Friday, June 5, 2009

Repurposing Stuff from School

My personal items from my classroom are now completely boxed up and sitting here at home. I had accumulated a lot of stuff in the eight years I taught there. I brought home over ten boxes of stuff. I realized there are several things I can reuse or repurpose, such as

  • index cards: use for my brother's birthday next month. I bought him different brands of bbq sauce (when it was on clearance), and to each bottle I am going to attach a recipe which uses bbq sauce. I think this will be a nice frugal gift because my brother and his girlfriend will be moving in together soon. Hopefully she'll cook and be able to use the bbq sauce.
  • four different fabrics (three of them very large pieces that covered eight feet tall bulletin boards, and one was window treatments). Perhaps I'll make this tension rod puppet theatre
  • dowel rod previously used to hang the window treatments- surely can be used for something
  • small stickers- can be used on a chart to reward Joel for doing chores, etc. when he gets older. Originally I used these small stickers to mark flute keys so the students could remember where their fingers are supposed to go. I thrifted these years ago; I think these originally were a dime per package of 440 stickers. I bought twenty packs. You do the math. I have enough stickers to reward an entire daycare center.
  • a small garage-sale four-drawer cabinet that I previously decoupaged with pieces of sheet music. I can sand the cabinet down to eliminate the sheet music, and then it will match the other cabinet that I kept at home and painted white. I can repaint the two matching cabinets and have my dad turn one into a kid stove and the other into a kid sink.
  • wallpaper that I used to line a bulletin board- can be used for some craft project down the road
  • Happy Birthday wrapping paper, laminated, used to line a birthday bulletin board. Since it's laminated, it can be taped together with clear tape and placed on the floor under Joel to keep the floor safe from pieces of falling smashed birthday cake. After his first birthday, it can be cut to fit the table and turned into a festive birthday tablecloth.
  • Lots and lots of children's books that will now be Joel's.
  • Wallpaper samples for crafting: first craft I'd like to do is cover large formula cans and turn them into pretty storage
  • Various holiday wall-hangings. When I was little, I loved hanging up Halloween and Easter decorations in the windows and doors of our house. I have lots of stuff that I used in my classroom on bulletin boards that we can now use at home instead.
  • an el cheapo $3 garage sale office chair. I found a tute that shows us how to recover a boring black office chair to add some pizzaz. Joel can use this chair when he's older.
  • A thrifted Little Tikes basketball hoop used to play "band basketball" with my students. Now it will bring endless hours of entertainment to my own offspring.
  • Broken up Crayons. I've been dying to make this project for the past week or two. There's now lots of people out there who have made these darling Crayon initial shadowboxes. I even thrifted a shadow box on Wed. for 90c just so I could make this project. It just needs a coat of paint and a back for the frame.
  • Probably lots more that I can't think of right now!

The gray and blue fabrics would make nice skirts. The brown fabric has already been cut up and is being used in the growth chart.


  1. Great Ideas! I LOVE! The shadow box! You could melt the broken crayons to candy molds for shape crayons. So much easier for little fingers.
    The BBQ sauce Idea is wonderful and a big boost to the grocery bill! You could save one of the dowels and make a hanging flannel board for Joel..Use as a wall decoration until hes older....wall paper as card stock or to use on cards? What a treasure trove!

  2. What a lot of really good ideas and how wonderful that you are going to repurpose all these things rather than throw them away! I love the broken crayon project, they look awesome. I look forward to seeing the shadow box you make.