Throwback Thursday - Theme Projects

For this edition of Throwback Thursday, I'm going to share another popular post that might give some of you some summer project ideas.

Originally posted 7/30/12

Since I have no choice but to have a "fresh start" in my new classroom, I decided that I would overhaul everything. Looking around in blogland, and especially Pinterest, I feel a little pressured to have a classroom "theme." In my thirteen years of teaching, none of my coworkers or I had ever had a theme. Maybe it was because only fourth and fifth grades were in my building, and available pre-packaged themes seemed a little too primary.

But it seems that a theme doesn't have to be things like teddy bears or giraffes. It can simply be a color scheme. When I saw this package of scrapbook paper at Michael's, I thought that it would be a good basis for my classroom. It's bright, it's fun, and not too little kiddish.

So after searching through my pinned school project ideas, I decided to start with making new inserts for my binders. I can't find the online source of my inspiration, but here is the finished project.

To get this to work out, I had to print on the solid paper in the landscape format then trim to fit the width of the cover. Then I cut the patterned paper so that it overlapped with the solid paper by a centimeter or so and glued the three pieces of paper together. The label for the spine is a repeat of the binder title, but in one line.

While I was at it, I made labels for my tubs. Of course, I laminated them and stuck them on using my sticker maker.

 My next project was the DIY ruler holder from Classroom DIY. The only changes that I made to the instructions were to use Mod Podge instead of the spray adhesive (which I didn't have) and I trimmed the paper prior to adhering it. I also used Mod Podge to protect the paper and used the Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer to get rid of the tackiness. I had a bunch of empty formula canisters around, so I decided to do those as well.

Now that I think about it, my scrapbook paper was 8 1/2 x 11, so it wouldn't cover the Pringles can. I took two strips of coordinating paper to use at the top and bottom. The formula can needed one and one-half pieces of paper to get total coverage.

Next up was clothespins covered with the scraps of paper that I had generated up to this point. This inspiration came from a pin from Etsy. I started by Mod Podging clothespins to the scrapbook paper. I lined it up so that two edges were aligned with the edges of the paper so that I only had to cut two sides.

When they were dry, I used my craft knife to cut along the tip and far side. Then I clipped them to my cutting mat and gave them a few coats of Mod Podge.

Once I get into my classroom and scope out my walls, I will decide how many will get thumbtacks glued to the back and how many will get magnets. Maybe some will stay plain :)

So, that's been keeping me busy this summer. Now trying to figure out what curtains fabric will go with all of these bright colors!


  1. Oh my gosh - I absolutely love the clothespin coordination. It's all in the details!

  2. I'm going to have to try that clothespin idea! It's right up my alley :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  3. Love the binders and the clothespins...well, I just love it all! I'm moving up to 4th, and just using color as a theme, so this gives me some good ideas.

    My Kind of Teaching

  4. Diane,
    Thank you so much for linking up with Room Theme Mania.
    I absolutely LOVE all of your "how-tos". I am going to definitely try out a few of them...especially those adorable clothespins. I can already see them working on my clip chart for next year.
    Thank you so much for sharing!


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