Friday, September 9, 2016

Mason Jar Spray Craft

My daughter and I had some fun with a fall craft last weekend. We are trying to keep in mind that fall is just around the corner despite the fact that we are amid a 100 degree {with high humidity} heat wave here in Pennsylvania at the current moment. This weather is really wacky for September in my area. I sure am ready for some cool, fall air.

You probably already know how much I love spray paint and the dollar store. This craft combines the two into one nifty project that is inexpensive and super easy to make! Snip, snip, spray, spray, tie, and the job is complete!

Decorate your classroom or home. Use them for centerpieces. Give them to all of your friends, relatives, and favorite teachers. Heck, sell these babies at your local craft fair and earn a few bucks! These things turn out pretty amazing!

First, pick yourself up some jars and a roll of contact paper at the dollar store. Also, grab a bag of raffia to tie on the finished jars. Unless you have a million cans of spray paint in your basement like I do, you may also need to swing by Walmart to purchase a few cans of that as well. :-)

Next, decide which kind of design you would like for your jars. Keep the shape fairly simple. We chose apples and leaves for our jars, but I also had visions of pumpkins, bats, turkeys, Christmas trees, snowmen. . .you name it. Print some basic images from your computer or draw them if you are talented. Cut out the computer (or hand drawn) images.

Trace the images on the back of the contact paper.

Then cut out the shapes from the contact paper. My daughter was in charge of this part of the craft. As you can see, she's a dirt-under-the-nails kind of gal. ;-)

Next, remove the backing from the contact paper and slap that sticker onto your jar. Take it outside and spray away! I do caution you not to spray paint in extreme temperatures or high humidity. Luckily, the weather had given us a one-day break last weekend that worked out well for spray painting.

Give all the jars a nice coat of paint. Keep your hand moving as you spray and keep a short distance in order to avoid drips. Try not to pout when bugs fly into your wet paint.

Let your jars sit for several hours or overnight if you are not in a hurry. Then, when the paint is nice and dry, carefully peel off your stickers. Tie some raffia around the top of each jar for a nice, finishing touch!

We added some of these battery operated candles to many of our jars. They are also from the dollar store.

And there you have it! Here are some of our jars in action right in my own classroom. Now, what are you waiting for? Push aside that lesson plan book and go get your supplies to make this super cute and very simple mason jar spray craft! Every teacher needs some time for themselves. Have fun!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Growth Mindset Bulletin Board

I needed a new approach with my hallway bulletin board this year, due to my new teaching position. I'm usually cutting out owls or Minions or popcorn at this time of year, but instead of welcoming a new crop of third grade students, I needed something more general and inspirational for all students. 

I can't take credit for the clever word arrangement. I saw a picture on Pinterest, but the link was dead, so if you happen to know who masterminded the arrangement of these words, please let me know so I can give proper credit. :-)

I received many questions about this bulletin board after posting a picture on Instagram, so here are the details about how it came to be. I am using it as a back to school bulletin board, but it would be a great display at any time of the year for a wide range of grade levels. I hope that you can duplicate it for your own classroom!

I had visions of big, bright letters on a black background for this bulletin board, so I picked up some black fabric and then headed over to A.C. Moore for some scrapbooking paper. I really liked the color assortment in this heavyweight paper and if you look very closely you will notice that it has some raised polka dots that add a nice texture to the display. Of course, the 40% off sign was also very persuasive.

Next, I took the paper squares home and cut them down to 8 and a half by 11 sheets that would fit in my printer. I used PowerPoint to make some large letters as show below.

You can see in the formatting palette that I used the KG font called Behind These Hazel Eyes. This font by Kimberly Geswein is free for personal use and can be downloaded here. I set the font size to 680.

I only wanted the outline of each letter, so I formatted the text by giving it a white fill.

I set the text line to black, which would give a nice line for me to cut. Then I just printed the letters, page by page on the scrapbooking paper. Even with the texture and thickness, it went right through without a problem.

I used a different color for each word. Then I carefully cut out each letter.

Finally, I headed to school and pieced everything together on the board. I started in the middle with the vertical, white word "LEARN" and then worked my way out on either side. The words fit perfectly, but there was a lot of extra black space on the edges, so I found some matching pompoms to use as accents. They were sold in sets of two for $1.99 at Christmas Tree Shops.

Here is a close up of the letters.

Now, here's hoping that my students will do a lot of reflecting, solving, creating, growing, thinking, and learning this year!