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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Upcycling Coffee Cans for Supplies

 

As a former art teacher, I cannot throw away a crayon.  Now that my nephew is at an age where he can scribble, he gets those little crayon packets from places like the Olive Garden.  I find myself throwing the discarded crayons in my purse. Even if a crayon is broken, you can melt them into bigger crayons or melt them onto wax paper, etc. Needless to say, I have a lot of crayons around the house. I still use crayons on occasion.  I have been buying Jackson coloring books and crayons for months through he doesn't seem all that interested at this point. However, I know that soon, he will want to color.  I wanted to get all of my used and broken crayons out of the random bags and into one kid-friendly container. 
Although, I had been using Keurig k-cups for years, I still had some old Folger's plastic containers around with lids. At first I really missed the old metal cans that you could paint.  However, I found that on the Folger's website they had printable templates to make holiday containers. Hmm, were there other templates out there on the web? Of course.  I visited here to find these awesome crayons templates.  All I had to do was print!
Then, I got out my old Xyron 900 sticker/magnet/laminator to add some adhesive.  I love how you can turn any paper into a sticker with this machine. However, the rolls of 40 feet of it are about $40 or so. Also, I find that sometimes the machine creased and ruins my print outs so it is certainly not fool-proof.
I ended up using chalkboard contact paper on the blue cans since the template only fit the red.  I just measured, cut, and used a paper edger around the corners. Then, you can write on that label with a chalkboard marker or real chalk.

I just stuck the labels on.  I would have liked to use the cartridge that laminates as well as turns the paper into a sticker. However, I didn't have it.  I am trying to avoid shopping to save money and just use what I have.  Now that I have the shape of the template, I can print and then just cut around any image.  I think the beauty of this idea is that pre-reading kids could sort and organize their own supplies because they are pictured.  Of course for my nephew and niece, I would probably add a word label too.  My nephew at two (twenty-five months old) is already identifying environmental print like the McDonald's sign.  He is interested in letters and can count to 12!
I plan to do a lot with crayons in the coming months and years. (I never knew that I could put crayons in a glue gun!!! I want to try that...) There are a ton of great ideas on Pinterest that I think kids would love.  Now that I can just throw random crayons in I have a feeling that my collection will grow even faster.  I also need to make one of these for school. Students like to organize things. I try to make it easy for them to put things back in the right place.
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