Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pinterest Rip Off (Kind Of): Colored paper and folder game storage


Last week I found these in my classroom:

From what I can gather, they come with textbooks. I think they contain supplementary materials. In any case, they’re a million years old, as you can see from the peeling labels. I took them home, bought some Goo-Gone, and went to work. Then I spray painted them with some leftover paint from another project.
I decided to use one to hold folder games, and another for colored paper storage. That’s where the Pinterest Rip Off comes in. I found this pin and thought it was really clever. Little did I know I would have so much colored construction paper in my room and would really need this solution.

organize construction paper in plastic files. Keep scraps in the green hanging folders that separate the colors. Crates also work. This makes them stackable and portable and easily used by students. No more mess and damaged paper! Great idea!

And here they are!

Notice my leopard print labels. You can find the downloadable file here. I also used them on my Music Teacher’s Pencil Cups.

This whole project was free! The containers were already in my room, I had the paint on hand, and the labels were a free download. What do you think of my new storage?


Pinterest Rip Off: Keeping Dice Corralled


I love doing these short little posts! I hope you guys like them! I’ve been wanting to recreate this pin for awhile, but I figured there would be dice in my room already so I didn’t want to buy any. And I was right. Here’s the original pin. Molly at Lessons with Laughter used small containers she found at Staples. Well I was at Wal-Mart (I feel like I am every day) and you know those things that hang in the middle of the grocery aisles with lunch containers, small toys, i.e crap on them? Well that day, they had small food containers in four packs. For $1.50!

I got back to school, found my dice, popped ’em in, and viola! Now when my students roll the dice, they won’t go flying all over!

Pinterest Rip Off: Music Teacher’s Pencil Cups


This will be short and sweet. I found these on Pinterest and KNEW I had to make them. Aren’t they clever? But they also had to fit my theme.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought a two pack of lime green plastic cups in the dorm section. They were $1.50!

Then I made leopard print labels just like the ones that cover everything in my whole classroom. Stay tuned for that post. I found the labels in Pinterest too (duh). You can find them here, along with several other animal prints.

And that’s it! Easy peasy, mac n cheesy!

Here they are in action next to my teacher’s toolbox. Check out that post here!

Pinterest Rip Off: Teacher’s Toolbox


Are y’all ready to get back to school?! I know I am. Kind of. Truth be told, I’m terrified and really just trying to keep to together. But that being said, I’m so lucky to have a job, in a neat city, close to family, living in a cozy apartment. I’m really thankful for everyone’s advice, physical help, financial help and support.
And gushing over! This week, as part of my new classroom overhaul (more on that later!), I broke down and made a teacher toolbox, much like I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. To see the example I modeled mine after, click here. She even includes a downloadable template for your labels, and it rocked! Here’s a picture of my finished box.

To get started, you need a toolbox. You can get these at Lowe’s for $17. They only comes in navy. Wah-wah. A problem easily solved with a can of black spray paint. (Some of you are reading this and thinking, “Why bother? There’s not that much difference between navy and black.” And you would be so wrong. So wrong.)

Then go to Hobby Lobby (Michael’s or your local craft store will also suffice) and pick out scrapbooking paper. I picked out lime green and blue with a subtle polka dot, since those are my classroom colors. They were 12×12 inches each, so I cut them to 8.5×11, to fit my printer. Download that lovely template, take a survey of your office supplies, and edit the labels to suit you. I used a font I downloaded for free from kevinandamanda. Then I printed right on to the scrapbooking paper. Cut out the labels. They were a little bland for me, so I took my scraps and doctored up the large labels. I also decided laminate mine, so I could change them easily and reuse them in later years (SIDENOTE: LAMINATION IS MY NEW FAVORITE THIS EVERRRRRR). Then I slapped them on with some masking tape. Ta-Da!

My white trash (according to Dad) recycled pallet coffee table


I’ve been drooling over Pinterest projects involving upcycling wooden pallets for months. You know, the ones that home improvements stores use to haul freight? Those. And it just so happens that I did not have a coffee table for my new apartment. So let me just tell you the short story involving my acquiring these pallets.

So I know that you can get in trouble for taking pallets from the back of a store because some stores reuse them or charge for them. What’s a girl to do? Craigslist. I consulted Craigslist and found this guy in Lawrence who was selling pallets for $5 a piece. Reasonable. Okay. So we make arrangements for him to come to me and I made sure my roommate was going to be home because I’ve seen The Craigslist Killer. And good thing too.

So the guy turns into my apartment complex and I can hear him before I can see him. He rolls up in the shadiest I-promise-children-candy-and-then-abduct-them van. He was nice though. But that’s what they all say. He gives me the pallets, I give him ten bucks. And that’s that. Thank God.

I get home for the summer and inform my father that we are making this coffee table. And here it is in a series of photos.

Here is my pappy being a good sport and sawing the first pallet in half.

You’re the best, Dad.

Okay so here’s half of one pallet. Notice the wide gaps. My lovely father happened to have some spare wood that fit perfectly between the gaps.

I skipped a step, my apologies. Here’s the pallet with the spare wood nailed in between the gaps, but this is also after we had repeated the first steps on the second pallet, hence the stacking.

Now for some paint. I picked a nice mac ‘n’ cheese color that turned out waay more yellow than the swatch. Small town hardware store, what can you do? But I really like it. We painted the pallets separately and attached them after the paint dried. I don’t have a photo, but we attached the pallets with six steel straps similar to these, three on each side. We left them unpainted for an industrial look.

Here’s both pallets in the painting process. We had to move them into the garage and onto saw horses, because it rained that day. Which, by the way, is the ONLY rain I’ve seen this summer. 😦

Here are my casters. We attached them to woodblocks first, partly for stability, partly to raise the table up an inch.

I also don’t have a photo of the finished product. I’m really bad at remembering to take photos. I just get so into it. 🙂