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8 Adorable Ways You Can Upcycle Old Furnitures for Your Kids

8 Adorable Ways You Can Upcycle Old Furnitures for Your Kids

When you have kids, you will inevitably obtain more stuff—more toys, more clothes, more books, more gadgets, more furniture, and more of almost everything. Usually, when we obtain so much stuff, we have no logical place to keep it all, so it ends up in the attic, the basement, the backyard, or wherever it finds its own place. Many times, kids’ products don’t last very long because they aren’t well made and they are disposable. Of course, as kids grow older they outgrow some of their old furniture and toys, but you don’t have to always throw them out. Here are 8 adorable ways to reuse old furniture to create products that are useful to your kids and of higher value in your household.

1. Turn an old binder, photo album, or book into an art case.

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    Perhaps you have a flair for art or your kid is a budding artist. This project is both fun, inexpensive, and will make a portable art studio out of a simple old book or binder. Parents can get their children to help them design the two covers and possibly the inside. Afterward, parents and children can decide together on what to include in the art case. You will need several supplies before you get started, including felt, purse handles, scrap chipboard, and a sewing machine. Many thanks to the folks at Consumer Crafts for providing instructions for this idea.

    2. Turn those old tires into a sandbox for your kids.

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      It’s the beach away from the beach—kind of. If you have kids who like to play in the sand and who keep their toys in a place outside and away from other things, then this project might be the one for you. With summer approaching and school days done, let your kids help you transform an old tire into a colorful sandbox. Some of the supplies needed include, of course, the tire, as well as plywood, paint, and a handy saw. Thank you to Jamielyn at I Heart Naptime for this creative and summer-full project. Click on over to get the instructions.

      3. Turn a spice rack into a paint organizer.

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        You know those spice racks you see in flea markets, yard sales, and thrift markets? Well, you can take the old one in your attic and turn it into an organizer for all your different paints. You can also use it for nuts and bolts, little things like thumbtacks, and glitter. With only a few tools and leftover supplies, you can get your children to assist you in making a colorfully creative organizer for all your paints and brushes. Meredith at The Palette Muse offers instructions and step-by-step photos to complete this project.

        4. Make this goofy teeter-totter (or tire-totter).

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          When you combine an old tire, a log of cedar, and some paint, you get a pretty cool playtime item. This is a great project the whole family can get involved in. From grabbing a tire, choosing the paint, and having lots of laughs making the optional smiley face, you can make it a paint party with your family or let the neighbor kids join in. MyFixItUpLife.com offers instructions on how to turn this into an awesome family project.

          5. Turn an old shelf into a DIY costume closet.

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            Your kids have outgrown their little bookshelves and you need some way to turn it into something usable. What do you do? Well, make it a closet for costume clothing, or if they’re just beginning to dress themselves, put some of their real clothes in there so they can easily reach them. You can use leftover paint, wrapping paper, and spray glue to bring this project to life. Let your kids be creative with the walls and the outside final look. Jennifer Flores at Rambling Renovators has some tips and a host of pictures.

            6. Turn a men’s dress shirt into a beautiful children’s dress.

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              With a bit of sewing skills, eye for design, and patience, you can take a men’s old dress shirt and transform it into a beautiful dress. Dresses that are selling for high markup prices in name-brand stores can be made exactly the same way and with the same material by your own hands with a little effort. Shwin and Shwin offer the perfect tutorial for making little girl dresses into a masterful, wearable work of art.

              7. Turn crates into bookshelves.

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                So your kids have lots of books but always have them spread around their bedroom, and you want to know how to keep them put away? Look no further than this project. Turning old wooden crates into bold colorful bookshelves can be the ultimate summer project. Head to JoAnns or Home Depot and pick up some wooden crates, grab a bucket of paint, and let your kids help you match the crate colors to the colors in their room. Amber at Crazy Little Projects offers the tutorial.

                8. Turn a plain table into a train table.

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                  If you have an old coffee table or card table that you want to put to good use, this is the perfect project. Turn it into a train depot like the example above, a neighborhood, a fashion station, a school, or whatever your kids are interested in. DaNita at Delightful Order has some quick tips for doing this and wonderful pictures to go along. If you do this as a surprise for one of your kids, the look on his or her face will be pure joy.

                  Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory / StokPic via stokpic.com

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                  Daniella Whyte

                  Psychology Researcher

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                  Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                  Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                  Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                  Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                  Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                  The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                  There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                  How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                  According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                  Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                  Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                  The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                  Listen carefully:

                  We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                  The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                  Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                  8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                  There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                  Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                  1. Pray Daily

                  You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                  When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                  Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                  Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                  2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                  A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                  By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                  Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                  If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                  This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                  How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                  3. Smile Often

                  Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                  Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                  Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                  The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                  4. Organize Your Working Desk

                  A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                  When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                  Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                  Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                  5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                  I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                  Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                  What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                  6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                  God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                  I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                  I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                  7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                  You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                  How do you do that? This is my formula:

                  First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                  If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                  If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                  If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                  Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                  8. Go Exercise

                  Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                  The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                  You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                  12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                  The Bottom Line

                  It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                  It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                  Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                  More Resources About Mindfulness

                  Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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