(J.K. In reality, I'm a teacher. So I only have time to make things pretty maybe five minutes per week. Luckily for me, I had a hubby willing to help me put these together before classes started.)
I wanted an easy way for students to access art supplies, but I didn't want to keep markers and such in their group bins. I like to keep the bins at a supply minimum. Just tape, scissors, gluesticks, and one highlighter and dry erase marker per kid. As is, they get jumbled up and disorganized on a regular basis anyway. We have to do "Bin Rehab" every Friday afternoon so that the little bits of STUFF gets thrown out. (We also play Magic Trash every Friday - great idea from Teacher Tipster. See the video here of how to play).
So I wanted a way to sort my markers and pens and extra highlighters. Here are a couple of the ideas that I considered:
1. Just using bins in my cabinet like last year. After all, it wasn't that bad to just put the bin out and have a horde of students come up to all grab what they needed.
2. Using a wine rack and cups - I saw it on Pinterest, and it looked great, but I didn't want to buy a wine rack and a bunch of clear cups to use. (I'm super cheap like that)
3. Making one of those recycled aluminum can caddies with the pretty scrapbook paper and the perfectly sorted markers. But I thought it would take too long to save the cans. We don't eat very much out of cans around my house. Plus, the thought of having to clean the cans, save them, then decorate them annoyed me
NOT TO MENTION - every tutorial I've seen shows like 12 markers per can or cup. And let me just be the first to say...COME ON. That is NOT realistic in my world. My classes couldn't share 12 markers if their lives depended on it. I'm not sure they could share 12 markers if the fate of the universe depended on it. Last year, I had classes of 30-35. This year, it's fewer, but only slightly. So I needed a solution that would hold at least 25 markers per cup. So that MOST can have their own. It just makes things better. (And yes, I buy these myself when they're on sale during August.)
Here's what I came up with:
I bought a PVC pipe (4in diameter) and had my husband saw it up into 6-in. sections. This was the pile once he finished:
LOTS of raw edges, but for the most part they were the same size. I covered up the top edge with washi tape, to make them more user-friendly. A couple really bad spots got a small strip of duct tape under the washi tape as well.
Then I wrapped them in decorative packing tape that I found for $1 in the clearance bin at Michaels.
After I had 4 sections that were wrapped in the packing tape, I taped the four together with black duct tape. This part took a bit of creativity to keep them all together while taping, but I figured out that if I connected each section to the adjacent section on the bottom, it made them much more secure. (See the third picture below.)
I also put a small strip of washi tape between adjacent sections on the top, which also helped make the unit more sturdy.
And here's that final product again - They work great.
I even made labels, before I realized that the windowsill was the perfect place for these, and that the back sections wouldn't have labels. (If you want them, you can get them here.)
Well, it's time for me to head back to school. We're playing our rival tonight!