During my maternity leave, which is all too quickly drawing to a close, one of my goals was to spruce up Aubrey's playroom. When we moved into the house I immediately claimed the room in the back corner of the downstairs as Aubrey's playroom. The sun shines in the room and warms it up during the day and the pocket doors make it a perfect way to tuck everything out of sight.
When we moved in at the end of October, we basically threw everything Aubrey owns into the room and left the walls bare. As you can see in the picture above, it wasn't a very magical playroom. Really just a large place to throw a lot of things (my mom saved all of our toys from when we were children and went through a few week stretch when we first moved in the house where she would routinely drop off a few items.)
At some point, I decided I wanted Aubrey to have a solar system on the wall. I wanted the girls to be able to learn about the planets. My poor artistic skills also played a large factor in the decision making process (if I can handle anything, it's circles.) And then I decided that the solar system should be to scale. I don't know why this seemed to be an absolute in my mind, but it definitely was. So I found this website where you can type in the diameter of your sun and then it spits out the appropriate planet diameters and distances. Wow! This was a shocker for me too. I started with a sun that was 10 inches in diameter and my largest planet was well under an inch! I ended up with a sun that was 60 inches in diameter.
So....here's the finished wall! I was really happy with the outcome. I painted the bottom three feet with chalkboard paint which has become an amazingly fun drawing space. To make the solar system, I started with the sun. I placed a tack in what I wanted to be the center of my circle in the wall. I tied a 2.5 foot piece of string to the tack with a pencil on the end and then outlined the circle that way. To make the planets I got styrofoam balls of the appropriate diameter and cut them in half. Then I painted them to look like planets and attached them to the wall with those Command picture hanging strips. Both Mercury and Mars were about .2 inches in diameter, so for those two I just painted a round dot on the wall.
Then I wrote some statistics about each planet under the planets. I still need to put some sort of ring around Saturn (I forgot I still had that lingering detail).
My grandpa made me the bookshelf when I was a girl and the rocking chair was Aubrey's christmas present in 2011 and I got it from an antique store for $13! I put some book jackets on the wall next to the bookshelf, Good Night Moon is a long time favorite of Aubrey's and she loves to detail all the crazy things the caterpillar eats in The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
And then on the opposite side of the room I made a dress-up area. The trunk housing all the clothes is one that my grandmother filled with all her life belongings when she came to America many years ago. The pictures are from a fashion photo book I bought at a museum in Nashville a few years ago and have just been waiting for the opportunity to hang up some of my favorite black and whites! I didn't actually frame the photos, just glued them onto black cardstock paper. And when I hung them, they looked really straight to me eye, I've since noticed they are all perfectly crooked. Whoops! Both the baby cradle and the puppet stage were from my childhood and the doggy laundry basket my brother brought home from college and then left for Aubrey along with an Ohio State pillow pet (he says is subliminal encouragement).
The room is still a work in progress (there's a fourth, not pictured, corner with an old kitchen play set we found on the side of the road that is in desperate need of some sprucing), but for now - it's a huge improvement!