Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DIY: The 7 Habits of a Crazily Dressed Art Teacher

That's right, ya'll. It's my closet. While I do share it with the hubs (my apologies, dear), he owns just a small piece of real estate [not pictured, those aren't his leopard print pants, I swear]. Lemme tell you what you are lookin' at here from left to right: on the left shelf: summer sweaters, shoes, bags and more sweaters; on the top row of hangers: tights on hangers (so I can easily find ones to match my ensemble), skirts; on the lower level: pants and blouses; middle: (more) sweaters, pants (what?!), under-stuff (I don't have a dresser, so this is where I keep that kinda stuff); right: dresses. Lots of dresses. clear plastic tubs above: winter duds.
The hubs is currently reading that uber-famous Steven Covey book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And I totes wanna know those habits (because I secretly wanna rule the world and dress ya'll in Crayon shoes) but I also totes don't wanna read the book (even though I'm pretty sure one of those aforementioned habits would be "don't be an illiterate lazy a**"). So, every evening at dinner, I casually ask hubs about the book to trick him into thinking I'm making polite conversation when really I just want the Cliff's Notes. But I think the dude is onto me. Because, at the end of every ever-shrinking conversation, he says:

"You should really just read the book."

And, maybe I will. Although I'm more of a trashy/smutty summer novel kind of girl. If only Covey's book was titled something like "Fifty Shades of Highly Effective Bridget Joneses" we might be curled up on a beach towel together. For now, I'll just borrow heavily from his book for the title of this here DIY blog post:

The 7 Habits of a Crazily Dressed Art Teacher *
1. Do What Feels Right. 
Okay, let's be honest. I look ridiculous. Like some sort of Rainbow-Brite/PeeWee Herman love child. And that might not be the look you are going for. Because how many times have you woken up and thought, "You know what? Today, I'm gonna dress like a rainbow shot out of a unicorn's a**." So, you should always, always do what feels right for you. For me, in the beginning, tiptoeing into the pool of Crazy Art Teacher meant stepping up my accessorizin' game. 
2. The Devil is in the Artsy Details.
Have you ever noticed that little people notice the little things? Like the time you only put your eyeliner on one eye ("Mrs. Stephens, what's wrong with your eyes? One is fancy the other is sleepy!") or the day you opted out of wearing a Bumpit ("Where is the prettiful Mrs. Stephens? Your hair is so...sad.") Yeah, you pretty much have to sweat the small stuff with the smalls because...they notice everything. 

So, why not bank on that?
Start by accessorizing. I began with something small, cheap and easy (um, no comment): pins! Pins are great, ya'll, especially for those of us that wear a lanyard or an apron all day. In the beginning of my art teacherin' career, I got big time into making pins outta Sculptey which fed two needs: a creativity itch and that desire to be different. When I found that the kids responded to that little touch of pizazz (anyone else hate that word?), I decided to expand my accessory repertoire to necklaces (DIY directions for that necklace above, go here.)

Most of my necklaces are either thrifted, sale-racked or handmade. Details on that embroidered pin here
Scarves were another one of the first accessories I wore in the art room on those days when the heat just decided to up and die. I remember once when I took a scarf off during a lesson when a student said, "Oh, please keep it on! It's super cute!" And, well, you know I'm all about the Super Cute. Because I'm 12.
Why not put ever accessory together in one ensemble? Headband, check. Scarf, checkity-check. Tacky gold belt, done. Cup of tea, like a boss.
Another fave accessory: Head Gear. Well, wait, not THAT type of head gear, I already did years of that in my adolescence. Head decor, I mean. Anything to jazz up the 'do is a do in my book. Details on the sushi headband here. Pencil clip DIY here.
Because nothing says "Crazy Art Teacher" like this kinda Head Decor.
3. Make a Leggy Statement (Added Bonus: Never Shave Your Legs Again!). 
These days, you can find tights in just about every color of the rainbow (thank you, Target) and for cheap. I'm in the habit of only buying things that are on sale for a coupla reasons: 1. They's cheap like me. 2. You'll notice that only the "weird" (read artsy) stuff makes it to the sale rack. That's because the rest of the world, which is inhabited by Non-Crazily Dressed Art Teachers, steers clear of 'em. Perfect for the likes of us.
Amazon actually carries a huge selection of artsy tights. Don't believe me? Search "Starry Night Tights" and tell me I'm fibbin'. Sweater DIY, here.
While you're thinking of legs, don't forget your feets. I'm kinda prone to heels although I do keep a pair of ballet flats in my art room when the dogs grow tired. The majority of my shoes are thrifted (that might gross you out but my tolerance of disgusting is off-the-charts) and then DIY'ed. The crayon shoes, leopard print, glittery and blue splatter paint shoes are all of my footsy-masterpieces.
Follow this linky-loo for all the gory foot-feitishy deets, yo.
4. Put an Apron on It. 
Let's pretend for a sec that I'm Beyonce (not a stretch, right?) and Ima singing a version of "All the Single Ladies" which I like to call "All the Artsy Ladies". And it goes like this:

'Cause if you liked that dress, then you should have put an apron on it
If you liked that top, then you shoulda put an apron on it
Don't be mad once you see that kid got paint on it
'Cause if you liked that skirt, then you shoulda put an apron on it
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Seriously. Aprons are cute and fun to make. Like that dorky one above. Do yourself a favor, put an apron on it. 
5. Shop that Thrift Store like an Art Teacher/Hoardin' Boss. 
If you aren't thrifting your art teacher duds, you are seriously missing out. My fave thing to do is to go with a group of art teacher buddies. They'll talk you into buying the most craziest of things. I'd say that about 70% of my closet is thrifted and I'm cool with that. 
What do I look for at the thrift store? Anything odd, unique, colorful and pattern-tastic. I usually steer clear of fad fashions as I've found that I usually end up giving those right back to thrift store months later.
A peak at the pattern-y duds in my closet.
6. Create Your Own Clothing. 
Okay, that sounds totes overwhelming, right? So, kids, start small. Like I said, I began by making pins outta clay. When I first decided to tackle clothing, it involved me literally gluing stuff to a dress because I didn't know how to sew. Then my mom bought me a sewing machine, I read the manual and created some super ugly things. That I loved and wore with pride. Then I started felting after watching a coupla youtube videos. These days, I'm usually confident that when I come up with an idea, I can make it happen. I enjoy doing that. You might also...but your creative outlet might take you down a different path. Follow it. You might be surprised what crazily-dressed artsiness awaits. (Campbell's Soup Can Dress, here. Hokusai's The Great Wave Dress, here.)
7. Nay the Naysayers. 
Now, as you embark on your Crazily Dressed Art Adventure, be prepared to be met with some resistance. I know I've had my share. From that stranger who snapped my photo at Starbucks and posted it on Facebook to comments like, "Why are you wearing that?!" by a colleague, just brace yourself. Not everyone can handle the scandal. That's why they're not art teachers, ya'll. Or, at least, the ones with ballz. And you, my friend, I can tell have some Big Bad Artsy Balls. So embrace your crazy! And share it with your students. You won't regret it. Although your significant other might. (Totes Crazy Art Teacher Outfit DIY, here.)

Until next time, let your Crazily Dressed Art Teacher Freak Flag Fly!

* Disclaimer: This here blog post is for the Art Teacher Ladies out there. If there are any art teacherin' dudes that would like to share their Crazily Dressin' Tips, shoot me an email at cassieart75@gmail.com!


  1. I'm so glad you shared your closet with all of us - it's always a treat to see what get-ups you've got going on up there in TN. I, on the other hand, have found a possible reason for my reluctance in the silly department - the Ron Swanson factor (minus the moustache, on most days). http://www.loveteachblog.com/2014/04/7-habits-of-highly-effective-teachers.html
    Who knew all these posts about teacher clothes could be such good therapy for me?
    Keep it up, the world needs more fun.

    1. haha! Well, with the end near, I have been making that very same Ron Swanson face...and the words, "Really? Really." have been coming outta my mouth in an uber sarcastic fashion. The end is near! And I think we're all feelin it! Crazily dressed or not ;)

  2. I freakin' LOVE your blog. I think you might be my long lost sister....I the same way with accessories...like...it's outta control and I love it. Been trying to remember to tag my accessory posts on my IG @artinw__damuse #MissMatchyMatchy #sparklelife

    Love your blog!

    1. Yay, I've always wanted a sister! Thank you for your kind words. I'l have to check out your IG account! Thank you for dropping by and leaving a sweet comment, made my day!

  3. Sooooooooooooooo much inspiration and tons of joy.
    So glad to have found you.
    have a lovely day

    1. Aw, thank you! You have a super awesome day as well! Thanks for dropping by :)

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  5. The world would be a better place if we all had closets like that!

  6. LOVE your fashion! Dang you know how to put an outfit together! Work it girl!

  7. Wow! Looking at your colourful clothes put a happy smile on my face. Love the Great Wave dress. Keep on rockin' it!

    Linda xx

  8. You dress like a HEAP OF FUN! And this post was too. x

  9. Reading that was an excellent start to my Saturday morning. I just love how you write! Your version of "Single Ladies" is so perfect and hysterical!


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