A Handmade Classroom

I know many of you are already thinking about how you want your room to look next year. 
I'm not quite there. Mainly because I don't know what or where my room will be. As far as how I want it to look, I have a pretty good idea because I LOVED my room this year. I didn't love the actual room (it was a trailer), but everything in it looked good (and that's not just me saying so, that was everyone who came in it - my AP, my coworkers, etc). It felt cozy, and homey, and except for maybe lack of space I tried to keep it from feeling cluttered. One of the ways I did this was I rarely used store bought products. Yes, I had pocket charts, but other than that, anything hanging was from a craft show or a store online, or an artist I know, or a creation of my own hands. I'll post a few pictures, you can let me know what you want to know more about and I'll do my best. Then today I'll share with you how to create 'The Rules' canvas everyone was asking about from yesterday's post.   

Okay, so onto 'The Rules' - way back in October when I made them I wrote about them on my other blog. So, these real artsy fartsy people who mean big business with their scrapbooking materials own the most amazing supplies like Cricuts and Silhouettes. Well I am here to say that I think I am pretty artsy fartsy. Also, I take pride in my scrapbooking. However, I just have never been able to afford those awesome gadgets. Oh my gosh could you imagine the possibilities for my classroom then? Anyways, I digress. If you want to do it like theirs and actually use a stencil for the words and paint around it, then go check out the link I gave you there cause I link to the Master. But when you get a week's notice for a job and to set everything up you don't have that kind of time. What you do have is a teacher's salary. Who's with me? That's what I thought. 

I had a canvas lying around (see I told you I'm artsy, who just has that lying around?). Even if you don't, make Hobby Lobby or Michael's your friend. They always have sales and a 40% off coupon. Also from my scrapbooking I had a bunch of letter stickers, and it just so happened that I knew I was going to stick with a blue and green kind of color thing going on in terms of baskets and stuff. 

First, I had this "old school" - no really, double click on the pick to get a close up - I'm talking like school from years ago looking papers. Some of it is from a scrapbook line by Jenni Bowlin. I got mine at Archiver's (that store is like a trap, don't say I didn't warn you!), an online resource for some great stuff is Two Peas in a Bucket. Now again, Hobby Lobby and Michael's or wherever it is you prefer are just as good (I just like to have variety, especially over the summer). I used scrapbook adhesive and maybe even some spray mount (Elmer's makes some, just know this stuff is sticky, and you should maybe use it outdoors) - there is no wrong or right here- to adhere the background paper. 

Next, I started with my words. I kind of planned out my words so that I knew I had enough of one color for that word. You can see in some I didn't mind mixing upper and lowercase. After each word I used stickers or embellishments to create a line or divider under each word so that it had some definition. 

I added a few personal touches. I had a sticker that had 'date,' so I put 10/4/10 because that was the day my job started and it will be there forever. I even covered that with a clear tile piece (you can use a product called Dimensional Magic for that). 

For the finishing touches, instead of trimming the paper off the edges, I sanded it. I feel that this makes it look a little more loved and not so maybe store bought. I inked the edges of the canvas so they weren't plain white. In hindsight I maybe would have used a little acrylic, cause the ink got all over my fingers. When everything was dry, I took it outside and added a few coats of a spray coating. So even now a few stickers don't stick down perfectly but I know they aren't going anywhere. 

Let me know if you have more questions and if you make one, I would love to see it!

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