One of my all-time favorite things to do is to figure out new ways to use things. Rarely do I throw things away. Instead I just look for ways to repurpose them such as the Highchair Redo or the CapriSun Giftbag. So when Blinds.com sent me a plain white roller shade and challenged me to do something with it, I was stoked.
Immediately my mind started to spin in pretty happy colors. I thought about creating a roll up family memo/ chores board, or making a faux chalkboard with it. Maybe I could cut sections of it out and make a pretty decorating screen by covering the cut out sections with lace. I even tried to brainstorm ways I could make a washi tape holder with it.
But it was one idea to make a roll up play mat for my kids that I kept going back to. Anyone that knows my family personally is aware of my kids extreme Littlest Petshop addiction*. Sometimes they pick up a Barbie or a Lalaloopsy but they always (and I do mean always) have a Littlest Petshop in the other hand. Lately the four year old has started asking everyone she knows if they will buy her a Petshop House. Her loving Mimi replied with “yes, next time I see you I will get you a Petshop house.” Uh Mimi, you might want to check prices on those first.
So I gave them something better than a big bulky Petshop house. I took the shade, painted a fun playmat on it using regular acrylic craft paint and secured it low on the wall. Now it affords for countless hours of creative play while rolling up and out of the way when the day is done.
As soon as the kids heard that what I was making was for them and their Petshops, mass amounts of Little Petshops started appearing all around the area where I was working. Something told me they were excited. Then while I was painting they started putting in their requests such as a lake for their swan and a pile of mud for the Petshops to splash in. Finally I knew I had made the right choice in transforming the blind to a playmat when they arranged felt at the bottom of the mat to play with their petshops because the paint was still set on the blind and I wouldn’t let them play on it yet.
So now they have a cute playmat that rolls out when it’s time to play and rolls up when playtime is over. In the next few weeks I plan on hiding by placing a shelf over it that is open on the bottom so it can roll down. Then the top of the shelf will be perfect for storing the chalk for their chalkboard and Petshops in a pretty container.
Now they also have a fun backdrop to make their Little Petshop YouTube videos that they have been trying to film. They’re little vloggers in the making.
Anyone can do the same thing! Here’s a few tips for making your own playmat out of a roller shade:
1. Draw out the design in pencil first. If you do not consider yourself an artist, that’s ok! Just have fun with it. It’s for your kids, they will love it no matter how it looks. Plus you are your own worst critic. It’ll be great – just go for it.
2. Place the blind on the wall where you plan on securing it and mark what part of the blind is flat on the floor and what part is on the wall. Then you’ll know what area just needs to be a plain play area with roads and flat dimensional items and what area will be the backdrop to the play area where you want to put a scene such as houses or shops.
3. The roller shade I used had a fabric type covering so I used regular acrylic craft paint that was watered down. Why did I add water to the paint? Because the fabric was absorbing so much paint that it would have taken a very long time to paint. So I put the paint on a plate and simply added water as I needed. If you’re using an all plastic shade you might want to just use regular paint, no water.
4. Roughly mix like colors together to achieve depth. Rather than painting the sky all one color of blue I swirled light blue and dark blue together but did not mix it all the way. Then when you paint it on the different shades will show, just like a real sky. I did the same with the grass and the city buildings. You can also use the darker shade on corners of buildings to help them stand out. Just blend the colors together wherever a light and dark color meet.
5. Have fun. This is supposed to be creative. Perfection is for the birds. Don’t over think it. (It’s always thinking that gets me in trouble)
I hope you like it. If you do, please Pin it!
If you make your own please send me the photos so I can see and make my kids jealous.
*This post contains affiliate links including the amazon widget above.
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