Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dollar Tree Designs

This little adventure started off when I went to a local store to pick up front door decor for the 4th of July. I like to switch up what is on my doors for each holiday or season. When I got to the store I was disappointed when I saw all the cute little door items each cost around $15. I would have broke down and just spent the $15 except...I have a double entry front door and a back entryway that would have needed decorated. So $15 became more like $45 and I couldn't see spending that much for a decoration that I would only be using for a few weeks. I challenged myself to go to the Dollar Tree and see what I could create for just a few dollars.
I quickly found 3 flags, some cute ribbon and twine. When I got home it was just a few snips and a little hot glue and I was able to create 3 door decorations for just $5!

From this little crafting adventure I was inspired to see what else I could create with treasures from the Dollar Tree. I found this amazing blog post HERE that gave me tons of ideas. I headed back to the store and got lots of goodies.

I started off simple. I wanted to add some succulents to our bedroom. I found these online for $15. 

At the Dollar Tree I was able to purchase a few supplies for $5 and got the result I wanted! 


For the next project I wanted to create a little planter. I had seen these items in the store and thought they were a bit pricey. 
So when I found these similar planters at the Dollar Tree I was stoked!
I followed Katie's directions HERE to age the planters just a little bit. I wasn't sure if it would really work or not but I was surprised it did! I will say it was not difficult to do, but I did become impatient during the process and well one side definitely looks better than the other! :) I just added a little rope for an extra touch and then placed my plants inside! So easy for just $2!


If you have been to my house, you know that I have a slight obsession with lanterns. I am hoping it is not a decor trend that will be leaving soon considering how many I have purchased! :| I saw on pinterest how people used frames from the Dollar Tree to create a lantern and knew I had to give it a try. 
I purchased 4 8x10 frames and 4 5x7 frames. With this $8 purchase I was able to create 2 lanterns VERY EASILY! I would recommend that you choose frames that are flat faced and have very little "ornateness" to them, it will make it easier to glue them together. Literally all you need to do it take the backs off, put a little hot glue to make sure the glass stays and then glue the four frames together. I will admit that on my first attempt gluing I got a little confused and created more of a diamond than a rectangle, but it was very easy to fix...and I am sure you are brighter than I am and you won't have that problem! ;) I added an X with a silver sharpie and I added a little rope across the top as a handle for a little touch of detail. 
 


Next I wanted a few pots to add greenery to. Once again Katie had a great idea. Found HERE! When I got to the Dollar Tree they didn't have the terracotta pots in the size I was hoping for, so I found another solution.

I spray painted the two plastic pots and then added just a few touches of white paint and some twine. This was soooo easy to do and I love how the pots turned out for just $2!

Last but not least, I wanted to add some candles to my master bathroom. I was looking for a glass and gold combination and couldn't find quite what I was looking for. For just $5, a little spray paint and hot glue I was able to get something perfect!


I hope I helped you get some inspiration today but more importantly I hope that I was able to help you keep a few more $$ in your pocket! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Earth Day Family Project

Today I am bringing you a fun Family Project for Earth Day. Each year, my grade level gets together to plan this fun event and to get families involved in celebrating Earth Day.

Each kindergarten teacher selects a "theme" for their class' projects; such as robots, ships, transportation, rocket ships, castles or animals. My favorite theme to do is animals.

We send the following letter home to inform our students' parents of the project. Click on the picture to get your copy.


As part of this project, students are expected to create a How-To Book, so that any student could recreate their masterpieces! Attached to the parent letter we use this wonderful FREEBIE from Kristin Kring {You can find it HERE.}.

As an extra activity at school, I had my students separate their animals by the habitats they live in and then create a habitat display for their animals as a group project.

Below are some examples of my students projects.




The last day of school before Earth Day, we have our entire Kindergarten team tour each classroom to see all of the wonderful Recycling, Reusing and Reducing that took place! It is one of my favorite projects each year!

Looking for more Earth Day resources? Check out these BLOG POSTS HERE and these units!
   

   

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Magic of a Can of Spray Paint

This past summer we transitioned from living in a townhouse to a single family home. I was beyond excited for the move. One of the things that I was most excited for was finally having the space to display all of my favorite treasures that have been passed on to me from my parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

I searched and searched for furniture that would fit the space. I needed something that would be able to house and display all the special pieces that I had. I just couldn't seem to find what I was looking for, until one day when I happened to find the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I found a piece that needed some TLC, but with help from my parents and friends, I was able to fix it up!

The piece had mirrors and to me they immediately dated the piece. I came up with a quick, inexpensive solution that I want to share with you.

First, I removed all the mirrors from the piece and cleaned them thoroughly.

For this job I used tape, a quatrefoil design stencil {from Michael's} and Krylon Frosted Glass Finish Spray Paint. Make sure to do this project in a well ventilated open area.


Next, I laid the stencil on top of the mirror and started to spray paint the mirror, moving the stencil as I went until the entire mirror piece was painted. 

*Sorry for the reflection on the mirror!*

Then, I let the mirror dry and reinstalled it into the piece. Here is the outcome!


I hope I inspired you to give a not so pretty piece of furniture a second chance! A little can of paint can go a long way! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Anchor Chart Parts & Independent Reading Mats

-Anchor Charts- It's a love hate relationship for me...I love the value they add to my lessons and I hate making them!

Sometimes I use these anchor charts, which I love.

They are great because they are already prepared and they are bright and colorful with illustrations for the students. However, sometimes I need my anchor charts to be just a bit larger, and unfortunately I don't have a poster maker available to me.

For a while I tried to write out my anchor charts, but I can't lie- that just became a hassle and a major waste! Maybe this sounds familiar...there you are at the end of your reading mini lesson, the lesson was fantastic and you are creating an amazing anchor chart. It's the home stretch, all you have to do is write the word "independently". That's when it happens. You spell "indepdently". You attempt to squeeze in the missing "en" but of all times that is just not an option. Ahhhhhhh! You finish the lesson and know that during your planning period you will use another piece of your precious chart paper and create the chart ONE.MORE.TIME! :( If that has never happened to you, then you are just amazing...and I'm jealous.

On the days that I wasn't spelling words incorrectly on my anchor charts, my carpet looked like a circus by the end of my lesson. Ineffective.

After wasting too much of my precious time and chart paper, I started creating “Chart Parts” for my anchor charts. Here’s what I do…I print out the chart parts and laminate them. This way I can reuse the chart pieces each year. Next, I lay out the anchor chart and assemble (with tape) the “skeleton” of the anchor chart. I leave a space for the few important parts  of the anchor chart off, so that those pieces can be added in front of the students. To create my anchor charts, I like to use large (24x18 inch) construction paper or chart paper. *You can use and assemble however works best for you!* With everything laid out, I am able to finish the anchor chart with the students present in a snap! Sometimes I build the anchor charts piece by piece for multiple days.

If you are interested you can check out the first set of anchor chart parts {everything you need to create 8 anchor charts} and independent reading mats HERE!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Do SmALL Things With Great Love

Life can be so busy. There can be so much happening at a time...it is so hard to keep up. The other day I was reading and came across a beautiful quote by Mother Teresa. "Do small things with great love." How many times do we forget to do just that?! I know I do and equally I forget to appreciate the small things that others do for me with great love. Shame on me!

I wanted to have this quote as a daily reminder, so that I remember as I walk through my classroom door, into the gym or into my haven at home to take the time to share love in smALL ways. I created this little sign to print out and frame for my home and classroom, and now I share it with you!