Tuesday, August 25, 2009

They Don't Look Cheap

School starts in the blink of an eye so I am busy getting my classroom ready. To celebrate our new traditional calendar (No more year round school!!!) I am putting a little extra love into setting up.

I love my public school and believe deeply in it's value, but sometimes when I read homeschool blogs or browse the Magic Cabin catalog, I long for more of the Montessouri/ Waldorf aesthetic. Surely there is room for better design in my classroom? Something that isn't laminated!

My math manipulatives have been in assorted Gladware containers and plastic boxes for the better part of 10 years. Two years ago I moved classrooms 4 times in one school year! It took a toll on all those plastic boxes and they are pretty shabby. Plus, they were all mismatched.

To remedy this situation I bought a big swath of heavy canvas. It was possibly 2lbs (I am guessing) at the $2/LB Loft at Michael Levines downtown. I also got some $0.99 sew in velcro from Joannes. I had a few ribbon scraps in my stash. Some of that was from gift wrap I had received so it was free. I also had freezer paper in my stash. I paid $ 8.95 for 30 sheets and only used maybe 3 sheets total so that works out to be about $1.

1. Sewed up simple bags and pouches with velcro closures.

2.Freezer Paper Stencils

I stenciled on some graphic symbols for easy identification. I was going for a modern clean Ohdeedoh type of look.

3. Here they are drying! Yeah!
Stenciled Storage Bags

4. I used 3M Command Hooks (the best) to hang the bags next to my math board.
Bags for All My Math <span class=

I am in love! They look cool, take up less space, and cost under $15!

For lots more under $15 inspiration head over to Maman Tatoo!


Maman Tattoo said...

Thanks for entering the party!

Those bag are a clever idea.
Classrooms can be so boring!

Nutsy Coco said...

Those are really cute and they turned out great!

Clean and Classic Interiors said...

Such a great organization tool and fun to look at too! I would have definitely used something like that in my classroom - heck I should use it at home too!

HollyLynne said...

Fantastic! Your new class will be lucky to have such a creative teacher. :)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

They look great - I love that they look calm and not too cluttered.

Leanne said...

I love the bags! So much better looking than the normal plastic containers. Keep adding style to your classroom, they look great.

Wendy said...

Those look really nice!

Ruth said...

I love them. What a great idea. They came out great.


Jane @ Decormamma said...

Love how your bringing clever and smart design to the classroom! Great idea!

Kristen Bieber said...

I love this idea, thanks!

Sandy said...

These are great!
You should share this post at

Jen said...

What a cute idea!! When I had my own classroom I had all my manipulative in clear plastic containers and then of course had them all labeled so the kids could find them easily. I LOVE these bags, though! If only I could sew!! Haha!!

Thanks for sharing this over at my teacher swap!! And thanks Sandy for sending her my way!! I am thinking about doing a teacher swap once a month now starting in October! I hope you stop by and join in the fun!!


Polly said...

I just noticed these in the "You might also be interested in" at the bottom of one of your most recent posts. They inspired me to make this shirt for my son. http://helpinglittlehands.blogspot.com/2011/02/car-love-shirt-distressed-freezer-paper.html

Thanks for the idea.