DIY Classroom Crafts

Is it already NOVEMBER?  Where did the fall go?  I feel like I blinked and it was almost Christmas.  Before the new year begins, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite DIY projects for the classroom.   My husband and I didn't head out on any major vacations over the summer break, so I had plenty of time to spend on craft projects.  I had fun trying out many of the things I had seen on Pinterest and other teacher-blogs.

Some of these crafts were simple to do, and made a huge impact in my classroom.  Others were a total FLOP.

Classroom DIY Project One:  Chalkboard Sign (WIN)

This sign was super easy to make, and such a win on the first day of school.  I took a simple frame from the thrift store, painted over the glass with chalkboard paint, and used chalk markers to write the cute message.

Classroom DIY Project Two:  "Team Grade Three" Shirts(FAIL)

I had big plans to make matching tee shirts for my teaching partner and I.  Oh man, were these a lot of work.  I designed the logo quickly in PowerPoint (it's faster and easier than using InDesign for a quick job) then reversed the image and printed it onto iron-on paper.  But transferring it onto a tee shirt?  That was such a nightmare.  I think I wrecked two full shirts before I finally got the transfer to stick perfectly without any residue.  (Even then, I couldn't get it to work with a transparent background!)

When I finally tallied up all of the time I spent on those darn tee shirts I wish I had just bought some of the cute ones I saw online.  Next year I have a plan to make my own! (Check back in my store in September!) 

Classroom DIY Project Three:  Ribbon Banner (FAIL)

Oh man, I had seen these ribbon banners all over Pinterest, and they were so cute! I bought fabric, read tutorials... and just did not like the final product.  I think I could have used way more fabric to make a longer banner, but (to be honest) I just didn't like how it looked in the end. I love clean, neat, craft projects, and I wasn't a fan of the overall look!

Classroom DIY Project Four: Crate Seats (WIN)

After reading a number of tutorials (this one, and this one were best)  I finally set out to make flexible seating out of sturdy storage crates.  Thank goodness I had incredible help from colleague The Smurti Teacher. These have been a total WIN in my classroom.  My students love them, and I love how they are the perfect storage for all of my blankets and pillows.   One piece of advice:  make sure you use very sturdy storage crates.  Some crates seem to be more 'flimsy' than others, so make sure you buy ones that are a little higher quality.

Classroom DIY Project Five: Pick Sticks (WIN, kind-of)

This project looks cute in my classroom, but took more time than it was worth (in my opinion).  I took standard large popsicle sticks and painted each side teal and white.  It just took time when it came to letting each part dry before turning the stick over and painting the next coat/color.  I love how they look, but I know that plain sticks would have been just as effective.

Did you make any great DIY projects this year?  What were your greatest successes?  Any major flops?  I'd love to hear them in the comments below!