Monday Made It #2!

It has been so nice to be able to go to my classroom and work slowly on moving things around and reorganizing this summer! I love how the room is really coming together. One of the things I knew I wanted to change was my individual book boxes. I had bought really nice tubs from Steps to Literacy, and I loved them but they just didn't work in our classroom.

I had a shelf they were suppose to go on, but if they were on the shelf then students had to be getting up to get them every time they needed them. They were never able to do this quickly or quietly. When the boxes were at their desks they got dumped over and books were all over the floor getting stepped on and destroyed. I found myself saying "pick up your books" or stopping to pick up the books myself constantly!

I searched for different solutions and finally decided to try book bags for next year. I bought canvas bags from Michaels, and Hobby Lobby. I wanted them to match my classroom so I was looking for red, green, and blue. I found really nice red bags at Hobby Lobby they were on sale for 50% off so I got them for 1.50 a bag. I couldn't find blue or green so I decided to get white bags and dye them the colors I wanted. The white bags come in packs of three for 7.99 I had 40% off coupons for both stores so I ended up getting them for $3.19 a set.

I didn't want the dyeing process to be a lot of trouble, I've seen posts about dying things in the washer and decided to go that route. I bought Rit liquid dye made to be used in the washing machine.
I decided to use emerald green and royal blue. I like lime and aqua but I know the bags will be used a lot and I didn't want them to be really light colors, I am sure they will get dirty. Each bottle of dye cost $2 at Walmart.

I followed the directions on the container, putting six bags in the washer using the hottest water possible and ran it through the cycle twice.This did mean I had to watch the time and make sure I set the cycle back to the beginning before the water drained, but that was the most trouble I had.
The washer did all the work! After the bags ran through the double cycle I washed them one more time in warm water with detergent, then hung them up to dry. The color came out really vibrant. I was surprised at how dark they were when they came out of the wash, but after drying they were much brighter. I ran the empty machine through a small wash with a cup of bleach after the bags were done and there are no signs of dye left over in the washer at all.

Such a simple process and the bags turned out great! I am so excited to see how these work for us this year.
It's hard to see the green but I really like the shade! It's not too dark but not super light either.

I wanted to label the bags as we will be using them for individual book boxes so I made these cute little tags to match them. I plan to laminate them and attach them to the bags with book rings. I didn't have a ring at home so I just put this one on with a paper clip!
I still want students to have a little ownership of the bag so I am going to wait and let them write their names on the tags before I laminate them. If you would like to use the labels you can download them HERE!

I also spent part of the week organizing my library and labeling books! It's been a big job but it will be so worth it!! I'll share it all with you when it's finally finished.

Don't forget to head over to Tara's blog to see all the other Monday Made It Projects!
Thanks for stopping by!
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  1. Wow! I'm totally impressed! I'm too scared to try tye dying. You rocked it!


  2. The bags look great! I'm surprised how nice the dye turned out!!

    Mrs. Reed's Resource Room

  3. Those bags look great! What a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Are We There Yet?

  4. Very smart solution for dying! They turned out great! I've used book bags the last 3 years and they've been great! Lots of modeling and expectation talks at first, but they fit on the back of their chairs and I've only had one handle break in the last 3 years. I hope the bags work out for you and your students!

  5. Your book bags look great! I would not have thought to dye them.

    A Very Curious Class

  6. Wow! They turned out great. I've never used Rit dye before.

  7. Love your book bags!! They look fantastic!! The colors turned out great! I would never have thought of dye.

    The First Grade Dream


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