Monday Made-It: Back to School

Summer flew by & I finally finished a few things on my "To Do" list! I'm happy to be linking up today with Tara, over at 4th Grade Frolics.
My classroom doors have a narrow window that often streams light into bad angles while students are working. To block the light, I used to cover them up with whatever construction paper I had on hand. The construction paper turns shabby & tacky, as the school year wears on, so I was happy to find directions for easy to sew curtains.  This fabulous mother sews the curtains as gifts for her children's teachers!! You can read the original post here. I am by no means a seamstress; my sewing these days involve hemming a pair of pants & sewing my daughter's Girl Scout badges onto her sash. I took the original directions and modified them a bit.
Step 1: Measure the window; mine are 6" x 30"
Step 2: Buy fabric you want to show on the inside, toward the classroom, and a darker fabric for the outside. Cut it 1-1/2"-2" larger on each side than the window; I cut mine 8" x 33". (And I tend to always be in a rush so I just laid out all the fabrics together, folded in half, and cut them out at once.)
Step 3: Pin the RIGHT sides of both fabrics together. Pin three loops of ribbon facing DOWN, BETWEEN the two fabrics.
Step 4: Sew all 4 edges together, leaving part of one side open, large enough to fit in your hand. (Helpful hint: use colored thread in your needle to match the top fabric, and a dark colored thread in the bobbin to match the dark fabric.)
Step 5: Clip the corners before turning, so they are not lumpy on the right side.
Step 6: Stick your hand inside the opening & turn the curtain inside out. I also used a chopstick to poke the corners, making them sharp.
Step 7: Iron the curtain flat.
Step 8: One at a time, place a magnet inside the curtain, along the edge. I spaced out three magnets on each side. Place three pins around the magnet, then sew around each magnet. Funny note to self: sometimes the magnet stuck to the metal of the sewing machine while I tried to sew! I had to gently push it through.
Step 9: Finish sewing the opening shut.
And voila! The finished curtain! I stuck a dowel through the loops then hung it on two Command hooks. You could probably also hang the loops onto Command hooks on their own. Pull the curtain down to cover the window, then use the magnets to poof the curtain to look like a roman shade. (My classroom door is metal so the magnets stick.)
Spray paint is my best friend. There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to turn ugly into cheerful and new. My next Made It was on my To-Do List for a looong time! I use these plastic hanging file folders boxes for writing forms, and other class forms (missing assignments, conflict resolution, reflections, etc). But they were old, dusty, dirty, and so faded that I'm not sure what their original colors were! I picked up bright spray paint  at Home  Depot (less than $4 per can) & they look like new, just a few minutes later! 
I'm really excited about my latest product, School Tools Logic Task Cards. These are great for developing logic, building number sense, and reviewing math vocabulary.  School tools tiles are used as manipulatives to help bridge abstract concepts to concrete understanding.
Have a great new school year!


  1. I am in love with all of the DIY projects you have going on! And that window cover is just adorable! I’ll have to pin these ideas for when I head back into the classroom. Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas - visiting from the Monday Made It linkup!

    Sliding Into Second Grade

    1. Awww... thanks, Kelly! The window cover works great but now every teacher in the school wants ME to sew one for them! LOL

  2. Love how you used magnets on the curtains! They're so cute!

    1. The magnets work great since our doors are metal; they brighten up the room :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I would love to make a window door covering! I don't have one on my actual door, but I have a long and narrow one right next to it!

    1. I've always seen window coverings & thought they looked cute, but they were the last on my priority list. These were so easy to make & didn't take much time :) They add a little homey touch, besides being practical for lockdowns.

    2. I don't own a sewing machine. Is there a way to make this without having to sew?

    3. @BeachTeach, I'm a big fan of my glue gun, so I'm thinking that might work! Or there is fabric glue to glue the fabric together. I would also not deal with making loops; you can just put another couple magnets at the top so the fabric panel sticks to the door above the window. I hope this helps!