If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But what if it is?  Can you fix it?  Is it worth the DiY?

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This rocker was left outside another teacher’s room with a sign saying it was broken.  It looked in good condition, but after sitting in it (not necessarily recommended…  Please don’t risk injury, haha!), I noted that the only flaw was a loose right armrest due to a missing screw.  An extra screw and 30 seconds later, the chair was good as new and sitting in a place of honor in my classroom!  I’d been hoping to have a rocking chair for reading, and now I got it!

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Then there was this little table, sturdy and in good condition, but the top was a mess.  Even after cleaning, it was patchy and stained.  My solution?  Paint that tabletop!  Now it’s a great extra addition for the classroom, useful for students to use as a group learning area (also it fits neatly under one of the other tables, storage win!).

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What DiY projects have really paid off for you?

Two weeks later…

I’ve been steadily working on my classroom, and I’ve just about got it where I want to start out.  Furniture is in place, number and alphabet lines are up, library is.. well, halfway sorted.  Now all I need is kids!

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A lot of the walls are still bare as we’ll be creating charts with students.  I love the bunting, and I’m planning on having the kids create more for the rest of the room.  I’m so excited!  Just two weeks until school starts!  Wow!

Alpha-bunting!

I’ve been at it all week decorating my classroom and have come across a need for an alphabet line.  My students will mostly know their letters, but an alphabet line is useful for creating alphabetized lists.  I decided to keep on with the bunting idea!  I went ahead and created both upper and lower case letters in a PDF file that I will printout on colored paper and trim to the right size.  It’s easy to do on your own, just make sure your top margin is as small as possible!

source: ruffled

Need an easier idea?  Try the bunting printable with these cute patterns over at Ruffled!  It’s so cute!

What make and takes have you found additional uses for?

Here it is!

OMG you guys, I can’t even contain myself.  THIS IS MY CLASSROOM.

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It’s a great 30’x26’ space, and I’m expecting about 27 kids for my very first class!  I’m mapping out my arrangement of the room, but I’ve got a great blank slate to work with!  What should I do?  Throw your ideas out, I’d love to hear them!

Back to School?

Holy cow, is it really that time?  Sure is!  Most schools will be starting in just a few weeks, about halfway through August, and we sure are close to that!  In celebration, here are some fun projects to prepare for the big return.

source: Dollar Store Crafts

Rhonda of Dollar Store Crafts developed this adorable pencil cuff!  Great for teachers and kids alike, it’s a way to show off one of our favorite classic writing utensils.  Think of all the things you can do with pencils, wow!

source: Factory Direct Craft

This adorable burlap pencil case is printed with a little foam and some paint to create a block print.  Super cute and of course functional!  Thanks, Factory Direct Craft!

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Finally, our own speech bubble chalk boards take nothing more than foamcore, a knife, and some chalkboard paint.  Make any shape you want!  Fun first day photos, anyone?

What are some of your great projects for back to school?

TT: The first day of school!

As a kid, the first day of school was one of my FAVORITE days of the year.  I think it may have fallen just behind Halloween.  I loved school as a kid, and I loved the feeling of a fresh start I got every year.  There was nothing quite like new pencils, crayons, notebooks full of fresh, blank paper.  The whole year ahead was just like that, a nice clean blank slate.  Anything could happen!

imageHowever, that was LONG before the internet, and I tended toward the more obvious trends as a child.  As a family with not a lot of money to go around, I wish I’d had the benefit of the unique and fun DiY projects to supplement my supplies as a kid.  So I went on a hunt… what would I have loved to be able to do when I was young?

This AMAZING and beautiful DiY backpack from Ashley Ann DiY is something I would have sold my soul for as a kid.  Heck, I’d dig one of those right now!  It would have been really easy in my household as a kid to embellish an existing pack for a little more use.  And if I changed my mind, well, I could change up the bag, too!  There are so many options!  Just a handful of fabric out of the stash and a few little odds and ends can really create a new look.

Oh, those whiteboards!  We were still using chalkboards and chalk when I was a kid, but these would have been an utter delight.  And there’s no reason to pay a couple of dollars each at even big box stores, just hit up Home Depot!  There you can buy a large sheet of tileboard or showerboard (it’s the same thing, that sheet with a shiny white plastic side!) and have it cut to the sizes you like.  imageMaybe you like that big board the way it is?  Set it up against a wall and go at it!  Willing to go fairly permanent with something?  Grab chalkboard paint or the newest awesome paint – you guessed it – whiteboard paint!  Slather up a wall with that and get crazy!

How about some completely original, unique notebooks?  How about making them from cereal boxes?  The Long Thread has instructions for creating these adorable little 16 page notebooks.  The cardboard on the outside is fine, but why not get crazy and leave the cereal box labels on the outside?  Still super fun!   Great for creating little notebooks, sketchbooks, or even making your own storybooks!  Keep this in mind for book reports, too!

There’s just a few easy ideas for some fun back to school projects.  What else can you come up with?