Category Archives: Side Crafts

An Invitation to be Amazing

Legal-ish Disclaimer Type of Thingy: I do not own the rights to the words in this photograph, but I created the fan art presented in this photograph. However, I am using them for personal use and not for profit. The poem is originally written by Shel Silverstein and can be found all over the interwebs.


  • 16 x 20 stretched canvas
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paints (professional or crafters quality… whichever floats your boat)
  • Sparkly paint (clear base)
  • Sharpies (whatever colors you want – no one is picky around here)
  • Brilliant words, quotation, poem, song lyrics

Classroom project #2 for summer of 2014 was a fast one!

Using my pencil, I drew wavy lines across the canvas from left to right. These would be my guiding lines for writing the words from the poem. If I am not in the mood to use my writing script, I like to go into Word and find a font I feel comfortable replicating. I type in the text I am using, print it off, and use it as a guide when I’m penciling on the canvas.

Okay. So, assuming you know what you’re doing for the font, write the words onto the canvas. If I noticed things were not working out with fitting the words where I wanted them, I simply adjusted my guiding lines as I worked.

If I were to do this project again, I would paint a light shade of green where the white is on my picture.

Next, I traced my letters with Sharpie. Use your imagination here. If there are words that stand out to you, then use a bold color to make it pop. Or you can be boring and use black for all of them.

If you are horrible at figuring out which words to highlight/bold, look at your nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

Now to paint around the quotation. Note to the Wise: Don’t paint over your lettering with the acrylics! See that part where it says “Invitation” in my picture? Yep. Screwed that up. Remember when I messed up with the newspaper on the previous project?  Yeah. Trust me.

Remember that my classroom is mostly blues and greens, so I went with swirling a variety of blues and greens all over that canvas. I worked in the same direction as the waves of letters.

Let the whole thing dry.

Go back and paint over any ugly areas. If you don’t have any ugly areas, then you’re a better person than me and you can move on to painting the edges of the canvas. I simply dipped my brush in different blues and greens and made random stripes around the edge (you can’t see this in the picture, silly).

Let it dry.

Take your nifty glitter paint and paint over the whole canvas. It may look white at first, but as long as you found one that is a clear base, you’ll be fine.

Let it dry.

Spray it or paint it with some type of acrylic protectant (no, spell-checker, I don’t mean Protestant).

Let it dry.

All done!

Hang that puppy up and enjoy it.


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Read Write Rawesome Signs

My classroom is in need of some serious TLC. I mean, it has plenty of nerd paraphernalia littering every available shelf, bulletin board, boring cinder block, and musty corner, but most of the decor is store-bought and not very unique. The transformation toward one-of-a-kind decorations began with a Han Solo art piece created by one of my students. . . and the rest is history.

So, here is one of my latest creations – READ and WRITE signs using two different techniques from the same fabric.

I started by buying a few “fat quarters” of my favorite Star Wars and Star Trek fabric from Craft Warehouse – this is easier than buying 1/4 yards of each design. Trust me. I coordinated around the blue tones since my classroom is mostly blues and greens.

Next, I bought 8 x 10 stretched canvas for the WRITE sign and MDF letters for the READ sign. I already had a big ol’ tub of Mod Podge hiding in my closet, so I was good to go!


My real list of needed supplies for the WRITE sign…

  • 5 “fat quarters” of fabric cut down to approximately 10 x 14 (to wrap 8 x 10 canvas edges and staple to the back)
  • 1 staple gun
  • computer paper (you will print from a Word document)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • paint (I used yellow I had on-hand)

I like to use the least-directional fabric I can because then there is less need for centering the fabric. Turn your cut fabric with the wrong side up. Place your canvas on this with the face down. Wrap the edges like a present, stapling to the back of the canvas frame.

Voila! Step one done.

Go to your computer (unless you have beautiful handwriting and can freehand your lettering… P.S. If this is you, I hate you), and open a Word document. Or use PowerPoint or whatever program you like for manipulating fonts. Type in your letters. Size them to fit the page as best you can. Keep in mind that all of your letters need to be the same height – keep them the same font size. There are a ton of free, downloadable fonts online! I can’t remember the name of the one I used, but it looks fabulous. Print off your letters. There should be one per sheet. Cut them out. This is where you use a lot of patience.

Once the letters are cut out, lay them on your fabric-covered canvas. You may want to use a little scotch tape to secure one edge as you work. Trace each letter with a pencil on its corresponding fabric canvas.

Break out the paint! Paint the outline of your traced letters and paint to fill in.

Let it dry.

Spray with some kind of matte clear acrylic coating spray.

Hang as desired.

Phew. Finally finished explaining that one.

On to the READ sign.

Supplies needed for the READ signage…

  • 4 fat quarters (can use the leftovers from the WRITE sign project) of different fabrics
  • Mod Podge (I use the matte)
  • 1″ paint brush (or whatever size you have that won’t drive you nuts)
  • Cutting mat (the kind quilters/crafters use with a rotary cutter)
  • Exacto knife
  • MDF letters from local craft store (can also use wood ones – as long as they’re flat on the front surface)

Pick out fabric to use for each letter. Duh.

Use a vinyl/plastic tablecloth under your working surface. Trust me! I used newspaper and my Modge Podge soaked through the fabric and started sticking to the newspaper. My project and life were almost ruined that day. So, I am merely speculating that using a vinyl tablecloth would remedy the situation.

Lay fabric with good side down (I think quilters may call this the “right” side).

Paint the “good side” of the LETTER with Mod Podge. Don’t overdo it!

Place the letter down on the fabric. Press on it to get out any wrinkles.

This is important! FLIP OVER THE letter and fabric for drying! Remember the newspaper incident? Yeah.

Allow fabric-covered letters to completely dry – that’s about 20 minutes. Check to make sure that the face of the letter is completely covered with fabric. I noticed on one of mine that I missed a corner when painting with the Mod Podge (I don’t know how that happened either, so don’t ask). If there are any loose edges, fix them now and wait for the dry time!

Is your project sufficiently dried? Good.

Flip the letter onto your cutting mat. You should be looking at the butt end of your project. Pretty, huh?

Use the Exacto knife to cut the fabric along the edges of the letter. Keep in mind that your edges will look a little frayed – they are supposed to be this way, you perfectionist! Cut off any obnoxiously long, stray strands of string.

Boom! You’re done!

You can go ahead and figure out how to hang them on your wall, but you could also modify these bad boys into classy book ends. Or use craft dots (little adhesive dots on paper) to stick them anywhere!

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