DIY Mania: Jake’s New Room

For the last several months, we’ve been working on emptying out our office/guest room (by either relocating furniture or selling on Craigslist) to transform the space into Jake’s new big boy room. To be honest, I emptied the room probably much earlier than I really needed to (I blame it on a strange pregnancy nesting instinct), and then I got busy and the room just sat empty for awhile. But school has been finished for about a month, and I’ve been using that extra time to complete the DIY projects on my list to help Jake’s big boy room come together before his baby brother comes along! So I wanted to share some pictures with you to show you what the final project looks like!


One of the biggest projects was finding a dresser and painting it to match Jake’s room.


dresser 2

It’s a LONG dresser–over five feet–but my mom’s homemade blanket and its size makes it the perfect makeshift changing table until Jake transitions to potty-training. And there are enough drawers that I can store diapers in it as well as clothes!

I am terrible about remembering to take “before” pictures, but I did remember at the very last minute, right before I started painting everything! It took 3.5 coats to get the dark wood to stop showing through the paint. I also switched out the hardware on the drawers. I had already removed it before taking a “before” picture, but there were old-fashioned, clunky brass pulls on the drawers before, and I replaced them with more modern brushed nickel pulls. We purchased the dresser at a thrift store (KARM) for $69, spent another $15 or $20 on the hardware, and another $20-$30 on the red paint. I bought WAY too much red paint (probably enough to paint all of the walls in our living room), but I kept thinking I’d rather have too much than run out halfway through the project and have to go buy more.


So much painting!


I also made Jake a racing flag (cut out of felt squares) that I saw on Pinterest to go along with his car/racing theme.


The nursery is ready for Teddy! When we feel like he’s ready, we’ll transition Jake to a big boy twin bed (I’m thinking RACE CAR bed) and the crib will move back into this room.

Another (mini) paint project–I painted Jake’s green name letters from the nursery in red paint (to match his dresser) and hung them in his new room. I also purchased some letters for Teddy and hung them up in the nursery–pretty much the only thing (other than re-washing all of Jake’s old baby clothes from storage) that I had to do to get the nursery ready for Teddy.

shoe storage

While we cleared out the room, we weren’t really able to give up the storage that the closet provided, so Jake won’t really be using the closet. I hung some pockets over the door to store Jake’s shoes, and the dresser has MORE than enough room for his folding clothes, but his hanging clothes will have to remain in Teddy’s nursery closet.

table and chairs 2

Jake’s new room is a little bit bigger than the nursery, so he has plenty of room for some toys!

toybox poster 2

That toy box was LAST summer’s paint project. It was raw wood and I painted it white. We moved it out of the playroom to make some room for baby things (swing, playmat, etc).

I can’t pretend that I did all of the work by myself. There were a few projects in this room that I just didn’t feel qualified to complete on my own, and my dad and my husband graciously helped me out!

Pinterest project #1:

rain gutter bookshelves

rain-gutter bookshelf

Installing rain gutter bookshelves required the use of a drill, which I trusted to Justin because I have NEVER used a drill before. We were counting on the folks at Home Depot to cut this 10 foot rain gutter in half for us; however, they directed us to a “self-service” station and handed Justin a handsaw. That was a bit disappointing, but it made a smooth cut, and after popping on the endcaps, I think the shelves look great. We went for vinyl gutters instead of aluminum, and while they’re not as sturdy as I would like (for example, if Jake tries to hang on them like monkey bars, they start to pull from the wall), I think they’re a neat (and cost-efficient!) idea. We wouldn’t have had much space for a bookshelf in that room, they cost much less than a bookshelf (about $30 total for the 10 ft gutter and the endcaps), and we’re able to face all of the books out so that Jake can see all of the covers and choose what he wants to read. It’s easier for Jake to use as well–fitting books onto a shelf the traditional way (squeezing them together, spine facing out) is a tough motor skill, we’ve found.

Pinterest Project #2:

car garage

Jake’s Hot Wheels Garage

This was a smaller, easier project than the bookshelves (or so I thought before I got started). But yet again, the folks at Home Depot were unwilling to slice our PVC pipe for us, and they directed us to the self service station. Justin used the handsaw to saw away at one of the pipes (we purchased three 10-foot pipes total), and it took so long that he decided to try the rest at home. However, his handsaw cut a really jagged edge when he tried it at home (not to mention it took forever to cut through!), so we asked our handyman friend for help. I felt bad that my project became our friend’s project, but he had an electric table saw that sliced through the pipe easily, and since we needed so many tiny pieces (enough to fill my blue plastic crate), begging for help was the best option. And he was more than willing to give us a hand! I took the extra step of painting the outside of the pipes navy blue to match the crate. I don’t know that the step was completely necessary, but I think it helps Jake’s car garage look a little nicer and more uniform (and it gets rid of the ugly type that was printed on the outside of the PVC pipe). I wish I could say Jake LOVES his new car garage, but right now his preferred place to keep his Hot Wheels is scattered all over the floor. The car garage is just a bit more organized than he is at this age, but hopefully he’ll grow into it.

Project #3: Ceiling fan!

ceiling fan

My dad recently replaced a ceiling fan at his house, so he brought over his old one and installed it in Jake’s room. Before, the room just had a tiny little light mounted to the ceiling. Having a fan is SO nice for keeping the room cool during afternoon nap time! And I think it kind of mesmerizes Jake into sleep as he watches it spin, which is an added bonus. 😉

So far, Jake has been LOVING his new room! I was wondering if he would be kind of sad about leaving the nursery. (I got unexpectedly emotional about it during his first night staying in his big boy room–again, the perks of being pregnant.) But he seems to have transitioned really well and doesn’t seem to miss the nursery at all! I hope his transition to being a big brother is just as smooth!

I’ll leave you with a photo and video of Jake being adorable, for your viewing pleasure. It is bittersweet to think that pretty soon, he won’t be the star of the show anymore!

Jake and Fonz

Oh, just hanging out with my best friend, The Fonz. 🙂

If you’re familiar with Eric Carle’s book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? then you’ll recognize that Jake is trying his best to recite from the pages. But he gets a little tickled when he tries to say, “I see Daddy…” because Justin is in the background, making funny faces at him. 🙂

Categories: DIY, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “DIY Mania: Jake’s New Room

  1. I’ve seen those rain gutter bookshelves on Pinterest and I love them! You are so right about how difficult it is for little kids to shelve books the traditional way. I remember Will getting really frustrated by that when he was little. He never had these rain gutter ones, but I think he would’ve loved them! I hadn’t seen that race car garage idea before, though. That’s AWESOME! It looks SO cool! I will have to tuck that idea away for later! You guys did a great job with this! So exciting that he’s in his big boy room now. 🙂

  2. Tina

    This was such a great post! Of course, I feel like I say that about every post. I love all that you did in Jake’s room. That Hot Wheels garage was a great idea! And I love the video of Jake – what a hearty laugh he’s got! 🙂 Miss you guys!

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