The first thing that we had to get built was the toy box. Because we wanted to slide that all the way into the side of the closet, it needed to go in first. We want it to be removable so that we can utilize that space for more clothes as she grows, and in case we ever leave this house. It's a customized toy box after all!
We built the box using 3/4" plywood. Here's Chris doing a dry-run of how all of these pieces are going to fit together :
It literally is just heavy plywood glued and nail gunned together. While I was working on the finishing coats of the bookshelves, Chris primed and painted both sides of the soon to be closet system. We nailed the box together...
Then I caulked the corners and edges, sanded, and gave her another fresh coat of white paint. You can see below how the caulk makes the seams disappear (compare with the obvious seams above). The difference between building something you're okay with and something you're really proud of is in the details. Taking the time to caulk and sand this until everything was flush really made a huge difference.
We wanted the top to have a bit of a lip so that we didn't have to install a handle.
My super smart hubby came up with the idea of installing universal hinges on the inside of the box. That way, once the lid is open, you have to press it to actually close it.
It stays open all on its own. No worries about smashing fingers or any other little body parts! We also put in little felt pads to keep the underneath of the lid from rubbing against the top of the actual toy box.
Now, the reason this toy box wasn't done last weekend was because our daughter was still nameless. And we wanted to get the rest of the closet system installed, so I told Chris that once we named her, I could put it on the toy box already installed.
So last weekend, I built her frame. I used the same technique I used for building a picture frame, and just adjusted my measurements to be what I wanted. (Click on the link for the how-to!)
I sanded this down and painted it the same blue as the closet, but mixed it with white to lighten it up a bit. I almost wish I would've left it the dark blue, but I still really like the end result.
I played around with painting her name. I used a combo of the blue, some dry-brushed gray (from the walls), added some glaze, and put a couple of coats of white on the top. I just kept messing with the paint job until I was satisfied with the end result. Here's an 'in progress' picture.
Attaching the frame and her name to the toy box was a bit tricky...for a few reasons. As I mentioned before, the toy box is removable. Which means I wanted her name and the frame to be centered on the box. The box, however, is not 100% visible from when you walk in. It's tucked into the nook of the closet.
And I didn't want her name to disappear into that nook. Secondly, since the rest of the closet system was installed prior to us adding her name to the toy box, we didn't want to un-install everything to just put her name on the face of the box. To attach her name and the frame, we applied glue to the frame and the letters, and nailed them in from inside of the toy box one by one. There was a lot of measuring and remeasuring and praying going on during this, but we're both really happy with the end result! So what did we name her?!
Kalia (pronounced Ka-lee-ah). We went through a million different things before we came up with this name. I could write another 3000 word essay on our process, but I'll spare you the details! We're just so happy our baby girl finally has a name that we both love!
If you look closely above, you can see that we did have one causality when we installed the picture frame portion. I forgot to put glue on the back of it before Chris nailed it in, and then once I got her name in, I hadn't centered it right. So, we took it off and glued it on and nailed it back in place properly. A little touch up work with some caulk and paint, and that little mistake will be long forgotten!
Here's the whole thing put together:
A lot of hard work for a box to throw toys in, but we're both really happy with the end result. We love that it's customized to our style, it's personalized, and very functional all at the same time. That's just part 1. That was exhausting, huh?! Stay tuned this week to see the entire closet reveal!!
Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!
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