Sunday, February 15, 2009

Necessity is the mother of Creativity

Ok, so I know it is supposed to be "Necessity is the mother of Invention." But in our household, I prefer Necessity is the mother of Creativity. And since becoming the mother of TJ, I've found all kinds of reasons to get creative.

I present, exhibit A: The Fireplace

For my daughter, all we had to do was simply add some foam bumpers around the edges and say "no touch" and she didn't. Ahhh my daughter. : )

For my son, we had the same foam bumpers and we would say "no touch" and he would walk over, look at the foam bumper with a quizical look in his eye, point to the bumper and then proceed to pull it off. We ended up with a 2 foot radius rule around the fire place as we tried to prevent TJ from cracking his head open on it when we realized, we needed a long term solution.

So it was off to Home Depot and JoAnn's where we bought some MDF, "L" brackets, upholstery foam, batting and muslin fabric. Now this is before the days of thinking in terms of explaining things on a blog, as many of my first posts are going to be. (Sorry about that.) So I don't have fun pictures of each and every step... But I do have the finished project including the lovable yet very dangerous toddler boy.

Basically we cut the MDF into 3 pieces, one the hight and width of the fireplace to become the front part, another the width and depth of the fireplace top to be top of the new "bench". We then attached those 2 sections together at a right angle using the "L" brackets. (oh and the other piece of MDF is sitting in the garage awaiting a project to be named later.)

Using a staple gun, we attached the formerly adhessive foam bumpers to the front edge. Then we put the upholstery foam on the top, wrapped the whole thing in batting and fabric and secured with the staple gun.


Originally the muslin was a temporary solution while I searched for the perfect fabric to go with the room. Then I rather fell in love with how it matched carpet and the mortar. Not to mention if something happens to it, muslin costs a lot less to replace.

As an added bonus, this toddler-proofed fireplace now serves as a play surface for the kids, and added seating when we have more guests over than our family room can handle.

*** Please note: this is NOT a firesafe solution! The bench must be removed prior to using the fireplace. ***

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