When I was designing Ruby’s playroom, at the top of the priority list was organization.  Not just a place for everything and everything in its place, but also accessibility for the little hands the playroom was for.  I mean, what’s the point in having a playroom if you’re a half pint and can’t reach anything to play with?

Ruby loves to color, she loves stickers, she loves to draw, and I wanted her to be able to do that whenever she wanted.  But I didn’t really want a bunch of cardboard boxes of crayons lying about, or a pile of crushed chalk on my carpet.  I had the idea to fill jars with crayons, markers, stickers, chalk, erasers, and clothespins to hang her art.  I wanted to add some color and whimsy to the room.  Here is what I came up with: DIY Painted Animal Jars.

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The project started with little plastic animals.  I wanted the kind straight out of my childhood and found a Toob of various animals at Michael’s.

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I found a larger elephant, similar to the small ones, in the Target hot spot section for $3.  He had creepy red eyes, but I thought he would be so cute painted along with his miniature buddies.

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Next I had to find the right jars.  I liked the idea of clear glass, but then I had visions of Ruby accidentally shattering one, or bonking her head, or dropping it on her foot and needed a toddler friendly solution.  I thought these white metal IKEA tins would work just fine.  They come in sets of two, in different sizes.

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I pulled out my collection of acrylic paints and selected a few bright, cheerful colors.  I love Martha Stewart’s line of craft paints.  They come the most beautiful colors.

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I set up a disposable tin (lasagna pan to be exact), a paper plate for the colors, a cup for water, and a few different paint brushes.  Then it was time to get painting.  I found the darker, bolder colors went on better.  The lighter colors just didn’t look as true, even after several coats.

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Each animal took three coats to get a clean, true color.  I let them dry completely in-between coats.  At first the large elephant started out green, but then Jon told me he looked like a dinosaur so he turned pink.  He’s the pink elephant in the room.  See what I did there?  Har har.

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After they were all dry, I used E6000 adhesive to glue those puppies in place on the lids of each tin.  Now, a tip: put a thin layer on the feet first, let it dry, then glue it down to the tin.  The glue sticks better to itself than a clean surface.

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The big guy now lives on top of the bookshelf, and the miniatures serves as jar handles.  I think they add the perfect little pop of color and fun.  I love it when a project is easy and cute.  Double whammy.

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Tomorrow I have a real treat for you.  I’m introducing you to my upholsterer and starting a new series of tips from a pro.  Seriously, so helpful.

Until then, here are a few of the current items on my wish list:

Target has so many great accent tables right now!  I want them all!  I particularly love this, this, and this.

I’m dying to try every recipe in this cookbook.

This bench.  In love and such a great price!

For sure if I was wearing this, my workout tomorrow would be a good one and super easy, right?


Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

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  1. Laura Kendrick says:

    Ah I love these, I wondered how you had done these when I saw the reveal. Will be making these for my lovely little Nephews for sure 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness, I just love these! I recently did something similar but used toy animals to make a butter dish ( Yours are beautiful. Also, great minds think alike!