Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Made It - FINALLY!

This Arkansas girl is BACK! Remember like three weeks ago when I said I was going to do a Monday Made It about those pillows I made for my classroom library? Yeah, that never happened. Because this did...

Yep. I've had a good reason for my absence. Hawaii! It was amazing. We spent a week on Maui and ohmygoodness I didn't want to leave. I kept trying to convince everyone that technically I didn't have to come home til August...

Anywho. I refused to bring my computer with me on vacation. I usually do. But this time I just brought books instead. Fun books. Not even teacher books. And I did ZERO work. Did I think about work? Yes. Can't help that. When I was sitting in the airport did I wish I had brought my computer? A little. But sometimes you need to make yourself take a mental vacation too. So that's what I did! It was so perfect. But now I am back, refreshed, and ready to go!
It killed me being away from the blogosphere for even a week! My Bloglovin feed is OUT OF CONTROL. So much to catch up on. 

But first, I thought I would finally share with you the Monday Made It I promised like three million weeks ago: my new classroom library pillows!

So here is the story of The Pillows.
When I came to my classroom last year as a first year teacher, I was very blessed. The teachers before me had left LOTS of stuff. Most of that was a good thing. There was a lot of cleaning/chunking that happened this time last year. But they left rugs, lamps, shelves, was great. They also left two beanbag chairs for the library. Well, actually three. But one of them looked like it had been there since the 80's. So that one went goodbye. And I had two great beanbag chairs for my fourth graders to fight over sit in this year and read. Well naturally, as the year went on, one of the beanbags died. Big hole. Stuffing everywhere. Sad kids. Sad me. Because beanbags, for some horrible reason, are actually kind of expensive. And I did not want to buy new ones. I thought about trying to salvage the dead one...matching duct tape came to mind...but no. A new, better idea happened. Pillows!

When Husband and I got married (two years this month!), we got a couch from a family friend. An old, comfy, loved on couch. It is the best for naps. And it came with throw pillows that were not really my style, if you know what I mean. So I chunked the covers and kept the insides, thinking "you never know" and put them in a closet. Two years later, I remembered the pillow inserts. And decided to put them to good use.

 I bought some microfiber filling and stuffed them up some more. I had to cut them open to do this, and I don't sew, so that's why they are ghetto-tied at the tops. Ha.

At this point, I think it would have been super cute to sew some pillows in a cute, durable fabric. You know, chevron or something. But I don't sew. Not even a little. Or if you like near an Ikea, they sell pillow covers on the cheap. That would have been easy too. And probably better looking. But again, I don't sew. And Ikea is four hours away. So this is what I came up with!
I bought some fleece (about two yards of each to make four pillows...with left over!) in teal and pink, two of my classroom colors. I really wanted brown or orange or lime green. But remember, I'm Small Town Suzy. Walmart is my fabric store. I got lucky with these, okay? Okay.

So with some "help" from Lewis, who seemed to think I bought the fleece for him to lay on, I started on my pillows.

Note- This is not a tutorial. I did not follow instructions. I did not look up how to make these. I did not measure. I am a start-cutting-and-see-where-things-go kind of person. So I eyeballed two squares of each color, cut two to three inch strips on the sides, put the pillow in the middle, and double-knotted them together. Voila! Pillows. Done.

1. If you are really into being neat and tidy, you should probably look up a tutorial to follow. You should use a ruler. You should measure things. It would make you feel better, and they would probably look better than mine.

2. You do not have to use two colors. I chose two colors because (a) there was not enough teal fleece to do four pillows (b) I like pink and (c) I made myself choose something the boys would like too. Originally, I was going to make two teal pillows and two pink pillows, but then I thought about how much my students might argue about what color they got to sit on. So I made them all the same. Because I like to solve problems before I have them.

3. Get the good stuff. It's hard to tell, but I used two different types of fleece for these. The pink is the normal, thick kind. Good. The teal is thin and stretchy. Bad. You want to get all the same kind, first of all, and all the good kind. It will make measuring (if you do that), cutting, and tying your pillows easier.

4. You can look up different ways to tie these. A woman in line at the fabric section was telling me about a cool way to braid the fleece together instead of tying, that way you don't have a bunch of loose ends. This might be good for younger grades. But I am lazy and just tied them together really well.

5. This project is insanely CHEAP and easy. Hence my "don't care" attitude about the whole measuring thing. Seriously. It helped that I already had the pillow inserts (I didn't have to buy as much filling), but the entire project, including fleece and microfiber filling to make four pillows (two square feet each...huge!) cost me around $25. That's it. Even if they don't last more than one year, that is okay with me. It took one evening of work (I even did this while watching TV) and just over twenty bucks. It doesn't get much better than that.

So that is my Monday Made It. Fancy? Not at all. But this was a "made it" that my wallet and my classroom can be happy about it.
What have you made this week? Be sure to stop by and link up!



  1. Very cute! I used to do pillows all over the floor until one year we got the "L" word and could not get rid of it. I miss having pillows. Maybe I will need to revisit this idea!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Thanks Alison! I don't want to even think about that happening!!! Haha. I hope they work well :)

  2. Great idea with the pillows! I bet the kiddos are going to love them! I started teaching at a new school this past year and the teacher before me left all kinds of things behind as well - one of which was an old glider. I don't sew either, but I discovered that hemming glue works wonders! I recovered the glider cushions with new fabric and the glue lasted all year long! You should check it out, I found mine at Hobby Lobby, but I bet even the craft section at Walmart probably has some!

    1. Thanks Tara! I will definitely have to check that out. I have some more things I want to "not sew" for my classroom! Haha

  3. Hi Hannah! Thank you for stopping by my blog! High five to fellow middle child. :) Of course I watched the Anne of Green Gables movies too! Love!
    Fourth Grade Flipper