Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Four Tier Cupcake Stand Tutorial

It's Thursday which means it is time for another Throwback Thursday post.  This week I thought I would reshare the Four Tier Cupcake Stand Tutorial that I originally posted four years ago.  I made this cupcake stand to display cupcakes for my daughter's birthday party.  All of the cupcake stands that I saw in the store were cardboard, flimsy, or didn't fit what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own.  

I will preface this post with the same disclaimer as before I have NEVER, EVER written a tutorial like this nor do I claim to be a great crafter.  In fact, I know I am a messy, non-patient crafter but I am working on that one. 

I started out with one piece of this Tri-Ply 4x4 underlayment that I bought at Michael's.  It was in the $5 to $8 range, I am not sure how much it was because I originally bought it for another project.  From this board my husband cut a 9" square, 15" square, 20" square and 24" square. 

Ignore the rectangles in the above picture I didn't end up using them.  I also used an old wooden broom handle for the center support of the stand.  We cut the broom handle into three 8" pieces.

Using Gorilla Glue Wood Glue (love that stuff) I took the 24" square and glued one support beam in the center of the square.  I allowed this beam to dry completely before I added the 20" square to the top of it.  I continued the glue, let dry process until I had added the 15" and 9" squares as well.  (I hope this makes sense - please feel free to ask questions if it doesn't).  I didn't use anything stronger than glue because the stand isn't going to be handling anything heavier than cupcakes, cookies, or sandwiches.

We ended up using masking tape to hold everything still until it dried completely.  The 20" square was still pretty wobbly, so we ended up adding cutting a dowel rod into 4 pieces and gluing it onto each corner between the 24" and 20" squares for additional support.  (See below for more details)

I painted it white with a quart of Porter Paints White Hi-Hide semi-gloss paint.  It didn't take anywhere near the whole quart and covered the wood easily.

Now were I to make it again here is what I would change:

I don't know that I would make it four tiers, I think three tiers would have been more than adequate.

I would have made more a size difference between the bottom two tiers.  Instead of making it 24" and 20" I would have probably made it 24" and 18" but then I would also have to adjust the top two tier sizes as well.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

When What Your Doing Isn't Working....

When the kids were younger all of our schoolwork was unit study based and interest led.  As my older kids began to reach middle school, and then high school I felt the need to prepare them for college so we opted for classical history and science curriculums.  

I thought that the classical history and science curriculum was the best way to teach older kids.  However, my kids were bored to death of the classical textbook format to history and were not retaining the material the way that they did when we took a more interest led and unit study approach to history.  Last school year at the end of the year we finished our book early and did a few unit studies to finish out the school year.  Those unit studies renewed their interest in learning history and they soaked the information up like sponges.

This school year we are doing things a little bit different and going back to our roots, well sort of.  This year we are going to stay with the formal classical curriculums when it comes to math, writing, and science but for history we are going to do interest based learning.

This week we are learning about September 11th, as the anniversary of this day is this week.  After this unit study we are going to learn about colonial America as we are going to visit Colonial Williamsburg in October.  That trip will be followed up with a unit study about Lewis and Clark as our local history museum has an exhibit about the explorers we plan to visit as part of our unit study.  
As you approach this new school year I encourage you to think about what is working in your school year and what isn't working.  If something isn't working don't keep doing it because you feel like you have to, or because a homeschool how to book tells you that you have to.  My advice is to follow the lead of your kids, and do what is best for them.  Don't be afraid to do something different.

However, when making decisions you need to keep in mind your kid's future plans.  My oldest daughter entered college this year, and is studying political science.  Her career goal is not science or math based, so she could get by with a science program that was not so strenuous.  However, my youngest daughter wants to be a vet, which is very science based.  So for her a strong science program with labs is important.  

I am linking this post up to the Hip Homeschool Hop at the Hip Homeschool Moms.