Hello again! I'm back today to share a few more inexpensive, quick projects inspired by the new school year. I had so much fun pairing school supplies and scrapbooking products outside a scrapbook page, and I hope you'll be inspired to make one of these projects featured here this week—or invent your own. Whichever you choose, be sure to share it with us in the Flickr gallery when you're finished!
Colorful Bedroom Nameplate
This project can be completed in under an hour, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to the recipient's face—what toddler or preschooler doesn't like seeing his name up in...crayons? Total cost: approximately $3.
I've been meaning to make my daughter, Gracie, a nameplate for her door for some time—with all the school supplies floating around my house and talk of new schools filling my head, crayons seemed like the obvious choice for the theme.
I picked crayon and ribbon colors that matched Gracie's room, and chose a piece of scrap wood as the base (left over from July when my husband had to replace the missing shelves in the medicine cabinet after we moved into our new house. Cardboard would work equally well). I painted a chipboard element to frame a small picture of Gracie.Try painting the chipaboard with a cosmetic sponge—the paint will cover the surface much more smoothly and evenly, with less mess besides.
Next, I added glue strips horizontally to the board and placed the crayons down on the strip.
I covered a chipboard "g" with some scrap paper, then arranged and adhered it all down.
At this point, I thought it needed something else so I added a little gold star, hung it up, and went upstairs. When I came back down to admire it the next morning, however, this is what I found:
Oh no! Let's think of this picture as "Elizabeth makes the mistakes so you don't have to." Time for the hot glue gun, friends. While I still love the ease of glue dots/strips, sometimes you just have to get the big guns out.
There. Fixed. Nothing like waking up to a surprise that bears your likeness!
Wall Art For Bigger Kids
If you have older primary grade children or middle school children, they might not be as excited about a shadow box with crayons and glue in it as we might be. Never fear, Helen Dardik is here. (What? You don't know who Helen Dardik is? She is a fantastic illustrator who just designed her first line of scrapbook products for Creative Imaginations. Go check her out! I'll wait!) Total cost: approximately $7.
It's fun to apply your scrapbooking skills to a homemade wall hanging made with a canvas. I wanted to convey the same general feeling about being excited for the new school year and school in general, and Helen Dardik's line of products fit the bill perfectly. While the piece I made has a definite collage feel, don't be fooled—even if you don't have much of a natural inclination toward collage, you can play with a few collage-like elements but still maintain a straight, streamlined look.
It's so easy to lay down an artistic-looking foundation! I spray-adhered a piece of dictionary paper from my never-ending supply to the canvas (from a classroom dictionary a friend gave me after discovering large chunks of pages were missing) and smoothed it down with my hand. You could use any kind of paper as a foundation, however—pick something meaningful to you! Next, I picked up a foam brush and a little white paint, with just enough water to dip the paintbrush in and make a paint wash. I dragged the brush across the canvas a few times, patting with a dry paper towel here and there to create the uneven effect. If you try this, you might worry that you've ruined your canvas when the paper on top begins to wrinkle and buckle, but don't worry. It will dry perfectly.
The rest of the process is easy! Shuffle around the elements you want to use on the page. I love the big brads from this particular line; it is extremely easy to poke them through the layer of canvas underneath, and once in, they're quite stable. And cute sophisticated. Perfect for a tween or almost-tween, remember? Once you have the pieces where you want them, pick them up one at a time to adhere. Then stand back and enjoy your custom-made artwork! They can be a little addicting. Canvas goes on sale a lot at arts and crafts stores, but you didn't hear it from me. : )
School Stuff Corral
Are you constantly tripping over bookbags, gym shoes, lunchboxes, library books, and whatever else comes home from school and ends up in the middle of the family traffic pattern? Don't despair—if you want something put away, make sure you've provided the place to put it. A place that is both fun and practical makes it more likely that your days of tripping over the backpack strap are behind you. Total cost: approximately $6, though this project requires a pint of $11 chalkboard paint—the good news is that you can make that pint of chalkboard paint last forever.
While walking around at Michael's the same night I spotted the $.89 door hanger, I also discovered this unfinished fruit crate that looked like it would be the right size to hold a backpack and whatever else my daughter, Maddie, needed to remember to bring back to school. Because I used my weekly Michael's coupon, the fruit crate was only $5. Armed with a pint of chalkboard paint from Lowe's and a paintbrush, I set out to paint my unfinished crate black.
I'm a much better project painter now than before I had children, because I'm more likely not to rush the paint trying to dry between coats. It's impossible to rush when someone is constantly asking you for a drink/snack/piece of gum/car when they turn 16. Or whatever. For the record, I painted the sides of my bin three times, and mostly just one coat covering the rest. Also important: this variety of fruit crate is extremely splinter-y, so sand it down a bit before painting it. Not only will you avoid getting splinters in your hands, but the paint will cover more smoothly.
A view with all the school stuff inside...
With a little chalk, you can write reminder notes on the sides of the crate. The chalk erases away easily when you've successfully been reminded of whatever it is you needed to remember!
Q. Where in the world are the scrapbook supplies on this one?
A. Why right here...
On the inside of the chalkboard crate, I added Madeline's name with Cosmo Cricket rub-ons and added two coordinating stickers along the bottom. The colorful letters definitely stand out against the plain black background! The oversized paper-clip is covered with a piece of patterned paper I love; it can easily hold an envelope of fund raiser money or a permission slip that needs to be signed and returned. The bottom line: by creating a place for school stuff to go, there is a better chance that it might actually get there. Try it and see how it works out...the jury's still out here, too.
Thanks for joining me again today! Be sure to stop in tomorrow when I head back to the scrapbook table, if only I could find a space to work amidst all this project debris. : )