Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Contact paper art

Project Big-Girl-Room is underway!

So far, the only thing I've accomplished is to start sanding her headboard and to make 2 of the 3 Contact Paper canvases.  Most of you will wonder why I'm even posting pictures of this project because it seems like such a no-brainer, but every DIY-er has had at least ONE of those "this-will-only-take-me-a-couple-of-hours-and-will-look-better-than-anything-I've-ever-seen-in-a-store" projects that turned into a "2-trips-to-Home Depot-and-6-trips-to-WalMart-later-I've-spent-more-on-this-than-our-entire-kitchen-remodel-and-it-still-looks-more-like-it-was-made-by-a-6-year-old-than-something-that-was-purchased-at-an-upscale-children's-boutique-and-I-should-have-just-bought-the-PotteryBarn-original-in-the-first-place-I-am-never-making-anything-ever-again" project.  SOOOOO in order to prevent THIS little gem of a project from becoming one of THOSE projects for some poor unsuspecting greenhorn, I'm posting a seemingly ridiculous number of pictures to make it absolutely doable for anyone.

What you need:  scissors, a straight edge (a spatula, ruler, wall-paper-smoother-tool-thingy will all work just fine) some pretty Contact paper (got mine at Michael's from the bargain bins for $3/ roll), as many canvases as you want to make (this could even be done on varying pieces of cardboard).

First, open your pretty Contact paper, and unroll it.  Weight the ends (not pictured) and let it sit for a few hours or overnight, so it's not so eager to return to its comfy little roll shape.

Next, position your canvas on the back of the paper to measure how much you need.  Leave at least an inch overhang.  Don't forget to include the depth of the canvas; otherwise, your paper will not wrap around the edges.

Then, starting at the top, peel back a few inches of the backing to expose the sticky side.

Go ahead and stick the top of the canvas to the top of the paper.

Slide the whole thing to the edge of the table.  This makes it SO much easier to get the backing off the paper a little at a time.  Hang the paper that still has the backing on it off the edge of the table.  With one hand, slide the canvas up while holding on to the backing with the other hand.  (sorry about the orientation of this picture...can't change it for some previews the other way then posts like this???)

Once all the backing is off, and the whole piece of Contact paper is stuck to the front of the canvas, you need to smooth it either with your hand or with a straight edge like a ruler or a wallpaper-smoother-thingy.  First do the middle of the canvas, then the sides, but leave the corners open at this point.
 Smoothing center

Smoothing edges

Open corners

Now you just need to wrap the corners like a present.  Make sure that you do opposite corners in the opposite directions so that both of the top seams are either on the top of the canvas or on the sides and that both of the bottom seams match.

Smooth the corners with your hand, ruler, or wallpaper-smoother-thingy, and VOILA!  Beautiful wall-art!

Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to see your fun and creative wall-art solutions!  Link up!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Classroom Closet....Repurp Project

So over the last few years there has emerged a HOT trend to repurpose objects 
to be used for something other than their intended purpose.  
I've seen some VERY NEAT repurped items, and I LOVE the idea of it!  
I just don't seem to have an eye for this sort of project, though :0(  
I have spent hours perusing Craigslist and dragging my kids to every thrift store I can find, and NOTHING.  Well, almost nothing.  I did find this...

Out in the thrift market, there are SO MANY entertainment armoires that once held bulky tube t.v.s 
and these office armoires meant to house and hide an unsightly desktop computer.

Here's what I found.  It was listed as a "hide-a-desk".  
We have turned it into our Classroom Closet, and we love it!
 I was lucky and found this piece that already had a cork board on one side and a white board on the other, so I didn't have to add these myself. 
We use the top for decorate for the seasons or to display books that have to do with our lessons.

 Inside are our arts and crafts supplies, sensory boxes, some of our educational toys,
workbooks, and other teaching materials.

On the left, we have our weather and sight words of the week.
I always have a theme-of-the-week, and I use corresponding words.

 On the right, I use the white board to teach the lessons.  These pictures are from two weeks ago when we did "April Showers" and learned about the water cycle. This lesson was followed by "May Flowers" and we learned about seeds and how they grow.

 There is room for our classroom closet on this tiny wall between our family room and breakfast room.

 Here it is decked out for Christmas. 
I'm gathering things for a 4th of July theme now for upcoming lessons!

The kids love their classroom closet!  They enjoy being able to access their own arts and crafts supplies, and they love our school time!


So my last post on March 7th was a frustrated rant about not being able to change my background...grrr.....that was soooo irritating!  I worked on it for DAYS, and then today I had an epiphany and successfully changed my background to one of generic templates which looks tons better than the mess I had made!  I had given up and not even been to my own blog since that week back in March; then today while I'm cooking breakfast...aaaaaAAAAAHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAA!  It occurred to me, and in all of about 30 seconds, my page was fixed!  Weeeeehoooooooooooo!

It's crazy how sometimes we try and try and try so hard to do something.  We do everything we can think of.  We ask our friends.  We Google.  We scour blogs, all trying to find the answer.  It really is true that the simplest solution is usually the best!

Good luck out there today, this week, this month and this year solving your problems big and small.  Remember to trust in simplicity!