Day 193 – Letter Painting Technique

Tonight’s project was started last night. I painted a board with some cream colored paint so that it was nice and dry by tonight. Then I stuck some letter stickers on it to imitate this plaque I saw on Pinterest. I painted over it with two coats of chalkboard paint, and then peeled the letters off. I was a little worried that something would go wrong in this step, but it seemed to work out perfectly. It is pretty cute and I think it will look nice hanging on a wall in my kitchen.
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On a side note: I made some chalkboard paint a few weeks ago, and saved it in a baby food jar. I went to use it tonight and I realized that it was not good anymore. It seems that some of the grout had hardened up within the paint. It was almost like there were little pebbles in it, so I had to make some more. I think it must be the kind of thing you need to make for immediate use.

Total Cost: $0

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Day 192 – White Chocolate Popcorn and a Painting Tip

I am aiming for this week to be a mostly free Pinterest week, and it has proven to be quite a challenge. I have a lot of ideas that I would love to do that cost money, but I am trying to be frugal. Tonight I stumbled upon this tasty looking popcorn recipe, and I thought I had all of the ingredients. It turns out I did not have M&Ms, but I went for it anyway.

I popped some plain popcorn (Check out this fun popcorn recipe that I found online a long time ago…NOT on Pinterest…don’t tell anyone.) (Also, I bet it is on Pinterest now, but I haven’t searched for it on there), added some melted white chocolate and stirred it up. Then I sprinkled on some salt and some milk chocolate chips instead of M&Ms. I spread it out and let it harden.

IT IS SO GOOD! I might be getting a stomach ache from eating too much of it. The Pin lady made it for gifts, but I think I would have a hard time giving this away. The salt adds the perfect little touch to it. I kind of like the pieces that have less white chocolate, so I recommend starting out with a small amount of white chocolate and adding more if you need to. I kind of wish that I did that, but I am pretty sure that there won’t be any popcorn wasted.
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While I was preparing the popcorn recipe, my wonderful husband was out in the shed searching for a piece of wood for me to use on a future project. I needed to paint it (using leftover paint samples), and I was just about to start, when I remembered seeing a pin where you put push pins on the under side of what you are painting so it will stay up off of the table while you are painting. That was the perfect tip for painting this piece, so I gave it a go. I highly recommend it (as long as you don’t mind having holes in the back of your piece).
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Total cost: $0 for both

Day 191 – Teapot as a Crochet Helper

Don’t you hate it when you are crocheting something lovely and your yarn keeps getting all tangly. You have to yank the yarn out every few minutes…it is quite exhausting! This little teapot idea is brilliant. I rolled some yarn into a ball and stuck it into the teapot, leaving the end out of the spout. The ball of yarn has enough room to move around, but doesn’t roll across the floor like would if it were not in captivity.

One slight problem is that I don’t think that my teapot will hold an entire skein (maybe yours will…). I have been working on a project for quite some time that involves small spurts of various colors, so it works well for that. I would think that it would take a while to ball up an entire skein of yarn, just to find that it won’t fit inside your teapot. I don’t know that I will necessarily do that, but I do like how this works.
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Total cost: $0

Day 190 – Pom Poms on Top of Dry Erase Markers

Kids will fight over anything. Here is a sampling of some of the arguments I have overheard:

1. The corner of your paper is on my desk.

2. He is looking at me too much.

3. It’s NOT cold outside!

4. A race for a certain chair at the group table, which may or may not result in shoving.

5. Shoving the quiet signal in the face of someone who is talking, which results in the shusher getting twisted fingers.

As you can see, kids will find just about anything to argue about. One thing that I am tired of arguing over is the dry erase board erasers I have at my group table. Over the course of my teaching career, I have always had one or two so-called “good” ones, and a bundle of completely passable but less pretty ones. It never fails that if the students are given any possible way to choose their own eraser, it is a fight to the good ones. I pretty much do not allow them to choose their erasers anymore because it is a fight nearly every time.

I am hoping that this method of gluing a pom pom on the cap of the marker will be a fun alternative. This way there is a built-in eraser…which will definitely pave the way for fighting over the pretty colored pom poms…
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Total cost: $0

Day 189 – Cleaning Faucets with a Lemon

This project sounded too good to be true. According to the pin, you just need to cut a lemon in half and rub it on the faucet to get the water spots off. My mom had just given me some extra lemons, so I figured I would give it a try.
The first thing I noticed was that a simple half-cut was not a small enough piece. There are a lot of ins and outs to get to, so I soon decided that I needed a smaller piece of lemon.
It pretty much wiped the spots away. It was definitely shinier than it was to begin, but not as clean as it is when I use Comet powder and a scouring pad. I decided to use a scouring pad over the lemon guts that were currently smeared all over, and I was pleased with how that worked.
I had a lot of lemon left over so I used it on the other faucets in my house. I definitely think it worked well, but I still like to scour it with the green scrubby pad. I just feel like that really gets it all off the best.
I suppose this is the kind of thing you need to give a try yourself to form your own opinion.
Before:

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After:

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Total cost: $0

Day 188 – Cornstarch to Clear Nail Polish for a Matte Finish

With this dry winter weather, my nails are in terrible shape. I hate to look at them, so why not cover them up with some nail polish.

I got this super-wacky blue color from a kid in my class for Valentine’s Day. I would never ordinarily pick out this color, but now that I have it, I kind of like it. I decided to try the idea of adding cornstarch to clear polish to cut down on the shininess of the regular color. Although I generally like how shiny nails can be with polish, I have been seeing a lot of matte finishes on Pinterest. Why not give a new finish a try while I am giving a wild color a try?

There were no directions, so I made it up. I poured a little clear polish onto an old notepad (I could have used a paper plate, but it was harder to get with wet nails than the notepad.) I also poured a pile of cornstarch on the note pad. Then I dipped the clear nail polish brush in the cornstarch and added some to the puddle of clear polish. I added cornstarch until it was a cloudy color, and gave it a try. I have to say, if you like the matte look, this worked quite well. I might have been able to add a bit more cornstarch for an even mattier effect.

One important note: Since I used the brush that came with the clear nail polish, there was not a great way to get the cornstarch off (ok…also I forgot that it was on there), and it kind of left a swirly white cloud in the clear bottle. I have a ton of clear nail polish, so that one will become my corn starch bottle.

For an extra added effect, since I thought bright blue matte was not eye catching enough, I decided to paint my ring fingers with some pink shimmery sparkles that I found deep in my nail polish basket. I forgot I had that. I think that it is a pretty cute touch if I do say so myself.

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(Don’t make fun of the messiness…it will come off my skin soon!)

Total cost: $0

Day 187 – Removing Pemranent Marker from Dry Erase Boards

It has happened to everyone. That dreaded permanent marker that gets mixed up with the dry erase markers and some unsuspecting writer uses it on your board. Of course YOU never do it to your own board. It is always someone else’s fault, but you are the one left to deal with it.

We have 3 teachers in my classroom, and each of us has an easel with a dry erase board. The kids love to play school, or hangman or other writing things on these boards, especially at the end of the day when they are waiting for their buses to be called. A lot of times they write messages like “(their name) is Awesome” and “We want candy.” Someone decided to write all 3 teachers’ names on one of them the other day, and I noticed that it was still up there a few days later. I went to erase it, and it wouldn’t come off. It really looked like dry erase marker, but it was not erasing one bit. Expo cleaner did not get it off either, so naturally, I turned to Pinterest.

I found this pin that suggested I color over the writing with a dry erase marker and then try erasing. It was as simple as that. Now the board is back to normal. Hooray!
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Total cost: $0

Day 186 – Foil as a Dryer Sheet

This was one of those times when I thought I might be getting duped by some crazy Pinteresters who make things up so idiots give them a try and then ruin their things. But being the Pinterester that I am, I couldn’t let this idea go untested. In the interest of being cautious, I decided to try using foil instead of a dryer sheet on a load of towels. That way if anything got ruined, I would not be heartbroken.

As I was reaching into the cabinet for the foil, I started to have second thoughts. This seemed pretty crazy. Dryers have the ability to spontaneously catch fire as it is, and now I am putting a piece of metal in there to flop around? It seemed like quite a spark hazard. I almost did not do it, but then I realized that 1. I would be home and able to monitor it as it is going. 2. It was recommended by Real Simple, who I trust to have tried and true helpful hints. So I wadded up a piece and tossed it in, praying for the best.

One hour later, I am glad to say that there were absolutely no problems here. My towels are perfectly unstatic-y (and with as wintery and dry as it is right now, everything you come in contact with electrocutes you.). I am also glad to say that it did not leave any weird marks on the towels, nor did it come apart in the dryer. It worked out just like I imagined it would. I do not know that I am ready to try it on my clothes, but I will definitely use that same ball of foil on my towels again.

Total cost: $0

Day 185 – Glitter Magnets

Way back at the beginning of the school year, I set up the filing cabinets in my classroom so they made a bulletin board. I thought that I had written a blog post about it, but as I searched, I came up with nothing (but it was quite interesting looking back at the early days…I was a lot more witty in those days.). Anyway, back to the point: I had a bunch of magnets on that board that were waiting to find a good use. I found uses for some of them, but today I realized that some of them must have decided to go for a walk and never return. I did not have enough magnets to hang all of my horseshoe crab facts and I had to borrow some.

That is why I decided to make some beautiful glitter magnets tonight so I can return the ones I borrowed this morning. I had a pack of tiny magnets left over from a failed magnet project I tried a long time ago, so I painted them with Mod Podge and sprinkled some glitter over them. It was a quick way to make boring little black magnets look instantly cute. Unfortunately, I only had Christmas glitter.

 

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They are not as cutesy as I would have liked. I think pink, purple and blue would have been better choices, but you have to work with what you have. I think they will serve their purpose quite nicely.

Total cost: $0

Day 184 – Horseshoe Crab Bulletin Board

Here is a little known fact about me: I really love horseshoe crabs. I am very fascinated by them. I took a class this summer and we learned a great deal about them. I used to steer clear of them whenever I saw one wash up on the beach. They were creepy looking and surely they were dangerous.

WRONG!

I think these little guys are the most misunderstood creatures on the planet. Seriously. They have been around since before the dinosaurs. Their blood is BLUE. Their blood is used to test for toxins in every batch of human medicine that is made. If the blood congeals, it is considered contaminated and the whole lot needs to be thrown out. I could seriously go on and on about this. Instead of droning on, I will get to the point.

I have acquired a horseshoe crab shell…the leftover shell from after a crab molted. I have it in my classroom, and I have been meaning to make a bulletin board out of it, and now I finally have. I have taken pictures so you can read my facts and learn even more about one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures…
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Total cost: $0