Welcome Banner

After a flurry of vacation and setting up my classroom, I had time this weekend for another Monday Made It.

I downloaded a free "Welcome Back!" banner from The Bubbly Blonde's TPT store. I only printed out "Welcome" since it will be the students' first time in my school, and I didn't want to waste paper. Since the the black and white theme really didn't go with my bright colors theme, I used my beloved circle cutter to cut out the circle containing the letter in the middle.
Then I cut out pennants from my theme scrapbook paper. To do this easily, I cut from the top corner to the bottom middle. I did the same thing from the other top corner, leaving me with a pennant shape.
I glued the letter to the pennant. Then, of course, I laminated it. I strung a thick string across my wall, using Command hooks at either end. I used corresponding Mod Podged clothespins to clip the pennants to the line. I plan to keep the line up all year and use it to display students work, holiday banners, or other fun things.

Finally! Milk Crate Seats

DIY milk crate seats for the classroom
After much procrastination, I finally got around to making my milk crate seats for my classroom. I can't remember the countless places where I got my inspiration for my version, so please let me know if something sounds familiar.

The main problem I had in getting these seats started was finding fabric I liked that went with my theme. I didn't want another pattern clashing with my other projects, but I really didn't want solid color either. Then somewhere along the way, I thought that a plastic tablecloth would be the way to go so I could wipe it off. But it had to be durable enough for fifth graders. So yeah, that was a challenge.

Milk crate seats provide alternate seating and more storage space.

So here's what I did.  I used:
  • 12"x12" milk crates from The Container Store (These were much sturdier than the cheap ones from any other store that I saw. The downsides are that they are a little more expensive, though I did get them on sale, and they don't have the inner lip on which to rest the seat.)
  • 14"x14" pre-cut pieces of 1" thick foam (I was thinking that I wanted the seats to be 14"x14" because my seats would have to sit on top of the crates. Lo and behold, Hobby Lobby had pre-cut pieces of 14"x14" foam! Score!)
  • 14"x14" pieces of wood (I think mine are 1/2" thick. I can't remember. Everything in that aisle at Lowe's was a blur. Overwhelming!! Luckily, the guy at Lowe's cut them to 14"x14" for no additional charge.)
  • 12"x12" pieces of particleboard
  • clear plastic shower curtain liner or tablecover, cut about 16"x16" each (the thicker, the better)
  • fat quarters of fabric (18"x21")
  • staple gun with LOTS of staples (Man! These used to freak me out, but I used them a bunch this summer and have gotten over my fear...kind of.)
Now, most places I've read suggest using spray glue to attach the foam to the board. Since I didn't have any, I didn't do that. And, if both things were 14"x14", why didn't they totally match up?! Anywho...Staple the edges of the fabric to the underside of the board.

Cover with pieces of the shower curtain and staple again.

Attach the 12"x12" particleboard squares to the underside of the seat. My dad screwed mine together for me.

I will be keeping a clipboard (if it fits) and a mini pencil box with pencils and highlighters inside. I considered stapling a pencil pouch to the underside of the seat to hold small supplies, but the mini pencil boxes were cheaper.
Milk crate seats provide alternate seating and more storage space.

Milk crate seats provide alternate seating and more storage space.
In summary, I probably spent $15 per seat, and I'm not sure that I'd do this again. But, they are cute and match my room. Just hope that they don't get destroyed the first week! Pretty sure the first student to poke a hole in them will get a detention. Fair warning...

More Projects and Currently

And another batch of Pinterest-inspired classroom goodies...

First up is the Rainbow Pour Painting pot that I did on a day when the humidity wasn't over 100˚F. That one day. Anyway, I didn't document every step because it was still hot out and I'm impatient. Also, the author of the post I saw did a good job with the step-by-step. The first step after buying the clay pots and acrylic paint was to spray paint the inside and rim white. This is probably optional, especially if you hate spray paint like I do, but I wanted white to show instead of the clay in case the paint didn't drip all of the way down. This is the "after" picture, but you can see where the white shows through the paint. Then I inverted the pot onto a stack of plastic cups so that it was suspended over the cardboard. It resembled a lamp. This was so the paint that dripped off didn't pool on the rim and make it stick to the cardboard. Try to make it level. There was already a price tag over the hole in the bottom on my pots, but if yours isn't covered, you'll want to put some tape over the hole.

This is where it might be helpful to check out the website I referenced for pictures. You start the painting process by making a small pool of paint on the bottom of the pot. After that oozes a little, you squeeze another color into the middle of the previous pool, and so on. My pot was concave on the bottom, so the paint had a hard time getting over the edge. To encourage the paint to go over, I slightly tipped the pots in all directions to get the paint going. The first few colors never made it over the edge, so I added more of those colors once the paint was oozing down the side. You don't need to use as much paint as you think. If you made big pools, then those colors dominate and cover up whatever came before. I found that the finished product was better if I used only a little paint and kept rotating through the colors. Personally, I didn't like how the orange and yellow looked, so if I were to do this again, I would only use dark or light colors together.

Then you let it dry a long time. Like maybe a day or two, just to be safe. Then I remembered that I wanted to use one of the pots for an actual plant and I needed to expose the drain hole. So I took my craft knife and cut around the bottom and peeled off the inner circle of paint. This was the concave area that collected all of the paint anyway, so I was concerned that the area may not totally dry anyway. Problem solved! Then I remembered that since I wanted to put a plant in this one and I was going to use a saucer that I had spray painted white, the paint might do something funky if it was sitting in the drained water. So I used the Mod Podge acrylic sealer to spray it and make it shiny. I have no idea if that will help or not, or if it was even necessary, but I didn't want to take any chances.

The other pot is going to be a pencil holder that will sit by the turn-in baskets so students can write their names on their papers if they forgot. I wadded up a paper towel and put it in the bottom so I wouldn't need as much rock, then I filled it with river rock from Michael's (or Hobby Lobby, I don't remember). I found some flowers at Michael's that went with my theme and hot glued them onto the ends of some green mechanical pencils that were on sale at Walgreen's (I took out the eraser and filled it with hot glue. I ripped the flower off the stem, which left a little plastic nub on the bottom of the flower, and stuck it in the glue. For this particular pencil, I was able to pull off the top to add lead. We'll see how long they'll last with fifth graders...) The reason(s) why I went with mechanical pencils instead of pens was that:
  • I don't like pens. They are too permanent and too "final."
  • I don't like my students to use pens for any assignment, so I just don't like to have them available.
  • The flower tape that I used to wrap a test pen was too sticky and bothered the heck out of me.
  • The green colored pencil looked like a stem without the stickiness.
So there you go. I used one of the stems from the flowers to make a little sign for the pot. And of course I laminated it!

I had three flowers left from this project to use for my melted crayon art. My inspiration was here. These have been all over Pinterest in one form or another, but I like the addition of flowers. My daughter actually did one with flowers and then added a butterfly. Anyway, I followed the directions pretty much as written, but my canvas was 16" x 20" and I used most of a twenty-four pack of crayons. I do have a few tips, though. When I was hot-gluing the crayons on the canvas, I put the glue in the area between the crayons (in the empty triangle area if you are looking at it from the ends, not where the crayons touch) instead of under the crayons. This is because I wasn't working fast enough initially and the glue was already hardening before I could get the crayon on the canvas, so it was uneven and lumpy. If you are using a hair dryer, use the low setting. Otherwise, the wax will blow everywhere. Also, I noticed that the crayons started melting on the blunt end as well, so be careful! Lastly, if you glue on flowers, hot glue doesn't stick to melted wax, so you have to glue directly onto the canvas.
And the August Currently from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade...