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DIY: abacus for the nursery

Remember my post about the ideas and inspiration that I have been collecting for the nursery? Well, I’m still totally obsessed with Sherry Hart’s nursery design over at Design Indulgence and one of the things I love so much about the room is the abacus hanging over the dresser.

courtesy of

It’s from CB2 but at $150 it’s more than I would be willing to spend, so I decided to keep looking. I stumbled upon a tutorial over at Anything Pretty and rejoiced in the fact that the internet is a crafty girl’s best friend! This blogger is my kind of crafty chick. She’s creative, resourceful and determined to try to make something before just whipping out her credit card. I’d like to think we could easily be friends.

We tweaked the design a little bit, but pretty much followed her lead. This was another project that Eric made all his own. We all know my woodworking limitations, but since I was also forbidden from being around paint, he really stepped in and took over the entire thing. We did tackle the final assembly together which was a lot of fun.

Here are some shots that I took along the way.

I ordered 100 wooden beads from a wholesale wood crafts website and they were primed using spray primer and painted using high-gloss spray paint.

Eric built a simple frame and I bought some wooden dowels from our local craft store. 

After a couple of coats of flat white paint, it was ready for assembly.  Using wall anchors and simple hardware, we  hung the bad boy on the wall. Ta-da!!

You know what? It just might be my favorite item in the entire nursery. It came out so well, better than either of us expected…and serves as proof that I absolutely married my industrious-natured, DIY-loving soul mate.

We’re having a big party this weekend to celebrate our little one’s impending arrival. I have a few more small things to do to make the nursery complete. I’ll post the big reveal next week!

2 Responses to “DIY: abacus for the nursery”

  1. Brittany Says:

    Could your crafty husband share what he did differently to make the frame…the other blog seems a bit intense and I like how simple yours looks. Thanks so much!! Great work =)

  2. Emily Says:

    Hey Brittany, we pretty much followed her designs, but didn’t build the backing that screwed into the wall. We just attached heavy-duty hardware to the back of the abacus, installed wall brackets and hung it directly on the wall. Hope you have fun with the project!

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