Monday, July 29, 2013

From Mirrored Closet Doors to Homeschool Chalkboard!

We're less than 2 weeks away from the beginning of kindergarten, and since I am homeschooling I've had to come up with some of my own ideas on how to cut costs and still maintain a functioning home + school environment. One dilemma has been a large writing surface (i.e. dry erase or chalk board). 
After a little digging I picked the sliding mirror closet doors in my daughter's room as the victim. Normally I would hate to cover them... she loves to use them when she plays, but unfortunately one of the doors has a large crack and jagged edge that I've been itching to hide somehow. And available wall space is an issue so this was a win win!

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Here is what you will need:
Glass cleaner
Microfiber cloth
(or something that will pick up all the lint!)
(I used a grey primer. If you don't prime you risk an uneven coat of paint resulting in more paint being used and possibly peeling prematurely.)

Chalkboard paint
(Valspar brand is what I used)
Foam roller
(Don't use one with fibers... I'll show you why later)
Painter's tape & drop cloth

Chalk & eraser
Tape your surface anywhere you do not want paint. Clean your mirror very well and use a microfiber cloth to help grab up any extra linty pieces. Use a foam roller and begin priming your surface. Completely and evenly coat it and let dry. I let mine dry overnight.
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**I used a reguar cheap roller for my primer coat. I wish I had not done that. It resulted in fibers being pulled from the roller and left on the mirror. I didn't really catch it until it was too late and far too bad to pick out individual pieces. Once I added a coat of chalkboard paint I took a very fine grit sand paper and sanded down the rough fibers as much as I could.**

Here you can see the fibers sticking out after a coat of chalkboard paint was applied.

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You can see in this image where all the fibers caught the chalk later during the "priming" process. It's not a perfectly flat surface but it still writes very well, just a few little bumps here and there.
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To fix the nasty chip in the mirror I took a quick and simple route of using painter's tape. I took a couple of small pieces and wrapped it around the chip then proceeded to paint over it. You can barely tell on the finished product.

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Apply 2 to 3 coats of chalkboard paint according to package instructions, prime the surface with chalk as shown above (I used sidewalk chalk for quick application), erase and you now have a great writing surface!!


The more I think about it the more excited I am to use the board for school. I can see the sliding doors coming in very handy for hiding subjects, revealing one letter, number or word at a time during different learning activities... yay!
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Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July Craft Stick Flag on a Rainy Day!

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In true fashion of being "essential personnel" I typically work on July 4th, but for the first time in a few years I had the night off! We had plans of going to the city festivities and making it one of our first big family outings but the weather had other plans. Everything was cancelled and moved to future dates so we spent our day inside playing video games, eating pizza, and my favorite part... making crafts!

First we had to get dolled up in our patriotic gear...

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Somebody didn't want any part of putting clothes on.

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Woo, fun time!

We made American flags with: 
Craft sticks (regular and short)
Hot glue for fast drying time
Finger paint (red & blue)
Glitter for the "stars" (we used gold)
Scissors to cut down the craft sticks (I used a pair of sturdy handled kitchen sheers)

It was a quick craft but Jaiden loved it! All I did was use 3 rows of vertical small sticks along the back to hold several rows of horizontal long sticks together. I cut down the blue/stars sticks so they would fit across with small sticks. Nothing too fancy and I apologize ahead of time for a lack of detailed photos. I'm not a good director to my photographer ;)

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We made sure to have an actual American flag present. We also gave her a brief age appropriate description of our flag, what it means, and what July 4th is about.

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You can use these flags to decorate indoor or outdoor! Ideally you may wish to do this before the holiday but we're always a little behind. I had hoped to make several but a 9 month old crabby pants doesn't understand craft time so we cut it short with 2 flags and a few other sticks decorated with colors.

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  I do hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed holiday!

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