Clark’s Garden

A few weeks ago, as I was scanning the plethora of baby/toddler activities on Pinterest, trying to find something fun and unique for Clark, I came across the cutest little plush felt garden I have ever seen. And I could not resist. Seriously. Fireworks were going off in my brain. You can make this! Do it! DO IT!

And so I did. And I don’t regret a single second of it. (except for the part where I burned my finger on a hot glue gun…I regret that) I still have some finishing touches and extra plants I need/want to make, but it’s totally functional at the moment and I love it. AND it totally exceeded my expectations! (which isn’t saying much, because I generally set the bar pretty low for my crafting abilities…hah!)

My favorite part about the garden is how many conversations and learning experiences it can spark with Clark as he grows. I can teach him about healthy eating, gardening, weather (plants need rain and sunshine, after all!), cooking, and so much more.

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Here’s what I did, and how you can make your own darling garden for your little one too.

First and foremost, if you’re planning on making your own, check out the instructions featured on this blog. She is way more detailed with her instructions than I am!

I purchased a rectangle wicker basket from a local thrift store for about $2. In the original instructions, she uses a cardboard box. But I know my kid, and I know he’d much rather eat the box than play with the vegetables. So I went with a something a little less…paper-esque. I then painted the basket a dark brown with some left over paint I had from another project.
For the “dirt mounds” I measured the width and length of the basket, dividing the length into three equal parts. I cut some brown flannel fabric, sewed it wrong sides together on three sides, flipped it right side out, stuffed it, and then sewed the ends closed. Somehow, somewhere, my width measurement was off (I blame sleep exhaustion) and I ended up with a slight gap along the side. My brilliant mother suggested I added a long, skinny “dirt mound”, which honestly turned out to be absolutely perfect.

Finally, I made three carrots, attempted to make a beet (which turned out to be a pretty impressive bell pepper), and mostly made a strawberry plant. I say mostly because apparently making a plush strawberry plant is a lot more complicated and stressful than it seems. Like sewing decorative stitches on 20+ “leaves”, and then giving up and grabbing the hot glue gun and burning your fingers stressful. I’m pretty sure there was a point in all of that where I was asking myself, “is this REALLY worth it?”, and also I might have almost broken out into tears when several family members asked me where the yellow decorative stiches were on my strawberries. NOPE. NOT HAPPENING. Eventually I will add the little Velcro top on the strawberries and a fun little vine that they connect to. You know, eventually. When I get over my PTSD. I don’t know.
(Again, for instructions on how to make the veggies, check out that blog!)

So yeah, a few days after the whole strawberry fiasco, I was browsing IKEA’s toy section online and discovered that they had few plush food baskets…for only $8/ea. Yeah. I might have laugh cried a little. We picked up two – a veggie basket and a fruit basket. Seriously though, isn’t that an amazing deal?! Over all, on the parts I personally made, I spent about $10.
So all in all, this project + our IKEA run, ran me about $26 more or less.
Pretty stinking amazing.

What do you guys think? What are some more fun projects I can make for Clarky boy or that you have made for your little one that they have just loved?
Leave a comment below!

Kelly

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