When I think about this project I kept having elementary school flash-backs. The kids would yell ´do-over´ at recess for any type of mess-up in a game. In my head, each time I made a mistake that childhood voice yelled ´do-over!´. I made so many mistakes with this project that I wanted to throw it against the wall and stomp on it.
On the plus side I spent under a dollar on this project and it still turned out cute. It would have been better had I not made so many mistakes. The good news is that I´m going to share my mistakes with you along the way and save you some pain and misery.
I am amazed with what one can come up with when forced to not spend money, or spend very little. That being said, I am also amazed that I don´t always listen to my inner voice. As I mentioned, I will share my dumb-ass mistakes along the way so that you can avoid the same pitfalls I made.
I made this organizer with supplies I already had on hand or free stuff I found. My goal is to come up with something cool without spending a dime. I almost did that here. I bought $.50 worth of sand paper and $.50 of velcro. My husband had a piece of laminated particle board that was used as a top to a rack he had. He took off the top and when I asked what he was going to do with it he shrugged and said I could get rid of it. I also used a piece of PVC pipe that I had bought awhile ago for a dart gun that my older son wanted to make that was the wrong size and used some fabric that I already had. I found some paint lying around to finish it off.
After drawing the rocket ship and adding some curves to the sides I cut it out with a jigsaw. This is where I wish I had more patience because I made mistake number one: I SHOULD HAVE MADE A TEMPLATE. But nooo I eye-balled it, and as you can see it is not asymmetrical. I used a the only piece of sand paper I could find and sanded the edges (later on I splurged on sand paper, but this was only after mistake four or five, I don´t remember).
I needed to make some holes for the PVC pipe. My hole making bits were either too big or too small. Since I am on a budget I didn´t run out and get the correct size, (which is what I would have done if I were gainfully employed, but I´m not, so, well, I went the hillbilly route). This was mistake number two, because I think it would have been worth the few dollars to splurge since the holes turned out pretty rough, and I created a lot more work for myself and a less attractive finished product. I used a too small bit and pushed it against the sides of the holes in a circular motion to make them bigger. Not only did it chip up the particle board but some of the holes are too big, which was also a problem. I was careful not to go all the way through the board. Had I bought the correct sized bit I could have had a perfect hole for my PVC and I would have avoided some big problems later on. But I´ll get to that later.
After cutting my PVC pipe into four equal portions I was ready to glue it in. I put glue in the holes of one side of the rocket ship and then put in the PVC. I used a hammer to tap it into place (where needed) and then added a little more glue around the edges. I thought this was a great idea. Everything was going smoothly. But no, this did not end up working out. It fell apart later. This is what I should have done: Bought that drill bit to make the correct size of holes, made them deep enough to securely hold the PVC in place.
I checked to make sure it was level.
A couple of hours later I checked that it was level again because Wally the cat was lurking around it. I let it dry overnight, but a few hours should be enough.
After the first side was dry I flipped it over and glued the PVC into the holes on the second side.
After painting it I realized I did a piss poor job of sanding and that´s when I went and bought $.50 worth of sand paper. As I was sanding the sides trying to get everything more even I was cursing myself for first not making a paper or cardboard template/pattern of a rocket ship. It would have taken five minutes! Why oh why do I cut corners sometimes?? And why didn´t I cut more slowly with the jigsaw? While all this was going through my head the whole thing fell apart.
Yep, all the work of drilling and gluing and patiently waiting for the glue to dry down the tubes. Lesson learned? Even on a strict budget, one must ask oneself, ´Self, can I do this project without buying X or Z?´ If the answer is ´no´, buy what you need or wait until you have the money to do so. What I should have done was to either buy that drill bit or not use PVC pipe for this project, I could have bought a 2 dollar piece of 1 1/2¨wood instead of using PVC for the supports. I could have afforded it.
Once it fell apart I went back and made that template and re-cut the rocket ship to make it asymmetrical. I sanded it with my $.50 sand paper, doing a better job the second time and then was back to the drawing board with the PVC pipe.
What to do to fix the situation? Since I had a little bit of wood left from piece that I used to cut out the Rocket Ship, that is what I used to make some ugly rough supports for the PVC to which I glued and screwed the PVC. It is ugly but stapled on fabric and then made some bows out of the same fabric to tie around them. The outcome was not ideal but not horrible either.
Once this was done I finally got to the fun part! I drew in pencil the pictures and design on the wood and then painted. This was time consuming but I was able to do it while my toddler napped (and watch some TV! Something I rarely do!).
After completing the painting I used fabric left over from two projects (fabric covered boxes and fun road map covered mattress covers). I had just barely enough fabric and had to be creative with piecing it together. I sewed on my $.50 cent piece of velcro so that I could wash it when needed and covered up the ugly wood with some fabric bows. To finish it off I used some felt I had and cut out some rocket flames that I stapled to the bottom.
I still like how it turned out, even if I ended up doing some things twice. Let me know if you´d make something like it. If you did make a similar project, email me some pics!