Showing posts with label Décor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Décor. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Things I Steal From Social Media

Stole this idea from someone on Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/somewhere. It was hanging the last four weeks of school. It once got up to three days.

That was the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Back to zero by second hour.

Do you want to build a snowman?....

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Command Hooks & Blog Recommendation

Happy Summer!

Let me start with an apology to those who have emailed or commented over the past 2-3 weeks; this blog was pushed to the back burner as I transitioned out of the school year, so my responses have been delayed. I think I'm just about caught up now, and ready to begin posting some more ideas I used this past year!

Today is simply a commercial for one of my favorite things: Command Hooks! Great for hanging just about anything, and can be removed without damage to the walls. If you've read regularly for a while, you may have noticed how often they pop up in my writing. I love, love, love them! I highly recommend when you find a size and style you like, buy the big box, because you will continually be discovering uses for them. Here are just a few places you can find them in my classroom:

Unfortunately, 3M is not paying me to write this post, but if someone there would like to send me some free Command Hooks, just send me an email...

As for my blog recommendation, check out the new blog over at TX Home Ec Teacher. She's just getting started out in the blogging world and has posted a couple of great project ideas so far. We need more FACS blogs out there, so make sure you take a look and leave a comment!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

I do love fun ironing board covers, as you can see from the ones I made at a former school. At that school, I had a lot of floor space, so I had three full-size ironing boards. At my current school there was only one ironing board in the room, I assume because there is so little floor space. However, there is a good amount of counter space, so I figured counter top models were better than everyone waiting for one board. Naturally, they needed fun covers.

If you're looking for a tutorial with finished seams and overall 4-H quality, this is not that tutorial. But if you are looking for something simple, quick, with imperfections no one will notice, this is for you!

Supplies: Countertop Ironing Board (under $7 at WalMart) and 1/2 yard of fabric.

Cut around half of the ironing board leaving a width of about 3 inches.

Remove board, fold fabric in half, then cut around to make fabric symmetrical.

Iron approximately 1" in all the way around the piece. I left the raw edges - who is going to look underneath the ironing board?

Sew around the fabric, leaving an opening on the flat, short end to string your twine through the casing. I chose to use a zigzag stitch to overlap the raw edge.

Tape one end of a twine roll, then spear with a safety pin. Use pin to guide the twine through the casing.

Place ironing board on top of the fabric, pull twine, and tie.

All done!

The process is a little easier when you don't have a "helper" scampering about, but it does make things more interesting!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Little Bit o' Awesomesauce

There really is soooooo much I have to share and write about, but it's just gotta wait until I can sit down and do it justice! Columbus Day, maybe? Until then, a couple of thoughts...

First, I'd like to again thank Mrs. S over at The Crafty Raider for donating this AWESOME Snoopy flag to me!!!

Seriously, could this BE any more perfect???

And next, check out the improved artwork that one of my students has added to my doorway:

That chef's head has been there since the last time I worked here, and my name was painted on just before school started this year. She added the "Be Awesome!" - I LOVE IT!

Tomorrow is a half-day with kids and then SIP time, so the weekend is almost here. I hope you have all had a fabulous week! Happy Friday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

And That's My New Philosophy!

If you're a fan of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," you know that the title of this post comes from Sally's big number in the musical. It's been going through my head a lot this week, the reason for which you will soon read.

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Kids come on Tuesday! We had our first of two Institute Days on Friday, so it is GAME TIME, PEOPLE! I've been working hard at getting my room ready to go, as well as organizing all of my classroom materials - just like the rest of you. Unlike the very few of you non-teachers who read this blog either because you know me and I told you to, or you... well... I don't know why you would read this if you don't teach and you don't know me. Must be my winning personality! Anyway, here's a peek at what I've been doing.

First, a big scrub-a-dub-dub of all five of my new kitchens (thank you, mini shop vac!). God bless my new principal, who gave the okay for me to use the school's industrial dishwasher in the cafeteria to speed wash and disinfect everything!

What would have taken me DAYS to do by hand took about 90 minutes. Yes! So it wasn't long before my kitchens began to look like this:

Still have labeling, shelf lining, etc to do, but since we won't be in the kitchens until several weeks into the school year this was a good enough start.

I livened up my entryway, since it's the first impression my students will get of my classroom. My doorway is at the end of a hallway directly across from the stairwell, so they'll see this as they climb the stairs.

My Snoopy flag was of course a given, and will be changed out with the seasons - as will the apron. The red sign on the left is my daily schedule of classes, and the yellow is a sketch that a student from this school actually drew for me 5 years ago of a possible logo for outside of my door to replace that little chef guy - the sketch has Snoopy sewing and baking!

While the standing chalkboard in the classroom was charming, it was not nearly as practical as a whiteboard - especially since I'll be adding a projector to the room! Luckily there was a 4' x 6' whiteboard attached to the recessed wall past the flag (where no one can really see it, wha???), so the maintenance crew was extremely kind and moved it from the wall and attached it to the chalkboard at my request. It has of course been Snoopified with bulletin board border found at Joann's!

My desk has also been Snoopified in the same manner:

We're required to post a large display of our classroom rules (which I'm in the habit of doing anyway), so I took advantage of $1.60 engineering prints at Staples to make these:

After reading the "Whole Brain Teaching" book I added #6 - I love how it covers all of the loopholes you could argue for the rules! I made a really big schedule because I much prefer pointing rather than constantly answering the "When do we get outta here?" questions. In April. Hmf. On the back is our late start schedule, so I can just flip it over on days with a different schedule.

This year I've decided to also post "Class Philosophies" in addition to the class rules. These are the things that I say over and over and over again to the kids, to the point where I only have to start the sentence and then they finish it. I'd rather focus on these concepts than the rules, so they are much bigger in the classroom:

1. "Take Care of Self, Take Care of Others" is a phrase I learned through Link Crew, which I think encompasses the whole "respect" idea, as well as all the dangers that a FACS classroom has to offer - needles, scissors, knives, fire, etc. The language is a little less PBIS-y as well.

2. "Go Slow to Go Fast" is another tenet of Link Crew, but has been a mantra of mine since well before I encountered it there. I learned very early on that if you have students go too quickly nothing will sink in and you'll have to start all over. I say this every time a kid is rushing and will clearly have to redo or start something over, or when they complain that it takes us too long to get to the "good stuff."

3. "Say I can't YET." Gets rid of the whole "I can't" business.

4. "Make it AWESOME." I am still a huge, huge fan of Kid President's Pep Talk, so I think about this a lot. I've also found that "awesome" is a whole lot less subjective than you would think. This is my response every time a kid asks me "Is this good enough?" When I ask back "Is it awesome?" the answer is usually a pretty obvious "no" and it's back to work for him/her. I'll mention my sister thinks I should have made it "AWESOMESAUCE," but that's a lot of letters... : )

So this year I am going to try emphasizing these "philosophies" over the rules, in an attempt to make the classroom culture more positive.

And that's my new philosophy!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chalkboard to Dry Erase Board

Got one of these in your classroom?

While I understand that some people like going old school (literally) in this way, I am not a big fan - particularly when it comes to being covered in chalk dust all day long. But before I lucked out with a SMART Board, this was what I had (note the yellow arrow for the ever clever way I posted my bell ringers each day). After they installed the SMART Board and moved this puppy over to the side, I decided it was time to make a conversion.

Sticky dry erase paper which works ever so well atop chalkboards. You can get super large pieces to cover an entire board, but because I knew I was going to divide the board into sections anyway I went with smaller dimensions to save some cash.

After taking careful measurements, I cut the roll into the size sections I wanted. Then, I washed and dried the chalkboard really, really well. After this I began hanging the dry erase paper on the chalkboard. Warning: do NOT attempt this alone, even with small dimensions. You need at least four hands to keep the bubbles smoothed out.

I then created headings for the top of each section using cardstock, scrapbook paper, lamination, and magnets. The final step was backing the ribbon with magnetic tape (easy to take down to clean the board).

And there you have it! No more chalk dust, and it definitely adds needed color. Still have to take care of that stupid wallpaper border. And the stencils. And the gap of chalk board at the bottom. But all in all, great project. The only flaw I've found with the dry erase rolls is that bubbles do tend to seep in when the humidity is high, but they're easy to squeeze out.

I completed this over the semester break, so had the dry erase board available to me the entire second semester - it worked beautifully. So if you have a chalkboard to replace and little funding, I highly recommend this option!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Poster Sale!

If you haven't checked out yet, now is the time! And no, sadly I get no money from them, I'm just a big fan. Not only do they have terrific resources, if you sign up for their email list you get to take part in their Terrific Tuesday sales during the summer! Every Tuesday they put up a slew of posters for $5, in addition to other great discounts. Here's one I added to my collection today (18" x 24" laminated):

Check 'em out! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sewing Tool Box and More!

Here is one of the greatest purchases I have ever made for my sewing classes:

 A sewing tool box! All of your notions in one portable container - perfection! Every one of the yellow compartments is removable, so you can lift one out to pass out safety pins, take one out to put in a slightly larger object (like the scissor sharpener in the lower left), move them around without emptying and refilling... or you can take the whole thing with you somewhere. At the end of class, just snap the lid shut, place on a shelf or in a cabinet, then pull it back out when needed. I seriously love this tool box! It also has a support for the top shelf when you open it all the way:

I wish I had purchased something like this years ago, it has been so beneficial. Under $30 at Lowe's, worth every penny.

And while we're on the subject of sewing, a few of you have asked if I have done away with machine sewing since I drilled shut the cabinets. I still do a machine sewing project, but I rotate the kids through only two at a time. Here's my little sewing station at the back of the room:

Life is sooooo much easier when only dealing with two early teen melt-downs at a time. I have a third machine ready to go on the filing cabinets in the background, so if there are any machine issues that arise that would take more than 30 seconds to fix I just swap 'em out on the spot and deal with it later - should've thought of that forever ago!

And speaking of the filing cabinets in the background, I did more makeover work. Have you seen the idea on Pinterest for turning file cabinets back to back and making them a magnetic bulletin board?

This was of course brilliant. I had two cabinets that I wasn't even using back in that corner, so I turned them back to back, covered them with patterned contact paper, threw on a border and added a few signs (measurements for our current project, and a few of my "famous" sayings - now I can just point instead of always repeating myself).

Looks a heck of a lot nicer, and comes in handy too!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Poster Storage

I have soooo many posters (thank you Learning Zone Express for your amazing sales), but before I had a good storage method they very often just stayed piled up in their poster bag.

Incidentally, this is a great bag for moving posters or long-term storage. It just isn't convenient to have to sort through a big pile to find what you want... or worse yet, forgetting what you have.

The border storage bag, however, I find to be all-around useful, and highly recommend.

Here's how I have tackled the poster monster.

Shopping list:
-a few packs of cheap hangers from WalMart
-big pack of small binder clips
-pack of colored (color not necessary, but I love color-coding!) round key tags

I sorted my posters into subject areas (foods, child development, etc), then into smaller subgroups.

From there, I clipped the smaller groups together onto hangers.

I assigned a color to each subject area (foods-blue, child development-yellow, etc).

Using the proper color, I numbered each key ring and then slipped them over the hangers.

I created a poster inventory sheet to hang on the door making it easy to find what I want. I just slipped the list into a sheet protector rather than laminating it so it will be easy to swap out whenever anything new is added.

So there you go, about 70 posters plus borders hanging flat in a closet space less than a foot and a half wide. Can't beat that! Also, there's enough room below to hang a second bar and another row of posters. Great way to take advantage of unused space!

You can't see them but I have also created "Property of" labels and slapped them on the back of all of my posters. Just in case. Here's a sheet that came out of the printer misaligned, but you get the idea:

Also gives me a way to add more Snoopys to my life.

One of the (many many many) items on my school to-do list for this summer is to put together a collection of bulletin boards so that I can have all of the materials ready to swap in and out quickly and easily throughout the year. I get so tired of looking at the same old thing for so long because I don't have time to create!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Flag Storage

I've mentioned before that I love using Snoopy flags for classroom decorating - thank you eBay, for providing me with such an extensive collection. Here's how I store them so that I don't have to spend time ironing every time I change them out:

The large one I attach to a cheap-o wire hanger with binder clips. The hangers aren't quite wide enough, but come close enough for my purposes. The flag is a little too wide for the depth of the cabinet anyway, so it helps to have the corners curve a bit.

For the garden-sized ones I clip several to one hanger:

Skirt/slacks hangers would of course work well for these and eliminate the need for clips, but that gets expensive when you have a lot of flags!

Over on the far left of the closet I have some of my computer cart covers.

Seasonal Snoopy fabric makes everything more fun!

The wire hanger/binder clip combo is also part of my poster storage, but that's for another post. If you're in need of something to cheer up some wall space, go get yourself a couple of flags!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

File Cabinet Upgrade

Like so many teachers, I have some pretty hideous file cabinets - one in particular is especially cringe-worthy. While it has been on my list all year to work on this issue, there are obviously a lot of other things that were much more important to take care of first. However, last week I just couldn't take it anymore!!! So I dealt with the most hideous one. Sadly I didn't take a pure before photo, but did think to take one about halfway through (and next to it is a mostly-obscured photo of it I took last May upon my first visit to the classroom):


Gah! Told you it was hideous! There are of course about 79 different ways to updo your file cabinets currently dancing around Pinterest, here's how I did mine. Note: I only had the time to cover the drawers, didn't touch the rest of it. If I were making over the entire thing at the same time, I would take the drawers out, which would make it much easier.

Gift wrap, clear contact paper, shipping tape, screwdriver, bucket, dishrag, Dawn dish soap

1. Removed all hardware from drawer.

2. Scrubbed down front and back of face, sides, and underneath front of drawer with dish water; let dry.

3. Cut out rectangle of gift wrap slightly larger than front of drawer:

4. Marked where drawer handle screws should go:

5. Cut out a piece of clear contact paper about an inch longer than gift wrap on all sides, taped it upside down to a table:

6. Removed paper backing, centered gift wrap with design down on sticky side, cut out corners of contact paper:

7. Applied to front of drawer, pulling lengthwise until tight and securing edges with tape:

8. Cut slits in contact paper where necessary to attach, taped down the rest of the sides:

9. Folded in corners of top and bottom, then folded over top and bottom edges and taped:

10. Placed clear hole reinforcers around the dots where the screws belong:


11. Poked through the holes, reattached handles. The end!

Obviously I did it the quick and sloppy way, but I had it done within two days and it has made a HUGE difference. Eventually I will repaint the outside of the cabinet and the handles as well, but this will do for now.

And yes, I do plan to do something about all of the ridiculous stencils on the wall! Summer is six weeks away...