Sunday, February 3, 2019

DIY: Clipboard Gallery

Do you ever have one of those projects come to you because of a series of events? That's how my Clipboard Gallery idea came to be. 

But, before I get in to it, let's talk clipboards in the art room. Do you use them? We do ALL THE TIME! In fact, the original set I were purchased my first year teaching. Here's how I use clipboards in my art room: when we are guided drawing together on the floor and need a drawing surface; when tables are pretty messy with paint, glue or chalk and the kids need a "clean" surface for drawing; when my early finishers want to lounge out and draw in my early finisher areas, they grab a clipboard. Do y'all use them in your art rooms?

While I love clipboards, my system for organizing them was anything but desirable. I had a huge plastic bin that the kids just tossed them into with a loud clatter. It was ugly, took up floorspace and always overflowing with clipboards. Then an art teacher buddy suggested I check out a clipboard holder...and my life was changed forever. BEHOLD! My amazing clipboard holder!
 (Cue the angels singing) RIGHT?! Here's the link. The also come in half sizes which can be MOUNTED TO THE WALL! Say what?! But I needed a full set so I went with this one. It holds 24. Some of my classes are larger than that so I do have a small bin under this table that holds my spare ones.

Now I had a new problem. My old clipboards were 1. ugly and 2. all sorts of different sizes. So I ordered these in a variety of colors. Rainbow, of course. Have you met me?! 

With my new and sparkly set of clipboards, I was left wondering what to do with my old ones. I was halfway out the door to dump them in the teacher's lounge on the freebie table when I walked past this hot mess:
 What you see here is my Masterpiece Gallery. It's my little place in the "foyer" of my art room (I have a big ole room and yeah, I got a foyer) where I like to showcase the artwork the kids create at home. The problem? It's become more like a Mess-terpiece Gallery with pictures hanging crooked, falling down, overlapping. It's a disaster! AND my inbox is overflowing with more sweet drawings!
 Side note: with 30 minute classes, a lot of my class time was getting eaten away by kids giving me drawings and us chatting about them. While I do love doing that, I just don't have the time. So I got a mailbox this year an the kids put their drawings inside and put the little flag up. They loving doing that and letting me know that there is a surprise inside! BUT, as you can see, it's overflowing too!

As I was walking by this mess, I had an a-ha moment. I'd use my old junky clipboards to create another area, outside of my room (as I have no more wall space) to showcase artwork created at home. And the idea of the Clipboard Gallery was born. 

But first, I had to spray paint these guys white as they were a mess!
Despite the cold, we had some sunny days this week so it was perfect. Once dry, I spray painted them rainbow-y.
Look how well they match my room!
Hanging them was super easy because I always use these 3M Command Velcro strip things. Went up in a snap!
The giant clipboard was one I scored at the thrift store a while back for a couple bucks. They do sell them online...the cheapest I found was $30! So I got a steal. I did purchase more clipboards this weekend at the Dollar Tree so I can add more clipboards...I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular spot to share my students creations from home. How do you all display kids work from home? Love to know!

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7 comments:

  1. I had mine like this for years but the openings don’t fit all the work... I love the clipboard idea! I’ll be collecting some to spray paint!

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  2. Clipboard Gallery and mailbox ideas -GENIUS!!!

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  3. Hi Cassie! I have a question. I just purchased the pet food bowls and sponges for brush cleanup during painting. Here's a problem I came up against, as the water gets dirty, I usually allow students to take their water cups to the sink to dump out and refill. They are having a pretty hard time with that using these pet bowls (sloshing/spills), even if they fill them only half way. What do you do when the water needs to be refreshed during a class time? By the way, between finding you and Patty from Deep Space Sparkle, I have gained this refreshed joy and excitement for being an art teacher. Thank you so much for all you share, it is such a gift!

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  4. Using your idea you can turn a blank boring white wall into a rainbow of colorful clip boards. But what does the principal say? Ha!

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  5. What kind of spray paint did you use for the clipboards? Is it tough enough to have the kids use them afterwards? or should they really only be used as a display after painting?

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