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THANK YOU LOWE’S! 10/8/2015

About a month ago, I received a phone call from the Manager at our neighborhood Lowe’s. Through a series of crazy events, he had been given my name and was looking for a  project that Lowe’s would be able to help with. Turns out, each year Lowe’s is given a budget to provide materials and labor to complete a community service project. This year, Lowe’s picked ACTS of Love and adopted our playground (if you could even call it that) as their community service project. This week, a HUGE team from our Lowe’s came out and put together the most beautiful infant play yard I have ever seen.

before…. 

and after!  

I am still blown away by the generosity, the support, the friendship, and the love that came out of this project! So many people came together to donate items, to donate funds, to dig holes, shovel rock, pour concrete, spread gravel, plant plants, spread mulch, lay turf, and hang sun screens. It was an incredible transformation and I cannot say this enough: WE LOVE LOWE’S!!!

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A note to all our “Seamstress Friends” 10/2/2015

First of all, I would like to extend a HUGE “Thank you!” to our dear friend, Laurie, who create these beautiful crib sheets and crib covers for us.

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Many of you have asked to donate your time and talents by creating items for our center, and we love your ambition and willingness to help! Some handmade items we are currently in need of include mini crib sheets (see below), machine washable toys and rattles, and hats for children 3 -18 months old (especially as we get into cooler months). We do not currently need any more blankets, bibs, or burp cloths, but I will let you when that need arises.

If you are interested in making a “Mini Crib Sheet” for us, our great friend Laurie has created a pattern for you to use, and you can download it here: Mini Crib Sheet Pattern.

Happy crafting!


Day Care DIY #2 9/10/2015

Project: Foam Wall Panel

Time: 30 minutes

Materials: Heavy duty cardboard, 2″ foam, gorilla tape, vinyl fabric

Cost: $60 (or $35 depending on what type of vinyl you use)

Here is another great DIY project for you! We had these awesome foam blocks donated for our “crawlers’ (thank Leander ISD Parents as Teachers)!

I wanted to fix up the window to 1. Add some extra padding to the area and 2. Protect the window film (it scratches very easily). I decided to make a foam panel to fill in the window…and it looks awesome!

First, I cut pieces of heavy duty cardboard (I recycled a large box that one of cribs had been shipped in) to fit snug inside the window opening. My window opening is about 55″W and 32″ H.

Next, I needed to find foam. I found small sheets (2″x16″x16″) at Wal-Mart for about $7 each. This would be perfect for a smaller project, but I had a large area to cover. I went over to Hobby Lobby and found this huge roll of foam (2″x27″x75″). It is regularly $35, but I got it on sale for $25 (they always have some sort of sale or coupon available).

 

I cut the pieces of foam to fit the cardboard with just a little bit of overlap. I attached the foam to the cardboard with gorilla tape (confession: I love gorilla tape!)

   

Now we made sure to tape every edge os this foam board. Since my foam board will stay vertical, I didn’t want to run the risk of the foam falling away from the cardboard.

 

Next, it was time for the vinyl. This is where you have some options: one very inexpensive option, and one considerably more expensive option. I originally went with option one, the inexpensive choice, and purchased a vinyl table cloth. It is a durable material that can be wiped clean, and you can find it in almost any size and color. However, while I was at Hobby Lobby buying the foam, I took a stroll through the fabric section and found black/white strip vinyl by the yard!!! It ended up being about 6x as expensive as the tablecloth option, but I was in love and couldn’t say no.  I purchased two yards and it came out to about $30 (it was also on sale).

Cheap Option: $5.00
Not as cheap option: $30.00

I attached the vinyl to the board using gorilla tape. I tried a staple gun, but it did not secure the vinyl to the cardboard very well.

 

 

A quick shout out to my lovely assistants: Thanks mom and dad!

 After it was pulled tight and secured, I popped it into place and it looks fantastic!

 

I made sure to fit the panel as snuggly (is that a word?!) as possible to make sure it would not fall out of opening. In reality, it took a good five minutes to squeeze it into place and straighten out the vinyl. But in the end, it was completely worth it! I love the black and white stripes, and love the added cushion for our adventurous crawlers.

 


Day Care DIY #1 8/31/2015

One of the purposes of the “Blog” page is to share simple, cheap, and creative ways to make interactive toys for infants and toddlers. Hopefully you can take these ideas to your home or childcare center and recreate them! First up, the Felt Board! …and I have to tell you, I am absolutely in love with it! (I may or may not play with it every time I go into the classroom).

Project: Felt Board

Time: 1 hour

Cost: $20.00

We had this awesome changing table donated to us! It is in perfect condition, so I did not want to permanently alter it. However, because of the way the room is set up, I needed to put a cover on the back of it to prevent little hands from investigating everything I have stored on the shelves. Then I had this brilliant idea to make the cover multi-purpose and interactive!

 I started by recycling a piece of heavy-duty cardboard. I had just finished putting together a crib, so I saved the box and trimmed the cardboard for a perfect fit.

Next I wrapped the cardboard in felt and secured it with a hot glue gun (fabric glue would probably have been a better choice, but I did not have any on hand). I used felt I had left over from a previous project. However, felt is pretty cheap…about $5.99/yd at Hobby Lobby. My piece of cardboard is about 30″x 20″ so I would have spent about  $9 on felt to cover the board.

   

I attached the board to the changing table using Velcro pieces (about $4 at Lowe’s). I tried using a staple gun, but my staples where not long enough, and as I said earlier, I did not want a permanent fixture. I went with Velcro because it was easier to install, safer for children (I don’t have to worry about little staples falling out), and I can switch out the board in the future. I am thinking about creating a magnet board next. With Velcro, the boards will be easily interchangeable.

 Lastly, I cut all these fun felt shapes. Like I said, I had some felt scraps left over from a previous project, so I was able to make most of the shapes from what I already had. I did purchase the black/white checkered felt from Hobby Lobby. They have lots of patterns in 10″x10″ sheets for $0.50 a piece, so you can go crazy!

 Here is my finished product! It took me about an hour to get everything cut and installed. I spent about $20 on total on the project.


 

ACTS of Love is Growing! 8/25/2015

We are so excited to share some updates from our center with you. This week was officially move in week.

So we went from this…

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To this…

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And from this…

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To this!…

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This week we have been busy setting up cribs, organizing toys, hanging shelves, and moving in to our new home. We were also able to submit some very important paperwork this week, putting us one step closer to opening our doors later this fall. Please keep our center in your prayers as we continue to grow, develop plans, and make our way through the licensing process.

P.s. Lots of people have been asking lots of questions about ACTS of Love. We have put together some common Q&As right here so be sure to check it out!

💚Keep spreading the love!