Here we are, starting a new school year! Thanks to COVID, we are planning on starting the 2020-21 school year virtually. With Braxton going into Kindergarten, I hate that his first memories of school will consist of boring 30-minute WebEx sessions, and meeting his classmates online instead of in-person. No bells, no school bus, no cafeteria lunch food, PE, or fun on the playground.
Since we will be home-schooling for at least the first few weeks, I have been working hard to get Braxton a classroom set-up at home. He’s wanted his own desk ever since Brock and I started working from home, way back in early March! He carries around folders and trapper keepers loaded full of ‘white paper’ (that he draws his masterpieces on), pencils, pens, and markers. He loves to draw, and we currently have Braxton artwork taped to at least 1 wall in pretty much every room of our house. So, I set out on a mission to find him a desk to do his school work at and create his art masterpieces.
I am one that loves to find a used piece of furniture to fix-up. I love bringing a piece back to life that someone else has deemed as useless or thrown out to the curb. I am not beyond stopping my car and picking up something that someone has thrown out to the curb for the garbage truck to pick-up. I have found many interesting finds that just needed a little TLC to be refurbished and given a second chance and a second home. It astonishes me the things that people will throw out.
I looked online for desks at big box stores and specialty furniture stores. Like so many times before, I wasn’t falling in love with anything and the pieces I did like were ridiculously priced. I set an alert on Facebook Marketplace for a kids desk… and low and behold, a few days later I got an alert for a Pottery Barn Craft Table. It had been listed for 16 minutes when I messaged the lady and I was certain it had probably already sold. When she said it was still available I told her I would head her way to pick it up. At only $60, I thought it was a steal.
It definitely needed to be refinished, but I know the quality of PB furniture and knew that it had a lot of life left in it. I did a search on the PB website to see how good of a deal I got (I do this with pretty much everything I buy!) The table has a sticker on it with a 2010 manufactured date. This particular table is nearly 5 feet long, has 3 drawers and is much bigger than any of the tables currently listed online. They must’ve discontinued making this larger table, which doesn’t surprise me since it is now over 10 years old. The largest Carolina craft table on their site is currently right under $300. With that information, I am happy realizing I bought a table that originally cost $300+ (being a larger size, and including tax) for $60. That’s a savings of 80%…I don’t think you’re likely to ever find a piece of PB furniture at that kind of savings!
The first thing I did was take off those hideous ‘upgraded’ drawer pulls it had, then it was time to sand!
Once it was sanded, I wiped it down good. With the temps currently above 100 here in Texas, I decided I should paint inside. With the help of my super strong hubby, we hauled this baby up the stairs and started painting it in the room where it would stay.
Starting to look like a new piece of furniture! Loving the way it’s going to turn out!
I also love that it has a craft paper holder. The boys are going to love drawing on the large surface area of the paper roll!
The paint we decided to use on the table was left-over from a previous project. We used Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. With the painting, sanding, and new knobs on the table, (which I also already had on-hand) the price tag rings in right around $75. I can not find a single brand-new kids’ desk at that price.
I scoped out a cozy little un-used space in our game room upstairs and decided it would be the perfect place for home-schooling. I setup his school supplies, iPad, schedule, and all the things he would need to be ready for Kindergarten.
How cute did his little home-school classroom nook turn out!?! I love how the table fits perfectly and is also the perfect size for him to sit at while doing his work and virtual learning!
All the things to make learning fun! The ABC chalkboard actually came in very useful on the first day of distant learning whenever the teacher asked the children to write their names using upper and lower-case letters. Braxton was definitely accustomed to only using upper-case letters! The abacus was also helpful during math, and the school supply organizer came in very handy, too! During art he was able to just grab the marker caddy that he wanted to use and bring just those markers to the table instead of all of the supplies. Both boys love the Kit Kat Clock! Braxton loves Kitty’s bow-tie and Blaise loves the wagging tail and moving eyes! Since Braxton will start learning to tell time, I thought it would be a fun clock to help encourage learning that skill! Also, we have this book to help as well!
This is the cutest little globe that is perfect for kiddos interested in geography and traveling! We used this during some of our summer travel series where we “flew” to France. The continents come off and are actually puzzle pieces with different shapes you match up to the globe. The boys loved figuring out what continents went where and learning about the different countries and oceans!
Braxton’s 1st week of school packet that we picked up at the drive-through meet-the-teacher event included 10 of these MathLink manipulative cubes and I thought it would be fun for Braxton to have more since he is already counting way past 10, and even past 100!
Also during our drive-through meet-the-teacher event, Braxton out of the blue said that he knew how to tie his shoes. This was news to me! I figured we needed to start practicing so he could, indeed, prove to his teacher he knew how to! This is the cutest book and Braxton is already well on his way to tying his own shoes!
We received a print-out of their daily schedule in their packet but I knew I needed it to be more prominent and bigger so that I could glance at it from across the room and see what was coming up. This daily schedule chart helped tremendously!
Braxton absolutely loved reading this book with Daddy on the first day of school!
I can’t believe my oldest “baby” is off to his first year of school. It’s truly bittersweet! I’m so proud of him and the young boy that he is becoming. He has a lot of great and wonderful things in store for him in the future! Oh, and that bow-tie….that’s all him! He loves dressing up as a “gentleman”.
So get this! I was literally writing this post when Brock pulled in the drive and told me a neighbor had furniture sitting out on the curb for tomorrow’s trash pick-up. How ironic! We hopped in the truck and drove over to the house. Sure enough, they had an entire queen-sized bedroom suite, TV console table, outdoor patio table, and coffee table sitting on the curb. I didn’t have the need or desire to re-finish an entire bedroom set at the moment…and the coffee table may have been beyond repair, but we did grab the patio table and TV console table. I will re-finish these pieces and then list them on Facebook Marketplace. I could easily get $100 out of the console table. The outdoor patio table I would likely get about $25. That’s $125 profit ya’ll, and all it will take is probably 2-3 hours of sanding and painting total! That’s the equivalent of making $42/hour. Not bad!
More on those projects to come!