As I have mentioned in previous posts, I selfishly do not like to buy gifts off baby registries. It’s not that I don’t want the baby to have the necessities but I know his Great Aunt Jean will give him those things. I think it’s important for every baby to receive some unique gifts along with the burp cloths and the onesies. But because I am practical by nature, I like to make sure my gifts are unique AND useful.
Brian and I recently went to a co-ed baby shower hosted by friends and relatives at the expecting parents’ home on a Sunday afternoon (note: if you’re planning a baby shower, this is a refreshing and welcomed alternative). Functioning more like an open house, guests were encouraged to come and go as they pleased and nosh on a variety of sweets and other eats that were sprinkled throughout the house. Because it was held in the baby’s future digs, guests got to check out the gender-neutral (baby’s gender was a surprise!) nursery the parents had collaborated on. The focal point is a wall-sized mural of a tree blowing in the wind.
Beyond their talents in painting and woodworking mediums, these parents are thrill seekers, active as they come. From snowboarding and surfing to rock climbing, they do it all. Brian and I knew the theme for our gift had to be sports-related. In the end, surfing won and we proudly presented this gift at the shower:
We found this magazine rack at an antique store near Bethel, Maine, on our way home from skiing at Sunday River one weekend. The $2 price tag was attractive but we also knew this couple would appreciate that we recycled an old item. It needed some work upfront before we could begin painting it. This is what it looked like when we got home:
I sanded the entire rack to remove an old layer of varnish and then began prepping for the surfing theme. I researched images of surfboards and settled on a retro look. Brian thought we could achieve the old surfboard look we were going for by letting the grain of the wood show through. Great idea, I was on board!
I printed out an image of a retro surfboard and made a drawing to the same scale. I cut out the pattern and traced it on to each end of the magazine rack. I then carefully painted the rest of the magazine rack with a semi-gloss white enamel primer/paint in one and then antiqued it with a sanding sponge. Once that was done, Brian set to work making red racing stripes on each surfboard. After measuring and taping off the stripes with Gorilla Tape, he used an artist brush to apply 2 coats of Interlux Brightside Polyurethane in Fire Red (from his boat paint collection):
After applying a few layers of water-based polyacrylic in satin, I filled the magazine rack with books for the baby and magazines for Mom and Dad to read while spending time with the baby in the nursery. I hope the little surfer to be learns to love books as much as I do! Welcome to the world, Hayden! We can’t wait to meet you.
Did you catch the other magazine rack I recently painted for a baby shower?