Author Archives: jayhox

About jayhox

Mom of two kiddos...making my way through adventures in motherhood and life.

Auction Project

My daughter’s Kindergarten class was responsible for an auction project this year.  It’s the school’s big fundraiser, and in the past years when I’ve attended, the class projects are really nice.  So, being of unsound mind and having zero extra time, I clearly volunteered to do the project myself.  I love being creative, but I quickly felt the pressure of coming up with a unique project not involving the what I’ve seen every year at every school-related auction, you know…the fingerprint whatever.  Like this:

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The typical auction project

And so, I ventured to find the next unique project by doing what every good mom does…I headed to Pinterest to plagiarize some project someone with more time already had done.  I couldn’t find anything I really gravitated toward though, but I did find one project I really liked, but it was way too involved for Kindergartner’s to do (they have to do a majority of the project).  It was this:

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I loved this reclaimed project  – but it was too involved 

I love reclaimed wood, and I desperately wanted to figure out some project that I could do with a wood backing.  But what…  I also loved the idea of this project, but didn’t like the way it was executed:

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Love the idea, not the execution

So, my internal debate on what to do perpetuated.  But then it hit me, if I could have the kids create a door, I could mount it myself on a wood backing.  Wood doors, wood back.  Perfect. So, that’s what I did.  I bought 13 doors (for the number of kids in the class), and had each student paint their own door, however they wanted.  I purchased decorative pins, cut the pin part off for my door handles & viola.  It’s a Christian school, so I used the idea above of the Proverbs verse, but ended up going with one from John.  To top off the project, I got a photo of each student, and mounted behind the door, so that when the doors are opened with their handle, it reveals the artist of the door behind it.

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Kindergarten Doors mounted

And the bible verse I used (and plaque):

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I very intentionally “aged” the wood background.  No staining here, I used good ol’ steel wool + vinegar to gray it, then I hammered the heck out of the wood to make it look more reclaimed than new.  Done.

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Preschooler School Work

My favorite starter workbook for my Preschooler’s has been School Sparks.  You can purchase it from Amazon (free shipping with Amazon Prime), and it’s HUGE.  Yes, it’s expensive ($28), but it covers every area of learning in one workbook.  The sheets tear out (nice for copying).  It has the following sections in it:

  • Fine Motor Development
    • Tracing, cutting
  • Visual Discrimination
    • Learning colors, shapes, letters, same/different
  • Math & Number Awareness
    • Skip counting, sorting, classifying, patterning, etc.
  • Auditory Processing
    • As in following directions
  • Reading Skills
    • Including sight words

If the price tag of $28 for a workbook doesn’t sit well with you (but seriously, this thing is like War & Peace thick), they have a blog & you can print EVERY.SINGLE.WORKSHEET from their website!  I should point out here that you’d spend far more on paper & toner than if you purchased their book though.  They even create worksheets around the holidays that are specific to that holiday, which I personally love.  I was originally turned on to their site from my oldest daughter’s preschool class who used worksheets from the book.  I went & sought out the book they came from because I thought the worksheets were really well done.  For example, here’s their Valentine’s Day worksheet options (which incidentally is a great look into their format for worksheets):  Click the photo & it will direct you to School Sparks website (and these Valentine’s day worksheets):Valentine's Day Worksheets

What’s so great about Chalk Paint?

I’ll tell you…it’s easy.  So a while back I did my first project with Annie Sloan chalk paint.  It’s expensive paint ($38.95 for a quart), but for me, a busy mom, time is everything.  I don’t have to sand, prime, or anything!  Just slap that paint on & get immediate gratification!

So, my first project with chalk paint was a learning experience.  And when I decided the color of gray wasn’t what I’d hoped, I decided to do what anyone would do, paint it again!!  Yep, even with a good coat of wax on it, you can just put more chalk paint over it.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I’ve also found Amy Howard chalk paint & accoutrement she has.  My new love to go with chalk paint is Amy’s “Dust of Ages“.  I love this stuff & that’s what you’ll see on this latest project I redid.  I used a different color of Annie Sloan chalk paint and then used the dust of ages on it.  I now LOVE this storage bench.   I looked at it every time in my daughter’s room with an “eh, it doesn’t quite go” attitude.  The color was contrasting in her room that has gray colored furniture.  Gray’s are just hard to match…there are too many variations on the color.  Here’s how it looks now & then:

NOW:

THEN:

Annie Sloan me…

Instead of building something from scratch to paint, this time I went to Craigslist.  I found a really darling piece that was old.  It wasn’t necessarily as cheap as a lot of Craigslist finds, but its bones were so good, and it had so much character, I had to have it!  It wasn’t bad in its existing state, less a watermark on the top from someone’s coffee or something.  But I had plans for that sucker…Annie Sloan, baby!

I chose to go with Country Grey on the paint layer.  The piece has some beautiful metal inlay on the doors (which is what I loved about the piece in the first place).  I wanted to preserve those without paint, so I gaped them up.

I then chose to use the dark wax to finish it off:

And then for the inside…my favorite part due to the open doors, I went with a blue color:

And the final project:

Magic Sand knock off: for pennies

I’ve played with & been tempted to buy that Magic Sand stuff that’s like $15 for a box.  Knowing my kids, it would be spread across my floors in about 5 minutes…so I searched Pinterest for an easy recipe.  Luckily, much more creative moms than I have experimented & found easy recipes.  I used this one from TinkerLab.  She called it “cloud dough”, but whatever, it’s cheap & the kids love it.

I have to sing the praises of one of my absolute favorite kids craft, mom’s experimenting again with spray paint, items to contain the mess:
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Seriously, these things are AWESOME!  And I’m serious when I say they get thrown away by the pound at every hospital.  These are used to wrap sterilized trays for use in operating rooms.  So for one, they’re sterile (yeah for not bringing Mersa back to the kids), 2 they are water proof (or at the very least incredibly water resistant).  They’re designed to keep any germs out of sterilized trays as their transported from central sterile (which is the department you’d want to ask for them from) up to OR’s.  If you ask at the visitor’s desk for central sterile, they’ll look at you like you’ve got a horn growing out of your head, so try calling in advance to see if you can talk to someone in Central Sterile and tell them you want one of their used “blue wraps”…they’ll know what you’re talking about.  Typically, there are PILES of them.  And you don’t need a truck load.  I’ve been using the same one over & over again for spray painting, staining, etc. projects.

Okay, off that tangent.  Here’s the recipe:

Magic Sand Recipe

4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Yep, that’s it.  Obviously, you can double that.  I wouldn’t halve that recipe though, this is about the right amount for 1-2 kids.  Clean up was a flash (with my trusty free OR wraps).  Except for my kid that decided to decorate her hair with the flour/oil combo (ugh).  Off to the bath tub…

Magic Sand knock off

Magic Sand knock off

DIY Bench redo

In my last post I blogged about doing a bedroom makeover. Well, step 1 is complete…I still need to mention and convince my husband to let me paint & recover the headboard & all our furniture (aside form the bench I just did on my own). With many of my projects I live by the motto:

Better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission

Yes, I don’t typically ask dear husband, I just jump right in! I think when taking on a large & rather visual project as our bedroom furniture & headboard…I better ask if I want to actually sleep in the bed I paint…

So here’s the bench. I’m still deciding on nail heading it or not. I have them, just can’t decide if they’ll look right. What say you? Leave it as is, or add nail heads?

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