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Magnet Tutorial

I hope that everyone has had a fabulous summer! I know that so many of us are in "back to school" mode, especially those of you starting school in a few weeks.  I wanted to share a tutorial for these super cute magnets that I made :) I saw the idea somewhere on Pinterest and tweaked it for myself to make it a little easier and cheaper.  Here is what you'll need:

~Flat glass stones (I got mine at the Dollar Tree but you can also find them on Amazon)
~Scrapbook paper of choice (I used a pack I had already purchased from Michaels that I keep for crafts)
~Black Sharpie
~Hot glue (any craft store, Wal-Mart, etc.)
~Round magnets (I found mine at Handcock fabric and used my teacher discount!)

Total price= $13.00 to make 100 magnets.  (I needed 3 sets of 30 and then had some left over) I purchased everything except the scrapbook paper and hot glue since I already had those.  

(The cookie sheets pictured are not necessary for this project.  They are just what I'm using to put my magnets on in my classroom!)

Step 1: Choose your scrapbook paper and lay it out on the table.  Using a sharpie, write student numbers on the scrapbook paper (no larger than the rocks). Make sure to spread the numbers out so that you can glue the rocks on top.  

*** Skip this step if you are not numbering your magnets.  I numbered mine with student numbers but if you are just using them for decoration, move on to Step 2.  

Step 2: Next, take your flat glass rocks and hot glue them on top of the numbers (or on top of the paper if you're not numbering your magnets) as shown in the picture below. I put a circle of glue around the number and placed the rock on top of it.  I learned quickly that I can't see where I put the glue through my rocks which is a huge plus!  Make sure to center your rock over the number so that it is even.  WARNING: The rock will magnify your writing slightly so make sure you don't write your numbers too big.

Step 3: When you're finished gluing down your rocks on top of your numbers, you should have a row of rocks as shown below.  Next, simply cut them out making sure to neatly trim the edges so that you can't see any access paper from the front.

Step 4: Lastly, turn all of your magnets upside down.  Using the hot glue gun, glue a magnet to the back of each rock.  I bought self adhesive magnets for that extra support.  I peeled off the back to the magnets and then hot glued them.  I'm hoping this will make them more durable.  

I totally should have gotten a manicure before doing this tutorial! 

Now, this is what the finished product should look like! (This finished product is another set that I made with different paper.  I can't seem to find the picture of the polka dot papered magnets, but same thing!!)

Some of you may be wondering what I plan to do with 100 magnets?? Well, I saw a super cute bulletin board on Pinterest where you use cookie sheets as magnet boards and students can move their magnets for groups, centers, etc... Since I do Daily 5 in my classroom, I plan to have a bulletin board for Daily 5 rounds (Read to Self, Read to a Buddy, Word Work, Work on Writing) to hold students accountable for their choices.  Following the Daily 5 model, students are supposed to check in before each round.  Magnets will be a super fast way to do this.  

Next, I plan to do have a Math bulletin board for Guided Math groups (which I don't completely have planned out yet since this will be my first year really implementing Guided Math). 

Lastly, I needed a third set of 30 magnets for students to check in each morning by doing lunch count.  A cookie sheet will be hanging on the back of my classroom door with different sections.  Each morning, students will use their magnet to their lunch choice and this is also how I will take attendance.  

When I begin to set up my classroom, I will be sure to add pics to the blog so that you can see the final product! I'll also be adding a lot of other cool organizational tips that I learned my first year of teaching! 

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Thanks for stopping by! 

Crate Seat Tutorial ~ Classroom Organization

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone is having a fabulous summer so far! As I was pouring through Pinterest last week, I decided to take on a summer classroom project! One struggle that I face is that my classroom is very small and I teach fourth grade.  Fourth graders are big bodies for such a small space.  With that being said, the amount of space that chairs take up and the clutter that they cause really bothers me.  I have seen these adorable Crate Seats all over the place so I decided to pursue making them for my Guided Reading Kidney Table! Not only will they be adorable for the kids to sit on, underneath the cushion provides more storage space for Guided Reading materials! I know SO many people who love this idea as much as I do, so I decided to make this blog post to show you how to make them for your classroom!  Below are step by step instructions with pictures showing how to make them:

  Materials needed ~ 

  • Crates (I purchased mine from Wal-Mart for $3.47 each)
  • Fabric (1 yard will make 4 crates.  I purchased mine from Jo-Ann Fabric with my 15% off Teacher Discount.  I bought 2 yards for $10.98)
  • Mattress Pad (I bought a Queen Size from Wal-Mart to allow for extra crafts in the future ~ 18.94)
  • Plywood (1/2" thickness.  I purchased my crates first and took them to Lowe's.  The wonderful staff there helped me measure and cut the wood to perfectly fit my crates.  Even though they cut the wood for you, it's still cheaper to purchase a whole piece which cost $18.45.)
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer
  • Ribbon
Total Cost of Materials (to make 8 crates) = $76.13
**Rembmer, this cost comes with a lot of extra wood and mattress pad for future crafts-- (I'm thinking maybe a crate BENCH??!!)

1.  Purchase all items from the store.  When purchasing your wood, make sure to have them cut it for you.  They will do it for FREE :)

(What a teacher's car ALWAYS looks like)

(Getting my wood cut at Lowe's)

(Perfect Fit!)

Shopping is FINISHED! I'm ready to start.

2.  Lay out your mattress pad to measure where to cut it.  I used a thick Sharpie to outline my pre-cut pieces of wood.  You want to make sure that the cushion is exactly as large as the piece of wood and no bigger.  If the mattress pad folds around the side of the wood, this could make the wood bigger, causing it to no longer fit your crate.  

3.  Cut the mattress pad.  
4.  Measure and cut the fabric (like I said, 1 yard should make about 4 crates.) When you measure the fabric, make sure that there is enough fabric to fold around the sides.  It should look like this when compared to your board and foam:

5.  Lay the fabric out upside down (pretty side that you want to show facing the ground) like this: 

6.  Next, lay the mattress pad and then the wood on top of the upside down fabric.  Here are the steps:


7.  Next, wrap the board and foam with the fabric like a present.  I found that using tape to secure it first was easiest and it made it easier for me to use the staple gun.  

8.  Next, use the staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the wood.  My staples had a really hard time going in at first.  I learned that I had to use A LOT of force and be strong when using the staple gun.  If your staples aren't going all the way in, try using a hammer to finish the job.  That worked pretty well for me! 

9.  When you are finished, flip it over and it will look like this.  YOU ARE ALMOST FINISHED!! :)

10.  Lastly, cut your ribbon and attach it to one of the sides.  Fold the ribbon in half and attach the loose ends to the underneath of the board with the staple gun.  The ribbon is used to easily lift the cushion to access the storage space underneath :) 

Here is what your finished product will look like when everything is completed:

I hope that EVERYONE enjoys this tutorial and that it is helpful for you! If you have any questions please contact me! Also, as always please make sure to "like" me on Facebook, follow this blog, and check out my TpT store for super fun products! Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend!