How To Make a School Supply Cake



Yes, I actually made this.  Nope, it wasn’t hard.

I’m always saying I’m not a crafty person, but then I do have so much fun putting stuff like this together.  I’m beginning to wonder if I actually DO enjoy crafts after all….


Next week is Staff Appreciation Week at the boys’ school, and I am “room mom” for Caleb’s class.

Don’t be impressed.  I am never ‘room mom.’  This is simply what happens when you are the last parent to leave Open House, and you realize that no one signed up for that position.  Thankfully, the position really hasn’t required that much of my time.  I’m not able to volunteer during school hours, as I have two babies at home, but I can organize class events from right here at home.

Now, let’s talk about this ‘supply cake.’

That term sounds goofy to me, so let’s call it a tower here.  I found this idea on my favorite idea zone, Pinterest!  I found several towers like this, read about them, and none of them were exactly what I wanted, but this particular one served as my inspiration because it is just so darn cute:

Shout out to and to for the inspiration on this!!

I wasn’t able to come up with exactly the same supplies that were used here, so I decided to just ‘wing it’ a bit.

Like it??  You can totally make this.  If I can do it, anyone can!! I’m including directions here for exactly how I made this, to make it as easy as possible for you!!

 To print the directions: click here (Page 1 comes last on the printable. But don’t worry. It is there.)

how-to-make a school supply cake

First, buy this:

scrapbook paper

paper plate

a pretty color masking tape to match the scrapbook paper

16 boxes 24 count crayon boxes

10 bottles Elmer’s glue

26 glue sticks

1 paper towel roll

1 full size Dixie cup

2 boxes 24 count #2 pencils

2 packs of 100 count index cards

5 rubber bands

4 jumbo paper clips

alternative:  You can also use packs of glue sticks instead of glue sticks, and that’s a little cheaper and easier.  If you do the packs of glue sticks, you will need 7 packs of glue sticks.  Each pack has two glue sticks.

Here’s a photo of what the glue stick pack version looks like.  I made this one for Joshua’s teacher. Families from the class chipped in and paid for these.  I just put them together.  : )




1. Take a sturdy paper plate, turn it upside down, and tape the scrapbook paper to the plate.

2. Don’t stick the paper towel roll to the plate until you have secured layer 1 to the paper towel roll.  Trust me.  It’s easier to do layer one  if it’s not stuck down to the plate yet.

Layer 1:

3. Line 6 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons around the paper towel roll. Secure with a rubber band.

4. Line 8 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons around the other boxes of crayons.  Secure with a rubber band.  Wrap the masking tape around the rubber band.  You could also use ribbon.  In the middle, clamp on a jumbo paper clip.

5. Now put tape all over the bottom of the paper towel roll and stick it to the prepped paper plate with scrapbook paper.

Layer 2:

6. Take 9 or 10 bottles of Elmer’s glue to form a ring around the paper towels, sitting on top of the inner ring of crayon boxes. Secure with a rubber band.  Wrap the tape around the rubber band.  Fasten in the center with a jumbo paper clip.

Layer 3:

7.  This is the trickiest part, though none of it was hard.  The glue doesn’t make a shelf, so you have to tape the glue sticks to the paper towel roll.  I just lined up multiple little bundles of masking tape, and stuck the glue sticks to it.

Don’t worry.  Here are some photos to help:


3/4 of the way done


the tricky part

Once all the glue sticks are on, secure layer 3 with a rubber band, cover with the masking tape, and clip on your jumbo paper clip.


8. I folded some more tape onto the top of the roll, covering most of the hole.  Then I pushed the cup onto the top.


not overly sophisticated, but it will do



Stick on the Dixie cup. Then I added 24 pre-sharpened #2 pencils.

Stick on the Dixie cup. Then I added 24 pre-sharpened #2 pencils.

9. I put a crayon box on the north and south sides and index card packs on the east and west.  Our class also chipped in for some gift cards, so I stuck those in there too.  This would also be great as a Christmas or end of the year gift for your teacher.  It was surprisingly easy to make!




Thanks for stopping by! I hope you will follow me on Facebook for more fun ideas. 🙂

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Charitable Chicken and Other Little Tales


Lots of little things are going on here in the House of Many Little Men….

This is the thing I’m most excited about:  JD is getting ready to take off.  Each day he finds his way onto his hands and knees just a little bit more.

He is also SERIOUS about his “standing practice.”  He just loves to be on his feet.  He’s extremely unsteady when you walk him, and yet the boy will randomly just let go of your hands.  Gutsy, this one.

Do you think we’ll have to hang gates before we move?  Right now he moves at the speed of sleeping turtles, so we’re good, but we have around seven weeks left in this house, and a lot can happen in that amount of time!


This is hands down the most stressful thing going on with me right now.  Here’s the deal:  we are a military family.  That means we can’t even book movers (set a moving date) until we have official orders in hand.

Alan has to report to his new duty station on June 30.

We have no orders.  This is April 24!!!

We keep calling.  It turns out that the EFMP is what’s holding us up.  What’s an EFMP, you ask?  Exceptional Family Member Program:  a PCS nightmare.  (PCS = Permanent Change of Station= Moving) Pray for us!  We can’t move until the EFMP people decide this is a good place for Caleb to live and get treatment.  Caleb has epilepsy.  I will be doing a post on epilepsy soon:  yes, another one, because I’m always amazed at the misconceptions that people have of it.

So that’s that.  Moving stresses me out to talk about, so let’s move on…

My #2 stressor right now is that I’m the room mom for Caleb’s class, and Staff Appreciation Week is coming up.  I volunteered to make this:

only with less Elmer’s and more pencils.  Plus, we’re adding a couple of fun gift cards for the teacher.

Do you think I can do it?  Let’s go with yes.  After all, I did make this last year:

and by ‘this’, I’m referring to the diaper cake to the right of my friend Betsy!  I forgot to take a close-up picture of it!! How do you create a masterpiece like that and forget to take a picture?  ; )

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the ‘supply cake’!


Funny things I’ve seen/heard lately:

–I was going over my bank records, and I noticed a transaction that read  “Church.  $23:  charitable giving”

(Our bank categorizes our purchases.)

Alan was sitting beside me, and I thought this was an odd amount, and at a different location than our church.  I asked Alan, “Did you give $23 to a church?”

“No.  What’s the address?  Hmmm.  Let me see it.  Oh!  Ha!  Church’s chicken!”

So there you have it, folks!  If you eat fried chicken, it may or may not help you on your tax return!

One more:

Daniel was sitting down the other day, making his feet talk to each other.  Apparently they were having an argument of some sort:

“Your turn,” said the left

“Noooo,” replied the right, and it kind of just went on along those lines.  But then doesn’t everyone’s feet talk to each other?


My Week of Staying at Home

  If you’ve been reading this blog any at all, since the baby arrived, then you know that I am currently pretty stressed out.  That’s right.  Life is giving me a good ol’ fashioned butt whoopin’!
   We have hired a little help.  We have cut back on activities.  We’ve made list after list.  You name it, we’ve probably tried it.  Yet we are still just treading water over here.
   So I decided that this week I am focusing on the household, while trying to cut out all other distractions, by simply staying home, just for a week.   
   I’ve been sticking to that, but raising kids…..well, it is what it is.
End of Monday:  laundry still behind, despite having done about 4 loads, most of the children were bathed, everyone was well fed,  Oh!  and I squeezed in an at home workout:  Lindsey Brin’s postnatal boot camp.  I even set aside about 3 bags of stuff to donate to charity–always exciting.
  Tuesday proved to be much tougher.  Dan had preschool, and John David and I set out to conquer “errand day”.  We made it to two stores:  Target for groceries and a consignment store for a baby bouncy thing and two more sleepers for JD.
The best thing about buying used:  You don’t have to put it together!!!!!  Love!
  After spending all day running errands, I was feeling super depressed when at 2:30pm I had not even finished the “morning chores”.  The kitchen was covered in Target bags, the dishwasher remained full of clean dishes, and no clothes had been washed.  I also had no plan for supper.
……enter Megan and Cara!
  Remember when I said that I hired helpers?  Two days per week, these precious souls that we call Megan and Cara come to my house, after they get out of school.  They keep Dan and JD while I get to pick up Joshua and Caleb (with no babies!).  Then I get to take the big boys to the park and visit with my friends, while the boys play with their friends.  It’s wonderful!
  When I leave the house, both babies are usually asleep.  By the time I get back, Megan is usually holding an awake John David.  
  Cara asked me a few weeks back if she could cook dinner for us, during the time that the kids don’t need her.  (Dan usually naps pretty late!)  So…..believe it or not….Cara cooks our dinner, two days/week.  
  I know, I sound so ridiculously spoiled, don’t I?
  Once all the babies wake up, I pile all four kiddos into the car and we take our helpers home.  It’s usually just two hours of help, but it’s pretty awesome.  It may be one of the best ideas I ever had.
  Today the girls even helped me with a little PTA project.  I like helping at the boys’ school, but obviously I don’t really belong in an elementary school, with my two little tag-alongs.  I was excited to find a project I could help with from the comfort of my own home:  Box Tops!
   I basically just signed up to help trim, sort, and count Box Tops once every month or so.  Did you know that in order to send in your Box Tops, they must be completely trimmed on the dotted lines?  
Tops must be cut on the dotted lines, as shown on the left.  All tops turned in like the one on the right are still very helpful, but your PTA’s Box Top lady will have to go through and trim them all for you…..just a little helpful hint.  By the way, grandparents, if you’d like to send us Box Tops, we’d be happy to receive them.  : )
  I would like to take a second to say THANK YOU for all the prayers.  Alan told me this morning that DaddyO said he was praying for me today, and that means so much to us.  
   This is a season of life when I’ve really had to re-learn the importance of relying on God.  I always think of “relying on God to get through” as something you do in the face of great trauma, like the death of a loved one, or cancer, or anything big like that.  I’m bad to not apply that principle to my regular life, because regular life just isn’t always as challenging as it is right now.  (Thank goodness for that!)  Lately I’m learning that I really cannot just handle it all on my own.  I need God!  
   That may sound weird to some of you, and if it does, I challenge you that if you have a problem that’s bigger than you can handle, pray for Him to handle it for you! 
 Oh, and one more thing!  Hillary Clinton was right.  (And you know I’m no liberal).  It really does take a village!  I’ve needed my friends and family so much this year.  It’s been downright humbling, and yet it’s been a blessing at the same time.  I just love you all so stinkin’ much!!!  
  People often ask me which baby transition is the hardest– going to 1, 2, 3, or 4.  I keep pondering this and I’ve decided that the answer is “yes!”  All of them are the hardest at the time!  I don’t really remember how hard 1 and 2 were, though I remember 3 was pretty rough.  I think they are all such a major life transition that one isn’t necessarily way harder than the next.  Handling one baby now may be a vacation, but when it was just the one everything was new, and I was flying by the seat of my pants, and it was hard!
  Then when the second came along, I had to learn how to deal with that overwhelming both-babies-need-me-right- this- second- and- I- only- have- two- hands- feeling.  So hard!
  Then when the third came, we were juggling Joshua’s sports, Caleb’s mischief, and readjusting to babies.
  Then with four–oh where to begin!
  My friend, Yoga Monica, recently sent me one of those motivational exercise pictures that reads, “That which does not challenge you does not change you.”  She meant it about the tough work-out she was giving me, but I think it applies to everything.  I am being seriously challenged, but you know what?  It really is changing me, and I say that’s a darn good thing!
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