DIY I-Spy Bottles

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Use these easy to make I-Spy bottles for any grade level and any skill/concept! This DIY project does not require dyed rice--even easier and faster to make! 

Items to Gather:

  • 3 oz. plastic travel bottles (.97 cents at Wal-Mart)
  • 10 # bag white rice at Wal-Mart
  • sequins
  • glitter (optional)
  • tiny craft pom-poms (optional)
  • Printable game mats (or make your own) - Click HERE


1.  Gather 15+ colored plastic bottles
2.  Fill each bottle with white rice. Since the bottles are colored, there is no need to dye the rice! Leave 1.5" or so open at the top of the bottle to leave room to shake and turn the bottle when looking for items. 

3.   Add sequins, glitter, or tiny craft pom-poms for aesthetics and to make the search more interesting.

4.  Insert tiny I-Spy items. In the link above, there is a printable for numbers/number word 1-10 I-Spy game. See below for suggested I-Spy items. Only Add 1 item per bottle if you are using the bottles as a matching game with a game mat. 

Other Tips/Suggestions:
* I-Spy items to search for: shapes, math facts, sight words 
* Vocabulary Words (put definitions on the game mat, words in the bottle)
* Letter match (use letter beads found in craft aisle)


DIY Modeled Science Notebook!

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Hello Classroom DIY Friends! Are you excited about gearing up for another year of Science fun? Do you use Science Notebooks in your class? If so, I have the perfect Back to School Classroom DIY project for you! Today we are going to make a DIY Modeled Science Notebook so you look like the smartest teacher around! A Modeled Science Notebook is great way to kick off your Science Notebooking, a great way to integrate writing into Science and teach expectations through modeled demonstrations! So, let's get started!

Items to Gather:

For One Notebook:
  • Large chart tablet paper from a local teacher supply store 
  • 1 Poster board
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Decorations

1.  Fold the poster board in half to make a big book. Remove 10 sheets of chart paper and fold lengthwise. Make sure to keep the handwriting lines on the chart paper going in the right direction. You will notice that the chart paper is longer than the poster board notebook. Just simply trim to size to create the pages of your notebook. Now staple the chart tablet paper together to make a seam.

2.  You will glue the paper seam inside the big notebook seam and allow it to dry.

3.  Once your notebook is dry you can use your decorations to decorate the cover of your notebook or you could have your class take care of this for you.

 4.  Now you have a Modeled Science Notebook ready to go for your first lesson!

Other Tips/Suggestions:
I make a notebook for each science focus. When I am finished with that topic I put the notebook in the class library for the children to read. The notebook can be added to throughout the year by following the sale steps as above and adding 10 more chart tablet sheets at a time. All you do is glue the new section behind the first.

I hope you have as much fun as I did creating your Modeled Notebook,

DIY Personalized Tote Bag

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Cute tote bags are all the rage.  You probably wouldn't even think of going to a conference or professional development without a bag, and it certainly must be cute.  Those cute bags can cost a fortune.  Here's an idea on personalizing and jazzing up a bag so you're ready to go.  

Items to Gather:

  • A canvas tote bag (or any other fabric item you want to personalize).  I found mine at my local craft store.  Or you can have it show up right to your door.  Here's some options from Amazon: 
  • Fabric transfer paper.  Be sure to get one that is right for your printer (inkjet or laser) and for your fabric color.  There is paper for light fabrics and one for dark fabrics.  

  • A computer and printer along with clip art you want to use.  (The art I used is from  
  • An iron and a flat surface you want to iron on.  The directions recommend not using an ironing board.  I did use one and mine turned out fine.  
  • Instructions:

    1.  Create the design you want in any program.  I used word.  Be aware that your image will end up backwards from what you print.  If you're doing just an image, this won't matter too much.  If you're doing words, there will be a few more steps.  

    2. To reverse your image, there are a few options.  First, check your printer options and see if it will print a mirror image.  I saved the file as a PDF and then opened that as an image in Photoshop and reversed the image.  If you don't have Photoshop, you can design your layout in the free paint program or other online free program and save your creation as a picture file (usually png) then insert into word and in picture options, choose to flip horizontal. 

    3.  Once you have your layout as you want it and any words are in a mirror image layout, you can print onto the transfer paper.  Follow the directions of your paper package carefully.  

    4.  Cut out your image and iron onto your fabric according to the directions of the transfer paper package.  Remove the paper backing and enjoy your new personalized item.  

    5.  Wash the item as needed according to directions.  Usually in cold water and inside out.  You will likely need to let it air dry or fluff it in the dryer as the heat of the dryer will damage the image. 

    Other Tips/Suggestions:

    I have personalized fabric items with acrylic paint as well.  Thinly paint it onto the fabric and let it dry.  Go over the painted image with an iron on the back side of the fabric or put in the dryer on a high setting to help set the paint.    

    I have an apron I personalized and wear often in the classroom to protect my nice clothes while in the classroom.  

    We'd love to see your personalized bags and fabric items!


DIY Decorated Magazine Boxes

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Magazine boxes are great for storing those teacher's editions, now make them match your classroom decor as well as label and organize them!


Items to Gather: 

    • magazine holder (with hole on "back portion")
    • scissors
    • tiny clothespins (found at Hobby Lobby as well as Wal-Mart)
    • Avery marking tags (found at Wal-Mart)
    • ribbon (your choice of color)
    • label maker (or self adhesive letters)


    1. Take the thread out of the tags
    2. Using your label maker or letters and "make your tag" by adhering them to the tags. 
    3. Simply thread your ribbon through the bottom hole on your magazine box, then around the top.
    4. Tie a knot, keep the ribbon a little loose so you can move the knot where you would like it to be. Trim the ribbon edges.
    5. Using the tiny clothespins, clip the tag to the knot.

    *The idea for this project came from Pinterest

    Other Tips/Suggestions:

    1. You can use many different types of labels for this idea, including hanging them from the knot!

    Best of Luck!

    DIY Notepads

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    Do you have scrap paper lying around?  Upcycle your scrap paper/copies into DIY notepads.


    Items to Gather:

    • Scrap paper
    • Cardstock paper or chipboard
    • Binder clips
    • Notepad Padding Compound
    • Paper cutter or scissors


    Step 1: Collect an abundance of scrap paper.

    Step 2: Cut paper into desired size.

    Step 3:Cut cardstock or chipboard to match the size of paper. 

    Step 4:  Stack paper, place the cardstock or chipboard on the back, and clip together to keep paper tightly in place.

    Step 5:  Apply a generous amount of notepad padding compound.  Allow to dry and apply second coat.

    Step 6:  Remove clips and use your upcycled notepad.

    Other Tips/Suggestions:

    Create your own personalized stationary, print, and make into a notepad.

    Have fun expressing your creativity!

    DIY 3D Table Signs

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    Do you hang signs over your tables to indicate your table group names? (Red group, green group, etc.) These three-dimensional mobiles are great for table group signs or general classroom decor.

    Items to Gather:

      • 4-5 sheets of patterned paper for each mobile
      • Any symmetrical pattern to trace. As you see here, I've used a star shape, an oval, and a hot air balloon.(FYI: I got the star from my Microsoft Word clipart, and I drew the oval and the hot air balloon freehand on a folded sheet of paper, so they would be symmetrical.)
      • Scissors
      • Glue Stick
      • Hole punch
      • Fishing line or twine to hang


      Step 1: Create a template using a symmetrical clip art design or a design of your own. I used a sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 printer paper and stretched my clipart so it would fill up the whole sheet.

      Step 2: Cut your template.

      Step 3: Fold your patterned papers symmetrically, and one by one, lay the pattern, (also folded), over the top and trace. Cut the same shape 4 or 5 times. (It looks good with four, but five makes the mobile a bit fuller.)

      Step 4: Apply glue to the back of the first shape.

      Step 5: Attach half of the second shape, leaving the other half open to attach the next shape. See pictures, because this is kind of hard to explain. :)

      Step 6: Continue gluing and attaching until all shapes are attached.

      Step7: Trim edges if necessary. (As you can see, I forgot to trim the oval shape above before taking the picture.  Sorry!)

      Step 8: Hole-punch on the top and hang with fishing line or twine. 

      Other Tips/Suggestions:

      Different weights of twine or string seem to make the mobile spin faster or slower. I like the look and weight of decorative baker's twine, but I think pretty much anything would work.
      Lots of different shapes would work for this project. Pick shapes and papers that go with your classroom theme or go with a basic ball shape to make it simple. Either way, they make a really whimsical (and functional) addition to your classroom decor.
      These also make cute decorations for a child's room or playroom. I made these hot air balloons to hang at home: (Inspired by the mobiles in this post.)


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