There is a small chance that this may be the longest post in the world…Bear with me, okay?
This weekend I traveled to Atlanta to speak at Haven Conference, with two other amazing women – KariAnne and Heather. Today I am sharing my portion of the presentation on working with brands, giving away a ticket to SNAP! Conference, a blog redesign, etc. etc. over at SNAP! For those of you who happen to have blogs, you don’t want to miss out!
And now for the content you’ve really been waiting for…
The posts for this week’s audition round were due while I was traveling. Each and every time a new audition post came through on my phone, I may have squeaked and squealed just a little bit…or a lot. In fact, someone may have actually asked me if I was okay at one point. Maybe. In any event, today I am soooo very excited to share with you projects for 20 AMAZING crafters.
We’re going to make the voting process pretty simple, so stick with me and scroll through these amazing back-to-school project ideas. You will not be disappointed!
Project #1 DIY Teacher Name Plate
I am so excited to share this super fun and easy DIY teacher name plate. I made it from a paint mixing stick. Crazy huh? You can pick these up at paint stores or home improvement stores. This is the perfect gift to give to your kid’s new teachers. I plan on wrapping mine up for the first day of school or even back to school night to slip a little back to school love to the teachers.
This project is so easy and versatile. I used washi tape to decorate each side of the name plate. I thought of using ribbon, baker’s twine, stamps pretty much anything would work. I didn’t go too girly for this name plate because it is for a male teacher.
The bright colors against the white washed wood really make the name plate pop. It definitely will knock boring black and white name plates out of the water. Back to school is almost here and this is a great craft do with your kids to do a little something nice for their new teacher.
Project #2 Washi Tape Locker Accessories
Having a fashionable locker doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. I upgraded some basic dollar store supplies with four different styles of washi tape to make a locker full of adorable coordinating accessories for less than $10.
A magnetic picture frame became a dry erase board after covering the back of the sample photo with tape. White Polaroid style frames got upgraded with the patterned tape to keep loved ones close by (the frames came in a pack with the magnetic dry erase marker – also upgraded with tape). A blue magnetic cup was painted white before being decorated with several patterns of tape to hold pens and other accessories. A mini tissue box was decorated and magnets were added to keep emergency tissues in your locker – but conveniently stuck to the door to keep floor space free for books.
All together, the project took about 30 minutes (not counting the dry time as some things needed to be painted white first). The total cost was only $6 for the supplies for the dollar store. Most crafters have washi tape on hand but if not, you can easily pick up a few rolls for less than $4 (look for coordinating patterns sold together for easy mixing and matching!) – making your new locker look easy to attain on a budget!
Project #3 Back-to-School Bench Organizer
School time is nearly upon us… I am a little excited, and a whole lot nervous… I want my kids to have a great year. I also know how stressful mornings can be. So I thought I would throw toghether a fun “Back to School” Bench, coat hanger , back-pack hanger and shoe organizer all in one. Hopefully this will help make the mornings a little smoother.
This was so super simple and FAST! It took the paint longer to dry than it took me to build it. The measurements are square, it is 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. I bought One shelving board that was 8 feet long and 16 inches deep, So the cubbies are all about 16×16…
Most Lumber stores cut your wood for you now. I only cut 4 pieces at home, the rest I had them do at the lumber yard. A little wood glue and some nails, and it was done! I chose darker colors, as kids can get messy! This was a fun and simple project, It also got my kids excited for school!
Project #4 Back to School Boot Bracelets
Hi Everyone! Boots are the craze again this fall. Wear your boots with skirts, leggings, jeans, and dresses. After starting to plan my fall wardrobe I decided I wanted to invest in a few pairs of quality boots. Have you checked the prices of boots lately?? Wowza!
After realizing my whole fall budget would be allocated to boots I decided to invest in 2 quality pairs and jazz them up! Say hello to my DIY Boot Bracelets.
I wanted to decorate my boots but I wanted the pieces to be removable but trendy. I hope you enjoy my boot bracelets as much as I do. I love creating new bracelets and decorating my favorite pairs of boots!
Project #4 Homework Desk
Some times it hard to find a quiet spot to do homework or if the student is needing a little extra help they can move to where a helper is located with this fun portable desk.
This cute homework desk is made from a serving tray found at our local thrift store. I painted it a bright yellow and added blue chalkboard paint to the top. Adding red washi tape around the edge completes the common school color theme. Adding a few vinyl encouraging words and a ruler completes the look.
To keep supplies handy I added two slide rails under the tray to hold the plastic storage bin. There is no excuse for not having everything you need and a place to study with this type of desk.
Project #6 Huge Memo Organization Station
Hi Everyone! I’m really excited to be auditioning for SYTYC Season 18! When Tauni sent us the theme for the auditions round, I’ll be honest, I was a bit worried. I don’t have kids, I don’t really know anyone that has kids old enough to go back to school, and it’s been a while since I went “back to school” myself. Luckily though after thinking the theme over a bit, I realized that “back to school” didn’t strictly mean elementary, middle or high school. It could mean college too! I do have a sister going “back to school” in august so I decided to talk it over with her to see what she could really need. She’s moving into an apartment this year and pretty much needs EVERYTHING, including some way to keep organized. We talked about making a small memo board, but doing something small really just isn’t my style! I made for her a five foot six inch Memo-Organization Station.
The top right section holds a customized cork-board area, below is a magnetic white-board calendar and on the bottom I used chalkboard paint to create a small message area. The whole left side has pegboard, which I think adds a whole new level of function by customizing where your pegs go based off of your needs. I used 1″ x 4″s, 1″ x 3″s and thin particle board to create the whole base. It doesn’t look like it now, but this project was a series of “lessons”. It embarrasses me to tell you them, but for the sake of being real I’m going to.
Lesson 1: 1″ x 4″ boards are not actually 1″ x 4″
Lesson 2: Always buy the right length screws for each project.
Lesson 3: I really need a workbench
Lesson 4: You can’t use a Kreg jig when you’re doing picture frame corners.
I added canning jars on wire to hold pins, dry erase makers and chalk. The canning jars are a great choice because you can add lids for easy transportation. I also made some MSU magnets for holding papers. Overall though, the project turned out just like I had in mind. I’m really pleased with it and can’t wait to present it to my sister on move in day!
Project #7 First Day of Preschool
When I think about Back to School, remind me of the excitement of school shopping with my mom and siblings. It was always fun to choose that crisp new “first day of school outfit.” With my own children it has been fun to see the excitement build for going to school for the first time. I wanted this outfit to embody the enthusiasm of attending preschool for the first time. The color scheme of brilliant blue, yellow, and purple echo the decorations that adorn the halls of a primary education.
Preschool is an introduction to a whole new level of independence, the dress encourages this autonomy. It is made from woven fabric but the neckline is cut wide enough to be slipped over the head with no closures. The pocket detail and fabric selection of the dress reflect the styles of school days of yester year. The jacket is the perfect addition protect against that early morning bite that comes with the fall. The backpack is to the scale of the miniature frame of a preschooler with the utility to hold and organize pencils, crayons, paper, scissors, and basic readers. The patterns for the dress, jacket, and backpack were self drafted.
The shoes were a thrift store find at $2, after mixing puffy paint and craft paint they were transformed from a dingy white to vibrant yellow. An simple belt made with waistband elastic and a purse buckle has growing room for years to come. The floppy bow will have our model looking picture day perfect.
Project #8 Just for Kids Command Center
When I think of the kiddos heading back to school, I instantly think about getting organized. Where to put all the “stuff” they bring in and need to have ready to take out the next day. A Command Center/Drop Zone has been on my To-Do list for years and I am thrilled to be able to share what I came up with.
First, I made a list of our specific needs and shopped my house to see what I could re-purpose. Luckily, I had all but the letters on hand and got to work creating…
There is a place for everything…Letters painted with Chalkboard paint (so Momma can write fun notes or doodle), Modern ABC/123 Cork Bulletin boards created by using a handmade stencil (For all those little notes, artwork and birthday invites), In/Out bins made from empty cereal boxes wrapped in canvas dropcloth (perfect paperwork catch-all), Hooks for backpacks and baskets for shoes. Whew! All that compacted onto one wall in our Mudroom. My kids have no excuses now…We’re ready for school!
Project #9 Give Your Pencils a Makeover Using Embroidery Floss
I cannot believe it is time for school. Summer just went by too quickly. If there is anything that gets me excited for back-to-school time it is back-to-school shopping! Am I right? Well, this project may be nicer on the wallet.
These are so easy and fun to make and you can even wrap these with your kids. And they can personalize them with any colors or designs (although that might be a little more time consuming).
Now, no one can “borrow” your pencils and pens without returning them.
Project #10 Child’s Artwork Pencil Pouch
It’s back to school time and we are busy gathering supplies in my house. Instead of a store bought pencil pouch, I thought this year I would make one. Sure, I could have used some nice, pretty fabric…but I really loved the idea of my son adding his own personal touch. So, I had him draw me a picture and I took it from there.
I used 4 scraps of fabric cut to 9 in L x 5 in H, a zipper at least the length of your fabric, scrap of muslin backed with interfacing and wonder under, and regular crayons. I gave him a scrap of prepared fabric with a boundary box. I asked him to draw me a picture within the box (this helps keep it within the size of your pouch). After he was finished, I heat set the drawing with my iron and another scrap piece of fabric. Then, I cut it out leaving a small border of white fabric and ironed it to the front of the pouch. Finally, applquéd it down, using a zig zag stitch.
Once my appliqué was finished, I installed my zipper. After I had the zipper in place, I top stitched the front and back of the pencil pouch. With right sides together and zipper halfway open, pin around the pouch and sew using 1/4 in seam allowance. Make sure to leave small opening for turning. Once turned, sew up opening and press for a crisp finish.
Project #11 Back in Style
I have this friend. He is short. He is spunky. He is energetic. He is celebrating his birthday this week, and the first day of second grade next week. And, he is totally unique! To help him celebrate this month of exciting changes, I created a look that can take him comfortably from birthday party, to class, to rock concert…just the way he likes it!
The challenge (and excitement) of this project was to include some of his favorite things. A freezer paper stencil of his favorite singer, Bruno Mars, is the focal point of this neon pink (his favorite color) shirt. Upcycled cuffs with snaps, from another shirt, give the t-shirt a punk-style element. Gold glitter fabric was spray painted (in fabric paint) with the name of his favorite song, then meticulously machine appliqued along the sleeve. I added a bit more detail, on the back, with handwritten lyrics (from Treasure) painted in gold. And to round out the ensemble, I made black pin-stripe shorts with pockets to collect all his party favors, pencils and mementos…and because I have found that all boys like pockets.
My favorite things about this look? The versatility and ability to wear the pieces separately, each article has it’s own strong details (check out the diagonal pin-stripes on the pockets!), and style coexists with functionality and comfort. This friend of mine will be rockin’ his classmates socks off with his customized new duds.
Project #12 Back to School Message Board
Whenever a new school year starts, I always want to get organized, like a second chance at my New Year’s resolutions. This year was no different which is why one of the first projects on my list was a message board that I could put in my entry way to eliminate (or at least reduce) forgotten items and extra trips. This is not to say, however, I had the budget available to go out and buy a new dry erase board, instead, I made it myself! From scratch!
What made this project really easy was the dry erase vinyl I found extremely affordably at the craft store. That, mixed with a board and some extra molding left over from other projects in the garage gave me the starting pieces I needed to put together my very own dry erase board. One afternoon and some creativity is all it took!
I couldn’t just stop at a plain white board, I had to give it my own spin and loved the notebook paper comforters I saw all over the internet last year and used that as my inspiration. Finishing touches of black vinyl lettering and a small washi tape bunting finished off this fun little project. Useful and cute is really the best combination.
Project #13 Pretty Hand Embroidered Pencil Case
I am thrilled to be here auditioning for So You Think You’re Crafty and share my “Back to School” project with you!
My favorite part of back to school was always shopping for new school supplies and then organizing all my new stuff before the first day of school. I still love browsing the school supply section this time of year and looking at all the fun pencils and pens. When I found out the audition round would be themed “Back to School,” I decided to make a cute little pencil case that would be perfect for taking all those new supplies to school.
I drew some simple flowers and hand embroidered them onto the fabric with basic embroidery stitches before making the pencil case. Then I stitched the little case together, it is fully lined with a zippered top and a little satin ribbon zipper pull, it’s all about the details!
This little 4” x 8” case would be perfect for pencils, but it would be a great case for anything small, glasses, candies, it could even hold make up or your cell phone. I know I would have been excited to take it with me to my first day of school!
Project #14 Altered Journal and Pencil Box
Finding interesting and fun back to school items for your children can be a pretty expensive undertaking. Cool, fashion forward or popular school supplies can easily cost 10 times as much as the basic items you find. With that in mine I chose to take some very basic and cheap back to school items and alter them to make some great looking school supplies that a child or teen would be excited to carry.
To achieve this goal I started out with a basic composition notebook and pencil case. I purchased both of these items for $0.50 each at my local Target. Add to that some scrapbook paper that I already had and some adhesive. I used Mod Podge. With those few things I made a few great items that anyone would be excited to carry to school and won’t break the bank.
The paper line I choose for this project was Pink Paislee’s Indigo Blue line. I also used a healthy dose of Tim Holtz Distress Ink as well as some Tim Holtz Stamper’s Anonymous stamps to create the final look of this project. Any papers or stamps would work though. I hope they inspire you to create something fun for your child.
Project #15 Back-to-School Wreath
I am so excited to be participating in this season’s audition for S.Y.T.Y.C.! I have been in a little bit of a crafting slump lately. I am not sure if it is having the kids home from school all summer or what, but when I received an email from Tauni saying I would be able to audition, I knew it was just the push I needed! Nothing like a little healthy competition to get the juices flowing. I immediately thought of going back to my crafting roots. When I first started to do a lot of crafts on my own, I created a ton of wreaths. I would make them for gifts and for my own home.
I started with a pool noodle wreath base. I covered it in a fun alphabet fabric I found at Jo Ann’s. I made all the felt and fabric flowers. I also hand painted the little chalkboard apple from an inexpensive wood blank shape. I found the paper crayons for the bunting at Dollar Tree. They were originally all one long piece to be used as a border for a classroom, so I cut them apart to make them look like little pennants. I simply pinned the bunting to the wreath itself. Since it was still looking a little plain, I thought it would be fun to add some school themed touches. So, I added the crayons, scissors, and pencils.
Now, we are all ready to have something extra special to hang on the door when we take our first day of school pictures each year! I am definitely feeling more inspired after this project and I hope you are too!
Project #16 Owl Lunch Bag
I am thrilled to join So You Think You’re Crafty audition round for season 18. When I knew the theme would be Back-to-School I immediately started “mentally revisiting” my elementary school times. I remembered my lunch bag where I would take my food and, on a smaller compartment, my ballet clothes and shoes to school. So I have decided my audition project would be a lunch bag!
Firstly I decided the overall shape, made the sewing pattern and then selected some nice patterned fabrics. I wanted to make a thermal lunch bag so I have used heat resistant insulating wadding. I also wanted it to be easy to clean in case some food leaking happened. Thus in order to transform my ordinary fabric into a wipeable surface I decided to try a thermo-adhesive vinyl based film. It was my first time trying this material but it worked very well, just giving the fabric a nice glossy finish. This fabric is now water resistant and extremely easy to clean. Just what is needed for kid’s lunch bag!
The final touch was this delicate female owl.
This was fun to create and I am happy with the final result. Hope you like it too!
Project #17 Kids Back-to-School Station
Ecstatic to be participating in this audition. I am so in awe of the blogger stars that I would be humbled to be picked! Without further ado…the inspiration behind my audition project was my mudroom…the room that is always cluttered with backpacks., papers , ipods, jackets, shoes, etc. I call it my mudroom mayhem! So this contest was the perfect motivation! A good friend of mine stayed over last weekend and on my way to drop her at the train lo and behold what was staring at me on the side of the road at a garage sale…An amazing aqua (which is my current color obsession) – old chippy paint door! Not just aqua, the absolute perfect shade, the couldn’t be more perfect shade of old antique aqua. $20 later the 100 lb piece of joy ended up in the back of my minivan! Now where to start??? I have wanted a backpack station in my mudroom but didn’t want just a couple of hooks and a chalk board. Being upcycle obsessed I wanted something unique- I even searched Pinterest for an old door backpack station and zippo! So whallaaa- the perfect project.
The must haves of the projects were backpack hooks, a chalkboard and some sort of Ipod docking station…I went to Menards and spent $8.50 on a 24 x 48 black chalkboard board and cut it to the perfect size. My next project was what to do with those Ipods… The kids are always asking where they are and they are rarely charged… so that was the next order of business – while browsing at Hobby Lobby I came across some really cute bird houses but kept browsing trying to keep the cost down. Then I found these super cute paper mailboxes. Perfect. I spent one night decopaging pretty paper on them and adding a painted mail flag and rhinestone. After everything was dry I cut a hole in the back of each for the ipod cords. And just another amazing attribute to my perfect old chippy paint door, it had a mail slot! Perfect to fish those cords through and plug in behind the door! Don’t you love it when everything just works out!! This chippy paint door was meant to come into my life! Ok, that may be a bit hokey!
After I finished the mailboxes I found a scrap piece of wood for the shelf where the mailboxes would sit. I stained the shelf with some stain we had lying around and then dry brushed on a mixture of Annie Sloan old white and duck egg. I wanted a very weathered old look, it came out perfect. I even hacked up the sides a bit to make it look old. Then I fixed that on with some shelf brackets I found at Meijer for $2.50 each and hung the backpacks on brackets from Hobby Lobby – they were about $2 each. Then I bought three clipboards at the dollar store- and hung those for chore boards. I used to have three of those cute single flower vase thingys and when one broke two just looked funny on the wall so I added 2 of those to the door just to give it a fun pop of color. Perfect! So the total cost of the project was $20 for the door, $7 for the mailboxes, $9 for the hardware, $6 for the sunflowers, $8.50 for the chalk board and $3 for the clipboards. Total cost = $53.50. Not bad for the whole job. The kids LOVE their new kid station and am so excited to not hear “WHERE’S MY IPOD”!!! I do believe this project was simple enough that most people could tackle it! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to submit this project. I won’t disappoint you if you move me on to the next round!! I love a challenge!!
Project #18 ABC Lined Paper Dress
I decided to take the back to school project literally. I made a dress for my daughter that looks like of a piece lined notebook paper. Introducing the ABC Lined Paper Dress!
Remember the big, wide lined paper with little dashes that kids in preschool and kindergarten first use when they are learning to write? I wanted it to look like that so I used my sewing machine to sew the lines, dashes, words, and red margin with my zig zag stitch on a pre-made blank white dress. I then made a little corsage of fabric roses from some scraps and sewed snaps to it so the flowers can snap off of the dress when I want to wash it.
It was a fun process and halfway through I wasn’t sure if my idea was working out, but I soldiered on and now I love it. I hope you readers like it too, and vote for my project so I can get out my crafty arsenal and be in the competition!
Project #19 Blingtastic Locker Chandelier
I have noticed over the last few years that there are more and more ways to individualize your lockers. I would have loved to have had some of the options out there, shag carpet, wallpaper, and so much more. I love, love, love chandeliers and have seen a couple versions but just didn’t like many of them. so when I found out that this project was school related it was time to bring on the glitter and glue and show what I was made of.
First things first I had to go to a couple different stores and look at everything, while I thought, hmmm can this work or maybe this will work. I was originally going to make it out of thick metal but then I came across a pack of forks and bingo, my idea was born. So I started with bending the prongs of the forks in different directions and then glued all 4 forks together, creating not only the frame but also the fun flourishes on the bottom. next i took hooks and glued them on the top and bottom of the base of forks, then ran out to the porch and sprayed the whole thing down with a bronze spray paint. Now I am just getting giddy. Next I found orange and brown beads and strung up 4 long strands to drape from the top of the flourishes.
To finish it all off I had to have a fancy ceiling base. So taking a lid from a italian crumbs container. I hot glued 6 more hooks onto the top of the lid and ran to the porch again to spray paint. I then poked a hole in the middle and using fishing wire strung the chandelier base through the ceiling base. So you are probably wondering how do you attach it to the ceiling of your locker. Easy. I glued 6 round magnets into the ceiling base and ta-dah It clicks right to the top of the locker. fun fun fun
Project #20 Back-to-School Recycling Boxes
First, I would like to say thank you for having me to this competition, I am very excited to be trying out and I hope you all love my craft as much as I enjoyed doing it! The theme for this audition was Back to School, and although I have a kids starting school, I couldn’t figure out what to do as my project. So during one of late night Google searches, I came across this idea and decided I needed to make it my own.
And that’s when the Monster Recycling Box was born. I remember a few of my teacher friends getting annoyed when their students would get up every 15 seconds to throw something away. Well this project eliminate that need. These little boxes would sit on each groups’ table and as the kids make trash, they can just put their trash in these boxes that will be emptied at the end of each day, which could also be turned into a responsibility by one of the students.
I made them out of used milk cartons that I had been saving. I cleaned them out and cut off the tops. Then I spray painted in a variety of colors both inside and out. The monster hair and limbs were from a file I bought from the Silhouette store and I cut them out with my Silhouette Cameo. I hot glued the limbs, eyes, pipe cleaners and yarn. I cut the clear plastic packaging from my new Silhouette spatula and used them to attach the “Feed Me” text bubbles so that you wouldn’t see a popsicle stick. I hope that my kid’s teacher enjoys these and I hope it helps with classroom craziness, except in a room full of kindergarteners I am not sure how much you can actually contain crazy.
With 20 projects, we’re not going to rank them all. I am just going to ask you to vote for your top 5 favorite projects today…Voting will be open until Thursday, August 8, at 5 p.m. MST. The top 10 finalists and crafters who will participate in Season 17 will be announced Friday, August 9.