The Tiny Bookish Nookish

Dudes and Dudettes, I hereby decree– It’s done, it’s done, we’re filled with glee!

Finished Bazoffice

Finished Bazoffice

It’s a good day for coming out of the closet, so I must jump on that bandwagon with a little rainbow of my own…  no seriously, ya’ll, good week for humanity, in my estimation.  I hope these talks go somewhere, and that this is just the bottom step in a veritable escalator of civil rights!

(Don’t forget that you can click on any photo twice to see it enlarged on a black background!)

The Inside Of the Door

The Inside Of the Door

Now let’s talk about Fox’s tiny office!  We’ve been trying to figure out what to call this thing…  Pan suggested “the cubicle,” which is cute, but likely to bring on a lot of Office Space style stapler references and “that’d be greeeeeat”‘s that our six-year-old just won’t get.  Which is tiring to one’s humorous.

I’ve seen references to the mix of closet and office to create ‘cloffices’ on Pinterest (would the plural be ‘cloffi?!’), and I simply find that word awkward.  I feel like a high-school goof that got nervous and decided mid-word to change it from closet to office.  Sure to be followed by a fakey, nervous laugh of supreme dorkiness.  No, cloffices are not for me.

In other words– we’re open to suggestions on the name business.  Please.

The door pictured at left is showing you the inside/back, and above resides Fox’s Nerf basketball hoop.  I did the two smaller chalkboard boxes above the knob thingy for keeping score of those shots.  Kiddo really gets that, I think its these wee details that really impress him!

Organized Bins

Organized Bins

Inside the closet, I really tried to maximize space.  Since the desk-level shelf is so deep, much of that excess space could be optimized for storage of art and school supplies.  I combined a few different elements to help keep my boy organized, and hopefully in a way that he actually wants to keep it cleaned up.  We’re only a week in, but so far so good!

On the left side of this back area are two lime green bins from the dollar store, which I have adorned with some stickers with generic superhero words.  (“Bam!” “Pow!” etc.)    The left one contains Fox’s light brite; a viewmaster; some coloring and puzzle books; sticker pages; and orange felt squares for chalkboard erasing.  The right one contains rulers, spirographs, and stencils; green tickets from the dollar store; and nerf and small squishy basketballs.  These bins are tall and narrow and not quite a foot long, so they hold quite a bit, and can certainly take on more than they contain right now.

The Back Right

The Back Right

To the back right is the pinboard you saw in my very first post about this space (unchanged), and a three-tiered chromey tower.  I think this piece is actually something I got in the bathroom organization section of Target (or another big box, it’s escaping me right now).  I like that it uses the height of the area, sort of hitting upon the city theme again; it echos the chrome on the lamp and creates continuity; and makes a lot of little oddball thingamabobs actually look organized and keeps them handy.  It is so easy for him to reach and drop his scissors or pencil sharpener into the rack and keep the small space tidy.  And he has been– which is awesome!

Li'l Tubbies

Li’l Tubbies

The tiny tubbies with the kelly green and cobalt lids are flip-top containers with handles that I got at AC Moore for a buck each.  They contain crayola chalks; puzzley construction links; assorted tiny ink pens, rubber bands, erasers and the like; jacks and bouncy balls; and word/ poetry magnets.  Fox LOVES these, and has been carrying around the one with the jacks or the puzzles for most of his Spring break.  I love it when a one dollar item is adored like that….

This shot to the right also shows off an interesting little asset to his space that I completely and utterly scored– dry erase speech bubbles.  Yaaaaa’ll!  I am so lucky sometimes I cannot even *tell* you!

I was sent to Wal-Mart in the late hours of a weeknight one day last week for some cough meds for my little guy.  I don’t like that place, but it was closer than the nearest 24-hour Walgreens.  (Which I kinda don’t like either.  I’m a pain.)  Anwyay, poor dude.  He’s on the up-and-up now, but we were slathering him with cherry-scented mentholatum for days and days.

Thirty Cent Scores!

Thirty Cent Scores!

While I was there, I got lost looking for snacks, and I ran across this clearance isle filled with school supplies.  Yeah, it’s March, and they were hawking some stuff from August, so you know the prices were looooow.  Lots of it was stuff to ‘hip up’ your high school locker and the like, so I got to poking around.

I bought two packs of the dry-erase thought bubbles (complete with eraser-tipped marker!) for thirty cents each.  Yeah!  Sixty cents!  I didn’t use the hot pink bubbles, making eight total little adornments for my superhero’s city skyline.  To keep his dry erase markers distinguished from his other, regular water-washables, I wound funky orange and lime washi tape around their bodies so that they would be clearly marked for him.  I also placed them in the trio tower, so they didn’t get mixed in his marker bucket.  He understands that they are the only kind of marker that will work on those bubbles, and he’s sticking to it.  I LOVE to see what he’s written in them, so imaginative!

Magnetic Dry-Erase Board

Magnetic Dry-Erase Board

I also picked up a few more thirty-cent deals, some geek-boy magnetic words, and two packs of bright, chain-link, puzzle pens.  These pens fit well into the tubbies shown above, and are the source of much fascination for Fox.  He immediately figured out how they worked, and he has them linked together like a chain.  This afternoon, when I was looking for a pen to help me sort the photos for this post, he happily retrieved one and loaned it to me for a bit.  They work surprisingly well, and they fold open so they aren’t super-awkward (especially for wee hands) to use.

The dry-erase board you see to your right is also a cheapish Wally purchase, I want to say it was three bucks.  It is magnetic as well as dry-erase, and like the little dry-erase thought bubbles, it also came with a pen with an eraser cap.  (And, obviously, you can see the idea of the washi tape embellished markers to keep them distinguished from those that might ruin the surface.)  I actually didn’t tell Fox that it was also dry-erase, my intention is for it to be his magnet board.  I figure he has enough places to scribble, between the chalkboard everywhere and the thought bubbles.  He has less places to put magnets….

The board came with foamie tape and magnets to mount on the back, in case we opt to hang it on the wall.  I sort of wanted it to be more like an etch-a-sketch or something like that, where he can pick it up and play with it in front of him, instead of mounted to a solitary wall spot.  So I left them all off, and it’s loose, just propped against the wall in his little office.

The Whole Desktop

The Whole Desktop

Comfy Seating

Comfy Seating

In past posts about this closet office, I have described the origin of this seat thing.  It is extremely sturdy, and the drawers are very handy.  They currently operate as sort of “in” and “out” memo boxes for the lad.  Pan had saved a ream of his employer’s printed letterhead that was earmarked for the recycle bin, so we placed it in the top drawer, as ready-access art paper for the boy.  This was a brilliant save on the hubster’s part– having paper at hand has brought us a lot of amazing artwork these last few weeks, and I hope that now he has a proper place to do it, we will see even more of Fox’s artistic talent.

The Other Side Of the Cushion

The Other Side Of the Cushion

The drawered unit is pretty bright, but no one in my family would let me repaint the drawers.  When I originally painted this five plus years ago, I had decoupaged striped tissue onto the top, and over the years, it had worn in a really unattractive way.  I was challenged to fix it up, but not *change* it, which is always a fine line to walk.  I sanded the top down quite a bit, cut an exactly-sized piece of the blue action-word fabric, and used mod podge to cover over the old tissue remains.  Fabric is fantastic for decoupage, as you can reposition it, and remove all of the wrinkles really easily.  (If you look really closely to the above left picture, you can just barely see it under the cushion.)  That impulse fabric buy from a few weeks ago was a lifesaver, because it automatically pulls in all of those colors from the drawers and makes it all seem intentional.  AWESOME!

The decoupaged-on fabric also adds an unexpected bonus– traction!  The previous striped tissue had been very, very smooth, which I would say is normally preferable if it were a table, but I wanted to add a cushion… and any cushion I tried slipped right off, and kiddo was having a ton of trouble aligning it all up under his folded feet and tiny tushie.  Once I got the fabric on, it supplies a little roughness, a little *grab,* so the cushion became a GO!  Perfect!

To make said cushion, I used this very easy little tutorial from the Brit + Co. blog– www.brit.co/floor-pillows/.  I didn’t use her measurements, however, I instead measured my unit’s dimensions, and opted to take the thickness down from five inches to only three (sooo glad I did!).  I think five inch thickness is likely perfect for the blogger’s original intentions of floor pillows, but it would have overwhelmed the little guy’s wee space.  In fact, it was still a little thick and poofy with my thinner dimensions, so I found two huge buttons in my stash, and stitched them through the middle– a black one on the action word side, and yellow dotty multi, for the grey side.

I made the pillow tri-tone for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I didn’t want to return to JoAnn’s and buy more of the blue action word fabric.  I had plenty of the dotty grey left over from the skirty panel project, so it seemed like a natural choice.  And this way, he can switch it out, and they both coordinate with the space.  But this left me wondering about the edging fabric, wanting something contrasting, and then my eyes landed on it– the janky purple top sheet from my thrift store adventures a week or so ago.  I told you I’d find something to use it for pretty quickly!  Even *I* didn’t expect it to be sooo quick!  And you want to know what is really weird?  It is exactly, exactly the same purple as the bias tape that I’d trimmed the other details in… so odd, I’m counting that in the column of “meant to be!”

The Full Space

The Full Space

Over the weekend, we had houseguests (including additional kiddoes in the house) and I found that there was a LOT of standing up on the seat and swinging on the overhead bar.  That would probably been okay, its sturdy, but they were swinging out into the concrete, toy-covered floor, and I could just *see* some crying and bleeding coming on….  I laid down the no-swinging law, but I got to thinking about how I could maybe discourage the idea altogether.  (The bar is not removable.)  Maybe just sort of hide it from view so that the idea doesn’t readily present itself as it had with it exposed.

My Little "Awning"

My Little “Awning”

I had a narrow sliver of the action word fabric left over.  I measured my bar, added some seam allowance, and cut two lengths of coordinating fabric (the lining being the dotty grey you’ve seen me use repeatedly already) about a foot wide.  With ‘right’ sides facing, I added a 10″ length of ribbon near each corner, and stitched those short ends closed.  I flipped the whole piece out, pressed it, and added a band of purple double-fold bias tape to each long edge to add a little visual weight, as well as to finish it all up.  All I simply did at this point is toss the whole awning contraption over the bar, and tie the corners into bows to close.

Once this step was completed, I realized that the whole thing *looked* so much better, the wee awning gives it a little polish, helps delineate the space a little bit.  And it draws in one more use of those fabrics, making it appear more cohesive….  This might sound silly, but it sort of completes the transformation.  The whole shebang looks a lot less like a miss-appropriated closet, and more like a tiny, kid’s office.  AND– as far as I know– he hasn’t swung on that bar since.

Kiddo's Name Art

Kiddo’s Name Art

The last of the details, the explosive-looking Fox “art” is simply and old thrifted board game that I used scrapbooking paper scraps on the back of to make his name look superheroish and dynamic.  Once I was finished (I simply used a wet glue stick), I added a piece of clear contact paper over the top to laminate it and protect all those little paper pieces.  It has been thrumbtacked up above the upper shelf for a little bit of detail and to let you know, without a doubt, which family member this office belongs to…  It was quite easy and really fun to make, and it cost me zero money, since I already had all of the stuff on hand.

After all of this items requiring actual work were done, all I needed to do was add a few details.  His lime green Highlights calendar; a couple of purple plastic buckets holding markers and colored pencils; Batman-colored tiny trash can; his handmade superhero mask that he made in preschool and I emotionally kept.  Its all come together beautifully!

Its sort of funny, sooo much time and work has gone into this little space, and you close the door?  It’s gone!  Which, I’m sure at some point in its messy future will be a mega bonus, but when it comes to the overall house, its sort of a bummer!  Where did the last few weeks go?!

Fox Writes a Note

Fox Writes a Note

Its very nice having a designated paper station for the boy in this new house!  So!!  Its easy to log in via facebook or other media to speak up, tell me what you think!  Have you made a space out of an office before, and if so, what kind?  Did it work out for you and get used?  Do tell….


 

4 Responses to “The Tiny Bookish Nookish”

  1. Love it! You have to call it the “Fox Hole”…

  2. Great post about a fabulous project!

    (also, Fox looks so much older in that last pic!)


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