the domestic tales of four sisters

DIY Rain Gutter Bookshelf

Because husband and I enjoy tormenting people (or so they believe), we decided to not find out Baby K’s gender.  We very much think that the words… “It’s a….” is the last ultimate surprise in life.  So, when asked at the 20 week screening if we would like that bit of information to be discovered, a firm “no, thanks” was expressed.  I think that the sisters have been most annoyed by this…but such is life.

With the gender being a surprise, our theme while shopping or making any type of decision has been “gender neutral.”  Well, the names are gender specific, but that was a task itself.  I am all about monogramming things…I have my best friend to thank for that…so I was pretty set on selecting both a boy and girl name that contained the same initials.  After many hours thinking, perusing websites and books, and tackling my name association issue (joys of being a teacher) we selected names.  Now, family members have been told the name selections – but that is another “surprise” we wish to keep until the little one arrives.  I will give you the initials… BGK.  Anyway…

Back to our gender neutral nursery, thus far.  The color selected was a light(er) grey.  We are big fans of Behr’s Premium Primer and Paint in One from Home Depot.  If you want great paint, that goes on in one coat, and does not require the use of the entire gallon of paint – give it a try.  We opted for the lighter shade because we live in a house that was built in 1950 and overhead lighting was not very popular at that time, I suppose.  The furniture we have picked out is white.  The decorations/accents are where we are planning on getting our “pops” of color.

The first creation I have made for the nursery are the zoo silhouettes below.  I scored MAJORLY on the frames.  Hindsight tells me I should have purchased all that Michael’s had that day, but Husband limited me to the four I “needed”.  Oh well, lesson learned.  I also purchased the paper there (5 pieces for $1!!!).  Needless to say, we picked a great day to visit the craft store.  I followed the same protocol for the cowboy and cowgirl silhouettes we used for the gender reveal party.  You can find step by step instructions here.

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Cute, right?!  I am very pleased with them.  Though they look “yellowish,” they are indeed white.

From there, I then went with a very Pinteresting idea.  Vinyl Gutter Bookshelves.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Our dear, sweet child’s bookshelves are made of vinyl rain gutters, and to be honest – I could not be happier.  Baby K is bound to have children’s books overflowing having two elementary school teachers as parents.  And with the books comes the need for a storage space just for them.  As I searched ideas, my favorite by far was the rain gutter.  It’s just so different.  Here is the link I used that include step-by-step directions.  We opted to not stick to the corner idea found on this blog, we chose the “cheaper” of the two.  The steps below are very basic and are to build 40″ straight shelves.  Once I had that idea nailed down, I then began to search the internet for great quotes by none other than Dr. Seuss.  Again, the teacher in me is bound to rear its head when decorating the nursery.  After consulting Husband, we agreed to a fabulous quote from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut.  I printed it out in a cutie font, shaded the back of each paper, hung it on the wall, and then traced over each letter.  Yes, I resorted back to primary school…ha!  Once the quote was in pencil on the wall, I then picked the paint color and began tracing over the letters.  I could have found some website where I could have had the saying printed on vellum, but honestly – I like that I painted it.  It’s raw looking…natural.  So..onto the shorten tutorial…

First, you will need to purchase your vinyl rain gutters.  We found our’s at Lowes; Home Depot did not have them.  They come in 10 foot sections, so we just purchased one.  Since it was 120 inches, we opted to created 3- 40 inch sections.  Once that was decided, we selected 6 end caps.  Warning: Two of these is the cost of one 10 foot section of vinyl guttering.  Thus our reasoning for going with the straight shelves, not the corner option.

I took our handy tape measure and marked every 40 inches.  I then drew a line that I could use to cut along with the hacksaw.

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After the lines were drawn, it was out back to cut the 10 foot section into three smaller pieces.

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Once the pieces were cut, it was inside to add the end caps.  We decided to use super glue we had on hand to attach the end caps.  You can purchase special adhesive, however they are just in the baby’s room and not hanging on the side of our house carrying away an abundant amount of water, so super glue it was.  I attached each one and then let them sit for about an hour to “cure.”

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I then called in the assistance of Husband.  Living in our older home we have plaster walls.  So, since little fingers will be using these down the road to “pull up on,” we thought it best to purchase anchors to attach these to the walls.  Using the level and measuring tape, we marked off 2 inches from each end and then at 18 inches between those two markings.  This allowed it to be attached securely to the wall.  Husband pre-drilled holes into the gutters and the walls to set the anchors, then it was just a matter of attaching them with the screws.  We opted to have 8 inches of space between them.  If we happen to come across a book that might be a bit larger, it will just find its home in the top gutter.  Here are some snap shots of the process and a snapshot of our final project.

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Baby K even has some books that contain writings from his/her Uncles Zach, Noah, and Seth from when they were in grade school.  Overall, we are very pleased.  The nursery is coming along…slowly, but surely.  Just 7 weeks and a few days to go…so progress will really be happening soon.  We’ll keep you updated.

Now…onto the next project.  Go and get creative!


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