I’m feeling inspired by the back-to-school fall season, and anxiously awaiting season 4 of Fixer Upper! So, vintage schoolhouse-style DIY projects are on my mind…
I like DIY projects but I have a short attention span and a tight budget. My favorite projects take just a few minutes, and require minimal materials or effort.
These simple little projects are great for the classroom and home. Plus, since they’re all quick, inexpensive, and useful, they make good gifts for parents and volunteer helpers!
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Ruler Magnet Frame
I love the look and functionality of minimalist magnet frames. When I first saw this DIY, I thought vintage rulers would make a cool twist.
I followed the steps from this Skillshare video, with a few little variations: I used strips of magnet tape instead of round magnets because that’s what I had on hand. I used paint stir sticks on the back, and on the front of the frame, I used a lightly sanded and roughed up new ruler, and an old ruler. *The old ruler came from my brother’s first grade teacher. I’m not sure how he ended up with it, or how I ended up with it later. -Sorry Mrs. Bliss! (Awesome name though!)
This ruler magnet frame is handy for hanging all sorts of things. As you can see from the picture above, they should hold a piece of regular paper, along with a piece of 12×12 cardstock. You’ll probably need heavy duty magnets if you want to hang something larger.
(The star chart in the picture is part of a social/emotional home learning resource I’m working on. Follow me here to be the first to know when it’s available.)
Approximately 3 minutes and 3 materials are all you need for this one. Clips + Chalk + Chalkboard tape! Just cover the clip with the tape and label as you wish. Erase the label and use it over and over and over again. I know. It’s so easy, it probably doesn’t even count as a DIY.
*This works best with the largest-sized clips because you’ll need lots of space to write. -Or if you want to use small clips, you’ll need to use a chalk marker with a tip that’s finer than a regular piece of chalk.
Paper Flower Pencil Toppers
Want to keep kids from stealing your pencil? Put a flower on it!
Materials: Pencil, paper, washi tape, glue
For the paper, you could use lined notebook paper, graph paper, or anything you like.
1. Cut paper ovals. 2. Stack several ovals together and arrange in a flower shape. #3 Secure with a dot of glue, and hole punch the middle. 4. Place on the top of your pencil and squish the petals a bit. Attach with washi tape.
These would also be a cute student gift for Mother’s Day.
Again, probably too easy to be considered a real DIY project…
Materials: The chalkboard clip shown above, or any other cute clip + a mini-chalkboard. I picked up a few of these chalkboards on my last trip to an antique store, but a piece of chipboard painted with chalkboard paint would also work.
Attach the clip to the board and you’ve got a clipboard! 🙂
In related news…
It’s not exactly a DIY project, but it definitely fits with the schoolhouse theme! I just finished a *new* old-school classroom newsletter template. It’s my most versatile style yet, with all sorts of color choices, options for headings, quotes, and a clean, modern school-ish look. It’s mobile-friendly, so I guess that makes it a little bit “new-school” as well! You can check it out here, and learn more about my newsletter templates here.
Want a few more old-school DIY projects for the classroom or home? Follow my new Pinterest board– Design, Decor, and DIY: Old School Style.