Make your child's artwork, reminders, and mementos part of the décor by transforming old picture frames into funky painted magnetic boards. Group a few on a wall or picture ledge to create a gallery that evolves as they do. what to do:
a) Remove glass and mat from your picture frame (we used Gallery Frames, $12 and up; West Elm).
b) Trace glass on a piece of sheet metal (find it at hardware stores), then cut it to size with tin snips.
c) On a protected surface in a well-ventilated area and wearing gloves, spray-paint the metal white; let dry. If necessary, add another coat. Let dry completely, then place in the frame.
d) Apply two to three strips of painter's tape across the frame, including the metal. Show your child how to paint the spaces in between with two shades of latex paint. Let dry and remove tape.
Whether your child does his homework at a desk or the dining table, a portable supply kit makes it easy to get right down to business, says Kate Varness of Green Light Organizing in Peoria, IL. what to do:
a) If desired, spray-paint your toolbox (we used the Excel Hardware Portable Tool Box with Two Drawers, $52; Wayfair) in a fun color, removing the drawers and taping off the hardware first.
b) Help your child decorate the box with 1-inch strips of adhesivebacked vinyl, as we did for ours, or cling stickers, wall decals, or any other removable sticker so he can change it up whenever he wants! 3 Contain Barbie's shopping problem. Decorate a deep box, then fill the compartments with dolls and their gear (organized in recycled tennis ball tubes and oatmeal cartons) to keep them from ending up in a jumble. Storing dolls upright is a favorite trick of Tanya Whitford of Organizing Wonders in Burbank, CA. This works well for any figurines with bitty parts!
Decorate a deep box, then fill the compartments with dolls and their gear (organized in recycled tennis ball tubes and oatmeal cartons) to keep them from ending up in a jumble. Storing dolls upright is a favorite trick of Tanya Whitford of Organizing Wonders in Burbank, CA. This works well for any figurines with bitty parts! what to do:
a) Remove and separate the inserts from a wine bottle case (ask the local wine shop for a spare). Cut out two 1½ x 3-inch rectangles on the short sides to create handles.
b) Have your child paint the inserts and the inside of the box in your desired colors; let dry and replace.
c) Cover the outside of the box and the edges of the inserts with adhesive shelf liner (we used In the Navy Polka Dot, $33 for 48”x24”, Chic Shelf Paper). We also covered the corners of the box and the inside of the handles with contrasting strips of shelf liner for decoration and reinforcement.
d) Cut adhesive shelf liner circles to fit the lids of your tubes; stick them on. You can cover the outside of your containers with liner too. Label the lids with letter stickers.
Bed lifts painted in vibrant colors create a storage spot for closet overflow, such as sports gear, big plastic toys, and bins of Legos. We doubled ours to get even more room! what to do:
a) Paint wooden bed lifts (we used two sets of Blonde Wooden Bed Lifts, $25; Bed Bath and Beyond) white with acrylic paint; let dry.
b) Tape off your design using narrow washi tape, then fill in the spaces with alternating colors of acrylic paint. Let dry; remove tape.
A tip from Darla DeMorrow of HeartWork Organizing in Wayne, PA: Retrofit a drawer from an old dresser with wheels for instantly organized, accessible storage under the bed or in a deep closet. Toss in stuffed animals, action figures, shoes, and more. what to do:
a) Start with a wooden drawer. Remove hardware, prime it, then paint it white; let dry. Use painter's tape to mark off two deep V's, then fill in with more colors. Let dry completely.
b) Reattach the hardware. If you want to, update it with a cute new pull (we used the Hand Picked Globe Knob, $9; Land of Nod).
c) Flip the drawer upside down. Drill holes for each caster (line them up first and mark the spots with a pencil), then attach them per manufacturer's directions.