The smell of chalk and crayons, and the rustle of new jeans bring back great memories for me. Oh the excitement of Back to School! The joy of a new school year carried on into my adulthood as I earned a degree in Early Childhood Education, and taught in the public schools for three years. These days, I’m a homeschooling mama, and each year brings the promise of a new chance to teach my children afresh. However, my enthusiasm is not always felt by my beautiful children. They bemoan my literature choices and fail to rejoice in their textbooks. So, I’ve decided to drum up a little bit of Back to School heaven with a supply-laden mantel scape. Do you think it will work?
The capstone of my mantel scape is a Back to School chalkboard sign. I took an old chalkboard, gave it a fresh coat of black paint, and glued some multi-sized magnetic letters on it. The only things I purchased for this project were two crayon material fat quarters and some school supplies-which I had to buy anyway. First, I drew a tiny pencil mark at the top middle of the chalkboard, to serve as a guide for centering the letters. Then I placed my glue on the back of the letters with a Q-tip. Always work from the center outward when spacing letters. Lay them out before gluing, then glue and place one at a time.
This year we’re doing Notgrass “America the Beautiful” for history. It is multigrade, and has literature suggestions to go with it. I tied a primary blue bow around the girls’ books, Little Town on the Prairie, and Sign of the Beaver. I can’t wait to do American History! We did World History last year, which is not as fun, in my opinion, as learning American History.
I don’t remember who bought me the wooden pencil that reads, “Teachers are Special,” when I was a new teacher, so many years ago. I think it was my husband’s sister. Since I’ve kept it all these years, it deserves an honored spot on the mantel, beside a magnifying glass we found at Goodwill.
I couldn’t survive without glue sticks. They are tied with a primary red grosgrain (ribbed) ribbon.
My blue Mason jars are stars in many of my decor dramas. They may be filled with sand in one of my beach vignettes, or buttons and flags on a 4th of July table. I try not to paint them or glue anything on them, because I know I will be calling them up for duty the next holiday or occasion. For my Back to School Mantel Scape, the blue mason jar is filled with practical, gorgeous #2 pencils.
I have a cupcake stand that I use more for decorating than for holding cupcakes. I love the swirly metal pedestals on it. Crayons, colored chalk, and Post-it Notes are stacked on it for visual interest.
You can’t make a list of basic school supplies without including a black and white marbled composition book. I like them because they are bound, and compact. I think we might use them to do some weekly journal writing this year. I usually start off strong with journaling, then wane as the year goes on, and we’re struggling to get everything else done. This year, I don’t want to exclude assignment-free writing when the going gets tough. The composition books are tied in a neat, primary red bow.
How could we have a Back to School display without a Macintosh Yankee Candle? It really does smell just like fresh apples, and everyone knows that apples are synonymous with school, right?
The mantel scape was underpinned with crayon fabric fat quarters from Walmart. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, Wamart is the way to go for prepackaged fat quarters and single yards of seasonal/holiday material for small projects. The mantel looked a little plain after I finished, so I adorned it a bit more with a red Dollar Tree ribbon from a previous project, and some more magnetic letters. I used hot glue, rather than school glue, to attach the letters to the ribbon. If you look closely. you can see where I pinned the ribbon to the fabric, to create a swag.
I hope you enjoyed my mantel scape. Have a great week as you prepare for Back to School!
Linking up here
If you liked this post, subscribe to Love My Little Cottage here