Sunday, July 15, 2012

#Made4Math Mondays Week 3

My projects for the first two weeks of #Made4Math Mondays have focused on sewing. This week I decided the sewing machine had seen enough sun for a while and headed instead toward a new experience - Mod Podge.  Beware!  It is as addictive as they say it is.  

Project #1:  A scrapbook covered Pringles can and a scrapbook covered Velveeta box.  In each case, I cut the paper to fit the box and applied a thin layer of Mod Podge (MP), smoothed on a layer of paper, and covered the product with 2-3 thin layers of MP (allowing plenty of time to dry in between coats).   In the image below you can also see a couple of scrapbook flowers that I made.  These have magnets attached to the back.  Cost $0.

Project #2:  This was inspired by a to-do list picture frame that I found on Pinterest.  I started with a plain brown $2 frame from Walmart.  I covered the thin flat portion of the frame with a thin layer of MP, laid on a layer of scrapbook paper and let it dry.  I then took a piece of fine grit sandpaper to the edge.  This eliminates a definite edge to the scrapbook paper and helps ensure it won't peel off in the future.  I also slightly distressed the brown on the rest of the frame.   I then used a cotton ball and some ink to apply some more color to the paper.  The whole project was then coated with MP a couple of times.  Buttons and ribbon were added later for more decoration.  This project cost $6 for the buttons and frame.  
Project #3:  I used MP to adhere some flowery scrapbook paper inside a small canning jar. This will hold paperclips on my desk next to the No Homework slips that I intend to use this year.  (More to come on those at a later time.)  I used the same paper to make a sign for basket, too.  Overall this project cost me $4 for the basket.
Project #4:  I have seen this quote several times in different forms, ranging from a simple paper quote framed like below to its painted image on the wall of a classroom.  In either case, I think that the sentiment it expresses is especially useful in a math classroom.  Cost $2 for the frame.

Overall, these 4 projects seem to cover all the things I need for my desk.  The only thing I am considering is making a small area on the side of my file cabinet for a magnetic area to place papers that don't need to take up space on my desk.  I'm also interested in making a No Name paper sign similar to this but that depends on a) where I would put it in  my classroom and b) if I have time to make it before #TMC12.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

#Made4Math Mondays week 1

#Made4Math Mondays!!! One area of my classroom that drives me nuts is where I store work that is graded and waiting to be returned. I am the first to admit that this job is frequently forgotten and the folders get a little too full. I have used one of these for years, but am always irritated that the front couple of folders begin to fold forward, making it difficult to figure out which folder to put things in.

In my many pinterest searches, I came across the picture below.  Initially the bright colors and patterns caught my eye, but the hanging file organizer is what kept my attention.  That was the way I should store my to-be-returned papers!  Upon looking for them on the internet I discovered that they aren't terribly expensive but that you generally purchase them at Staples, Office Depot or the like.  Given my propensity for craftiness and the utter lack of desire to drive 45 minutes to one of those stores, I decided I would make one of my own.

I searched for a pattern on the internet, for a short period of time, and found that they all had to be purchased.  Not gonna do that either.  So I started from scratch and here is what I ended up with.
Materials Needed:
6 rectangular pieces of coordinating fabric 14"x 14.5" folded in half to create a rectangle 14"x7.25".  
6 pieces of iron on fuseable interfacing (as heavy duty as you can get) 14"x7"
2 pieces of background fabric (shown above as a cream color) 14"x31"
2 pieces of coordinating fabric to make hanging straps 2"x10"
1 piece of sturdy cardboard 30"x13.5"
You will also need a sewing maching, coordinating thread, iron and ironing board, scissors, and pins

Steps: (I had pictures of all of these steps but by the time I got to the computer the camera had eaten some of them. Not sure what happened.)
1. Open up each piece of folded rectangular fabric so you can see the wrong side of the material.  Lay one piece of fusible interfacing (bumpy side down) on one half of the rectangle and use the iron to affix it to the fabric.  Refold the fabric and repress to get a crisp folded edge.  Do this step with all 6 pieces of fabric.  I'll refer to these as piece AA throughout the rest of the explanation.

2.  Lay out one piece of the background fabric right side up.  Determine which short edge will be the top.  Lay the folded edge of one AA piece of fabric 4 inches down from the top edge of the background fabric.  Pin along the folded edge and the bottom raw edge of the coordinating fabric.  Use the sewing machine to sew a line 1/4" from the raw edge.  Then remove the pins along the bottom edge.  (I kept the top row of pins in place to hold it in place.

3.  Lay the fabric right side up on the work surface.  Lay the folded edge of a second AA piece 4 inches down from the folded edge of the previously affixed piece.  Pin in place as before and sew along the bottom edge.  Repeat this step until all AA pieces have been attached.  Note:  The bottom edge of the 6th piece should lay along the bottom edge of the background fabric.  

4.  Once all 6 AA pieces have been sewn along their bottom edge, lay the second piece of background fabric on top FACE DOWN.  
Pin along the long edges and the bottom.  Sew along these 3 edges, leaving the top edges open, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

5.  Clip the corners diagonally.  This will help eliminate some of the bulkiness of the fabric when the material is turned right side out.
Turn the piece right side out, making sure to define the two bottom corners and being aware of the pins that we left in before.  Press the project flat.

6.  Slide the piece of cardboard inside the project.  This will provide sturdiness when the organizer is hanging to help eliminate sagging of the fabric.

7.  Fold each of the 2"x10" pieces in half hotdog style to create two long rectangles each 1" wide.  Finger press along the folded edge.  Sew along the long raw edges using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Then turn the pieces right side out and press flat using an iron.

8.  Fold each piece in half to create a loop with raw edges together.  With the organizer laying face up, pin a loop to the TOP LAYER of fabric at the top edge 4" away from the sides of the organizer.  Pin and sew to secure them.  Make sure that the loops are laying on top of the project and that they are sewn only to the top layer.  Backstitching may be useful to help make sure they are secure.

9.  Back to the ironing board.  Lay the project face up.  Fold the top edge of the bottom layer of background fabric down until the raw edge of the fabric meets the top of the cardboard.  Press in a crisp folded edge.  Turn the project over and repeat using the front piece of background fabric.  The picture below shows this better.

10.  Pin the folded edges together as shown below.  Sew across this edge, being especially conscientious of securing the area where the straps are attached.  

Now you're done! I know it seems wordy but in reality in only took me a couple of hours once I had the pieces cut.  Since I already had the fabric on hand (used scraps) the only thing I had to pay for was the interfacing which runs about $2.25 per yard.  And since there isn't much weight in the fabric or the cardboard, it's fairly lightweight.


Next week,  I tackle my binder.  (Tackle being the operative word.)