Random DIY That You Don't Need but Totally Want

Leave it to the world's worst procrastinator to decide to make a pillow for my cats with a piece of foam I found while attempting to clean my house. I had JUST walked into my office to clean it up, when I found a large piece of packing foam that I received in a package to keep some fragile vases safe. I decided this was perfect for a cat bed, and that this was the best time to do it. If I wait, I rationalized, then it would just be adding to the clutter. But if I made it right away, I wouldn't be hoarding garbage and would be making my cats happy. #ADHDJustification

Ready to see this odd-ball, last minute craft I decided to make for no reason? Great! I present to you, the DIY Cat Bed (with foam and pajamas)...


Step 1

Grab your supplies. Make sure to snap a pic in terrible lighting.
You will need:
  • Yarn (or thread)
  • Old pajamas (or fabric)
  • A needle
  • Foam piece (or stuffing)
  • Tape (not shown)
  • Scissors (not shown)
  • Safety pins (not shown)
The foam in this picture had plastic around it. I took it off for this project.

Step 2

Put the foam in the pants. I stuffed the rectangular foam in the pajama pant leg (the width of the foam fit quite nicely in the pants). If you are using fabric, then cut the fabric so it fits around the foam.

Step 3

Thread your needle. With thicker yarn, threading it through the hole can be hard because it's more likely to fray. Wrap a piece of tape around the end to make it sturdier so you can press it through the needle hole.

Step 4

Measure out enough thread to sew the side(s) you're working on. (I was only doing two sides, and I roughly measured about 7x the length of the sides I had to sew, for no reason other than I wanted to be safe and keep up with the randomness of this project) Cut the thread/yard and tie a knot at the end (I doubled my knot)

Step 5

Begin sewing! I used a blanket stitch, which I miraculously knew how to do. If you don't know how to do that, check out this video for a quick tutorial. Search other YouTube videos for other stitches too.

Before sewing, make sure you are lining up your two sides together. This end was the hemmed bottom of the pant, so it was a little easier because I knew it was even. Even so, I folded the hem inward for a nice clean edge. Look at the follow pictures for how I did it.


Step 6

Finish it off with a knot. There are ways to hide the knot, but I couldn't figure it out. This is for a cat for crying out loud. They don't care.

Step 7

Do the other side. My "other side" was way more complicated because I started with the neatly hemmed bottom of the pant leg. So this side required me to cut the leg from the rest of the pant which is wider than the leg, and way more awkward. It resulted in this mess portrayed for you in this series of pictures...

This is from cutting the leg from the pant. Total mess. Using kitchen shearers may not have been my best idea.
To help make sure I was sewing somewhat evenly, I folded the edges so they matched up in a straight line.
To keep them folded, I used safety pins to hold them in place. Make sure to take them out when you get to them while sewing!
When  I started on this side, I had to manage these weird corners. The reason there was so much extra fabric is because it was larger up at the top of the left (you know, because thighs and butt are bigger than your ankles, usually). Therefore, I had to figure out how to stuff these corners inward and sew around them. I guess I could have snipped along the seam, sewn (sewed?) a tighter seam similar to the ankle area of the pants, and did the same way I did on the first edge, but this seemed more fitting to the scenario.
Once I lined up the wonky corner and stuffed it inward, I began to sew with the blanket stitch again
Get to the end, do the corner stuff again, and knot it up.

Step 8

Force your cat to lay on it by picking him up and putting him on the bed and constantly petting him until he lays down. 

I'm sure this tutorial was not helpful at all because I doubt you have a piece of rectangular foam lying  around, nor do you save old pajamas with a hole in the crotch, but alas, maybe it has inspired you to be creative today.

Ever done a random DIY on a whim? Let me know below! I'd love to know I'm not the only one...

5 Ways to Enhance Your Teaching Over the Summer

As teachers, you never stop working. Even on your "summer off" you will be toiling away, strategizing new classroom management techniques, shopping for new classroom manipulatives, and outlining new lessons to enhance your students' learning. Here are 5 ways you may have not considered spending your summer that will improve your teaching for the upcoming school year (now if we could only use these to earn CEs)

Operational Definitions in the Classroom

So we all know what an operational definition is, right? Well, if not, here's a quick review: 

Operational Definition: A way to define a behavior in simple, observable, and measurable terms. You want it to be specific, like a SMART goal.


So, now that we've jogged our memory on what they are, why are they so important? Here's another quick review:

Writing an operational definition is crucial, as it defines the behavior so specifically, that it can be accurately measured, assessed, and treated by any person working with the individual. The point is that, no matter who reads the definition, they know exactly what the behavior looks like.


Okay great. But now how do you use them in the classroom? Keep reading for 6 different ways to use operational definitions in your classroom.


Teacher Appreciation 2017!

It's that time of year again, where we appreciate all the amazing teachers out there supporting our learner's of all ages and abilities. As a way to show our love and appreciation for these teachers, Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a Teacher's Appreciation Sale!

Procrastination: How to Stay on Track

Procrastination. We know this word all too well (some of us more than others). Procrastination can be useful, to an extent. People argue that they do better under pressure, and while that may be true for some, sometimes you just have to get started on something immediately. Other times, your procrastination (or avoidance behavior) takes over and all of a sudden something is due, but you still can't get started. If any of this sounds like you, this post is for you. 

seriously struggle with procrastination and initiating tasks (did I mention I have executive functioning difficulties?). Over the years I've read lots of articles and tried out a variety of ways to help manage my procrastination. Here are some things that work for me:

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Welcome to Part 4 of the Autism 101 series. Today we are diving deeper into specific support techniques for working with people with ASD. If you want an overview of different interventions used with people with ASD, check out Part 3. For more information on what autism is, and how to identify it, check out Part 1 and Part 2 respectively.


Today we will be talking about different support strategies for those with an ASD diagnosis. Keep in mind, that we've previously discussed how each person with ASD is different, thus these supports and ideas are not a one-size-fits-all approach. You will need to take these approaches and individualize them to your students or adults you're working with.

Executive Functioning: What is It?

I'm sure we've all heard this term before. If you are a teacher, especially a special educator, you know this term well.  You might even be someone who struggles with this yourself (*raises hand*). This is such an important term that encompasses so much! But what does this all mean..?

What is executive functioning?

Executive functioning is the command center of the brain. Executive functions are the skills of the brain used for planning, organizing, and managing our thoughts. To say executive functioning is important is an understatement.

What are some executive functioning skills?

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