Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lego Closet

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hey Girls, 

Check out this common scene in our house...

 ...a six year old boy building Legos.  (I've cropped out his younger brother approaching to wreak havoc on the Lego construction and the sibling "love" that follows such an interruption).  

Here's what was taking over my son's bedroom.  Seriously.  Every.  Surface.

I like clean surfaces.  I'm no minimalist.  I'm a mom-a-list (as in a mom with a whole list of things to do, none of which include dusting around Lego guys, models, and parts).

And don't get me started on the GUYS!

This summer seeing/stepping on all those Legos got me thinking about a perfect world where I would no longer have to see them all, some place where they could be hidden away, some place with doors ... oh yeah, kind of like the closet in my son's room.  The one where we just shoved everything.  So, after a short discussion we decided that maybe we should get our organization on and shove all those Lego things in there instead.  

Here were the primary goals:
1.  Clean it out and make it pretty handsome (and get rid of that strange golden color)
2.  Get organized (and create a place for everything)
3.  Display the men/mini-figures (and get them off the floor)
4.  Add places/shelves to display the models (and get them off the dresser/everything else)
5.  Create a work space to put together the kits (and get the assembly station out of the living room)
6.  Make it fun (and encourage my son to stay up there a long, long time)

Goal #1:  Clean it Out and Make it Handsome
With a quick trip to the paint store and a couple minutes shoving all the older brother's stuff into the younger brother's closet, this project got rolling. 

Lego Organization
All the colors in the world to choose from and we painted the closet white.  
Does it sound cooler if I say Alabaster White?
Goal #2:  Get Organized
I knew in order to accomplish goals 2-6 we would need a magnetic surface.  After combing some stores for some magnetic white boards (and getting a bit let down) my husband recommended a galvanized steel pegboard.  I took one look at that baby on the Sears website ($35) and hit "purchase."  A week later this guy arrived for installation:

Lego Organization

They sell really fancy "attachments" with the pegboards.  I just used the pictures for inspiration.

Goal #3:  Display the Mini-Figures
As much as I say write that I hate the mini-figures, I secretly find them a little cute manly.   So, I didn't want them shoved into a box.  That's why I decided to make mini-figure display strips.  I added magnets so they could all stick to the pegboard in the closet.  Check out the captions if you're looking to build your own.
Lego Guy Organization
Buy two 1/2 inch x 36 inch boards and cut them into 12 inch strips.
Spray paint them.  This is Rust-Oleum Eden .  The wider board in the picture will turn into a shelf on the pegboard.

how to make a lego guy display
Assemble materials:  glue gun, magnets, painted boards, Lego bricks (with two circles), a Lego spacer (with three circles), and mini-figures

Hot glue down 3-5 magnets (depending on their "power") and then on the top of the display board glue down eight two-circle Lego blocks.  Use the three-circle Lego as your spacer.
Then "attach" all your Lego guys.
Lego Guy Organization
Here's a preview of the after shots.
Oh, and one other mini-figure idea.  I found these frames at Big Lots for $1.
Look at that happy couple.
After some spray paint and magnets glued on the backs, they turned into mini-figure display cases.

Lego Shelf
The color is Rust-Oleum Brilliant Blue.  Those wire shelves accomplish goal #4 (add shelving).
lego guy display case
A mini-figure never looked so good!
Goal #4:  Add Shelves to Display the Models
You've already seen two of the shelving solutions for this closet:  green boards that will be added to the pegboard and wire shelves spray painted blue to put on the existing shelf in the closet.  We added two other corner shelves as well.

This is an in-progress photo.  We bought the shelves at Home Depot.  The top one is a little smaller than the bottom (once it's installed).
Goal #5:  Create a Work Space to put together the Kits
This was an easy goal to accomplish.  We moved a desk and chair into the closet.  We've had them both for over ten years.  The chair (that I love!) was a curbside pick-up and the color inspiration for the entire closet makeover.

Goal #6:  Make It Fun
So far, so fun!  We had fun redoing the closet, our boys had fun when we revealed the completed project, and my son is upstairs right now having fun building more Legos.  Goal accomplished!  Now, for more fun, before and after photos:

Remember what it used to look like?

And now for the big reveal...

how to organize legos

Mini Figure and Model Lego Organization
Brothers taking it all in.

Upper shelves.
Lego Display Box
Pegboard Shelves

Mini-figures all lined up.
Lego Guy Box
Mini-figure display cases.
Complete with a Lego pencil holder.
Corner shelves.

I'm glad we have some photos.  I'm pretty sure it will never look like this again, but at least I can shut the doors.

We're organized for a bit,

P.S.  I'm also busy creating free resources for teachers at my Brain Waves Instruction store.  If you're a teacher, stop by and see what's new.  

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  Oh man.  I'm jealous.  Really jealous.   I'm not sure at which point you ventured into Martha territory.   Was it when you spray painted the ledges for the Lego men?  The window boxes?  The magnets?  The corner display shelves?   Nicely done Mrs. W.  

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  You mean you can organize legos, other than shoving them in a clear tub? 

This blog post was featured on LizMarieBlog

Liz Marie Blog


David said...

I'm confused...why are the legos neatly organized in the closet, and not all over the floor in every room in your house? I thought legos were meant to be spread around for you to step on in bare feet...

Julie Shaw said...

Mrs. Williams,
Do you consult on similar lego infested bedrooms??? I pay in wine and know a couple of boys whose room could use some serious attention!

Nicole said...

This. Is. Awesome! I'll file it away, because if my son is anything like his cousin The Professor, when he's 6, I'll be needing it :)
And, is that a moose head on the wall?

Laura said...

Oh my goodness, that is wonderful. Love!! Do you have Lego stored elsewhere or is it all there in the closet? Gosh I love a good functional closet, way to go!!

Hilda @ From Overwhelmed To Organized said...

This is amazing! Our Lego storage keeps changing as more of it enters our house. I need a longer-term solution. Love the mini-fig displays. And yes, they are kind of cute :)

Naptime Notebook said...

Thanks Hilda! Legos, legos everywhere!

Naptime Notebook said...

Why yes, that IS a moosehead

Naptime Notebook said...

Thanks Laura! The "loose" legos stay out on a train table for the boys to play with. Yay to functional closets!

Naptime Notebook said...

Did you say wine? I'm there!

Christa @ Controlling Craziness said...

Love it love it love it. I would love to have a desk for my son to build LEGO creations on however, he says he would rather do it on the floor. Still trying to come up with a good solution for that mess.

Moore Minutes said...

Wow!! This is so incredible. My boys need this. I love how awesome it looks, along with being functional.

Naptime Notebook said...

Thanks so much! Awesome and functional..exactly. :)

Naptime Notebook said...

Understand Christa! Though he could still build on the floor and display in the closet. Good luck. Would love to see what you come up with. :)

Jennifer said...

Seriously awesome idea!!!

Anonymous said...

Love it! I'm thinking I could give up 1/2 of our closet to do something similar. we still need the other 1/2 for clothes. thanks for the inspiration :)

Pam List said...

Wow! I mean just wow! Just think of all the time I will save cursing if these suckers are displayed like this.

thanks for all of this, I am going to see what I can do to make something like this happen as soon as possible.

Grandma Becky said...

Good idea. Why didn't I think of that when my kids were young and legos all over the place? Yes, the legos had their home and expectation was in the box they went once done playing with them. If there was a project finished they usually kept it out on a desk or table.

Naptime Notebook said...

Thank you! Don't you wish you had invented legos? :)

Naptime Notebook said...

Thanks Jennifer!

Naptime Notebook said...

If you do, send us a picture! Would love to see it.

Naptime Notebook said...

Thanks Pam! My sentiments exactly (about the cursing).

iheartorganizing said...

This is so wonderful! What a fantastic place to store, display and play with Lego. That magnetic board is brilliant and I love the green display shelves. You are such a sweet mama!


CD Lego Blog said...

I love it! I just love how you used thoughs picture frames to display the minifigures! Awesome! And those corner shelves to display some models look so good! Great job!

yoda archives said...

Love this idea!

Anonymous said...

Just being on the site and seeing everything gave me more ideas than the local craft. Shop or lowe's did. Thank you. My sons just got 5 of 30 gallon totes filled to the top of legos. Family member of ours past away and left in the will for them. Funny, my kids never even met her. thanks again.

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