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Upcycled Crate Seat Tutorial

DIY crate seat tutorial for classroom libraries
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I love our classroom library! I’ve already blogged about my tshirt pillows, but promised to include a crate seat tutorial too.  They’re really easy to make and the students love using the crates during reading workshop.  We use them in the hallway instead of sitting on the floor too.  It seems easier to manage when everyone has a spot and the crates encourage students to sit up too.

DIY crate seat tutorial for classroom libraries

 You’ll need: fabric, scissors, staple gun with staples, hammer, stuffing, and scotch gard. It helps if you have a second set of hands too.  My husband is the hand model in these pictures. 🙂

I cleaned up some old files and used a crate that I already owned.  You can also find these at Wal-Mart for around $5.  You’ll also need plywood around 1/2 inch thick.  We used scraps that we already had in the garage and pieced them together.

Make sure you measure the INSIDE lip of the crate so your wood sits inside.

DIY crate seat tutorial for classroom libraries

I prefer flannel to cover the board, but broadcloth or interfacing would work too.  Use a staple gun to staple around three edges of the wood.  We used 3/8 inch heavy duty staples.

Now that three sides are stapled, stuff polyfill under the flannel to create a cushion. You could also use an old foam mattress pad.

After stuffing most of the seat, I staple it almost shut.  I leave a small opening to adjust the stuffing or add a little more before closing.

Finish stapling around the edge of the cushion.  I pulled it out so you could get a good look at it.

DIY crate seat tutorial for classroom libraries

Now you’re ready for your decorative fabric.  16×18 inches is just about perfect.

Center the board (stuffing side down) over the fabric.  This board was made from scraps so there’s an extra piece underneath for support.  My other seats only use the one 1/2 inch piece of wood.

Staple all the way around the board.  Be sure to keep your fabric pulled tight.

DIY crate seat tutorial for classroom libraries

Pop the board back into the crate and you have a new seat for your library! If you decide to scotch gard your fabric, now’s the time to do that.

This next part is optional and only needed if you don’t want the cushions to come on and off.

Sometimes the cushions would pop off the crate so I decided to zip-tie them on.  Use a long zip-tie and bend it about 2 inches from the end.

Staple the zip-tie onto the crate, centered left to right.

Loop the zip-tie through the holes in the side of the crate.  Do this for BOTH sides before pulling them tight.  Trust me. =)

After BOTH sides have been looped with zip-ties, pull them tight.  I tuck the extra inside the crate instead of cutting it off.  The point can be sharp if you cut it.

DIY crate seat tutorial for classroom libraries
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Tada!  Now you have a lid that will stay on.  My students love the crates and I’ve gradually added a few more to our library because of it.  

If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to see pictures!  Drop me an email.


Math Resources and Valetine Blog Hop Winner Too

Math Coach’s Corner hosted a math linky with tons of math resources (free and paid) for primary teachers. The sign up is closed, but you can still download any resources you need.

Today is also the 15th, which means a winner for the
Valentine Blog Hop Giveaway.  This blog’s winner of a $10 TPT gift card
was chosen by  Congratulations, Rachel!  Check your email
for details, and thanks to everyone for playing!


The Little Blog That Could

I’m not new to blogging.  I blogged about life as a college student, I blogged about life as a first-year teacher, and I’m currently blogging about life as a newlywed over on my personal page.  However, something told me 2012 was my year to start the professional blog I had been kicking around in my head for a while.  With my husband’s encouragement, I decided to go for it.  He was my first reader, but now you’re here too!  Be sure to follow my blog using the links over to the right.  The best is yet to come!

Another new blogger, Tessa, over at Tales from Outside the Classroom awarded my blog the Liebster Award.  Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve.  The Liebster award can be given to new blogs with less than 200 followers.  Along with this honor, it’s my duty to fabulously regift the Liebster to 5 other new bloggers.  =)

I chose 5 newer bloggers you might not follow yet.  The teacher in me put them in alphabetical order.  Without further ado, I bestow the Liebster upon:


Happy Valentine’s Day!

I contributed my first post over at Classroom Freebies Too yesterday in honor of Valentine’s Day.  If you haven’t visited the blog yet, you should definitely check it out.  There are a ton of freebies from lots of fabulous teachers.  You can sort them by grade level or search by keywords too.

Oh, and don’t forget tomorrow’s the last day to enter the Valentine Blog Hop Contests.  Winners will be drawn on Wednesday.  Good luck!