Saturday, June 28, 2014

First DIY Project of the Summer

If you're like me, the most exciting part of the last day of school wasn't that it was summer vacation, but that you could start focusing all of your brain power on the changes that you are going to make for next year! I know, some of you are sitting at your computers thinking "she is crazy!;" but I promise, I'm not!

The best part about being a first year teacher was fixing what was broken.  Well, now that school is out, I don't have to worry about making changes AND planning fun and engaging lessons for my kinders.  I can now focus all of my energy on improving my teaching practice!

So, where to start?  I started by making a list of all of the things I want to improve for next year.

Unfortunately, this is not my whole list!  It keeps growing even as I type this.  So I had to choose a place to start.  I chose to start by making my DIY copy, grade, file bins.  The need for these bins came from the endless piles of papers on my desk.  Yes, piles, plural.  I think my main problem was that I got rid of my teacher desk.  I just didn't have all of the room that I wanted for a kindergarten classroom with my teacher desk AND a guided reading table.  So, my guided reading table has a dual function.  In an effort to keep things off the table so that my kinders can actually participate in guided reading, my piles of papers moved their way to the windowsill/bookshelf behind my desk.  

I tried to solve this problem with file folders.  I had three: copy, laminate, and file.  However, papers were always falling out of them, and they were just bulging at the seams.  So I pinned the idea for the plastic drawers on Pinterest, but never got around to making them.  Now that it is on the top of my summer to-do list, here I go!

I got the plastic drawers for around $18 at Staples (there are all different sizes, but this one has a label that says it fits 8 1/2 x 11 paper).  I love the labels that are floating all over Pinterest, but I like to make things as easy as possible, so I dug through my scrapbooking supplies, and stumbled upon this chevron duct tape that I had.  I figured- it's pretty AND it sticks!  I also got out some scrapbooking paper that I wanted to cut the words out of.

My first step was to put the duct tape on the front, outside of the drawers.  You could go all the way around the sides if you'd like, but I just did the front.

Next, I tried to cut the words "grade," "copy," and "file," using my Cricut and the black scrapbook paper I mentioned earlier.  However, the scrapbook paper was not thick enough for the Cricut, and the cut wasn't as clean as I would have liked.  So, I took a little trip to WalMart to buy one of my favorite things… colored card stock!!!

Once I had the card stock, I used my Cricut to cut the words "grade," "copy," and "file."  I chose to use pink card stock so it would match the duct tape, but it didn't pop as much as I wanted.  So, I cut out some cute shapes with my Cricut on yellow paper, and used that as a backing for the words.  Here is the finished product…

What do you think??? I am so happy with how it came out!  I can already feel myself being more organized :)! How do you guys stay organized? Tell me in the comments below!


  1. Looks great! I also have a 6-drawer organizer that I have labeled Monday-Friday and the last drawer says next week. Then any center materials, read alouds , worksheets etc are inside the drawers. I am a little OCD so I actually have file pockets inside each drawer that are morning work, ELA, Math, Science, S.S. and homework. It helps me stay on top of things and then I am never scrambling to find what I need. When I leave on Friday the drawers are all stocked and ready for the next week so I can feel calm come Monday morning.

    Luv My Kinders

    1. That's so smart! I just purchased a M-F bin organizer from Lakeshore for the upcoming year. I should divide my things within those bins with folders like you did! Great idea!


  2. Hi! Found you on the TpT forums, your blog is so cute! :)


  3. I love your cute plastic drawers! I also have daily work drawers like Laura was talking about. I mod podged labels onto the front of each drawer to make them more colorful. And was that an Erin Condren teacher planner I spied? Love me some Erin Condren.

    1. Love mod podge! And yes, just a tad bit obsessed with Erin Condren!!!

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