I recently shared a classroom photo on Instagram and was delighted to see the enthusiastic response from my fans. Kindergarten teachers don't miss a beat and I received so many questions in regard to my file cabinets and the child silhouettes that are displayed throughout my classroom. This blog post is dedicated to answering a few of those big questions!
Spray Painting File Cabinets
First of all, let's talk file cabinets! Teachers love to ask a lot of questions about my bright yellow cabinets. As you've probably guessed, they weren't always yellow. Some of my file cabinets used to be black. A few were formerly taupe. I spray painted all of them Sun Yellow using Krylon gloss spray paint.
If you have never spray painted before, beware. The work is tedious. And not intended for the impatient person. Long, slow strokes are the only way to go and you will feel like your hand and/or arm will fall off within 10 minutes. If you try to rush and use too much spray, your project will turn out as a disaster. I did not use spray primer when I painted my cabinets, but I probably will next time. Going from black to yellow required SEVERAL coats and moving schools chipped the paint in a few areas on my cabinets. I'm pretty sure primer would have helped to solve both of those issues. You will also want to purchase a special nozzle that fits on top of the spray paint can that turns it into a spray gun. This will make your hand and fingers more comfortable while you paint. A lot more comfortable, in fact. But make no mistake, your wrist and arm will still be sore when you are done.
Proper spray paint technique is oh-so-important. My friend Mario (the school custodian) gave me a lesson the first time I spray painted and warned me about the consequences of painting too quickly or too aggressively. Since I can't send Mario to give you a personal lesson, I did the next best thing. I found the perfect YouTube video. It is short, sweet, and too the point. Take notes and remember to use long, soft strokes that go in a straight line when you spray paint!
Now that I have frightened you about spray painting, let me assure you:
IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!
I love my bright yellow cabinets and I would spray paint another one in an instant this summer if such a need arises. The work is hard but the result is simply stunning.
The brightly colored lanterns are also from Schoolgirl Style.
Classroom Child Silhouettes
Several fans also wanted to know about the silhouettes of children playing that adorn my classroom. I LOVE these images so much! The silhouette graphics are from Schoolgirl Style (my favorite source of classroom inspiration). I printed each graphics on my computer, then placed the computer printouts under my classroom Elmo and projected the images onto sheets of black Fadeless paper. This created enlarged versions of the graphics. I traced the outline of each image and set about the tedious task of cutting each one out by hand.
Yes, it was time consuming.
YES, like my spray painted file cabinets, it was completely worth it!
I then lightly coated the back of each cutout with Super 77 spray adhesive from 3M and positioned them on the cloud boards above my classroom windows.
Vinyl Silhouette Accents
A few (particularly observant) fans also noticed the black silhouettes attached to my spray painted cabinet and desk. As you probably guessed, those are not fadeless paper. They are black vinyl. Just like my paper silhouettes, I used my classroom Elmo to project the child silhouettes, but this time I traced the pictures onto the back of black vinyl sheets. I cut out my traced images, peeled the vinyl, and stuck the images of those sweet children to various surfaces in my classroom, including my teacher desk and file cabinet.
I also placed a vinyl silhouette of a little boy on the side of a bookshelf that serves as a boundary for my classroom library. I love, love, LOVE the whimsical feel these silhouettes add to our learning environment.
Questions are Always Welcome
Now that you've had a few of your biggest questions answered about my classroom, are you wondering about anything else? I am so touched to hear that teachers find inspiration from my own classroom and am always happy to answer your questions. If you haven't already, check out my initial classroom reveal blog post. It is loaded with dozens of great photos.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram to get exclusive sneak peeks at all of my classroom antics. I always have a camera nearby and am eager to share photos with you!