One of my favorite things to do when I have some downtime is crafts. I don't care what it is, nothing makes me happier than when I get to make something with my own hands. I love the process of making it, and I love seeing the results. During the school year, though, there isn't a lot of time to make things! I don't know about you, but I can barely find the time to get my school work done, much less extras. So I am extra thankful when I have free time in the summer to finish up some of those ideas that have popped into my head, the little pieces of furniture or picture frames or whatnot I have picked up throughout the year, or those ideas that I have pinned on Pinterest with the notion of actually completing them!
The second project I completed this summer so far (5 days into summer and I've completed 2 projects!) is something for my classroom. I know, I know, I shouldn't even be THINKING about my classroom 5 days into summer, but I live, breathe, and sleep, thinking about it. So I created something that I can use in my classroom once the summer is over and school starts again.
The best part? I made one for one of my lucky readers as well! (I guess you could say I have completed 3 projects so far this summer!) Why? Because I am participating in the Creative Teacher Giveaway! There are 15 awesome handmade items you can win from 14 of my teacher-blogger friends! We made one crafty-cute item for ourselves, and one for our awesome readers!
So what did I make, you ask?
I created a READ sign for my classroom library!
I have actually made a set of these before. A few years ago, I made a set of READ letters for my own classroom. However, I made the mistake of hanging them by the window, and cold + cinderblock walls does NOT bode well for hanging letters on the wall, no matter how you hot glue them on! So my poor letters fell off the wall and got torn up or broken. :-( I was really sad, so I decided to start fresh and make another set of letters for my classroom for next year!
Here is the set I created for my own classroom next year!
And here is a set I made for one lucky reader!
At the bottom of this post, I have a Rafflecopter so that you can enter to win the set I made for one of my lucky readers!
However, just in case you don't happen to win the giveaway, I thought I would share the super simple steps it takes to make your own mod podge letters for your own home or classroom!
1. Go to your local craft store and choose the letters you want to use. I usually buy my letters at Hobby Lobby, because they are usually on sale and they have a huge selection of letters! They have block letters, swirly letters, funky letters, regular letters, big letters, small letters, and pretty much everything in between.
Normally, when I create these, I stick with the same type of letter! However, my Hobby Lobby did not have any of the white letters in an R or the brown letters in a D, so I had to improvise and mix them! Luckily, they turned out cute!
While you are there, choose the material you will use to cover your letters. I usually choose 12x12 scrapbook paper. It comes in several colors and patterns, and it's easy to use. You can also use paint, ribbon, fabric, washi tape, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
If you choose paint or fabric, you will need a container of Mod Podge. I usually choose the regular matte Mod Podge because I'm not a fan of the shiny look. There are so many different types of Mod Podge out there, so choose what you love!
2. Take your letters, paper, Mod Podge, or whatever else you have home. Spread some newspaper out on your surface.
3. Cut out the letters. I usually leave a little bit extra around the letter just to account for mistakes.
Then you will have some letter-shaped pieces of paper!
4. Using a paintbrush or foam brush of some kind, spread the Mod Podge on the wooden letters. You can spread it on the paper, but I find it works better when you put the Mod Podge on the letters.
5. Lay the paper on the wooden letter, lining it up with the letter to make sure the paper covers your letter all the way. This is the best time to make any adjustments before you lay the paper down permanently!
Then, using your hands, or a flat object like a credit card or pan scraper, press down on the paper, adhering it to the wooden letter. Make sure the paper is laying completely flat and there are no creases or bubbles!
6. I usually go back and trim the edges of my paper a bit to make sure they are lined up with the edge and there are no huge pieces of paper hanging over the edge. I can't stand when that happens, because it looks messy!
7. Decorate to your heart's content! I love to use those cute little wooden cutouts, but you could use glitter, ribbon, washi tape, or anything else to add a little pizzaz to your letters!
There are a few other things you can do to your letters if you want, but I choose not to do these things. Once your paper is adhered to the wooden letter and dried, you could cover the entire thing with another layer of Mod Podge. I never had any issues with my letters getting dirty when they were hung up before, but you could take this precaution if you were worried about that.
You could also paint your letters on the edges if you wanted them to look fancier. Again, this is a step I choose not to do. You really don't notice the sides of the letters when they are hanging up anyway, so I don't bother. You can make that choice with your own letters, of course!
The best thing about these letters is that you can make them say whatever you like! Spell out words, or someone's name, or even their initials! You can customize them to whatever you need. Your only limit is your imagination! They make a great gift for children, expectant mothers, or even your teacher friends! You can customize them to fit the tastes of the recipient. You can create letters for different seasons for your own home! Here is one I made this past winter. The snowflakes were just placed in front of the letters, but I could have easily glued them on as well.
Do you want to win a set of READ letters for your own classroom? You can enter to win a set here:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Next up is my friend Emily at "The Reading Tutor/OG" blog! She has created an adorable little activity for your own littles or your students! Check it out on her blog!