Friday, August 31, 2012

Back 2 School Clipboards

  When we moved into the house I decided instead of using the "dining room" as it was intended I would use it as a homework room instead.  Which is in a perfect location right off the kitchen so I can cook and they can do homework not at the table we are eating on...which is a huge life saver because the children no longer have to clean up their school work so we can eat.  They can do their homework right until we eat and then go back to it when we are done.  I have loved it and it is in this room where my newest project resides.

Okay I am here to admit I am probably the least organized person ever and maybe that is an exaggeration so I will clarify I HATE PAPERS!!!! If it has to do with organizing papers I have a panic...honestly I feel like it will be the death of me sometimes and so I resort to piles, baskets with piles, cupboards with piles, I really have to get a grip on papers. I know I would save a ton of time if I could organize them better.

With the new school year fast approaching(we start after Labor Day here) I decided I would come up with a way to organize the school papers. More specifically the spelling and math tests they need to study for the week and the papers I need to fill out and read over.  I came up with these darling clipboards to hang on the wall for the above mentioned papers.
clipboard project complete
In our home all the children have a number. 
 I have had other posts with things numbered to 4 and that is because I have 4 children at home.
 I now only have 3 so I have taken his number as mine now.

(I have a missing picture it disappeared from my camera and it was a photo of all my supplies)
Items Needed:

Scrapbook paper(school themed)
2 types of ribbon
(I used what I had around the house)
Scotch Double Sided Tape
A Corner Cut Punch
A Number Tag
(I found mine at Michaels)
3M Command Stripes
Once you have all your supplies it is time to get to work.  I made four and it took me about 20 minutes and cost me about a $1.20 a clipboard but I had the ribbon and the clipboards so they really can be done for about $2.
First use the corner punch to clip all 4 corners off the paper to give it a rounder edge.
Then using Scotch Double Sided Tape tear off 1 long stripe of tape{ about 7 inches} and adhere it to the back side of  the paper and then do the opposite end. 
Once that is done open the clip on the clipboard and align the paper up against the clip and then eyeball it on the sides so it is even. 
Then gently lye the paper down and press it down where the tape is.
It will look like this when you are done with this step. I chose to use lined paper for my clipboard. 
 As a side note it is scrapbook paper so it doesn't yellow over time. 
You are now going to cut your ribbon one piece 10 inches and one piece half that at five inches.
Take the largest piece of ribbon { I hope I can explain this well } and thread through the top of you number tag and through the hole at the top of the clipboard and tie a not about 1 inch down from the top of each side of ribbon.  Then take your coordinating ribbon and thread it through the hole of the clipboard and tie it through the other ribbon and over its knot. 
This will hold your first ribbon in place.
Now they are ready to hang.  I love using 3M Command Strip products they have never disappointed and I used them here as well.  I place one Command Strip on the 2 top corners of the clipboard and then adhered them to the wall like this:

clipboard project complete
When they are hanging on the wall the number hangs out away from the clipboard. 
 This way you can still see whose is whose.
*if you were going to use these in a similar way but not hang them on the wall I would totally suggest modge podging the paper to the clipboard
Products used:
clipboard project tools
These opinions are 100% my own and was in no way
compensated for my work from the 3M company.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Boys Room {the sign}

I found this on the side of the road(plain in color though) and I had a vision for it from the moment I saw it.  Isn't it funny what can inspire a thought sometimes but this piece of trash just spoke to me.  I readily called my husband and on his way home from work he scooped it up.  It is roughly 6 feet long so this will give you some perspective on the size of this thing(and it was trying to hang this whooper that hurt my back which is better now thank goodness)


I did a wash to it just like I did with the back of the shelves seen here.


Using my silhouette I cut a stencil using just regular printer paper and
 laid it down on the board and adhered it using double sided tape. 
 I didn't care if all the sides were flat down because I didn't want it to come out perfect.

Using orange paint that I had tinted to match a pillow cover for their room I sponge painted over the stencil with a sponge brush and removed the stencil right away.  As you can see there are some imperfections going on which was perfect. Once it was dry I sanded the heck out of it and here it is in its finished glory:

(photo taken by my 7 year old)

I do love when a project turns out exactly how you had envisioned it.
I wanted somewhere in their room to have the words discover(to be seen later)
 and explore and this was a perfect spot for the word explore. 

Why explore and discover?  I have always encouraged my children but especially these 2 boys(who are a little more introverted okay a lot more) of mine to explore the world around you, learn from it, explore with your hands and minds, explore who you are, where you came from, and the gifts He has given you.  The world around you is such a gift explore it and through the exploration you will discover amazing truths and wonders about the world around you and about yourself what you are capable of, what your mind is capable of.  The world and all it has to offer is yours if you just take the time to explore and discover.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Still a Happy Birthday

I LOVE to do parties..LOVE LOVE LOVE and my children LOVE it when I do and they always have a special request for the theme of their parties.  This one loves under the sea I have done it for the past couple of years for him and this year was going to be no different....UNTIL....i was doing some last minute things on his room so we could present it to him most of the way done for his birthday and then I hurt my back.  I sat down on the chair in their room and thought it was going to be okay.  I decided I would  take some ibuprofen and press on.  I journeyed down the stairs and hit my hand on the wall and the tears started flowing uncontrollably, the pain was excruciating and with the realization I was done for the day and we were not going to be having the birthday party in which I had intended sobbing ensued..  As the day went on I thought I might be able to pull it off and then this loud voice in my head started shouting "no take care of yourself everything will be fine" so I went with that.   I did manage to take them to their swimming lessons and on our way back home I decided if I had them carry and pick up everything at the store I could do something.  I could at least have a cake that he would love and easy for me to do and I did.

He LOVES ice cream sandwiches so this is what I came up with....


I bought 2 boxes of circular shaped ice cream sandwiches and placed a layer in a circle on a cake plate and then added another smaller layer and then placed one on top with a candle. 

 We also ordered his favorite pizza and let him take a peek at his room which he was so excited about even though it was not finished.  He loved seeing all the pieces we had been working on and he could envision what it was going to look like when it was done.  As you can see by the smile on his face he Still had a Happy Birthday!!!

This day taught me so much in retrospect
1.  Take care of yourself first everything will work out

2.  Sometimes simple ends with the best results(see smiling face above)

3.  Children like happy moms which often times simple = a happy mom

4.  If you know something is too heavy, too awkward get help honestly just get help, call a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or just plain wait it is not worth hurting yourself over(I wish I would have learned this sooner)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BOOKWORM {reading incentives}

I am all about encouraging my children and when it comes to reading I have children that can not put books down,  some that avoid it completely if at all possible, some that thirst after knowledge from books.  With this varying likability of reading I needed to come up with something that would encourage them all at their levels to read actual stories not comics  or how something is made or how large is the biggest bug-these are great don't get me wrong but actual stories that allow their imaginations to take them on the most wonderful journeys.

We made these cute little jars full of "bookworms"


First look at this picture below I actually thought of cropping it down but then I decided nope this is real life see all the folded clothes on the floor that still need to be taken care of, stuff for a primary activity, and stuff for an upcoming project yep that is how we roll around here they needed some mom attention and so I stopped what I was trying to get done to spend sometime with them and it was totally worth it 100%.  I truly believe and it has been my experience that for every 5 minutes of undivided attention you give your children you get 15 minutes.  I have found this so true 100% of the time over my 18 years of being a parent...try it I promise it will save you and your children endless frustration. 

On to the project...I had these glass jars(Dollar Tree) from my sons graduation party so we used them.  On the front of the jar there is a 2in X 2in square so I cut scrapbook paper of their choice(from what I had lying around) to that size.

They then took little letter stampers(you can find them for $1 at Michaels) and stamped out the word BOOKWORMS.....


flip the paper over and have them put double sided tape on the back......


 have them adhere the paper to the jar.......


tada the jar is labeled.....


next using some scrap paper of the same color they punched out a circle using a 1in circle punch and added tape to the back of the circle.......


and adhered it on the lid and then wrote their goal for the amount of minutes they would read everyday.....


when they meet that goal they get a "bookworm" to eat (as long as their older brother doesn't eat them all first)!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Boys Room {the bookshelf}

This bookshelf was given to us several years ago and we didn't quite know what to do with it since the move but we knew the boys needed to have a larger set of shelves for their treasures.  It has as you can see, seen better days so to speak.  The back was falling off which made it quite unsteady but I knew just what to do with the back and so let the project begin.


I sanded the whole thing down and then wiped it off with a micro fiber cloth.  Once it was wiped free of dust family came into town and so it sat for over 2 weeks(this is the reality of projects around here)


Finally I got tired of it being in the middle of my life undone so I got down to painting it.  Before I rolled on the paint(using a cabinet foam roller) I knew I wanted a heavily distressed look to it so I applied vaseline with my finger in key spots(the paint will not stick to wherever you apply vaseline so be careful not to add to much or where you apply it).  Then 2 coats of white paint were applied and then a heavy sanding and abother wipe down.

In between the coats of paint I worked on the back for the shelves.  My hubs cut several pallet boards to the width of the back and wiped the boards down with a rag.  I wanted the back to have a very weathered look so I wiped on a paint wash with a rag.  The wash was made with 1 cup water and 4 Tbs of paint.  I used 3 different colors and wiped it on in 3 coats with a rag, lettingit dry  between coats(it was about 5 minutes but it was a hot sunny day).  To figure out how many boards needed to be what color and I left some natural as well I used  a random order generator to come up with the order of the color of the boards, so I knew how many I needed of each color before starting.  We naturally are geared to a pattern without realizing it and this way it was truly random(which I will tell you I struggled with leaving it that way but I did)


We then turned the bookcase on its front and once the pallet boards were dry we nailed them onto the back to make the back of the bookshelf.


Here it is in all of its distressed glory.  I absolutely love it and it will become the perfect home for all the boys treasures they love to collect.


This project cost us absolutely nothing.  The pallets boards were free and so was the shelf and the paint and nails we already had.  I would encourage you to look around your house and find something that isn't meeting its potential by either being underutilized or it just doesn't match your style anymore and give it a little makeover and you might just love it again(I would love to hear how a revamp project goes for you)!!!

The room is really coming together and you can see in this picture above a sneak peek of another project going on in their room.