Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shrinky Dink Keychains

When I was in middle school, we went on a field trip to a science museum and at the museum, our class got to make Skrinky Dinks. I remember sanding the plastic to make it rough then writing Angel on it with a halo in color pencil. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and I recently got to share the same experience with my daughter. I had planned on making these keychains as Christmas gifts for everybody but saw that the Library had Skrinky Dinks as one of their arts and crafts days this summer and knew I had to take my daughter to it.

The Library supplied us with a page of the Shrinky Dink paper, coloring pencils, and several drawing pages for the kids to choose and trace onto the paper but since my daughter isn't even two yet and still can't grasp the concept of coloring in the lines (way to young),  I let her scribble all over the Shrinky Dink paper. Once she was done I cut the paper into four squares and rounded the edges. I then wrote "I love Mommy" and "I love Daddy" on them and put them in the oven. When they started shrinking my daughter pointed at them and started doing her excited dance, it was to cute. I think she did a pretty good job coloring and I love how they turned out. Shrinky Dinks are fun and very easy to make, plus they make great gifts for relatives and the kids love them!


  • Shrinky Dink Paper - this runs about $6 for 10 sheets
  • OR #6 clear plastic - this is the clear plastic lids on carry out containers
  • Coloring Pencils
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors 
  • Pan lined with foil or parchment paper
  • Oven
  • Key Ring 
  • OPTIONAL - Drawing Pages: you can print these out or use a coloring book. This helps children create their favorite characters and objects by tracing them.

How To:

1. Let your little one color the Shrinky Dink paper or #6 plastic however they choose. Make sure to use coloring pencils on the Shrinky Dink paper. If you are using #6 plastic try sanding one side to make it rougher before you draw on it. If not then you need to use sharpies.*

2. Once they are done drawing, you need to cut the objects out. Leave white space around the image and make sure there are no points because they will become sharp once they shrink. 
     -A piece of Shrinky Dink paper can make four of these keychains. 

3. Using a hole punch, make a couple holes close to each other to create a bigger hole. Do not just put one hole punch in it because it will be too small when it shrinks, also do not put it super close to the edge because it can cause it to break easier with a key ring in it.

4. Line a metal pan with foil or parchment paper then place it in the oven at 350˚ for about 2 minutes. The edges will roll up as it shrinks but it is ok as long as they don't stick to the other side. Once your images flattens back out you can remove it from the oven and let cool. 

5. Once your Shrinky Dink has cooled you can add your key ring. I used picture hanging wire to make a smaller ring so the key ring would attach easier but you don't have to do this. Clip it on your keys and enjoy!

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*If you are using #6 plastic it will most likely take less time to shrink so keep an eye on it. Also if you used sharpie on your #6 plastic you will most likely need to spray it with acrylic spray so the sharpie won't rub off. 
If you bought the Shrinky Dink paper packet from the store, follow the directions on it instead of mine, this is just what we did. If you don't want to make a keychain you can always just shrink it, or make them into jewelry or ornaments. Shrinky Dinks can be made into a lot of different things. I hope you enjoy making these as much as we did!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Re-Vamping Outside your Home

Since summer is coming to an end and my husband has officially gone back to work, I'm going to share with you some of the summer projects we did.  We bought our home last August and waited till summer came to Re-Vamp the outside. We still want to landscape and build a bench for our patio but those will have to wait.

We started re-vamping the outside of our house by removing the ugly bushes in the front. This was very difficult and we probably should of found someone with a truck to pull them out but we didn't think about it at the time. My husband first cut down all the bushes them we drilled holes and poured stump killer into the holes. After abut two weeks we dug up the remaining roots and filled the holes in with dirt.

Home makeover, painting shutters
Before & After of shutters and door

While waiting on the stumps to die we started painting the shutters and doors green. The front door was a beige color and the back was white and peeling. The shutters were grey with a greenish border so the colors didn't match and it looked very tacky. We found a shade of green we liked at Lowes and had them add a gloss to it. We bought a gallon of green paint for four shutter, two doors and the mailbox and still had at least a fourth if not more left. I recommend pressure washing everything (shutters, doors, deck, patio, mailbox) to remove the dirt before you begin painting and staining.

We painted our mailbox the same color we painted the doors and shutters and added cheap number stickers to it. We already had red spray paint so we spray painted the flag red so we didn't have to buy more paint.  Next we removed the weeds and the creek rocks, then we pulled up all the rocks using our hands and a shovel. After we removed all the rocks, we sprayed weed killer and put down landscaping fabric to help keep the weeds from coming back. We put most of the rocks back and added three small 12x12 stepping stones so we can now walk to the back of the mailbox without twisting our ankles. It looks so much better then it did when we bought the house. Sorry for the blurry before picture but that was the only one I could find because I forgot to take one myself.

re-vamping mailbox
Before & After of the Mailbox

The finished deck, patio, painted door and light fixture
We pressure washed then stained our back deck. We originally bought one gallon of stainer but that was only enough to cover all the side post so we had to buy another. We ended up using two gallons of Olympic Maximum Cedar Naturaltone stainer. It has a six year protection so we won't have to re-stain the deck for a while. The stainer was about $37 a gallon so it is expensive but it was much needed.  We used rollers and paint brushes to apply the stainer to the deck and I recommend fixing anything that needs fixing or sanding the rough points before you stain it. 

We also fixed the patio because it was placed only on dirt, uneven and weeds were growing up so whoever originally laid it didn't know what they where doing. My husband pulled up all the stones. He then dug up the dirt, making it deeper and as flat as he could and sprayed it with weed killer. We then layer landscaping fabric and covered it with sand. We weren't going to buy step 2 sand but ended up having to to fill it in more. We then laid the stones, replacing the broken stones with new stones. We also made the patio bigger then it was. We had to re-do part of it because the new stones are smaller than the older stones by a hair so it is a little off, but it still looks nice. We placed the broken stones under the deck to lay stuff on in the future and plan on building an "L" shape bench out of pallets to go by the steps, we just need to get some pallets first.

The patio with the bench and new fire pit

***UPDATE: We built a bench for the patio at the end of August using fence wood. Here is a link to the tutorial on how we built the bench: DIY L-Shape Patio Bench

re-vamping light fixtures
Before & After of the Light Fixtures
Lastly for our summer outside the house re-vamp, I decided to paint the light fixtures. We have four outside light fixtures and all of them were rusted and ugly so I gave them a makeover. My husband removed them and laid them out for me to paint. I used a small can of black paint from Lowes with a gloss finish, a sponge paint brush and a tiny regular paint brush for the smaller lines. The light fixtures look almost brand new and it only cost about $5 for the paint and we still have at least half of it left if not more. A lot cheaper than buying new light fixtures, just very time consuming. 

*NOTE: Be careful when washing out your brushes. The paint would not come off of the brushes and it ended up getting all over my hands trying to get it off. If this happens use goo-gone to remove the paint and clean your brushes.

We also spray painted the old patio furniture that came with the house and made a few decorations for the inside. We had a busy summer re-vamping the outside of our home. It cost a little more than we wanted to spend but out home looks a lot better then it did. The pictures don't do it justice. Plus we would rather do it right than have to keep re-doing it from doing it wrong the first time. Now we just need to landscape the front of the house where we removed the bushes (Summer 2016 project) then we will be done as far as I know!!! I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you have any questions about re-vamping the outside of your home commit below!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Monster Theme Classroom Ideas

* I found out that one of my Monster Classroom Ideas has been featured on We Are Teachers: 14 Fabulous Classroom Themes!

It's August and you know what that means, schools everywhere are starting back and in honor of that I'm going to share with you guys how I helped decorate my husbands classroom this year. This is his second year working as a 4th and 5th grade Special Education teacher. Last year he had "The Hungry Caterpillar" theme and ocean but he had to move rooms this year and is now sharing rooms so he decided to change his theme. We narrowed it down to Monsters and Nemo. Since he teaches math and writing he chose monsters because we could make them into shapes to relate to math.

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We made the back bulletin board a combination of math and writing. This was a long, thin bulletin board so its hard to decorate without making it too cluttered. I made seven shape monsters using the main shapes - circle, square, rectangle, and triangle. We elaminated all the decorations so they would last longer and be able to be used again in the future if he changes themes. The blank pieces of red construction paper (school colors) have a clothes pin hot glued above them as a way for the students to display their work. We finished the bulletin board with the saying, "MONSTER-iffic Good Work!"

Here are a few other sayings for a Monster theme bulletin bored:

  • MONSTER-iffic Good Work!
  • (Grade you teach) is MONSTER-ous fun!
  • We're not SCARED of being Leaders
  • We're not SCARED of (Grade you teach)
  • We've got an EYE for Learning
  • Marvelous Mon-STARS
  • Our MONSTER-peices - show off student work
  • MONSTER Math

Here is a close up of the shape monsters. To make these you need colorful construction paper, scissors, a glue stick and a creative mind.

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I also made a monster for the room clock. Sorry the picture isn't that good because the lighting was reflecting off the elimination weird but it looks pretty good in person (maybe I can get a better picture and post it one day when I visit). 

This was my second attempt at a clock monster. The first one was green and looked to much like an alien so I wasn't really feeling it then my daughter ripped the arm off so I guess it was a sign to make a new clock monster. This monster is a big purple blob with two horns, three eyes and three teeth. His hands wrap around so it looks like he is holding the clock.

My husband originally used the emotion chart with the faces on it for his calming corner so I decided to create one to match his classroom theme. I created a little red monster and gave him different mouths to resemble the different emotions. The students point at what emotion they are feeling when they are stressed to help the teacher have a better understanding of what the student needs at that time. 

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I also used the little red monster to create numbers for the computers, name tags, binder covers and 7 habits posters.  The 7 habits posters are bigger,  I just made them small so they would all be in one image.  I may eventually make him a few more monster posters but I have to see what he wants first, after all it is his classroom not mine! 



Below are a couple decorations from my son's Monster Birthday Party.  I made these cute Paper Wall Monsters to put up for the party and after the party I sent them to school with my husband incase he wanted to use them to decorate his classroom with. The red monster matches the red monsters used in his classroom.

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Below are the Monster Tissue Boxes I also made for my son's Monster Birthday Party. I used the Monster Tissue Boxes to hold utensils, napkins and as table decorations for my son's party. After the party I sent them to school for my husband to use in his classroom. He is currently using them to store flash cards in for the students but they can also be used to store pencils, markers or school supplies in; an activity or monster themed game, Valentine's Day card Box, Halloween Decorations and much more!

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