Thursday, August 23, 2012

Classroom fabric cupboard covers

One of the many great things about my son's elementary school is that they ask parents to volunteer in or outside the classroom for four hours per month.  When I went to parent night, one of the many wishes my son's teacher had was new curtains for her upper cabinets. The old ones were non-matching pieces of cut fabric stapled to the cabinets.  Here is a pic of the classroom, a lovely bright orange, but the teacher was right, those curtains had to go. One side is a trippy combo of purple and neon green and the other side a bright purple felt.  I felt her pain.


So I volunteered to make her some pretty new matching curtains to cover her storage cupboards and hopefully bring some uniformity to them.  Luckily while at Joann's I found two bolts of this navy blue and cream colored fabric for just $5 a yard.  I also scored a 60% off coupon in the mail, making the total yard cost a mere $2 a yard.  I needed 9.5 yards total since the width was 45" and I wasn't going to be able to cut it down the middle.  So I was left with a lot of scrap fabric..which maybe will come in handy another time. 


After pretreating the fabric in the wash using cold water and salt and making sure it was dry, I ironed it flat. Next it was time for measuring. I still don't own a rotary mat, so I had to figure out a way to make a nice even cut that would be 24" wide all the way down. The pattern was making me dizzy, so look at my wonderful husband making a nice straight line for me with fabric chalk.


He very carefully measured out from the edge and followed the pattern with the yard stick to draw a straight line.

Next I used fabric sheers to cut out the fabric along the line. Then I ironed my hem around all sides, 1/2" on the top and 1" around the sides and bottom. The reason for the smaller hem on the top is because I was planning on sewing a velcro strip to the top anyway and I didn't want to shorten my panels too much. 


After straight stitching around all of the folded hem lines, I then pinned my velcro along the top of the panels. The other side of the velcro would be directly attached to the top of the cabinets in the classroom so that the teacher can take them down to wash them.  Brilliant eh?  The velcro was purchased by size and length through an ebay company. It was around $8 for 100 yards.


Next I stitched the velcro on from the top, bottom, and sides giving it lots of stability.


Here's how it looked when I was finished.


And keeping me entertained the whole time with silly faces is my daughter. I love that girl!


After all my curtain panels were sewed I made the trek down to the school one morning and removed all the old panels with my pliers (I had to pull all the old staples out and yank the dusty suckers down.)


Bye Bye hippy panels!


Next I used wood glue and my staple gun to adhere the other side of the velcro to the tops of the cabinets. This went pretty smooth except that I had to get up and down the ladder a bunch while watching my two smallest children run amok in the classroom pulling things down off the shelves, writing on the white board with crayons, dumping pencil shavings all over the ground, etc. I think the teacher was not thrilled, even though she got new curtains out of it.


I didn't sit around waiting for the glue to dry, I figure the staples will do the trick.  So next I attached my panels to the velcro and voila! New and improved Navy panels to go with the orange walls.  If you're wondering, I made 4 separate panels, two on each side.


I think the teacher likes them and the kids were very excited and kept saying "oooh aaaaah, new pretty fabric." They can see it up close from the lofts adjacent to the far left side.


It's a far cry from this don't you think?


So my volunteer hours are complete for the month. Total dollars spent - about $28. Total time about 4 hours or so.  Wew!  I hope the class enjoys them!

xo
Cathleen

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