Jul 28, 2014

Monday Made it and a Freebie!

Well let me tell you I have been gettin’ my craft onlol.  I have to admit I didn’t start all these projects this week, but I did finish them all. 

So, I am linking up with the fabulous Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!  Go check out what everyone has been making this past week, after you read my post first of course.  Be sure you stick around until the end for your freebie!

First up I made these super cute, and easy, sun catchers.  These are the brilliant idea of Cara over at Creative Playground.  She made hers on pizza pans, but I wanted mine a little smaller so I used 2 different size round cake pans. 

First gather your supplies, pony beads (the amount will depend on how big your pan is), ribbon and the pan you are going to use.  That’s itreally. I used about 1,200 beads to do 4 suncatchers.  Cara suggested 1,000 if you do the pizza pan size.

I am going to be brief in my directions, Cara’s are so fabulous and I figure why reinvent the wheel if I don’t need to.  Preheat your oven to 425.  Pour beads into your pans. No need to prep the pan the beads do not stick.   Be sure there are no large open areas.  I used 3 different beads for mine in colors to match my room.  Mine were not even all the same size, it won’t matter once they melt.  The only caution is you cannot use metallic beads as they will not melt correctly.

Put your pan(s) in the oven for 15-20 min.  There will be a small amount of odor.  Not burning, but a plasticy (not a word I know) smell.  Keep an eye on them and remove once they are all melted and look smooth.

When you remove them from the oven, QUICKLY use the end of a pencil to make a hole near one edge to put your ribbon through.  I am not kidding when I say quickly.  It is amazing how fast they start to harden.  Since I melted 2 pans at the same time I actually only took one out at a time and made the hole in it before I did the other. Well okI didn’t do that with the first batch and by the time I made the hole in the first the second was already too hard to make a nice hole.  So I had to put it back in for another 5 min to get it melty again. Lesson learned for round two. SO, learn from my mistakes if you are doing more than one at a time.  

Let them cool for 10 min. or so.  Turn your pan over and they fall right out. Add your ribbon and hang to enjoy.  I just love the way they turned out and think they add a nice touch to my plain windows. Just ignore the dirt on my windows our janitor hasn't gotten to that It was also a little overcast so the sun isn't as sparkly as usual.

My second project was 2 mini chart stands.  I made one for my guided reading table as well as one for my Para to use.  Again this is not my original idea.  Check out Stephanie at Falling into First for in-depth tutorial.  Here is a picture of Stephanie's.  

Here is the supply list you will need:

Lowe's Materials
 2 - 1 x 1/2 in. Side Outlet Elbow
2- 1/2 in Adapter (Slip x Thread)
2- 1/2 in Elbow (Slip)
1 - 1/2 inch PVC pipe {Cut into three 10" pieces}

I bought the 1/2 in. pipe in a 5 ft piece and cut it at home with the power saw, if you remember I love me some power toolslol.  You can also use a hand saw or I do know you can sweet talk the worker at Lowe’s to cut it for you, if you only need a few cuts. But, since I was doing several projects it was easier to just cut it at home.

I have double the supplies since I made 2 of these. Plus I was cutting the PVC for my second project, see made it #3 below, at the same time and those supplies are in the pile too.

You will also need:
Walmart or Target Materials
Duct Tape or Spray Paint (Optional)
Binder Rings

After your pieces are cut you can leave them as is, they do have some bar codes and printing on them, or you can cover them with duct tape, like Stephanie's above.  If you choose that route, leave 1 in. uncovered at each end so the pieces will slide together easily. 

I choose to spray paint mine.  I will admit, the painting does take more time.  You first need to lightly sand each piece with 400 grit sand paper so that the paint will stick. Then wash off all residue from the sanding and let dry.  Next paint your pieces.  If you lay them on wax paper to paint they will stick less than using newspaper or magazines. 
Also by doing several light coats, be sure to let it dry completely in between, you will get a more even color.   I used the cheap, .99 cents a can, flat black spray paint from Walmart.  Once you see my room reveal, you will understand the black.

Once all of the pieces are dry from paint or covered with duct tape, you just push them together.  You can glue them, but I didn’t.  If you choose to paint them they will require a little elbow grease to get them to fit together. Add your two binder rings your chart and there you have it!  Perfect for at your guided reading table or small group math.

My 3rd made it this week is a teacher Rekenrek. Once again I am a fantastic copier and this idea was from Kim Adsit at Kindergals.  Gather your materials:
Lowe’s Materials
2-22” x 1/2” PVC Pipe
2-6” x 1/2" PVC Pipe
2-2” x 1/2" PVC Pipe
2-1/2” PVC “T” Pieces
2-1/2” PVC P-Trap (HPY-507)

Other Materials (Dollar Store,Walmart or Target)
2-Pool noodles, 2 different colors
Spray Paint (Optional)

First cut all of your PVC pieces using a power saw, hand saw or bat your eyes at the little guy in the blue vest in Lowe’slol.

Again I chose to paint my pieces, you can just leave them white as well.  The duct tape doesn’t work well with this project because you want the pool noodles to slide easily on the PVC.

If you are going to paint, they will need to be prepped as I stated above in made it #2, then lay on the wax paper and do several coats of the paint.

While your pieces are drying you can measure and cut your pool noodles.  You will need 10-1” pieces of each color.  A sharp knife and cutting board work perfect for this. It cuts like butter and no mess.

 Finally, assemble according to the picture below and there you have it, your very own Rekenrek.  You might just see, I am not saying for sure, a made it in the future for a student rekenrek. Not with PVC, I am over the PVC for this summerlol.

For my final made it for the week, and something special for still reading this far in this epic novel, I have a cute back to school math FREEBIE for you. My kiddos just love to play scoot or count the room.  You can do either activity with this, and it can be easily differentiated for different levels too.

Hope that you and your kiddos enjoy it.  If you download it please leave me some love!

So what did you make this week?  I love reading your comments. 



  1. LOVE the bead sun catcher! I have never seen anything like that!

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

  2. I followed the same tutorial to make some cute mini anchor chart stands. Easy as pie!


  3. Your stands turned out great! I love your black.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

  4. I am going to make those sun catchers! What a fun idea. Thanks for sharing your goodies this week! I need a large chart stand so I may adapt the PVC sizes for that!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

  5. All I can say is WOW! The sun catchers are beautiful!!! I think I may need to try this! Your mini chart stands turned out so well. I have been wanting to do this but wasn't sure how they would turn out. I love that you spray painted the pvc! Do you have rekenreks for your kids too or did you just make a teacher one?

    Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

  6. I am in LOVE with the sun catchers!!!! I wish I had more than one window in my classroom because they would look so pretty hanging up!!! I'm going to have to keep this in mind for a project. Love all your Made Its this week my sweet friend!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. Hello friend! Thanks for the love on the bead sun catchers...Aren't they just the most beautiful things in the world? I just love, love, love mine in all my windows. And the fact that you can make them to match your classroom just rocks! Thanks for trying my craft; I loved seeing someone else do it and have success.
    Your Friend,