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classroom ideas

It’s that time of year!  And, as such, I have been perusing some fun teacher sites for ideas.  Here are a few:

I have been thinking about making cute frames for student’s work- what a fun way to highlight their hard work!  Over at create * teach * share there is an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to make them.  I plan to laminate them, only trimming around the frame and not in the center, so that the center will then resemble the look of “glass” in a frame.  I have also thought about buying real frames at Goodwill but the free, fun paper frames will suffice for now.

Cute, right? Sarah, over at First Grader… At Last! has some sweet ideas and the fonts she uses are the cutest!!!

I like this idea from the teacher wife, Lindsey.  I could make a similar booklet but gear it for each individual learner, tweaked for each kid’s individual IEP goals, objectives, and current, yet ever evolving, needs.  Cool, right?  When each Resource Room student wanders in, which is invariably at different times, the student can first independently work on a page, which should only take a couple minutes, before moving on to other work.  I already downloaded her idea in Google docs!  Thank you, Lindsey. 

Along the same lines, is a reproducible offered by Kimberly at Funky First Grade Fun, which has loads of neat ideas!

She also showed a very cute idea (above) that I first saw and stole from a crafty teacher in our school for labeling lockers or, in my case, student cubbies.  I bought the paper at JoAnn’s for 50% off and then used my teacher discount for a super good savings.  Gotta love that!  I hope to use each student’s “personal paper” to coordinate other items (folders, etc.)

I am going to make a sign similar to this one to hang in our classroom.  It is a good reminder for my students.  And me.

Okay… off to school to work on some of these ideas!

tailored bedskirt- quick and easy

I finally finished the boy’s tailored bed skirt to go with his “new” bedroom.  I could not have measured more precisely… okay, gotten more lucky! 😉   I actually ran out of the material.

This was such an easy project because I adhered the bed skirt directly to the box spring with adhesive-backed Velcro.  Gotta love that handy stuff!




I started with the bright orange material with which I covered the spray painted orange lamp lampshade.  I figured I had enough of the orange to cut strips for a band of color at the bottom of the bed skirt, which could mimic the narrow band I did on the valance.  I thought I had plenty of the blue and green material but I ended up running completely out.  Still, I got it done!   Yay!






I simply cut out and hemmed a triangular shape out of the orange material for a little splash of color at the corner under the bed skirt.  Then I added a strip of the same orange to the bottom of the tailored skirt.  Of course, before sewing it on I ironed the rough edges under. 

Then I Velcroed (is that a word, I wonder) it directly to the box spring.  For laundering it will be simple to carefully peel the hoop Velcro attached to the material off from the loop Velcro attached to the box spring.  Next, I did the same for the main tailored skirt.


I am very glad to have the bedroom FINISHED!  And my son loves his redecorated bedroom.

I built a fence

We went to the hardware store yesterday to get some French gothic pickets.  We couldn’t buy the pre-made section of fence because it would not fit in my vehicle.  Also, it is less expensive to make your own… and SO fun!

On a long cable lead, so he won’t dart away, (which he has been known to do on more than one occasion), the big brown dog goes down the deck stairs to the backyard to do his biness.  While down there, he also routinely wraps his lead and himself around the deck posts.  Now, the interesting thing is he does it on purpose.  Seriously.  Also, he KNOWS how to untangle himself, but he prefers to wait until I tramp all the way down there, cursing under my breath, before he untangles himself.  When he sees me he runs around the post to untangle himself, before hopping and jumping around like a bunny, hoping I’ll run around the yard with him.  Uh-huh, I think not.  Especially, at 6:30am.  So, in anticipation of school starting soon, and knowing full well that continuing the annoying dog-and-post routine to my daily schedule will, undoubtedly, put me over the edge, I decided to eliminate the post problem… with fencing.

I had some white painted fencing that I used as headboards in a guest room a while ago, but no longer use.  I figured I could use the fencing to circumvent the dog’s shenanigans.  Then I realized I would need additional sections.  So we got what we needed and got to work.  I like it.  Can you see the old white “headboard” fencing on the right side?









My sweet son and I worked on some of the fence together.  He loved pounding nails, especially.  It was a blast to do it together.  We made sure to use the level when mounting the 1x2s with galvanized “curly-q-y” decking nails.   









Here’s a helpful trick:  when hammering in your posts, use a nail to separate them.  See the nail?  That-a-way each post is evenly spaced and there is also a little room for any future expansion of the wood.


                                 Note to self:  get a pedi.


So, here is the backside:

Dog:  your fun has been spoiled  (insert maniacal laugh here)!  That lousy hound has had his game cut short.  He is going to be very upset.

And the front: 








I guess I will have to paint the fence white to match the old fence headboards, but I really like the natural look.  But as one of our friendly neighbor boys said, “It will look good white.  It will bring out the color of your house.”  😉

Oh, my.  See that pitiful patchy grass?  The dog is responsible for that too.

On a happy note, may I just say that I LOVE my $15 circular saw?!  I do.  And I can’t wait for my next project.

The boy’s bedroom redo

The boy’s boring bedroom- Before:

And the boy’s brilliant bedroom- After:

Oh my, this was a super fun makeover!   Please disregard the blurriness above the bulletin board- I blurred the wooden letters that spell out the boy’s name.

We started with this:

Back story~  Not too long ago, the boy moved to the guest bedroom because it was a bit roomier than his bedroom.  Given its new occupant, it was time to change out the floral valance and paint over the yellow, white and cream sponge painting technique on the walls.  Okay, maybe it was time to cover the sponge painting anyway, right?

It was time to update the bedroom for my preteen boy!  First, the boy chose his colors: key lime green and bright aqua.  Key lime?  Bright aqua!  Seriously?!  Yup, and with orange and red accents, please.  That’s what he wanted and, after gentle steering toward more sedate colors proved unsuccessful, that’s what he got.

Before he went to camp for a week, he helped pack up his room for the upcoming redo.  We decided it would be fun for me to do the make-over “as a surprise.”  He had picked the paint colors, but we planned that I would redo his room while he was gone, and then when he returned from camp we would have our own HGTV moment with a reveal!

See the desk?  Oh, my.  What was I thinking when I originally painted that thing?!  But, sweetly, the boy said he liked it Just the way it is (he was definitely trying to save me some work, sweet boy), but it got a well-deserved make-over too.

Aside~  At the same time I was getting ready to do his bedroom, I did his bathroom.  See the several swaths of more calming colors I tried to decide to use on the wall in there?  Look at two  posts previous to this one to see how that make-over turned out.

The preteen helped get everything in his bedroom moved, the heaviest pieces of furniture were placed in the center of the room.  See the wooden bird hanging from the ceiling in the top right of the picture below?  It became a bird of a different color.

When I started cutting in the new colors they virtually vibrated on the walls.  The key lime and turquoise colors made me afraid.  Very afraid.

Closet close to finished:  the big brown dog approved.

The boy thought a basketball hoop at the end of his bed on his bedroom wall was a great idea.  Me?  Not so much.    But it is his room so…

This old plastic indoor Koosh basketball hoop was a Goodwill find for only $1.50.  I primed it, painted the center rim shot area with silver and red paint, and then added colorful paper I already had on hand.  I used the same paper to cover the light switch (notice that during the reveal photos, later).  After, covering it, out came the Mod Podge to seal everything. I turned the basketball hoop inside out so that the word “Koosh” that was splattered all over it would be less obtrusive, and I also made the bottom opening larger to accommodate a bigger ball, trimming it in coordinating orange bias tape to finish it off.

Ready for a bank shot!

Here’s a shot of that bird of a different color!  I love how it turned out.  I offers a very fun punch of color! The bird was a wooden puzzle the boy’s grandma gave him to work on one day as they waited for me at a doctor’s appointment.  It was lovely natural but I think it is WOW painted orange.  🙂

The  abstract artwork on the orange wire shelf, made by the boy in art at school and framed in a $2 frame from Goodwill, is now proudly hung on the turquoise wall.

Allow me to interrupt this  boy’s bedroom make-over to bring you a Helpful Hint: Clean up as you go!  But if you plan to use the same brushes and roller for the same colors later, or even the next day, and you don’t want to wash and rinse out your brushes, simply wrap them separately in plastic wrap.  That little trick works great!

And now on with the room~

There on the bookshelf headboard is the raggedy old stuffed cat my son has slept with since he was a baby.  That cat used to be big and fluffy.  Now it is sunken and all but bald from being petted and well-loved (I even made it a fur suit to cover its pitiful nakedness.)  On either side of it are black woven baskets from the Dollar Store ($2/each), which I wove in some orange bias tape and turquoise cord– they are rather hard to see in the photo, however.

Notice the desk has been painted?  And the old Herman Miller orange plastic chair I pulled out of a garbage dumpster years ago- free!  To the left of the bulletin board is my son’s name in large black wooden letters, running vertically, which I blurred out.  The photo on the right was taken after he got all his stuff “organized” on the desk.

The turquoise color on the side of the desk is the same paint as the turquoise wall color.  It is not nearly as bright as it appears to be in the photo.

We already had the Kandinsky print in the lower level but I thought it would bring so many of the bedroom colors together so I hauled it upstairs  The print and colorful paper lanterns strung across the valance mirror each other and work well together.

I still need to make the bed skirt, which will be made out of the same material as the valance and have a two-inch border at the bottom of orange fabric (the  same fabric with which I covered the spray painted orange lamp).

I seriously worked the full week while he was at camp, getting the bedroom and bathroom finished.  On the day he returned, we had the reveal!  It was ALL worth it!

I think he likes his new room!

The painting he is holding is of his dog, which I painted in the colors of his room.  Fun!

Home sweet home.

A day in the summer life…

Finish reading a book before the boy wakes up. Make breakfast for the dear sleepyhead boy.

Email back and forth with principal and work on my school schedule.

Recaulk where the tile meets the counter in the kitchen.  That’s only a glare in the photo, not caulk smeared all over the place.  Honest.

Find the manual for the vacuum cleaner.

Fix the broken vacuum cleaner.


Shampoo the family room carpet.

Dirty, stinkin’ animals.

***Have a bright idea! Have the boy give his dog a bath. 🙂

Make lunch for boy.

In your mind, add apple wedges and a bread and butter pickle spear.

Clean the kitchen.

Make a cute tissue holder for the boy’s bathroom that will remind him to floss, brush and wash.

Think it will work?

Start painting a picture for the boy’s bathroom.

So much fun.

Gather the laundry.

Think about making the tailored bed skirt for the boy’s bed.

The green fabric matches the valance.  I’ll use the orange as a stripe around the bottom.

Think about what to make for dinner.

I hate to cook.


I do.

Make a blog post (trying not to think about dinner) that keeps getting screwed up, with all the text and pictures running together, here and there, willy-nilly.  Sheesh!  This has taken waaaaaaay too long.

At this rate, I won’t have time to stain and seal the deck.   🙂

Orrrrr, maybe we have cereal for dinner.

I LOVE summer vacation!