5. Raid your house. You may not need to pay for hardware if you get creative at home or you have a spouse who collects spare parts. Think old drawer knobs, old light switches, etc. You can also use extra wall paint for the base colour
6. Get creative. You don’t have to use hardware, you could also make use out of craft supplies, kitchen gadgets, different fabrics and textures, etc. You can also use the same thing in a set of different sizes.
7. If you a little compulsive, like me, stick with using a same colour for everything. I tried to stick with using silver and white items (aside from the bronze tap).
UPDATE: Three years later this busy board is still up and being used by all three kids. The cans and pipes both didn’t last. The glue wasn’t strong enough and Lenayah was trying to scale the board by launching off the pipes. Also, long strings for toddlers and babies is a bad idea. Those are gone too. I would recommend adding a few more gadgets that require fine motor skills. All three kids most loved the nuts and bolts, slider lock and alphabet stickers.
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