I love Melissa & Doug toys, don’t you? I guess my kids think they’re okay, but I LOVE them.
Something about the wooden-ness of the toys, it brings back a nostalgic feeling similar to the one I get from Lincoln Logs. That and the fact that I ALWAYS find them at garage sales!
I think I’ve bought one or two brand new, of course those are the one or two that are now chewed up, gross, and missing just about every piece. But I digress…
When I organized my hall closet and added a row of toy storage, I needed to find a way to condense this whole hot mess
into these tiny buckets. Now my family room can be cleaned in just five short minutes!
Now that Lily’s older, can reach the closet, and open every single bucket, they’re at the top of Doug’s closet:
The only toys that I couldn’t get to fit in these buckets were those dang Melissa & Doug puzzles. I don’t mind the normal sized ones, those stack nicely at the back of my hall closet
But the big, honking wooden jigsaw ones? I can’t store them on top of my fridge forever…
I needed a solution and I was sick of being super protective of them in case we lost a piece.
I took a ziploc bag, wrote down a description of the puzzle and how many pieces it had, emptied the puzzle pieces into the bag, all of the bags then went into the “wooden puzzle” bin.
I was left with three cute wooden trays and I just couldn’t bear to throw them out!
First they sat on my desk for about 4 months and then I spray-painted the frames, then painted the centers with 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint.
Let dry and you have a chalkboard that is the perfect size for in the car, at the kitchen table,
…or as backdrop when taking photos for your blog!
I plan on drilling a hole into the back and hanging them onto the wall to avoid my original storage issue with the puzzles… eventually.
But for now they are being used daily, and a perfect distraction in the car for when Doug and I switch cars at my work. Normally they FREAK OUT when they watch me go into the building, now they are happily doodling!