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Last weekend I took the kids to see the new Pixar movie, Inside Out and it was WONDERFUL. I had seen it advertised for a long time and I was really looking forward to going, and I was not disappointed. I loved the message behind the film; there are no ‘bad’ emotions and sometimes we just need to feel the way we feel, that isn’t wrong.
It was a great jumping off point when talking to my own daughters about all the feelings they have, about school and friends and family. And I knew that having the plush characters from the movie, could make the discussion a little more light hearted and fun. Luckily our Walmart carried all the plush characters from the movie: Sadness, Joy, Anger, Fear and Disgust.
I picked up the “big three” in our household.. Sadness, Joy and Anger. One for each child. And as a little DIY project we worked together to build a little bed for them, and of course, for all the other dolls in the house!
I wanted this to be a project the kids could work on too, so I needed it to be easy and quick (they lose interest fast) so when I found this pack of survey stakes at the hardware store for $1.50 I immediately knew what we could use them for.
In fact, here is the entire supply list:
- 1 pack Survey Stakes (the short ones)
- 1 8ft 1x2 furring strip
- 4 lf (linear feet) Screen Molding (or any small molding)
- small sheet hardboard (or pegboard)
- white fabric
- 1 inch pocket hole screws
- 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
- nailgun (or hammer and small finishing nails)
- Pocket hole Jig
- Palm or Oribital sander (or sandpaper)
- Staple Gun
- Jig Saw
(6) Full Size Survey Stakes (12 inch)
(2) Survey Stakes (bottom 5 inches)
(2) 21 inch 1x2
(2)12 inch 1x2
(3) 13 inch moulding
hardboard cut to size (I find it was easier to mark the board and cut it to fit in case your bed doesn’t wind up exactly square.. which it may not if your kids are helping you!)
The first thing you will need to do is sand all the survey stakes. Because they do not have a finished surface (since you are supposed to be driving them into the soil) they are really rough. Nothing a few passes with the sander can’t fix:
For the headboard I used the stakes at the full size I bought them at (12 inches). I started with the two outside stakes, that would also become my bed’s legs and I attached the 21 inch 1x2s to them using pocket holes.
I attached both 1x2s 2 inches up on the headboard using 5/8 inch pocket holes and 1 inch screws.
Next I added the 12 inch cross pieces using 5/8 inch pocket holes, only this time I used 1.25 in screws because the 1x2s are thicker than the stakes. I then used the nail gun to attach the rest of the stakes to the cross brace and added the trim on both sides (for both decorative and support reasons)
I repeated the process for the legs, adding the 5 inch cut down shims on both sides and then adding the cross piece.
For the ‘mattress’ itself I used a piece of pegboard I had left over from my painted cross stitch project. I just marked the edges and cut it down with a jig saw to get a tight fit.
I added three sheets of poly batting and wrapped the entire thing with a piece of white muslin.
I secured it using a staple gun.
I popped the mattress back in and I was ready to go (I didn’t attach the mattress with nails since I wanted to paint the rest of the bed. I had a tight enough fit that it didn’t fall out, even without nails.
The last step was priming and painting. I used spray paint since it was easier to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then I 'made the bed’ with a mini quilt I had lying around.
According to my kids, the dolls love it!
It was great little project to work on with the kids and a great way to talk to your kids about emotions.