I think all of us parents start off with the same smug resolution of not letting our homes become a wasteland of primary colored plastic in the name of childhood entertainment. Then we have kids. Or maybe you were able to stave off the invasion of Little Tykes longer than we were but somehow, the garish crap arrives and takes over.
Exhibit A, my children making me regret my child will never pre-baby words for the first (definitely not the last!) time.
For the most part I don’t mind as it won’t be like this for long and all that carpe the diem motherhood crap you read on Pinterest. Plus, most of our toys are returned to their baskets by the end of the day so it’s not always crazy town up in here.
BUUUT…That being said, I do appreciate when designers take the time to take some aesthetic considerations for baby items and toys that tend to take up residence in the living room for a longer duration (swings/exercise mats/jumpers/etc). I ran across a truly beautiful wooden baby gym online but of course it is made and sold only in Australia. It is also upwards of $300 and I frankly, I have better things to be spending that kind of money on. So, to the internet I went in search of something more reasonably priced and actually available in our country and I came up pretty empty handed.
I did run across this pin of an IKEA wood baby gym hack that I thought had some great potential. I didn’t care for the finished black and white of the original (Not that it is bad. It just wasn’t the look I was going for) so I decided to try and hack the IKEA Leka gym and mimic the dip dyed look I loved of the Bella Buttercup toy.
I don’t really have any process pictures as it is pretty self explanatory. I painted the two leg supports with pink non-voc paint leftover from Harper’s dresser. I decided against trying to remove the spinning toys on either side based on the tutorial above. I just covered the birch wood with butcher paper to protect it and then just painted them while attached (to be clear, the toys come attached to the bar). It worked really well!
I cut the plastic toys off of their holders and strung some felt wool balls from the top. The bar also holds those ubiquitous plastic rings too. So we use those for hanging our other favorite toys.
I think it turned out so cute! I love pairing it with the sheepskin rug, also hailing from IKEA. Lucy seems to like staring up at all her little toys and of course the big kids love it since it’s a new toy that isn’t theirs. 🙂
Ikea is seriously my favorite place to find streamlined, cute toys (and home stuff) that can totally be customized. Tell me you’ve seen our play kitchen? It is seriously my pride and joy. 😉 I’ve got a few other Ikea makeovers for you coming up soon!