30 July, 2012

Habits, Job Chart, Bulletin Boards, and Curtains

I have been putting my classroom together like crazy! I want to finish it in the next week or two so that I can concentrate on lesson plans and the likes after that. (22 days until school starts!) I have a bunch of projects that are almost complete and some that I have completely put out of my mind because they are finished. Lots of cutting things out this week. I may have quite a few large stacks of paper, so I am starting to really go through the thousands of colorful pieces I have! How do you use the ugly pieces that come in paper packs?
Here is what I have been up to lately:

These are part of my table numbers. Half of them. I am more excited about these table numbers then anything else I am making.

I finally hung up my picture frames. Because I bought cheap dollar frames, they were sticking out from the wall at the bottom. I solved this problem by pinning down the bottom corners. You can't tell, can you?

They were waxing the floors at my elementary school last week so I could not get in. On Monday I was finally able to put up some of my bulletin boards! I put some gorgeous purple and blue for social studies and science (I need to change the color for my science bulletin board). Sadly, the colors are pretty dark and they are up against my darkest wall so they look really dark.

I put some lovely vintage looking fabric up on my largest carpet covered wall. I love the way that it looks.

And...a place for my students' work.

Don't you just love the fabric on the right? It's my very favorite.

Next, I made these cute little curtains. Why can't you ever take a good picture of a curtain when it's hung? I used some of my favorite designer fabric for these cuties.

Because my windows are surrounded by brick, I ended up hanging them up from the ceiling. (Do you see the twine my husband attached to the metal on the ceiling? He's a rock star.)

I made some awesome habits signs. Looks like and sounds like for different habits (instead of rules) my students get to do. My lovely students will be the ones to come up with what each habit looks like and sounds like when we do them. They will be laminated so that I can use them year after year.

Don't you love the gorgeous quilt my darling sister made for my wedding? She is a quilt making machine! I like having a different poster for each one because this way, I can hang them up in different parts of the room depending on where the most optimal viewpoint is.

Last but not least, I almost completed my job chart. I cut out seven different designs of green paper for pockets (21 jobs).

The name of each job will be put on the outside (e.g. pencil sharpener). A description of the job will go on an insert sitting inside the pocket so that the students never have to ask me when they can do their job or what exactly their job entails; they just read the details on the card. The students will rotate through with their names on sticks. I'm pretty excited about this.
Do you have class jobs? What are they?

Lots of cutting out, but I'm nearing the end of my crafting for my classroom!

25 July, 2012

Now I know my ABCs

As I looked around my classroom for the first time, I noticed the stereotypical cursive alphabet above the white boards. That made me think...there is not a lot of variation between cursive alphabets that you see in a classroom.
You know. The ones that look like this:
I decided then and there to make my own.
After grabbing a role of brown kraft paper at the dollar store, cutting out my letters, and gluing them onto the vintage looking paper, I had the (almost) finished result.

All that's left to do is laminate and hang them up.
Another project I am working on that excites me more than anything I have done yet will be done soon. Here is a sneak peak:

I cannot wait to finish!

23 July, 2012

Ruler container

I have been trying to find space saving and cute ways to store some of the school supplies my students will be using. Last year I worked with some of the 6th graders at my school and found that they hardly knew how to use a ruler so I knew I wanted to incorporate measurement just a bit more than the core suggests.
Cue the wine tubes I found for $2.00 at Joann's.
They are compact and one will fit about half of the rulers I need for my class. The only problem was that they needed a bit of a makeover. (The designs were cute but they had wine words on them.)

I grabbed some gray spray paint (leftover from my wedding last year; I love working with free tools) and got to spraying. I left the lids on so that the cute design would still be visible.
All I needed to do after that was apply vinyl. Because I felt as though I had been wasting lots of the space between vinyl letters lately, I took advantage of the letters and the outline this time. No wasted vinyl.

I think they will be just about perfect for what I made them for!

Linking up...

16 July, 2012

A wreath and some objectives frames

This is what they looked like before I hung them up. Sorry for the glare from the lights. I am loving them. Especially the paper in the Objectives frame. They are now hung up and ready to go

I also finally put up the cabinet numbers on my cabinets. I still cannot decide where to position them on the cabinets though...

Today I made a wreath. I am a little obsessed with cute wreaths. I made this one a few months ago. It is pretty wonderful, if you ask me. I love how simple it looks and the red satin ribbon it was hung to the wall with.

I wanted to make a wreath for my classroom for my sake. Something a little vintage-y and I knew for sure I wanted ruffles. I love ruffles. So. Much. It is ridiculous.
So I headed to the nearest fabric store (Joann's is only a quarter mile away from where I live right now) and snagged some faded red linen for only a few dollars. Score. Then I grabbed an ugly wreath for free. (I will try to find pictures of just what I had to work with.) Basically it was a wood wreath with some painted wood figures attached on. Birdhouses and sleds and a sign about snow.
I wrapped the wreath in pieces of the red linen like so:

After that I could not for the life of me decide what to do with the ruffles. I originally wanted to wrap ruffles around the whole thing until I realized it would take a long time for me to make enough ruffles to wrap around the whole thing so I came up with this:

I only ruffled enough fabric to wrap around the top of the wreath, made some fabric flowers, and attached a hello sign with some yellow butcher string. And, yes, the wreath looks a little lopsided in the picture, but I promise that my OCD kicked in and I unlopsided it (otherwise known as straightened it out) I still do not know what I think of this wreath. I do not love it as much as my white ruffle one, but maybe it will grow on me.

Linking up...
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10 July, 2012

Always in the middle...

Right now I seem to constantly be in the middle of crafts for my classroom. I have two piles in my living room right now. One pile holds completed crafts that are ready to head out to my classroom. The other pile is full of not yet started/in the middle of crafts.
I also usually have something drying in the middle of the floor. Like these:

I took some cheap 8x10 black plastic picture frames from the dollar store and tried giving them a worn, vintage look by not thoroughly painting them. I went over the frame with a sponge brush and some lovely light blue paint a couple of times, trying my hardest not to be OCD about thoroughly covering the frames so I got the sanded down look. (You know the look, where you paint a wood frame and then sand it a bit to give it an old look.) I think they look pretty good.
If you agree, then thank you very much.
If you disagree, then I just have to tell you they look better than in the pictures.
What am I turning these into? Have you seen the dozens of ideas on how to display your objectives? That's what these are going to become.

I also just finished this beaut:

My teacher toolbox.
Once again, just about every other teacher has been posting their own. I just wanted to use some vintage looking paper on mine and I replaced a couple of the smaller boxes for places to hold a small bottle of mod podge (something I can never be without) and brushes for the mod podge.
Ah, and the green words are actually more visible than they look. I promise. The paper has a shiny finish so it did not photograph very well.

For the larger green boxes, I cut the letters out of the paper itself (at my husbands suggestion) and then stuck a piece of white paper on the back, but it took forever to do. The pink went by much faster because I simply applied some vinyl. (That was my very first time cutting vinyl out. I am converted. I love vinyl. Even with these tiny letters I love it so much.)

Also sitting around waiting to be used is lots of fabric, a large painted picture frame, some clipboards, dowels, a pot, hundreds of pieces of paper, tape measurers, twine, and many other treasures.

08 July, 2012

Cabinet numbers

Because I am moving into an already supplied classroom, I have this sinking feeling that I will forget about something rad that could have made a superb lesson into an extraordinary lesson. There are four deep cabinets that hold a plethora of science and math supplies that I want to be able to keep track of and remember where they are.
I have gone through and written down a detailed list of what is in each of my large cabinets so that I can glance at the list every week or two as a reminder of what I have stored away and so that I will have a tangible list of where everything is kept.
Now...I could just leave things at that and be on my merry way, but where is the fun in that?
Cue the cute cabinet numbers.
I got this idea from Style Me Pretty for pinwheels and then I put my own vintage twist on them.
Their steps are wonderful and easy to follow.
I basically took two accordion strips that measured 3"x12" (before they were folded) to make my pinwheels.
My secret tip is that I actually folded a 6"x12" strip and then cut the strip in half (hot dog style) to get my two 3"x12" strips. Less folding.
After I had the four lovely pinwheels made, I cut out four circles from an adorable blue flower patterned paper.

They looked like the perfect circle to pinwheel ratio.

Next I cut out the numbers 1-4 out of some simple brown cardstock and adhered them to my circles with some glue. I also adhered the circles to my pinwheels with glue, but I think I will apply them again with either a hot glue gun or some glue dots.

 I love them, don't you? Here they are pretending to label some cabinets in my kitchen. I still cannot decide if I want to embellish them with ribbon or just leave them as they are.

Aren't they darling? Don't you just love that vintage paper? I wanted the vintage paper look without causing harm to a book. I found some perfect vintage looking paper at Joann's for 4/$1.00.
The big question is...was it worth it? Because I already had the other supplies besides the four pieces of vintage looking scrapbook paper, this project cost me one dollar and took about 30 minutes to make.

I would say definitely worth it. 
(Plus, if I ever decide to ask a student to grab something out of a cabinet for me, I can just tell them a number instead of saying "second from the right" or something like that. This will save me 1-2 seconds every time!)

(No, I am not that OCD about my time...)

Linking up

03 July, 2012


Every day I head into my classroom for at least an hour to do some cleaning. Today I needed to do something more than just clean; I could feel my creative juices running out as I sorted through teacher books from the 80s. (No joke.)
So today I made a pennant. I have these lovely orange cabinets in my classroom that I needed to spruce up with something. All it took was 4 pieces of 12 x 12 paper, bakers twine, and some adhesive dots. (I was feeling fancy with the dots. You really just need tape. p.s. Don't you love that bakers twine? I am using it for another project in my classroom where it will stay up all year. I am pretty stoked over the string.)

(Pardon the pictures. They were taken with my not-so-smart phone.)
First I took my bakers twine and taped it to the top right corner of my set of cabinets and the top left corner with the perfect amount of droopiness. (Basically I imagined how I wanted the slope of my pennants to look and taped the twine up accordingly.)

Then I started positioning my pennants with the top edge of the paper directly under the line of the twine.

My pennants just happened to fit perfectly, 4 to a door. The finished product:

Once I had the paper adhered to the doors where I wanted them, I removed the twine and rolled it back up. Now I have the illusion of a pennant banner across my retro colored cabinets, but I can still open doors without messing the whole thing up.

With that, I have a lot more cleaning to do....

Linking up here: