Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Launchpad: For Those of Us Not Fortunate Enough to Have a Mud Room

Here, in the south, we just don't have mudrooms.  If you are like me, you have been all over the internet drooling all over everyone's cute mudroom ideas.  Well, if your house wasn't built with a mudroom in it, now you can just create a launchpad in its place.

The hardest part of this project was deciding where to put it.  I couldn't put it in the hallway because I was afraid the hooks or the shoe pads would be a hazard.  Mine ended up on the dining room wall.  I omitted a bench for now, but may go back and add one at a later date.  In fact, I may already have just the bench for the job...just will need to refinish it.

Here is what you need:
inexpensive craft frames
inexpensive chalk boards from the craft section or something you have chalk painted yourself
cute little wooden characters or designs
double wall hooks
puff paint
tiles or mats
hanging hardware

Notes about supplies:

Frames $2; Chalkboards $1; critters $1; Wall Hooks $3.  All x3=$21.  I already had the tiles, hanging hardware, and puff paint.

You will need enough of all of these items for each station.  I have three children, so I have three of each of these items.

Start with the easiest part of the project.  Select a picture for each child's frame and put it together.  You may choose to paint your frames...I thought these were cute as is.  May change them later.

Then we are going to move on to the chalkboards.  I started by writing each child's initial in puff paint on the chalkboard.  You could leave this off or make it smaller to utilize more of the chalkboard.  You could also write their whole name on the frame of the chalkboard.  Let this dry completely before attempting to do anything else.
Once the puff paint has dried, you will need to get some craft glue or wood glue to affix your wooden character and your clothespin.  I chose to include a clothespin to hold any school papers or notes that needed taken care of.

Let the glue dry.  Meanwhile, you can start out by hanging your hooks.

I hung my hooks just at waist height so that they were easily accessible to the children.  I put the first hook where I wanted the launchpad to start and spaced them 19 inches apart.  This measurement was due to female measuring practices.  I found out later that 16 inches would have been more ideal because that is the standard distance between studs.  Who knew!

Once you have all of your hooks in place, go ahead and put up nails to hang your frames and chalkboards on.  Make sure these are spaced far enough up from the hook to fit your pieces with some space in between.

The chalkboards and frames I bought didn't come with hangers pre-installed, so I grabbed a few tooth hooks from a kit I had laying around and tacked them onto the backs.

Then I was ready to hang all of my pieces.

This is the first completed station of our launchpad.  You can see on the floor what I used the tiles for.  I just used spare tiles we already had in the house.  You can also purchase tiles from a home improvement store for fairly cheap.

Continue this process until you have completed all the desired stations.

There you have it!  Laney, Silas, and Leah all have their own little launch pad!

Make sure that you switch out the pictures periodically to keep them updated to what the child actually looks like.

As I said before, I may go back and add a bench.  I might also go above the picture frames and add some quote or picture.  For now, though, this launch pad is perfect for our family.  Just the right spot for daily items that you just don't want to put away.

Did you do this at your house?  Do you have another style launch pad that you use?  Let me know about it!

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