Showing posts with label art room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art room. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

22 Fun Projects to Rainbow-ize Your Art Room!

If you have been joining our book club weekly LIVE chats where we have been reading The Wild Card then you can relate to what I'm about to say. If you've not been joining us here and here, YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! We are a fun group and do not exclude folks who've not read the book. In the chapter I was reading just last night (because y'all know I'm all about catching up on my reading the night before the book club chat!), the authors Hope and Wade King were talking about classrooms that had lost their magic. Rooms with faded posters just barely hanging on the walls, rooms with non-sensical stuff just everywhere, rooms that LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HOW MINE DID THIS TIME LAST YEAR. Seriously! They were describing my art room perfectly. I'd gotten into the habit of just adding more and more clutter to an already clutter-tastic space. When I went in last summer, I was seriously struck by just how junky my art room felt. It really bothered me. I noticed a poster coming down at the front of my room where I gave instruction and I took that as a sign to just TEAR IT ALL DOWN. And I did. I promised myself from that moment on that I was going to Decorate to Educate. And that's what I took a year to do.

My art room is still a work in progress. I still have Early Finisher areas to set up, job charts to figure out and create and just little fussy things that I know would make my art room happier. But the bulk of the work is done...and I'm thrilled with the result. 

I hear from a lot of y'all that you are feeling overwhelmed...especially with the new school year starting. I knew that would happen to me as well. So I made a promise to myself to think of my art room as a big ole elephant that I had to decorate one lil bit at a time. I couldn't do it overnight...and stressing that I should was not going to allow me to enjoy the experience and really decide what was needed. I wanted everything in my art room to serve a purpose: to educate and, of course, decorate. I promised myself to take my time. 

Today I thought I'd share with you my favorite fun projects to rainbow-ize (and energize!) your art room. When you click on the links attached, be sure and check out the timestamp on each of them. You'll see that this was not done overnight but over the course of the year! So...if you feel inspired, just know...you got this!

First, if you've not taken a tour of my art room yet, here you go:
More room tours to come! This will allow me to explain certain areas and aspects in greater detail. This here is an overview. Feel free to drop me any questions in the comments if you have them!
Paint Brush Color Wheel
One of the first things I made for my art room were these paint brushes from wooden oars I found at Michael's. You can check out a complete blog post with how-to video right here
I decided to use these to create a huge color wheel in my art room. The blobs of paint were created from cardboard. Everything was hung with 3M Velcro hangers that you can find just about everywhere. I always use the ones that hold 12 lbs. or more.
Here's a view from the area I call Command Central where I do all of my instruction. Another thing I decided to create last year were my ART room rules
Art Room Rules
I've been doing a lot of reading on growth mindsets and really wanted to put them into play with my art room rules. These were so much fun to paint...I think that is what I enjoyed the most about redoing my art room, having the chance to create so much!
Pencil Picket Fence
As y'all might know, I got super in to finding things at the craft store and making them into something else last fall. This small picket fence was no exception. Video tutorial included in the link!
Color Mixing Cans
When I spotted these small rectangular canvases as the craft store, I knew immediately that they would make the perfect shape for a spray can. I created a video tutorial to show you how to make your own right here
 Crayon Color Families
EVERYONE loves these crayons...especially the kiddos who get to create their own! These are a crowd favorite and are displayed prominently to help my students remember the color families. Tutorial here! 
 The crayon boxes are what I get the most questions about...they are made from cereal boxes! Even my kids created their own box when we displayed them at our school-wide art show
Each of the crayons is held in place with a little Velcro dot on the back. This makes the crayons look like they are about to jump right out of the box!
Pencil-tastic Paint Stick Cabinet
I needed just a little cabinet to keep at the front of my art room to hold the art tubs for the classes I would see that day. I popped by the thrift store and scooped up this rather boring black cabinet. With a bunch of pencil-painted paint sticks and hot glue, I made this guy! Video tutorial and details right here
Color Wheel Gong
I've had a Clean Up Gong in my art room for years now...and it used to make such an incredible sound. But it was not cute, says me! So I decided to create a color wheel out of it! It is actually my favorite teaching tool as it is so stinkin' big! It also...sadly...no longer makes a fantastical sound as the paint deadened the sound quite a big. You can see more of my gong here. 
Color Coded Trash Cans
Y'all, these were so fun and easy to make! All you need are some trashcans, some painters tape and some spray paint. Easy to follow tutorial right here. 
Crayon Bins
So there are crayon bins like this...but they are not cheap. Turns out making your very one is much cheaper! Now if I could only find that elusive ORANGE bin...seriously, I've looked everywhere! You can learn how to make your own version of these right here.
 Rainbow Ornaments
Did you know you can make an art room ornament outta ANYTHING? Turns out you can! And then use them to decorate your...
Rainbow Tree
Y'all, this rainbow tree from Treetopia was just about the best thing my art room has ever seen. It totally inspired me to go ALL RAINBOWS, ALL THE TIME and it is alway there when I need a smile or a slightly prickly hug. All the details on my rainbow tree and how to get your very own right here.
Rainbow Wreath
No rainbow art room would be complete without the addition of a wreath on the front door. This wreath is also from Treetopia...and decorated by me. The tubes are created from toilet paper tubes and the brushes were just recycled. More details including a video tutorial right here
Small World Mural
I did paint my share of murals in my art room this past year and this Small World themed one is one of my faves. My kids love how happy and colorful it is...and I love being able to refer to it for shapes! More details here
Rainbow Trippy Mural
Of course, the other mural I painted this year was this beast. I had so much fun creating this backdrop...and balancing it out with a "calm" curtain and a wild rainbow flooring. All the details here
 ROY G. BIV Paintbrushes
If my kiddos leave my art room and STILL don't know the order of the colors in the rainbow then, y'all, I just don't know what. This one was SO EASY! Just paint brushes, some letters and Duct tape. Video tutorial right here!
I mean...c'mon!
Tints and Shade Sign
This one falls into the category of NO WOODEN ITEMS AT THE CRAFT STORE ARE SAFE FROM CASSIE category. In case you didn't know there was one. 
Gradation Sign
As does this one! Oh my goodness...it's a good thing I'm outta wall space.
Color and Line Rainbow Wall
LOVE this resource for referring to line names! Another easy one to accomplish with just Duct tape.
 Alphabet Cabinets
I love having tons of cabinets...but I've always hated the way the look. I don't want to paint them tho...I mean this won't be my art room forever...and I'd hate to ruin the beautiful faux wood (ahem) that are my cabinets. So this seemed liked a fun way to fix that drab brown wood. 
I've since decluttered that hot mess at the top of my cabinets!
 Early Finishers Rainbow Stuff
Seriously, y'all, nothing was safe. I spray painted these pots AND flowers in rainbow colors. They are used both in still life drawings and when my kids finish early and want to draw from observation. 
Even my wooden models and dollar store dinos got a make-over! These are also in my early finisher drawing area.
 Happy Little Signs -n- Stuff
These random bits were created just to further decorate, educate and promote kindness with color. You can spot all of them with details here. 
 Who doesn't love a good chalkboard?!
 The things I find at the flea market! This mermaid had to get a makeover before coming to my art room. The canvas was a new one painted by me as a message to my students as they come and go.
More thrift and flea market finds! I even rainbow-ized my class tubs!
Rainbow Seat Sacks!
While Dollar Tree had some seat sacks...they didn't one one in each color of the rainbow. So I had to make my own. Here's how!

WHEW!! I just went back and counted 22 rainbow-ish things?! I hope you find some that inspire you!  
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Monday, July 23, 2018

2018-19 Art Room Tour!

Well, it's that time of year: Back to School Time! I know what you are thinking...already?! Yes. On my end of the universe, we head back August 1st and the kiddos return about a week after. For once in my life, I decided to get my room together EARLY so as not to be running around right before the kids walk in the door. I thought this might leave me some more time to lesson plan...or stay in my pjs until 1:35pm as I am currently doing. But, whatever! This place is GOOD.TO.GO. Here's just a lil time-lapse of all that you can accomplish when you drink two POTS of coffee:
Yeah, I was so motivated! I wanted to get as much done as possible in just two days and managed to knock out the bulk of it in one. I have been working this summer to declutter and clean closets...and while I have not completely finished those, it was nice to walk in to a tidy-ish space. That made setting up so much easier. The second day, I did finish organizing books, sorting supplies and clearing off my counter. If the kids walked in today, I'd be ready to teach! WHAT I'd teach 'em, I dunno...but we'd be ready. Here's a quick room tour:
I will most certainly give you a detailed tour of each space next week. So stay tuned, y'all! This week, I'll be posting on all of the DIY decor I've created since last year. My room was looking drastically different just one year ago. 
 For the curious, I have pulled up my room tours from years past! This should be interesting:
This is from 2016...right before the fire marshall came in and told me to take down all of my fun stuff. This video was created for my kindergarten thru second grade kids...so pardon me for talking to you like a little. 
And this one is from 2014. I've gone thru some changes, y'all!
 Having been in this space for 15 years, I was ready for an update. I was tired of just hanging up posters and silly stuff on my walls in an effort to just decorate the space. In the end, it just looked junky and cluttered. It was not a happy or calming place...not that it's calming now but I can say it makes me happy!
The magic of a couple of cans of paint and rainbows. Like I said, I'll be posting A LOT of info on how all of these were made this week...and next week, a more in-depth tour of each area. However, feel free to leave me questions below if you have any!
 It's getting to be a packed house, even without the kids! 
 Thank you so much, y'all, for letting me taking you on a tour. Best of wishes getting your art rooms to their happy places!
It can be an overwhelming task. Just take your time and enjoy that journey. Listen to what the kids respond to and go from there.
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Sunday, April 15, 2018

In the Art Room: An Art Class Playlist!

A while back, I shared with y'all a playlist for art teachers (read, not for the kiddos) which you can find here. I have been meaning to create an art class playlist forever...and I finally did it. Y'all, it is my new favorite addition to the art room! I've been working on this playlist for sometime and I'm finally ready to share. It's a growing list...and I love thinking of new songs to add. I did have a couple of rules for this playlist:
1. It had to be songs I liked. No cheesy baby-ish songs, sorry. I don't want to spend my days listening to stuff that makes my ears bleed. 
2. It had to be a variety of genres. Still working on that one but I did try to touch on different genres and eras.
3. It had to be classics. The kids need to hear Michael Jackson, Elvis and They Might Be Giants, right?! I'm schoolin' them. 

How do I play these tunes? I created an Art Class Rocks playlist on my iTunes account. Then I simply connect my phone to my UE Boom speaker (the sound this thing pumps out is BANANAS! And, of course mine has to be super cute). I love that I can keep my phone in my pocket to adjust the volume, skip or silence a song when needed. Now, let's get to that list!
In no particular order...
1. Journey's Don't Stop Believing. I want the songs on my list to inspire my students and what better mantra than Don't Stop Believing?
2. Smash Mouth's All Star. The lyrics are so awesome...I wish more songs like this were played on the radio today!
3. They Might Be Giant's High Five. Disco in the art room is how this song feels. I love it because when it comes on, we all take a high five break!
4. They Might Be Giant's Roy G. Biv. Gotta throw some educational songs into the mix.
5. Celebration by Kool and the Gang. I remember my mom playing this song on the record player loud and proud. It always makes me happy. I played it for first grade the other day and was told it was "old school". It really is!
6. We Are Family by Sister Sledge. I am always trying to emphasis that we are family in the art room...this song helps!
7. REM's Shiny Happy People. Seriously...why aren't songs like this on the radio right now? LOVE this video too.
8. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive by Jonny Mercer. This song is one of my all time favorites. And what a message. 
9. Sly and the Family Stone's Everyday People. You cannot go wrong with Sly. I used to play this record for the kids all the time. 
10. Thank You by Sly and the Family Stone is another favorite of mine. "Thank you for letting me be myself...again." So good!
11. Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club. Fun fact about this video, James Rizzi was the illustrator! This song has such a great beat, the kids and I love it.
12. Van Halen's Right Now. I just love classic rock and I think everyone should too. PLUS such great lyrics, again!
13. Love Train by the O'Jays. More old school for the kiddos.
14. In college, I went to see these guys and I swear the lead singer inspired me with her fun and funky style. Grove is in the Heart by Dee-Lite.
15. Europe's the Final Countdown is my favorite way to let the kids know we have five minutes until clean up. It cracks me up every time.
16. The ENTIRE soundtrack from The Big Chill is worthy of any art room. Here's what you'll hear: Marvin Gaye's Grapevine, The Temptation's My Girl, The Rascal's Good Lovin', Smokey Robinson's Track of my Tears...just to name a few. My favorite?
17. Three Dog Night's Joy to the World is my favorite from The Big Chill soundtrack. 
18. This one was my favorite as a kid...so why not play it now? Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have fun.
19. I love the lyrics in this song so much. Labrinth's Express Yourself.
20. The Beatles could be played all day long...I mean, really. Yellow Submarine is just one that made my playlist.
21. I love the B-52's. This song is one of my faves.
22. Say what you will about disco and ABBA but I love a song that you can dance to. So do the kiddos!
23. This song is a classroom staple as are most of the songs from Scratch Garden.
24. Having some more calm songs in the mix always helps. Variety is good.
25. I'm a HUGE fan of the Blues Brothers, being from Joliet and all. I have the whole album and this is just one of the songs I play from it.
26. Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart because it's a great song. 
27. Since you all know I love me some call and response, then you know I had to add some songs that require the kids to sing back too. This is Otis Day but the Isley Brothers sing it as well.
28. No playlist is complete without some of the Jacksons or just MJ himself. 
29. I live in Tennessee, y'all. It would be a crime not to play some Elvis!
30. Don't ask me how Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher became our unofficial clean up song but THE KIDS LOVE IT. 

What's on your art room playlist?! LOVE more suggestions. I'll share a Part 2 of this list in an upcoming blog post!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

DIY: Confetti Cowl

I feel like I've not chatted with y'all in FOREVER but...if you follow me on Instagram then you know I'm currently BURIED ALIVE under clay projects with no end in site. I'm so excited about the projects they are working on...our theme is Super Heroes and their artwork is so fun. I'll be sure to share them with you super soon. Until then...

No need to adjust your T.V., this is not a rerun. I literally just knitted the same cowl twice with a different color of yarn. Cuz why not? Let's face it, what the world needs now are more cowls. Confetti ones to be exact. 
Unlike my last knitted cowl, this one required two skeins of yarn. This yarn was thicker and less of it was in a skein. It didn't seem to take any longer than the last. Knitting is my favorite thing to do when we hit the road, travel or late at night when I just wanna watch more stories and relax. Now that we are FINALLY approaching spring, I guess I'll have to put my knitting of cowls aside but I have loved doing it. 
Putting them on and taking them off is always an adventure in face-makin'. 
My favorite place for late night knitting is the couch in my newly flipped bonus room/art studio. This happy pillow from Target reminded me of Small World and y'all know I love that! 
If you'd like to see more about my Small World mural, you can find it here
The best part about making a cowl is how easy it is! You literally just knit a short and wide scarf that you whipstitch together. It's a weekend project, really...if you either knit super fast or knit all weekend long. 
With our crazy Tennessee spring, I should have plenty of chances to wear the cowl...while it's 70 today, it's supposed to drop down to chilly temps by Sunday. This means I have the perfect thing to keep the chills away. Happy Friday, y'all! 

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