It is an inevitable truth that during the years of parenthood, you will encounter a steady over-accumulation of “stuff”. This is usually due to toys or clothing that your kids have outgrown, but eventually there comes a point where you look in your closet and there’s a mountain of crap staring back at you. In those situations, we either donate to a local charity, a fellow parent in need or store it away as hand-me-downs for a younger sibling. They’re all great options, but a fun alternative is repurposing. Through repurposing or up-cycling as the kids say these days, you can reuse an item you already have and are not using for something that can once again become useful for you.
But unlike those itchy, sandpaper like napkins at most fast food restaurants, these “recycled” items will be an enjoyable experience.
Here are a few examples that we’ve applied into our owns lives
1. Moby Wrap into a crib guard
Baby wearing has been an all-around life saver thus far in our family and without our Moby wrap we probability wouldn’t have survived the first 3 months of our son’s life and still have what’s left of our sanity. But now that our baby as gotten bigger, we have stopped using our Moby in exchange for a carrier that we feel is more comfortable for a larger baby.
Since we really were not ready to donate this huge menacing piece of fabric, We decided to try our luck at repurposing.
Our son began chewing on the rail of crib and we really needed a quick fix without having be a seamstress or going out to buy conventional plastic covers (which we have tried in the past and found that they were quickly rendered useless)
So my wife came up with an idea…
1. Tie one end of Moby (or any type of stretchy wrap for that matter) to crib wrapping around 3 times, knotting each time and pulling tightly to secure end.
2. Pull wrap around and between each slat of the crib. Near the ends of the wrap you’ll notice there is less material so you will need to go through each slat twice. However, where it gets thicker in the middle, you will only need to wrap once.
*****Important**** Make sure to pull down using your body weight as tightly as possible and up as tightly as possible to reduce the possibility of the wrap coming lose. The material should be tight enough that not even a finger can go between the wrap and the bed rail.
3. Continue pulling the wrap through each slat until you come to the end of the crib railing. You will then need to wrap the tail end of the fabric around the crib railing twice and tie tightly. We used three knots and folded a small tail under to ensure it could not be pulled off.
No sewing or cutting necessary! The wrap can easily be untied for washing or for future use of the wrap! Happy baby, one less item for storage and a teething rail that didn’t cost us even an extra dime!
Since our first ever repurposing project was such a success, we began to look around the house to see what else we could rescue from the throw away/donation pile. We went googled a few items and discovered that websites such as Pinterest are a great resource for many quick and easy repurposing projects.
What we came up with:
2. Pack and Play into a Clubhouse
We got a lot of use from our Pack and Play with our first son, but our youngest would have nothing to do with it, so we gave up on it all together. When we found this idea online we thought it would be a fun way to reinvent it. So, we simply cut out one of the screens, threw some pillows on the inside and a fitted crib sheet on the top as a roof. Tucked away in our closet we also found a fun netting that we had purchased to go over the top of the pack and play when the baby was outside and used it to create a fun tent affect. Over all I think it was great way to reinvent our unused pack and play. Both the kids now use the space to store their toys or read books.
3. Dress Shirt into a Smock
My Wife, being a kindergarten teacher, is always doing some sort of messy arts and crafts with our oldest son and we routinely will have something for him to wear over his clothes so that he doesn’t get his clothing too messy. We also always have an ever filling bin of clothing to donate due to growth spurts or changing fashion trends. You’re probably wondering how these two things have anything in common, right? Well we found a great idea involving an old button down dress shirt, and a pair of scissors. We simply cut off the selves, and put a hair elastic around tag to hanging. The collar and size of the shirt provides full coverage for any mess that my son can make and it can easily be thrown into the wash at anytime!
So the next time you go through your house to do some spring cleaning, instead of throwing away the items you don't use anymore, try giving it a 2nd life through repurposing. It's a creative and fun way to bring the family together while also saving yourself a few bucks.