March 29, 2012

Scrappy Van Make-Over Complete...Mostly

I did it!  I cleaned out the family van and stitched up some cutesy accessories to help it stay cleanish and to inspire all of us to take a little more pride in our wheels.  I'm calling it the scrappy makeover simply because I hate scrapbooking.  Like literally can't stand scrapbooking.  Don't hate me.  I love the paper and the stickers, but do everything with them but scrapbook.  And now when I look into the van, I think, This totally looks like a scapbooker's van.  Everything is coordinated with little bows and stripes and gosh!  If I were a scrapbooker, I would totally make a page for my new scrappy van!

So - and I can't believe I'm showing you this - here's the before.  Oh, the shame of it all.  I'm so much better at a clean house than a clean van.  Joe is better at the clean vehicle.  His truck stays so nice and clean!  Whenever I have somewhere to go without the kids, I always ask to drive his truck because it just feels good to ride in a vehicle that doesn't have a crumb carpet.'s the hideous before picture.  I'm not going to blow it up big because I couldn't stomach you seeing the detail of the grossness.

Gross, right?  My stomach is doing flips just thinking about how many people are about to see my ultimate shame.

Now for the after!  

The first step was obviously to the car wash.  We have this great wash here in town called Green Gorilla and the reason I love it is that you get UNLIMITED, FREE vacuum time with your car wash.  This means no beeps telling you that your time is almost up.  You can keep hitting that button until your car is actually crumb free.  Can't beat that!  So the kids were trash removers and I vacuumed SIX rounds with the car wash vacuums.  I still couldn't quite get all the grime, but I came close enough.

Once it was all de-crumbed, it was measure and sew time!  

First I made the toy/trash bags.  I ended up using the How Does She? tutorial for trash bags, but I added a shorter, top-hemmed piece of the lining fabric between the outer pieces  before I stitched them together so that when I flipped them right side out, I'd have a cute pocket on the outside.  And instead of the sturdy straps they used, I used cute ribbon and just tied it around the head rest with a big bow! 

The boys promptly added action figures to their bag and Hannah Jane filled hers with books!  Now when we have time to kill in the van during speech or soccer practice, there will be something to keep busy with!  

Next it was on to the floor covering!

I just stitched the giant rectangles together right sides facing, leaving a 2 inch gap to flip right sides out, and then did a cute neon green zig-zag stitch around the edges, leaving the corners rounded.  It's to funny to watch the boys smooth out the mat every time they get in the van now.  They discuss which side they want showing and then make it all nice.  For now - and I know this will be short lived - they are enjoying having a pretty van enough to groom it each time they get in.  No trash has been left in.  Toys have been returned to the bags before going in the house.  

What happened next demonstrates my drive to take everything I do overboard.  That is, if you don't think a rug in the van is already overboard.  The other place in the van that I can just never get all of the crumbs out of simply because all of the crevices are too small for the vacuum to reach, is the center console.  And there was still fabric left.  That's criminal, right?  It needed to be used.  

 I made console liners.  They're not exactly done yet, though.  I wanted that cute rag style where you don't flip them, but you sew raw edges out and then run them through the wash to get that shabby chic edge.  I was about to toss them in the wash when I thought They're going to need a wash soon anyway if they're going to sit under my coffee mugs, so I'll juts use them as-is and see the shabby-chic after my first in-van coffee spill.  Anyway, if cupholder liners don't convey my vansanity, I don't know what does!  

I have one more thing I want to make before it's all said and done.  I love to wear those giant granny glasses (we call them that literally because my Granny wears huge frames and I always made fun of her for it when I was a kid.  Now that I wear them too, Joe can't help but call me Granny every time I put them on!  But my Granny is hot, so I don't mind all that much!  You can see her, in all her hot Granny glory, in this post from back when she visited for Thanksgiving.) and my Granny glasses are so big that they won't fit in the van's built in sun glasses compartment.  So I think I'm going to use my last fabric for a glasses case to hang from the shift so that I can keep up with my enormous frames.  Okay, well, there will still be enough left to add into Hannah Jane's scrap skirt.  I wonder how she'll feel about coordinating with the van!  Ha!  

While we did desperately need a van clean out, I'm pretty sure all of this is only getting done because my hot patent agent of a husband is in Florida for a few days for some professional development thing and I'm trying to keep my mind off of his absence.  I'm over productive when he takes these little trips, just trying to keep busy until he's back.  In addition to the van make over, I finally Ombre-colored my hair last night (which I love, by the way), organized my closet, did a donation sweep of all of the kids' rooms and play areas, and now I'm ready to make some cute summer skirts for me and Hannah Jane.  Then...oh...I don't know.  I need Joe to come home pronto, before I run out of projects!   I miss him like CRAZY!!!! 


  1. Awesome! I just cleaned out our car the other day - I had become so immune to the crumbs and candy trash and dried french fries in the door pockets, and, well... that I was totally floored when one of my homeschool class students passed up a ride home with me (I go right past his house) because he'd already been in my car once, and that was enough. Now we can all breathe easier! (And not have to brush off our clothing after getting out of the car...)

  2. Haha! I drive Dave to Ruhi every other week and you can only imagine how much my mess must stress him out! That is topped only by the times that I also drive our other friend and therefore have to move a carseat out of its spot so a grown up can sit the crumb bed...and melted crayon...and spilled milk. I don't know how often you look under your carseats, but it's unbelievable under there!


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