of trouble painting in the lines, and for some reason the paint was drying mid-brushstroke, making it very rough and bumpy looking.  I felt better when I took a step back and looked at it, and saw that it still looked really good.  This was a two-day process, and even though it took a lot more patience than I normally have, I had to admit I really enjoyed sitting down at the table with Tim and working on this.  I wish we did stuff like this more often.

After we'd put a couple coats of paint on the letters, it was time for the finishing touches.  Tim put little hooks next to 'visitor' and 'home,' and drew and painted on the little "lights" at the bottom.
Tim also made the little number cards for the "score" and hung them on the hooks.  We both thought about having the numbers be of some significance, like "725", but in the end Tim picked them at random.  We decided not to overthink it.
It has many flaws when you look at it closely -- or even from far away.  But its flaws give it charm and make me love it more.  

A 36" x 48" sheet of half-inch thick plywood is no small thing to hang on the wall above a baby's crib.  Tim was ready with the drywall anchors, but then surprisingly, when he went to drill holes in the wall, he found studs.  Tim said, "That's crazy.. you can never find a stud when you're looking for it."  I couldn't resist saying, "Where's a good stud when you need one?"  (haha)

Then he made the baseball stitches.  He took a nail and string with a pencil at the end to draw an arc at the top left and bottom right corners of the wall.  He painted the line black.  He wanted to make small red stitches along the lines with the edge of a paint brush, but I felt the stitches needed to be big.  We looked at the vinyl wall decals we'd seen on Etsy to get an idea how big they should be and what shape.  Once we knew what we wanted them to look like, he Googled an image of a boomerang, then printed it off and made a cardboard stencil.  I guess cardboard isn't the best material to make a stencil out of.  Tim was very frustrated at how much paint oozed underneath.  Then he had to try to wipe off the stencil before coloring in the next stitch, so it took a little longer than he thought.  He'd tell you not to look too closely at them, but when you take a few steps back, they look perfect!
And here it is all done!
The sun shining in makes the curtains look pink, but I promise they're red!
The pillow was made for Timmy by his 8-year-old cousin Alexa.  The sheet is from Pottery Barn Kids.
The quilt was made by, Grandy (my mom).  The pennants are from The Land of Nod.  The painting is from Etsy.
We're really happy with how it turned out.  It is a little boy's room more so than a nursery, and will grow with him a few years.  Everything in it is something we can take with us when we go and enjoy for a long time.  At one point I asked Tim, "I wonder how old he'll be when he looks at the scoreboard and goes, 'Ugh.'"  Tim said eventually it can go in a garage or maybe a finished basement family room.  Wherever we wind up, the scoreboard will have a place.


  1. Way to go Tim & Rachael!!! Glad I could partially serve as inspiration (well PBkids too!). I would have hated the stenciling cutting out too. Thank goodness I have that Silhouette. I may not have had the patience. Yay for y'all going for it! :)