Decoupaged School Box for Box Tops

This past week, I got an email blast from both the Big One’s and the Monkey’s schools asking me to make sure that I was clipping my BoxTops. Trust me, I’m always clipping BoxTops.  I think moms with kiddos in schools are always in fundraising mode.  We are always looking for ways to help our children’s schools stretch their dollars a little further and raise just a few more.  We want our kiddos to have the highest quality education and that takes money.  When I was shopping at my favorite dollar spot recently, I saw this bright red balsa wood file box, and I realized that it would be awesome for BoxTop storage.  I decided to give it a vintage, school house feel, and when I was done, I was so delighted with my Decoupage School Box that I decided to fill it with my BoxTops, and drop it off in my son’s school office.

My Mom Made That: Decoupage School Box for BoxTops {Sponsored by General Mills and Box Tops for Education}
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Preschool Lovey Book {For Dealing with Separation}

It’s hard to believe it, but my little Monkey is nearly one year old. He’s been home with me most of the time, but now he’s started going to preschool part-time. (Or is it nursery school? I’m not sure of the differences.) Separation can be hard for little ones, particularly right around their first birthday.  His classroom has a bulletin board for pictures of the babies with their parents, but I thought that he needed his own little book.  A Lovey Book.  What’s a Lovey Book, you ask…   It’s a kind of attachment object, like a blanket, or pacifier, to help Monkey remember how much we love him, and to help him see us when we are separated.  I thought I would make a kind of scrapbook for Monkey, but make it just right for an almost one-year-old. Since I made it for Monkey, I didn’t worry about it being acid-free or archival.  In fact, I covered the photos with laminating materials.  If he chews on it, drools on it, or tears it, that’s fine!  It’s a book just for him!

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxiety

I thought this would a perfect chance to use my silhouette to cut out cardstock and use it as a die-cutting machine.  Hey, isn’t that what the Silhouette was originally created for?!   I was reluctant to use fancy, expensive stickers or scrapbooking supplies because it was really about the pictures, and just a few words that would be relevant for Monkey.  The Silhouette was a great way to reduce the expenses of personalizing.

Here’s how I made the Lovey Book for Monkey.

Materials:

  • Photos
  • 11″ x 14″ Sheets of Poster board
  • Boring tool
  • Needle and Embroidery Floss
  • Washi Tape
  • Glue Stick
  • Cardstock
  • Laminating Materials
  • Fine Pointed Sharpie Marker

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyFirst thing I did was fold the poster board pieces into quarters.  I bought a package of 11×14 sheets, so I cut them into 5.5×14 inch pieces that were folded in half.  When I got enough pages together to make a book of the size that I wanted, I stacked them together.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyI then used a boring tool to poke holes in the folded center.  Once there was a line of holes all the way up the center of the sheets, I sewed the sheets of poster board together with a piece of white embroidery floss and a large needle.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyI covered the outside stitching with washi tape, and then added an extra strip of tape on each side, lining up the polka dots.  I then gathered brightly colored washi tape to use with my photos.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyI arranged the photos in the book in the order I wanted, and attached them to the poster board with Washi Tape.  I didn’t worry about getting them securely attached to the poster board, as I knew I would be using a laminating material on top of the photos.  Again, I wasn’t going to worry about making this a paper art masterpiece, rather I wanted the Washi tape to give the pictures a pop of color and interest for Monkey.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxiety

Then I gathered cardstock, and opened up my silhouette studio software.  I printed out a bunch of cardstock hearts, along with some word art that I wanted to use.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxiety

I labeled the pictures with big general toddler labels, like Daddy, Mommy, Brother, and word art like “Daddy’s boy.”  I secured these with glue from the glue stick, but I didn’t worry too much about getting the adhesion perfect.  I just wanted to make sure that the words were in the right spots.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyI included notes to Monkey that were from us, and included nicknames and messages of love. I wrote the messages with a Sharpie market with a fine point.  Then I took an image from the Silhouette store that said, “Remember you are loved.”  I first cut it out in red card stock.  I then put blue cardstock on the cutting mat, and cut it out again.  I carefully removed the words from the blue cardstock.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxiety

I then took the blue cardstock words and put them into the red cardstock heart.  I didn’t use any adhesive, but immediately covered the heart with the laminating material. I also covered the washi cover seam with the laminating material.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyI then finished up all of the details and notes in the book, and put the laminating material over each page.  This way the Monkey can chew and tote his book everywhere, and it might last a little while.

My Mom Made That: A Preschool Lovey Book Tutorial for helping with separation anxietyHopefully, he’ll get a lot of use of it in his preschool classroom when he’s feeling lonely or worried.  Luckily he seems to like his class for the most part!

Now, I did this project, as a part of The Silhouette Challenge that was started by Lauren over at The Thinking Closet.  This month 22 bloggers participated in the challenge and have projects to share with you.  I’d love for you to check some of those great projects out!  Hop over to some of them, and see their inspiration!

If you have a Silhouette machine and would like to participate in the Silhouette Challenge, we’d love to have you! Simply contact Lauren from The Thinking Closet by email.

I’m sharing this project at: