With a few pieces of scrap wood and some tester pots of paint you can make your own back-to-school decor for your classroom, or to decorate your home!
I have had so much fun puttering away in the she-shop lately. Yes, it’s been hot and muggy, but the thought of the kids heading back-to-school has me giddy with glee! I thought I’d rush the big day a little, and decorate my home to celebrate my favourite (their least favourite) day of the year. This project came to be after a friend of mine told me about her children starting at The Christian Academy local to her, and it got my DIY fingers tingling!
I didn’t take photos of the first steps for my wood pencil – mainly because I wasn’t sure if it was going to turn out or not – but I started with a single 2″x4″ scrap piece of wood. I set my table saw to a 45° angle and cut the wood…
in the wrong place. As you can see below, I had to put my 2″x4″ back together with wood glue. lol The concept holds though – but only cut the EDGES of the wood at an angle.
The ruler was also a scrap piece of wood – stained and painted. No tutorial needed – I think rulers are kind of obvious.
Once I had the edges of the wood pencil cut, I used my mitre saw to create the sharpened end. I think I had it angled around 60° – but you can go shallower if you want. I should have clamped the wood better at the point section so you wouldn’t see the split – but too late is too late.
I used my random orbit sander and 60 grit sandpaper to make the sharpened end more rounded. You’d be surprised how well 60 grit eats through the wood – rounding my wood pencil took less than 10 minutes!
I painted the body of the wood pencil in Rust-Oleum yellow, the eraser with a tester pot of pink I had in the garage and the pencil lead in some leftover chalkboard paint. I coated the entire thing, front and back, in a clear polyurethane (outdoor-appropriate) to protect it from the rain and humidity. If you are making this back-to-school decor for your classroom, you really won’t need to do the poly step – it will be well protected inside. It would be nice to have something like this to decorate your classroom, while your students concentrate on that math problem you have on the multimedia lectern, trying to solve it.
It’s SO STINKIN’ CUTE!
With a never-ending supply of scrap wood (I screw up a lot), I thought I’d add some red to my back-to-school decor by cutting a couple of fun wood apples.
I used a 2″ x 6″ and cut two apple shapes on my scroll saw. Scrolling is an easy and fun job, but when working with wood this thick, it does take a bit of time. DON’T push the wood through the blade any faster than it wants to go – this from the chick that broke a blade doing just that.
I sanded my wood apple with 60 grit sandpaper to round the edges a bit and then smoothed it out with 220 grit for a nice, polished finish.
The thickness of the wood scraps I used (1 ½”), I didn’t need to cut a base or stand for my wood apple – it was able to stand by itself.
I painted them with a bright “Stiletto red” and added a bit of brown and green in dollar store DecoArt paint.
Again, and because this back-to-school decor is going on my front porch, I did coat my wood apples with outdoor-appropriate polyurethane to protect them.
They add just the right POP of colour to make my back-to-school decor stand out.
After I had the wood pencil, ruler and apples set out, I noticed that I needed some height for one of my flowers. I had a leftover drawer from the coffee table repurpose of last week, so I flipped it upside down, cut a mailing tube in half and attached it to the drawer front and painted it to look like school books.
I couldn’t resist the funny titles, or adding more bright colours, and I think it turned out perfectly.
Throw in a gorgeous dog (like our Miss Lacey) and it’s a “Leave it to Beaver” scene!
shove the kids out the door, bid fond farewell to lazy summer days.
Two different front porches in two weeks – do you think my neighbours think I’m nuts?
Have a great one!