Monday, August 22, 2011

First day of Kindergarten

Today was an important day at our house. Our daughter started K5. =) She was beyond excited. I was trying to come up with some art projects and special traditions to make her first day of school, special. One of my favorite websites, pinterest, had a lot of ideas to try....too many to choose from, really. =)
But we decided to try our hand at a framed crayon initial and a giant cookie to celebrate the day. I also found many bulletin board ideas here. I'll post the diy on the cookie and crayon initial in other posts.

The original gumball bulletin board read: 'Wel-Gum to First Grade!' and it had all the names of the students in the gumballs. Since we are homeschooling, I tweaked it a bit. We couldn't just have one gumball in the machine! =) I wrote down some sight words that Emma will be learning in Reading/Phonics class for each piece of gum.

The crayon initial adds some bright color to her desk. ;)

We have already put this ikea easel to good use during the school hour and little brother also likes to wander into the school room and scribble on the white board side. =)

And one of Emma's favorite parts of today was baking this gigantic cookie! It was definitely fun to make. I think we may keep this tradition for first days of school later on.

Looking forward to this first year of school with my little girl!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thrifty school desk makeover

I had visions of this Land of Nod "Walden white desk hutch" for my daughter's school room. She is starting K5 this year and I wanted to have an area for her to be able to do her schoolwork and have everything organized.

This desk looked perfect! It has plenty of storage space, plus a bulletin board and wall shelves above. But then I took a look and the price tag and everything changed. There is no way we have $700.00 to spend on a desk right now. So instead of breaking the bank I began hunting for the perfect desk at thrift stores.

I found a great desk a couple weeks ago. It was originally $120 but they had just marked it down to $40.00! Now we're talkin'!!! =) I started by sanding the whole thing down with a tougher grain sand paper and then bought some Valspar paint with primer already mixed in. I gave it a first coat and then used a very fine grain sand paper in between coats to smooth out the finish. Then I painted my last coat and added the hardware.

We took a special trip to Anthropologie and my daughter picked out some light pink crystal knobs for her drawers. An added plus was that they were on clearance as well!

I bought a bulletin board at Target for $10.00 and I'm going to paint the frame to match the desk. I also found the perfect wall shelves to hang above the bulletin board at Ikea (love that store!!). Those were $14.99 a piece. Let's calculate here: desk, paint, sand paper, knobs, bulletin board, 3 wall storage cubbies = $148.00 A far cry from $700.00!! I love it when a thrifty plan comes together. =) I'll do one more post when I have it all put together. I'm still waiting on the shelves to get in.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Knockoff Pottery Barn Owl Bookends

I saw these Pottery Barn owl bookends a few months ago and thought I could try and make them for my daughter's school room. The original ones cost $29.00 plus shipping. My owls cost $11.00 for the material, thread, stuffing and rice.
Basically, I just pulled up the image of the original PB owls on my computer and tried to copy it as best as I could. I will say, if you try and make some, be careful to keep the eyes close together and the wings rounded and falling to the side. My first attempt came out looking a little bat-like. (not good!) After I embellished the front of the face I sewed the sides and wings together. Then I stuffed the top of the owl with poly-fil and filled some zip lock bags with rice for the base of the owl.