Baby proofing the fireplace

Now that DJ is crawling all over the place and pulling up, we knew it was time to tackle the baby proofing.  The smaller stuff was easy to do including plug outlet covers and locking the cabinets.  We did have one unfortunate lamp that was pulled over so cords are now tied and tucked away.  However, we still had one looming thing to baby proof.  Our giant brick hearth on the fireplace.

I knew pretty early on that I didn’t want to mess with options from the store like little foam bumpers that cover the edge.  I didn’t think they would stay on well and didn’t think they would really protect from scratches and bumps on the sides and top of the brick.

So, we came up with a DIY idea.  We built a frame out of some cheap wood and covered in foam and fabric.  It really wasn’t that hard although a bit more expensive then we anticipated (we didn’t really feel like we had a choice so we just built it without thinking about budget before hand).

First, we built the frame in the garage based on some measurements.  We had to account for a small cutout in the top for the actual fireplace.

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Sorry, J wouldn’t stop working for a picture so its blurry!

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Here is the frame once its almost done on the fireplace.  We added a few more supports on the top just so it helped keep its shape.

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After the frame was done we took some rough measurements and went to the store to get some foam (I think we got 1″ foam) and some fabric that was on clearance (3 yards I think).   We stapled the foam to the frame which was hard because the foam was so thick but just enough to hold it in place under the fabric.  We covered the top, front, and sides with foam.   After that, we laid out the fabric on the foam and then I hand sewed a side panel on either side.  Its not the prettiest thing but it certainly does its job!

Brick Fireplace hearth covered with foam and fabric

Overall, I think we spent about $100 on this, but I did find other similar options that were thousands of dollars so we feel it was well spent.  It adds more seating to our room and we don’t have to worry at all with DJ crawls over and pulls up!

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New front yard patio

Follow up to the parent’s visit post here.

This past weekend with my parents was great. The ended up only staying Friday night and left around 7:30 pm on Saturday evening. Just over a 24 hour trip! Everything I said would happen of course did but it still was a great trip.

Saturday my dad was hoping to help us with a “project” so we started on some yard work. We have a large bed along our walkway to our front door that needed to be landscaped. The problem with this bed is that in the fall it is always full of leaves from the two giant oak trees that are right outside the house. The leaves combined with the shade and weird soil balance makes it very hard to get anything to grow there. After a little talking, we decided to put in a small patio!

The first step was to clean out the weeds and extra plants. This wasn’t too hard to do. We then worked to draw out lines of how big we thought the patio should be. We wanted it just large enough to fit two chairs and a small table.

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We ran to Lowes and bought these 16″ pavers with an embossed brick like pattern in them. The large size made the patio easy to lay and helped with the stability. I loved the off white color that was very neutral and will help hide dirt. They were $4 each and I used a 10% off coupon.

J and my dad started working on compacting the dirt and making sure everything was level.

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In about 2 hours the guys had the dirt compacted and the patio laid out. We cleaned off the dirt and it was ready for use!

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I think it really helps warm up the front of the house. We are going to look for some white chairs to go with the trim of the house. Thanks Mom and Dad!

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