School Days Door Hanger

With the first day of Pre-School quickly approaching, I started thinking about how I wanted to do First Day of School pictures each year.  I knew I wanted them to be the same each year but there was no way I could trust myself to always print out one of those cute chalkboard-ish signs in time or list out all of the kids' likes, dislikes, and what they want to be when they grow up.

So, after doing some thinking, I decided I just wanted a school themed door hanger for the front door.  But, I needed the door hanger to pull double-duty.  I wanted it to be something cute enough that it could stand alone and be used as decoration on our front door for a couple weeks at the beginning of the school year.  And I wanted it to somehow display each grade the kids were starting that year - for both individual pictures and pictures of them together.

My original idea was to do a box of crayons with a couple crayons spilling out that had their grades on them.  Then my Mom suggested a school house and I liked that idea better.  It just seemed cuter for the front door.

The afternoon before school started, here's what I whipped up!  My dad cut the outline of the school house out for me on thin plywood and I painted it.  I found a couple pictures of schoolhouses online that I liked and flipped between them as a guide.  

Every color took two coats which made painting it more time consuming that I thought it'd be.  After a solid base coat on it, I outlined everything with black paint.

And then, to make it a little more whimsical and less....cartooni-ish?...I added some highlights in white.  This step is what really made it cute!

Here's a close-up of the bell tower.  The painting isn't perfect at all, but cute enough for a door sign.

The final step was adding the wording but I didn't take pictures.  Mom and I voted on "School Days" instead of "Back to School" or "First Day of School" because we thought it would allow me to leave it on my front door for more than just the first day.  I hate how my lettering turned out but not enough to redo it at this point. 

For the grade requirement of the sign, I picked up two pre-made chalkboards from Michael's.  Mom painted them for me while I worked on the schoolhouse.  She did the frame in yellow to coordinate with the bell and added an apple that I outlined to match the schoolhouse.  Had we really used our heads, we would've added the apples on opposite sides of the chalkboards, but whatever.  They still work fine.  :)

I used velcro and burlap ribbon to hang the chalkboards from the schoolhouse.  It works out great because I can hang just one of them for individual pictures, two of them for pics together, and then take them off to leave just the schoolhouse.  

The following day, I added Pre-K 3 to one of the chalkboards and hung it up.  It looked great on the front door!

Stay tuned for pictures of my preschooler with the door sign!