Friday, September 20, 2013

Ikea-style classroom makeover

Oh. My. Goodness. I am SO tired!!  Why is the beginning of the year ALWAYS so exhausting?!?!  Every year I think it will get easier... it never does... *sigh*.... so, sorry this post is about a MONTH late...but better late than never!  So this summer, I had the awesome opportunity to go to Ikea and participate in a special catalog launch party for bloggers... I called up 2 of my teacher friends and we headed to ikea for breakfast and shopping!
Ikea breakfast... yum! Much better than the muffins or slimfast I end up taking to school for breakfast each day.
 I had been busy blogstalking other teachers all summer, and had already planned on getting some things at Ikea, so I was super excited to explore {confession: I've only been to Ikea once or twice before with friends... and the store OVERWHELMS me! So I've never *really* explored it!!}

My main Ikea inspiration came from the lovely Tracy @ Creekside Teacher Tales... I saw this storage bin and was in LOVE:

Click on the picture to visit Tracy's blog and learn more about her writing centers!

And yet... as I am working on this post... I just realized I don't have a picture of this in my classroom! LOL... mine is not NEARLY as cute as Tracy's, so maybe it's better that I don't have a picture... I haven't had time to get the cushion made to put on top of it... and I am using mine to store all sorts of different random things... I am already thinking about buying another one!  I love it!!
RUGS! I've been teaching for 9 years and have never had a rug! One of the teachers bought the orange one, then another teacher saw my pictures and bought the black one! Can't beat it for $20!

This button rug was love at first sight... but by the time we got to the rugs, I already had SO MUCH stuff in my cart.... so I took a picture and just kept drooling over it.... This rug was $40, and I knew I would need two... so I didn't buy it :(
Some of our loot! Obviously this picture doesn't do it justice since everything is in boxes... notice, all the PINK stuff is mine :)

Ok, so once our field trip was over, it was back to reality... time to set up my classroom!  I moved to a brand new school in my hometown and this is the beginning of the 3rd school year that we have been open.  My darling little 2nd graders love that they are the first group who has been in the school since Kindergarten... I don't really have "before" pictures (didn't really think of that back in June)... so just use your imagination with the plain "before" that the classroom was.

Oh, before I show you the classroom, here's some of my new school supplies... I think I could be on an episode of Hoarders for the insane amount of school supplies I buy every year!

Dry erase pockets, washi tape, duct tape, pocket charts, magnets, planner, calendar, supply totes, command strips, name tags, post-it notes, advil, Dr. Pepper {not pictured, but equally important!!}
I got most of my supplies at Target's dollar spot, and picked up a few items at Lakeshore as well.  That store is DANGEROUS! LOL!

Ok, enough rambling... time for the classroom tour!

This is the view as you enter my room... I hate the color red almost as much as I love the color pink... these desks are a total eye sore!!  Our principal decided to order all our school furniture in our school colors, red and black. *cringe*
Here's another view from my desk, opposite of the door.  I have my desk in the back of the room (and there is purposely no picture of my desk because it always looks like a bomb just exploded!)
my lunch basket... SO CUTE! I smile every time I see this!!  I took a plain toy basket and added some cute vinyl to it! {I won't mention the tragedy of my previous lunch basket.... let's just say that one child's bum was probably sore after he somehow managed to land in it and break it into pieces! I still don't know how it happened - and I was NOT the teacher in charge when it broke... but that's another story for another day}.
Computer Station / College Bulletin Board: We are supposed to encourage our students to think about college... so naturally I want them to know about the BEST college in Utah! Go USU!!
My favorite part of my classroom - my teacher table area!! I LOVE my new pink chair from Ikea... all I've had was one of the student (hard plastic) chairs, so this chair is a little piece of heaven! I might have to buy one for my house too. I love it that much!!

 Here's a few more pictures of my teacher table area.  Another teacher and I went to observe the darling Rachelle from "What the Teacher Wants" this summer, and she had the most adorable crate chairs... so of course we had to make them too... here's her tutorial if you're interested in making them too. (and if you're like me and don't have a husband to help you with the project, I suggest making the other teacher's husband do all the work, and buy them a gift card for dinner at their favorite restaurant.... yes, I'm shameless!!)  Prior to my makeover, all I had was plain black plastic chairs, and NO teacher chair... yup, I was chilling on a student chair too!

SWOON! I just love how these turned out!!  I got the cute fabric at Wal-Mart, ribbon at JoAnn's, and the totes at Wal-Mart and Target.... and I also learned the hard way that Target's crates are 1 inch shorter than Wal-Mart's (which makes NO sense considering that they are made by the SAME manufacturer... whatever)... so some of my cushions are a little too short... oh well!
I *love* my chair and whiteboard from Ikea.... these whiteboards are hundreds of dollars in teacher supply catalogs... At Ikea, they are under $20! Score!!
another picture.... just because it's so cute!
Also, now that we are using the crate seats, I just have to say again how much I love them! My students love that they can sit OR kneel on these and not get in trouble for tipping their chairs (I have tripped more than once when they are tipping their chairs to kneel or sit in some other random position). I love my new small group area :)

This is right behind my table... student coatracks / mailboxes. I LOVE Fancy Nancy and received the doll as a going away gift when I left my previous school.  The Cabbage Patch is dubbed my "favorite student" haha! She's adorable!
Listening center... the cart is from Ikea... this is one of the items that I went back for later on.... I love that it has wheels so I can roll it around easily.  I think I need to add some vinyl to the sides and jazz it up a  bit!

Remember the cute button rug I was in love with?! Yeah, totally went back and bought one... then another one!!  I love it! My students are very protective of it and take really good care of it! I'm sure it will get dirty in the winter, but it is SO CUTE! Definitely worth the cost because it makes me smile every time I see it :)

I don't have a lot of practical bulletin board space in my room, so I use one corner of my whiteboard for vocabulary. I found these cute magnetic border pieces at Lakeshore this summer and HAD to have them!! I got the pocket charts at Target, and cut the words out with a vinyl cutter (we have a professional vinyl machine at school)
These last 2 pictures are just to show how I organize my supplies at each table... the labels came from this pack made by the darling Cara Carroll.  I used washi tape to label the pens, pencils, scissors, and glue sticks at each table, so when things end up on the floor, I can quickly put them back where they go... sadly, I have already had to confiscate the scissors since a few students decided to give themselves haircuts one day... *sigh*... It's going to be a long year.

 Ok, that's all for now... I have a few more posts I need to get finished... I also have a cool freebie for you (I was going to include it today, but totally forgot to take pictures at school today, so I'll take a picture next week and get it posted!!) and I think there's another giveaway right around the corner.... so stay tuned!!



  1. Wow looks amazing. Idea really is a teachers best friend. I need to go sometime for home organization but that will wait. Love it great job

  2. Love your classroom. It's clean and efficient looking. Have a great year!

  3. Love your room! The button rug would make me smile, too. :)


  4. So cute Krystal!!Love the button rug!
    I must admit... I love the red desks!! I'm an old teacher stuck in the primary color era though ;)

    Lory's Page

  5. This is seriously the cutest teacher classroom I have ever seen!

  6. Oh.My.Goodness. You have talked me into a trip to Ikea!! I love it there! I have been wanting your storage bin for awhile and I just think I have to get it! Oh, and the pink chair! I, too, use a student chair at my small group table! But, this pink chair is a must have, so adorable!

    Thank you so much for sharing! I found your blog from the Classroom Crafts Linky and I am so happy to be your newest follower!

    Beth :)
    A Kindergarten Life For Me

  7. I am totally going to Ikea for that button rug, it is a must...and for $40!!

  8. I don't think I ever commented on how much I adore your room!
    Journey Of A Substitute Teacher

  9. Were you able to fit all your students comfortably on one rug, or did you purchase the second rug in order to fit all your students?

    1. I did end up buying a second rug -- I'll have to try and find another photo to add to the post. Once I had 2 rugs, It was plenty of room for 24 second graders. When I switched to third grade, I had 29-31 students in the same classroom, so we usually just had one extra row behind the rugs, and it was fine. My students LOVED the rugs, and always wanted to sit on the floor and do their work whenever they were out of their seats! Definitely worth the cost!

  10. Were your students able to sit comfortably on one rug, or did you need 2 rugs together to seat your students?