School Stuff– and my expert skill of procrastination

I know that today marks the middle of July– which, for teachers, basically means the summer is over. I have been procrastinating beautifully on all things school related. Instead of schooling it up, here is how I spend my days:

1. I head to the public library, check out 4 books at a time,
and try to finish them all before they are due.

2. Ok, I lied. I have been doing some things for my classroom. Last year I kept noticing how all the teachers had these awesome plastic tubs (bins?) that they used for organizing their daily materials. For example, in the Monday tub you put all your items for Monday’s lessons. It seemed like a great way to stay organized and help plan ahead. So I went online to find me some tubs… Here are the ones sold by Lakeshore:

They look so great, don’t they? The folders come color-coded and everything! I was going to get myself a set– until I saw the price. $49.99??? That can’t be right (oh, and this week they are on sale for only $39.99– click here to pick some up)… Needless to say I was very sad because I am still a somewhat new teacher– and my salary cannot pay for my student loans AND new color coded tubs.

That’s when I went on Pinterest– I think this site is so great for teachers. And I saw these:

So I went to her TPT store and downloaded these pretty little labels for FREE. And then I knew what I was going to do. I was going to make myself some weekly organizer bins. For a lot cheaper than $50!

I headed over the Walmart and bought 5 ice cube bins for probably close to $2 a bin. So now I had spent $10. I already owned a ton of colored scrapbook paper and Mod Podge– so I didn’t need to purchase any of that. I did pick up some adhesive from the craft area (all for under $10):

So– here are my finished weekly bins– and I love them so much more because I put the time and effort into them. I personalized them and I know nobody else will ever have these same exact bins.

All I did was print off the FREE labels (mentioned above), and then used Mod Podge to stick on scrapbook paper. It was really easy and fast!

To make the folders I tried a variety of methods. Of course, you need file folders and scrapbook paper. Here is some good news– if you have OLD file folders this project will still work for them because you’re just covering up the folder.

I tried at least 4 different types of adhesives. Here is what I found:
1. Glue sticks work– but it’s hard to get the paper on before the glue dries.
2. Liquid white glue works– but it tends to wrinkle the folder and warp it.
3. The adhesive squares (pictured above) were my favorite thing to use because I could really take my time and line everything up.
4. The adhesive spray is very quick and easy to use– but make sure you use it on a covered surface– like newspaper.

To make scrapbook covered folders, simply apply the adhesive of your choice– then trim the paper to fit the folder. I covered one side at a time. Here is my Monday folder– I made the back of it red so I could easily match it to its tub! You can cover the insides too, I just didn’t care to go that far– so I tried to only over the inside tab.

Front view
Back side view

Here is a folder I did for fun (to try out the spray glue):

I had a lot of fun making these– scrapbook paper is endless and has tons of amazing designs. You could really go all out!

My next goal? Setting up common core folders… Big breath– it’s going to take awhile– but it’ll definitely be worth it in the end!

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  1. Thank you for the creative suggestion! I went out, gathered the necessary materials, and recreated the weekly bins. I am always looking for ways to customize items on a budget. Thank you again for sharing your inspiration with us.

  2. I appreciate the ice cube bin tip. Perfect size and price. Also thanks for taking care of the experimentation for the rest of us. I am a new teacher too and wonder who can afford all the cute stuff sold by Lakeshore and Really Good Stuff? Even experienced teachers don't make that much!

    1. Sure! They were the "Mainstay" brand– which is kind of like the great value brand (only for home items). Mine were on the bottom shelf on the aisle with the dish drying racks. I hope that helps!

  3. I love all of these ideas here! And thanks for posting about Legend! I have that ebook and kept putting off reading it, but I do love me some dystopia! SO I think that might be my next book to read. I also might have to steal your ice cube tray idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Heidi (your newest followerer)

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