Back to school is right around the corner here in Southern California – my kids return to school in about 3 weeks! Our local shops are stocked with pencils, backpacks, and lunchboxes; it got me thinking about teachers. I’ve been a substitute teacher off and on for the last 11 years. As a sub, I can be in as many as 15 different classrooms in one week. A trend I noticed lately is themed decor in Elementary School classrooms. One classroom I went in was themed with pastel colored owls – every sign, poster, and decor item was themed the same. Another classroom was decorated with an “under the sea” theme, while yet another had a jungle theme. Even the children’s tables had jungle themed names, like the “Tiger table”, instead of the traditional numbered tables I’ve seen in the past.
I wanted to make something unique for my son’s 2nd grade classroom this coming school year. If I were a 2nd grade teacher, I’d decorate my classroom with silly monsters. So with that in mind, I made a monster-themed eraser and pencil caddy for the teacher’s desk. This caddy can be adapted to many different animal types – from frogs to a fish to a dog or cat.
8″ Smoothfoam 8″ Hollow Ball
Two 2″ Smoothfoam Balls
Adhesive felt, glitter felt, regular felt, faux fur
Die-cutting machine and circle dies
Craft knife, scissors, serrated knife
Hot glue gun
Drill with 1/4″ bit
I cut away sections of each of the halves of the Smoothfoam Hollow Ball to fit together to make a mouth opening. I also shaved off a section of the bottom of one of the halves to make it flat to prevent the ball from rolling once assembled. The serrated knife is easier than a craft knife for cutting away large pieces of Smoothfoam.
I then painted all of the pieces, let them dry and hot-glued the two halves of the ball to one another.
I cut a tongue and teeth from felt and glued them to the “mouth” opening. I added a faux fur mohawk to the bead, eyes made from felt circles on Smoothfoam balls, and used felt circles cut with a die-cut machine as “spots”.
I used a drill with a 1/4″ bit to drill holes into the Smoothfoam to place the pencils into. The mouth was filled with erasers – the kids have to reach in and grab their erasers from the mouth, if they dare!
My son’s teacher might think this is a little silly, but my teenage daughter wants to put this on her desk in her room. Why can’t office supplies be fun and silly?