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A Rare Parenting Win - DIY Dance Studio

Remember when I told you that Zoe went temporarily (I hope) insane and asked for a ballet studio for Christmas?

Crazy talk, amiright?

Well, the only thing crazier than her Christmas wish is my husband, apparently, who brought home that rare, elusive Parenting Win by giving the girl what she asked for even though normal people thought it would be impossible.

My favorite part (besides the joy in my daughter's heart, blah blah blah) was that it doesn't take up any floor space, which is good, because her room is tiny. Oh wait - even better - it was FREE, constructed from junk we had lying around.

Granted, we have weird junk lying around that other people might not have, but I'll show you what he did anyway.

DIY Dance Studio



Materials:

  • Daughter with crazy wish for ballet studio (or son, whatever, I don't want to get into gender stereotypes right now)
  • Cheap rectangular mirrors - we used two, but you could use more depending on how much wall space you have
  • Bannister handrail (I told you we have weird stuff lying around) long enough to span the width of your mirrors, and related hardware to screw it to the wall
  • Spray paint for the handrail (this color is Ballet Slipper Pink - because HOW PERFECT IS THAT?)
  • Lettering for above the mirrors - I used a roll of black wall decal vinyl and cut the letters out with my Cricut machine because I'm lazy and spoiled enough to have those things, but you could cut them out of contact paper with scissors, or just paint them. Actually you can also use black paper and stick it on the wall with double-sided tape, which I know for a fact because my vinyl got sucked into the Cricut like a log into a chipper-shredder and it almost chewed my arm off while I was distracted by the baby trying to eat crayons, so I ran out of vinyl and had to make the "U" out of paper.

    But I digress.
This is the part of the tutorial where most people explain how to assemble and complete the project, but honestly if you can't tell what we did by looking at the picture then I'd say you probably shouldn't be operating a power drill anyway.

The only other thing you should be careful of, aside from losing a limb in your Cricut machine, is that siblings are likely to barge right in and start dancing every time you try to get a decent "After" shot.

DIY Dance Studio sisters dancing


This post was NOT sponsored by Cricut, although I'd happily accept some health insurance from them the next time I attempt to use their machine, preferably with an Accidental Dismemberment rider. And hey, if your arms have never been subjected to a Cricut-related mishap, please use them to click the banner below.
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This post is linked up at Mama Kat's in response to the prompt, "What gift is your child most excited about receiving this year?"


I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


41 comments:

Emily S said...

Wow...good job on the win! Now you can hold that over her head for a really long time! "Remember that Christmas we gave you a DANCE STUDIO?!"....

Kim said...

Love it!!!! What a great job...and a lucky little girl!!!

Robyn Welling said...

Don't think I won't, either! Oh, you don't like what we're having for dinner? You think you need a pony? You want us to pay for your destination wedding in the Bahamas? WHAT ABOUT THAT DANCE STUDIO???

Robyn Welling said...

Thanks! I'll check back in in a week and let everybody know if she's tired of it yet. ;)

Heather Lambie said...

VERY impressive and Pinterest-worthy (I'm gonna pin it on my KID STUFF board!). I love when a little creativity and ingenuity provide more (cheap!) fun than any store-bought toy. Kudos, Mom and Dad!

Carol said...

Very creative! Even better made with junk-lying material.

MyHalfAssedLife said...

Now that is impressive. Lovely to give your daughter what she wants too.

fishducky said...

WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!!

The Third Partier said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Baby! While I had my part in this Dance Studio thing, and am loathe to give up all the accolades that are most assuredly coming my way, I think it's only fair to say that it was a group effort. You, if I'm not mistaken, came up with the idea, your mom bought the mirrors and the mirror-mounting hardware, you did the signage, and I did... well, all the hard work. ;)

Just kidding. It was really pretty simple. The hardest part was getting my p.o.s. stud-finder to find our seemingly absent wall studs. And thus, my addendum to the "how-to" directions:

If you mount that bar to drywall, it will not hold any significant weight. Be sure to mount to studs. We assume no responsibility for any ballet-related mishaps.

The Third Partier said...

... or construction-related mishaps.

The Third Partier said...

Or stupidity-related mishaps.

Kit said...

Good on YOU!!!! One question - how did you make it a surprise?

BadParentingMoments said...

Wow. This is amazing and I LOVE that you had all of this "just laying around". This is so wonderful, special and creative. Kind of like the parents who thought of it. I hope we can still be friends now that you will become a DIY Pinterest superstar.

Robyn Welling said...

Thanks so much - for the kind words AND the pin! ;)

Robyn Welling said...

Thanks! It did make me feel a little better about not doing all the projects we'd originally gotten those supplies for. :)

Robyn Welling said...

Thank you! I just hope she waits at least a few days before she decides she isn't interested in dancing anymore...

Robyn Welling said...

Thank you! :D

Robyn Welling said...

Haha! I should have consulted you on the instructions, and the disclaimers. **insert inappropriate comment about you being the only stud in the room, and about mounting things**

Robyn Welling said...

She's a verrrry sound sleeper. Just kidding - she was visiting her dad the night before, so we had it set up when she came back the next morning. :)

Robyn Welling said...

Superstar, I'm sure. ;) Please don't be too impressed - we only have all that junk around because we buy stuff for so many projects that we never finish. Or start. But thanks, mama!

anna said...

that is beyond awesome.

Abby said...

I'm with Anna. That is beyond awesome.
A coworker made a kitchen thing for her girls with an old entertainment center, but I think this one still takes the cake :)

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

I love your DIY posts because you do it real. I LOVE that the "u" is out of paper. Love. Nothing is ever easy.

This shows once again we are crafting soul sisters because oh hellz yeah I have a banister lying around. You know it. (And I did something similar for my little girl several years ago. We just dismantled it last year. Because she was 13. *sniff*)

Beautiful gift to a beautiful ballerina. Merry Christmas! Ellen

Stephanie said...

So cute! Way to bring the Christmas magic!

The Third Partier said...

As it turns out, that was why the stud detector kept saying there was a stud where there were none.

I would never refer to you as "things," though I may refer to certain *parts* of you as "junk."

Robyn Welling said...

Thanks!

Robyn Welling said...

That sounds so cool! **dismantles entertainment center** If we had more floor space in the kids' rooms, most of our furniture would be in serious jeopardy. ;)

Robyn Welling said...

Ack, I can't bear to think of them growing out of their little kid stuff! My 10yo son filled a box with toys he didn't want anymore, and I made him keep the action figures - you know, just in case he changes his mind...

Love to have you as an ever-improvising crafting soul sister - and no, I'm not surprised you have a bannister hanging around. ;)

Robyn Welling said...

Thank you! It's refreshing to feel like we did something right! :)

Jennifer said...

for all your pinterest curses - I totally pinned this. You`re basically the new Martha Stewart.

Robyn Welling said...

Hey, thanks for the pin! I can't believe Pinterest still let's me on, despite my curses - Martha, on the other hand, refuses to take my calls (she's very sensitive to criticism).

Paige Kellerman said...

Holy crap, you've got this crafting down, my friend. That is the cutest idea ever, and I actually think there's a particular someone in this house who'd love it. Btw, your kids push the boundaries of cute. Maddy = I'm dying from cuteness.

Robyn Welling said...

I hope you get a chance to try it! As you can see, from a young age the wee ones can enjoy shaking their groove thangs.

Anonymous said...

That. Is. Awesome. Ok, you win Best Parent of the Year. But first I have to ask: What time were you up on Christmas? If you can't beat 5:22 am, we have to share the title. If you can, you win outright.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I'm 24 and planning on doing this for myself. I just got into ballet as a means of improving strength and flexibility, but can't afford those classes. So I'm doing most of it at home with a chair. I was going to save up for one of those home barre things but this will be way better (and cheaper).
Thanks for the awesome idea!

Robyn Welling said...

We shall be co-queens of 2012 Parentness, then, because if anyone else was up at 5:22 in my house, they at least had the sense to leave me the hell alone. In a festive, Christmas-y way, of course.

Robyn Welling said...

You have no idea how happy that makes me - I SO glad you'll really be able to use this idea! :) Just make sure you fasten it into the studs, and maybe even put another support in the middle if your barre/bannister is pretty long and your mirrors will allow it; this set-up seems to support my daughter really well, but I don't know anything about REAL ballet, so I don't know how much you'll be leaning on it. Gah, I'm such a mom, now I'm all worried about you. ;) Happy dancing!

Charlene said...

A vague sense of high performance somewhat akin to “happy” in it’s clarity, except happiness is more measurable and tangible.

Robyn Welling said...

That sounds about right!

Anonymous said...

This is such an amazing idea, Robyn. Aside from being an inspiration to parents, you have the potential businesswoman in you. I have been spending a lot of time researching for ways on opening a dance studio. I currently have this book and am reading articles. That's why I ended up here. You make it seem so easy and fun! Congratulations.

Robyn Welling said...

What a wonderful compliment - thank you! Best of luck with your studio; it sounds like a blast!

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