Hamper Re-do

I LOVE Ryder’s crib bedding.  Ryan picked it out before we knew if we were having a boy or girl, so it’s gender neutral, and even educational.  🙂  You know how it goes… once you pick out the bedding, you can’t live without the multitude of accessories that accompany it: the lamp, the valance, the diaper stacker… and the laundry hamper.  In all honesty, we skipped everything but the actual bedding (which included the valance) and the hamper.  We didn’t get to set any of it up until about 2 weeks before Ryder was born because we moved, and then I got West Nile Virus.  But his room is one of my favorite places in the whole house.

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I’m sure you can relate to a scenario I find myself facing fairly often: You set up a room, and you love it.  But then you live with it for a while, and use everything in it a certain way.  You find out (the hard way) what works and what doesn’t, and then you have to rethink your set-up.  For the most part, Ryder’s nursery looks the same today as it did a year ago.  However, I became increasingly frustrated with that blasted laundry hamper.  At first, it was great.  It holds a lot of clothes, towels, and crib sheets; and it has a mesh bag that you can pull out and take down to the laundry room.  But the more I used it, the shakier the frame became.  Eventually, every time I took the bag out, the entire frame would come apart, leaving me with a crumpled pile of fabric and wooden dowels.  So despite it’s attractive appearance and theoretical functionality, I HAD to figure out something different.

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While walking through Babies R Us one day, I stumbled upon an adorable froggy shaped collapsible hamper… a one-piece masterpiece of green mesh and nylon.  It happened to be on sale, so I didn’t hesitate to toss it in my cart and take it home.  (I’ll have to try to remember to get a picture of it tomorrow since Ryder’s already in Dreamland.)  This freed me up to add the existing hamper to the Children’s Cancer Society donation box.  But every time I walked by the box, that darn hamper caught my eye.  I just couldn’t bear to part with it, so I had to find a new purpose for its life in our home.

The flap that covers the top was really the springboard for my new project… So I cut it off, and then disassembled the rest of the hamper.  From Joann Fabrics, I gathered some denim, nylon straps, and strap adjusters and set to work.  That flap turned into the back and top flap for Ryder’s new backpack.  I salvaged two nice pieces of velcro from the bottom of the hamper to serve as the closure (under the strip of brown suede).

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Loosely measuring each part, and kinda piecing together as I went along, I ended up with another product I’m really proud of.  I used a little bit of leftover quilt batting from another project to pad the straps, and even added a loop to hang it from.

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The lining is made from the main part of the hamper.

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I was able to use it already tonight… I packed up some toys to take with us to small group.  It’s the perfect size for a few toys, a couple of books, and maybe a small blankie… which makes it perfect for plane flights to California.  🙂  I guess I’ll also have to try to remember to get a picture of Ryder wearing it.

I’m really getting a kick out of trying to look at the things I already own and trying to find ways to breathe new life into them.  Here’s to the next re-do!

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