While Etsy and other venues have made affordable art very accessible, it can sometimes be even cheaper and simpler than that. Patty's son Tyler is "nuts about trains" and her wheels started turning when she saw a used copy of The Little Engine That Could at a thrift shop she frequents in New York. The book was definitely second (or third or fourth)-hand as the spine was broken and pages were missing but this turned out to be a plus since the salesperson gave it to her for free...
(See more of Patty's framing project as well as her go at a DIY cardboard play kitchen below the jump.)
I salvaged 4 of the pages that had good pictures of the trains (the nice ones, of course) and mounted them on white card stock and placed them in IKEA's NYTTJA frames ($1.99).
I hung them over his crib where I've been too paranoid to hang anything. But since these are so light (the front is plastic, the back is cardboard), I used Velcro so he can't remove them, and if he does, no nails or hardware can potentially fall into his crib.
As clever and beautiful as many of the DIY play kitchens we've featured on Ohdeedoh are, these can be simple projects, too. Though Patty admits that hers took on a "last-minute halloween costume vibe," the important thing is that it was inexpensive, she was able to reuse a cardboard box, and, most importantly, Tyler loves it!
I actually used the box from a brand new toilet we had just installed. I knew it was going to be a hit when Tyler started to play with it before I even did step one. I thought I would try to only use items we had in our home -- cabinet knobs from an old apartment, apron I never used, etc. But I ran out of that contact paper and thought my faucet fashioned from duct tape and a paper towel tube was lame. So I covered the remaining box with tin foil hoping I'd get a "stainless steel" feel, but got more of a last-minute halloween costume vibe. And I bought a foam heart form (for making wreaths, I guess) and broke it in half, covered it with tin foil for the faucet. My intentions are to remove all of the tin foil and paint the faucet and buy more contact paper. But at least if that never happens, I can still call it done. And it doesn't stop Tyler from serving his delicious, albeit al dente, macaroni.
Thanks for sharing with us, Patty. And thank you, Tyler, for modeling!