Friday, November 15, 2013

DIY Fruit/Vegetable Stand

This year, my goal was to add a handmade element to our holiday celebrations. So many store bought toys are broken after they are barely played with and they don't hold the same memories as the homemade ones.

 My mom isn't a crafter, by any stretch of the imagination, but the presents she made instead of bought hold many memories and we still have them. She made my doll's sleeping bags that my 4-year-old now plays with and a Cabbage Patch Kid jacket that is still on my sister's doll. I love the thought and work that goes into handmade, so I am making bigger efforts this year to make some of our gifts. 

This particular gift is my 4-year-old's birthday present. Her birthday is in a few weeks and I wanted to make her something I knew she would love. She is always pretending to buy and sell fruit and vegetables, so this seemed like the perfect choice. It was actually pretty easy to pull together, most of the time it takes it the drying time of the stain. 

You will need:
a three drawer crate- I found mine at my local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores, in their woodcraft section
foam brushes
a dowel that will fit between the slates of the crate in the back, I also bought this at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores, loved that there was no need to stop by the hardware store too
a sheet of felt
hot glue
iron-on vinyl
fruits and vegetables, I wanted the high quality decor ones, so I scoured my local thrift store for them

 The first thing you need to do is stain the crate. I used a lighter stain and a foam brush with a box of painter's rags to get the job done. I have tired to stain many times before, but I felt like this one was more successful than the others. I put a thin coat on each surface and then waited about five minutes before using a rag to rub the stain in. Make sure you pull each drawer all the way out and stain them individually. Allow the crate to dry completely. While you have the stain out, make sure you stain the dowel as well. I forgot this step and ended up just painting my dowel. I cut the dowel in half first, so I wouldn't need to do it later

Using hot glue, glue the dowel between the slates on the back of the crate. Make sure you do this while the drawers are out. Make sure to glue the dowels to an even height, but the height itself doesn't particularly matter, my dowels come up about 12 inches above the crate. 

Fold your felt sheet in half and sew a simple seam down each side of the felt, making a sort of pocket. I cut the iron-on vinyl using my Cricut, find more information about using iron-on vinyl here.  Add the vinyl to the felt and then add the felt pocket to the top of the stand. I used Cricut's new tool kit to apply the iron-on vinyl. The Tools weeder was perfect for weeding out the vinyl and keeping even the smallest pieces of vinyl where I wanted them to be. The scraper was fabulous in scrap the unwanted pieces left on the mat off. Overall I absolutely love the new Cricut tools. 

 Fill the drawers with fruit and you have an adorable fruit stand for your little ones to buy and sell from. 
I can't wait to see the look on my little one's face on the morning of her birthday! I hope this is a gift she loves for years to come. What are you making this year? 

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