The “Let’s Move” cup is for those moments when the kids need to get up and move (and let’s face it, when I need a small break, too). The “I’m Done” cup is for the student that finishes all his/her work earlier than the class. One more thing off the to-do list before the kiddos come back!
As summer break winds down, my mind is drifting into plans for the first week of school. On “Meet the Teacher” night, I want to have some meaningful goodies to go along with the practical information parents receive. As my main goal each year is to help each child love to read I thought that bookmarks would be an appropriate choice.
Hopefully this will inspire parents to encourage reading in the home (fingers crossed!) Just in case you’re a teacher/parent/aunt/uncle/etc, below is a link to the printable pdf I created. Enjoy! And happy reading :)
Today I’d like to share a very quick, very easy way to spruce up a blank canvas tote. About a year ago, I painted some cute tote bags for a friend’s bridal shower with her new initials. Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of the adorable bags. So when I came across an extra blank tote in my closet over the weekend, I knew exactly what to do. I knew I wanted a bold graphic on both sides, so I pulled out the paint and withing 10 minutes I had one side done.
I created a heart stencil that I taped down to the bag to keep things easy, but you can tell that it’s not completely perfect. I really wanted this to be a quick project, so a few imperfections were fine with me. If you really want to do it perfectly, you can use freezer paper and iron down the stencil first. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can always just freehand it! Once the orange side dried, I painted the other side.
Again, look at the lovely imperfections! I think it gives the bag a special look. This took such a short amount of time and now I have a(nother) cute farmer’s market bag/classroom bag/shopping tote. Blank canvas bags are super cheap at your local art supply store, and they make great gifts. Pull out one this week and have a little fun with it!
I took on a project this week that I have been wanting to do for AGES. I have had the same dresser for 27 years, and for at least the past 10 years I have desperately wanted to change it. Now, this is piece of furniture is not in the best condition: it has pieces missing, chips of wood that have fallen apart, the drawer bottoms are coming apart. It’s a big, wooden, brown mess.
However, as we are not in the market for new furniture at the moment and it still holds clothes, I decided to fix it up just enough to love it for a little while more. This was supposed to be an easy, inexpensive fix, but I had several setbacks. For one, painting this piece ivory took 3 coats (and honestly, I should’ve put one more on it). I didn’t realize how dark the original wood was. Eventually the body and drawers were transformed:
Another struggle I had was with the handles. I loathe these handles. Years ago I went to the hardware store to buy replacements and was told that since this dresser is so old the size handles I need are no longer made. It would require drilling new holes, filling the old holes with wood putty, sanding, etc.
So in the spirit of making it work on the cheap, I decided to transform the handles with paint. My first choice was a sage-ish green color, but when I saw them on the drawers I nearly cried. It was horrible. So then I tried a light gray, which turned out much better. Still, not perfect, but better. (Apologies for the weird shadow effect on the pictures. Not sure what was happening there.)
The final product is far from my dream piece of furniture, but you know what? I don’t hate seeing it every time I walk into the closet. And as you can tell from the first picture, the dresser lives in a very dark part of the house. Now when I see it, that whole space is brightened up. So here’s to projects that don’t turn out perfectly but do the trick in the end!
Better late than never, but the cloud wall is complete! Some setbacks this past week delayed this post, but I can tell you that seeing this on my wall in the morning has made me oh. so. happy.
The steps I did were very simple and since everything I needed was already on hand, the project was practically free(!) After selecting my favorite cloud shots, I printed all of them out on photo paper and played with the arrangement. I decided to use 32 pictures, but I’ve already decided to add more throughout the year.
Then I grabbed my trusty blue friend and stuck away.
(Don’t you just LOVE this stuff?! I swear I have tried every other mounting putty/mounting tape in the world and keep coming back to this.)
We had 2 blank walls in the bedroom, and I was originally worried that I decided to place the clouds on the wrong blank wall. But once the sun came up this morning I knew I had made the right choice.
Swoon. So happy I placed it there! And James is working on a painting that will soon live on the other blank wall, so the room will finally feel complete. More to come on that painting’s progress soon!
We have a blank wall in our bedroom and I have been completely stumped about what to do with it. That is, until I ran across this picture on Design*Sponge:
A cloud wall! It’s so simple and peaceful and gorgeous (not to mention inexpensive). I already have a ridiculous amount of photos of clouds saved on my computer. All I need to do is choose my favorites, print them out, and arrange them on a wall. No frame necessary! I may decide to order mine in a gradient pattern starting from the top corner with darker clouds – we’ll see what looks best once I have them all printed. Check back over the next week to see how this project turns out!
This summer I was able to devote time and focus on something really special – how to ask my friends if they would be my bridesmaids. I was so excited, and knew that I wanted to do something more than just call or send a card. As most of my girls live far away, I wanted to send something personal to each of them that would make them feel like we were close for that moment. Finally, I settled on these bridesmaid boxes. They are personal, easy to make, and VERY inexpensive. Just a little money, a bit of time, and a lot of love then… voila!
I started with unfinished wood boxes from the craft store. It took about 2 coats of ivory to cover up the natural wood. Then, using paints that match my wedding colors, I stenciled each girls’ initials onto the top of the box.
Once the outside dried, I painted the inside ivory. On the inside top of the box, I painted this tree (again using my colors). Once all the paint dried, I covered the entire box, inside and out, with 2 coats of satin varnish.
Then came the fun part! I wanted to fill the box with a few key things. On top was a hand-written card attached to a photo strip with funny photos of our friendship. Underneath that were paint chips of the wedding colors and 4 small note cards with various wedding info.
The cards included information about the wedding itself, what the bridesmaids’ roles would be (mostly to feel pretty and hold flowers), a list of the bridesmaids with emails and phone numbers, and their dresses. I tried to really convey that I don’t care what these girls wear, I just want them standing next to me on the big day. Overall, it was a fun way to set the relaxed tone of the wedding and show my girls how much they mean to me. I definitely recommend doing something a bit special for your girls at the beginning of the wedding process. These boxes were a great way for me to ease into my first summer break as a teacher and kicked off many other projects to be posted soon :)
We are so glad you stopped by our small “plot” of creativity. The Creative Acre is a place where we explore the creative life on a daily basis. We hope you enjoy your visit!
The Creative Acre consists of Erin, James, and Ella (our dog). As schoolteachers, time and money are often both in short supply. However, we have learned that an “all work, all the time” state of mind is not fulfilling for us. We want to live a life that is full of small pieces of beauty, even when work is demanding or money is tight. That is why we strive to create/explore/live something creative every day. We will be sharing our creative journey here, and I hope some of our ideas inspire you to add more creativity in your life!
My name is Erin. I am a teacher by day, and baker/writer/reader/lover of all things beautiful by evening.
I am engaged to James, who is also a teacher. James graduated from an art school with a focus on visual art, so expect a lot of input from him for anything that requires an artistic eye.
This is our dog Ella. Ella is a big ball of energy and is very excited about being featured regularly on Creative Acre. Her favorite activities are chasing tennis balls and laying her head right on my laptop while I’m typing.
Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check back for new posts soon!