Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hide Your Stuff!

As a teacher, I have always wished that I had more space to put my stuff... or rather hide it.  When I clean up my bookshelves and recess games at the end of the school year, I will always find that lost crayon, random ruler and growing dust bunny (among other things).  I have always wanted to cover up those book shelves I'd like my students to KEEP OUT of, but hadn't come up with the way to do it.
I don't sew.
But... I do talk... and my friend (and coworker) Dawn mentioned that another teacher on our staff (Lisa E.) covered her bookshelves with cloth (or perhaps a table cloth??) and hemmed it with Duck Tape!
So I grabbed my favorite helper (my mom) and took her to my second home (Room 119) and we made my bookshelves go from THIS:


And it was easy!
This is what you'll need:
Shower liners (the cheaper the better)
Duck Tape (sold everywhere now in cute patterns)
A meter/yard stick
Sticky sided Velcro
(and to make it easier an extra set of hands)

The first thing to do is measure your bookshelves (obviously) and then cut the desired amount out of your liner.  I will warn you that it isn't easy to snip the liner (if you want a straight line anyway).  We did discover though (through trial and error) that you can use a meter stick to mark the line you want to cut and just run an open scissor along it.  You don't need to press hard.  After you run your scissors, it will tear easily.

The next step is to put your duct tape along the edge of your shower curtain (creating a cute border and a more finished look).  I would definitely use two people to do this part.  Have one person put the Duck Tape down on one end while the other person pulls both the tape and the shower curtain taut.  The person who (first) put the Duck Tape down, can then press the remaining tape to the curtain.  By using two people you will eliminate bubbles and lines in your tape.

The next step is to add double stick Velcro to the top of your book shelf.  I found that you won't need it at the bottom because the shower curtain and Duck Tape lay nicely without needing reinforcement.  I did use a large strip of Velcro because when I used smaller pieces you could see holes in the top and it gaped.
Once you remove the sticky side from the Velcro, you just need to press your shower curtain to it and VOILA! Instant 'door' for your bookshelves (this may also be a good fix for toys in the basement)!

A bonus is by using a shower curtain, you can tape anchor charts and other posters to it creating more precious wall space in your classroom.
I haven't made any anchor charts yet since school hasn't started, but this poster has stayed up with just tape!

After covering bookshelves, my mom and I looked at my cart/table that holds my document camera, projector and laptop and all their unsightly cords and we knew just what to do.  We turned it from THIS:


It helps to have a wonderful anal-retentive mother who can cut little windows (for cord placement) and frame those holes with Duck Tape.
Steal it!
Tweak it!
Make it your own!
(I did.)
Let me know how it goes!


  1. Love it! I want my computer table like yours!

    1. Maybe I can rent my mom out!!! ;-) (just like when she made those bookshelves for me!!!)

  2. Awesome! I love it!!

  3. It will look even better when those big white spaces have colorful things taped to them! It was fun watching all the "stuff" disappear!
    Mom Drapal

    1. We'll start making charts together on the first day and it will be covered up! Thanks for all your help always!


Let me know what you think, and share your ideas!! (So that I can steal them!) ;-)
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