Update 2017: When I moved to a new classroom I reupholstered my crate stools to match my new classroom theme. They turned out great! I simply purchased new fabric, pulled off the old fabric and stapled the new fabric down. Since I teach upper elementary now, I noticed that my students were breaking my old crate stools because they were too big for them! We've transformed them into floor cushions for flexible seating. Sometimes they remove the cushion, flip over the crate and create a workstation for their Chromebooks.
Original post from August 19, 2013:
I've been having such a blast getting my classroom ready. I feel like it is starting to take shape and isn't just an explosion of bins from my attic and bags from Target and Big Lots. One of the blessings and curses of having a small class is that I can get away with doing some of the really adorable and fun things I've seen on Pinterest because I only need six of everything! It's a blessing because it's manageable to make or find, it's a curse because it's getting expensive! But in my usual "glass half full" mentality, I am embracing my six little loveys and I've been having a great time putting together our new home. So get ready to hear me start many blog posts with "Since I only have 6 kids..." for the next 10 months!
Since I only have 6 kids...I was able to make enough of these awesome crate stools that I've been swooning over on Pinterest for over a year. My friend Jenn made them last year for her class and I was so jealous! I couldn't wait to find the time and reason to make them. When I was a consultant teacher, my students didn't spend any time in my classroom doing morning meeting/circle time. Now that I'm back down with my kindergarten-first grade friends, I have a need for these lovely little stools! I contemplated buying 6 bean bag chairs but those are hard to store. I also considered getting 6 of those little back rest pillows, but then I worried about lice and not being able to wash the pillows. Teacher problems. Now I am so happy I splurged and made these because they are so stinkin' cute!
Here's how it went...
You will need:
- Sterlite crates (I got them at Target with the dorm stuff...they are sturdy. They need to have the little lip on them for files so that the cushion can rest on it. Some of the cheaper ones I have seen did not seem strong enough to use for a seat).
- Cushion foam from Joann's (I used the 2-3 inch foam which was waaay more expensive than others. I definitely could have done a thinner foam, but I also had some sensory needs in mind. The thicker cushion has a good little squish and will be comfortable for the kids.
- 4 x 8 plywood from Home Depot (they will cut them to size for you if you bring a crate with you)
- Batting foam (optional) I got the batting foam because the color of my fabric had a lot of white in it so I was afraid the green foam would show through. The foam is nice because is does give it a smoother, rounder finish on the cushion corners and it makes them even more comfortable.
Although the kind gentleman at Home Depot cut these for me, my dad ended up trimming them more for me because they were just a tad tight.
Unfortunately Joann's won't cut the foam to size for you, so I had to cut it myself with a serrated bread knife. It worked very well.
Voila! I am so excited about these. Some people use them for storage underneath and include a little tab on the side so they can easily pry the cushion up. Since my kiddos are easily distracted, I am going to opt out of the bonus storage and just use them for little chairs.