I made a decision
Spring cleaning

School auction projects

I'm completely, totally immersed with finishing the single girls and with Downton Abbey. Seriously, it's all I can do - sew or watch. While I'm head down working on quilts (or head up, eyes on the TV), I thought I'd tell you a little bit about the auction projects that I worked on for the past few months.

Sun quilt 2
Our school auction takes place every other year. This is the second time that I have been in charge of the kids' art projects. We have 9 grades (K - 8th) with two classes per grade. I come up with an idea for each grade and then each of the classes makes a variation of that idea. I get a lot of help from the art teacher - she takes on a few of the projects herself and uses class time with the kids to work on their art. Certain grades need more time to work on their projects. If that is the case, I go in and work with them or find parent volunteers who can help out.  I also asked for volunteers to help with prepping and finishing some of the projects.  Things like painting base coats on furniture, grouting mosaic tile, quilting and other sewing were done outside of school by myself and a few other parents.  I feel really lucky that our school has many talented, willing people that helped me this year. I couldn't have done it alone.

Auction mosaic

The hardest part of this whole process is coming up with good, doable projects that people will want to buy and have in their home that don't cost too much to make. This year our projects included play tents (K), advent calendars (1st grade), painted/collaged canvases (2nd grade), painted desks (3rd grade), batik quilts (4th grade), painted rain barrels (5th grade), mosaic bird bath/planters (6th grade), painted outdoor furniture (7th grade) and black and white photography (8th grade). I plan on going into detail on the quilts tomorrow. If there are other projects that you want to know more about, let me know in the comments and I will do my best to cover it all.



I love the rain barrels! How fun!


These are such great projects. What a talented school - and so nice to have parent helpers too!

Alicia A.

Wow! It all looks so gorgeous, E! That school is lucky to have you in its family.


They all look so great. You are amazing. I'm going to tuck a lot of these ideas away in case I have to do auction stuff in the future (which I'm sure I will).

I'd like to know more about the mosaic planters.

Account Deleted

I have always ran away from this auction job, it always felt so huge, but you make it sound so easy. And the projects look so great Erin!

rachel | buttons magee

you are seriously amazing. i hope you are aware of that!


Those go above and beyond the typical school projects. Seriously impressive. There are several things there I wouldn't mind having here. How about some project tutorials?


These are wonderful! I used your idea of the rain barrel for our class project--am including an earth box too. Congrats on taking on a huge project for your school!!!

Erin | house on hill road

Thanks, Kim! I don't have step-by-step photos of any of the projects so tutorials are not realistic right now. I can write about how things were done. Are there any specific projects you are interested in? E


great projects. am bookmarking this for ideas for our fall auction!

Jennifer Sirois

Those are all beautiful! Way to go, kids! Kudos to you for taking this project on and taking it so seriously.


Whoa, Erin, is that school lucky to have you as a parent!
Great, great job. I bet the kids really felt good about their projects too!

beth billups

what an amazing assortment of handmade goodness! did you create the b & w photo mosaic in photoshop? love it : )

Amy@Let's Explore

I'd love to hear a bit more about those rain barrels. We are planning to put quite a few in our yard, and I would love it if my girls could fancy them up for us. All the projects look amazing! :)


AGain, I have to say that the school is lucky to have you as a parent. The projects all look so wonderful. Well done, Erin

Rachel at Stitched in Color

Oh, I would have wanted to buy a play tent! How cool!


i am so impressed that you pulled all of this together. it looks fantastic. i would love to know more about the rain barrels and more specifically what you do with the collected rain?

amy h

Goodness, our auction mostly had re-gifted random stuff and donated gift certificates! Nothing as nice as these things -- nice work. (And what a lot of work!)


Not only are these great projects, but you've helped teach the children involved the beauty of hand-made. I'm sure all were very proud of these creations made with their own hands. Congratulations on being such an inspiration.

I know what you mean about Downton Abbey. I thought it was the best thing on tv in a very long time. It was on KET recently and I could hardly wait til Sunday night and was so sad to see it end - though happy to see season two is already in the works!


Could you come and sit on my PTA...I need parents like you! Great job Erin!

Indiana Lori

I'm wondering why our school hasn't thought of such a great idea?! Our kids have done photography books, I don't think we've had them actually do art projects and then sell them at the Auction. SO COOL. My kids also go to a K-8th, 2 classes per grade, in a school full of really creative kids.

Our silent on-line auction is on-going right now (we're on an off year for the live auction), so next year, I'm all over this!


I love all of the pictures. Our girlscout troop is VERY small (there are only 5 of them), and they are trying to raise funds for a summer trip. I think the rain barrels woud lbe an incredible project for them! And I think the play tents would be a great project for our brownies! Can yo ugive details on those projects, and can I have your permission to steal the ideas?

Thank you!


Wow!! These are amazing projects to make with the classes.

I hope the auction is a huge success.



I loved Downton Abbey - so glad they are making a second season. They just need to go ahead and finish up that second season so I can know what happens next!

Keri ~ Forever Folding Laundry

Wow - I'm only in charge of my 1st grade son's class project, and I thought that was a lot. I can't imagine having to come up with ideas for everyone! Nice job!


I would like to learn more about the tents as well.
Thanks so much! You are a talent!


We do the same thing at my children's school in Sydney - Lots of work - but great fun


I teach in a catholic school. We have grades Pre-k - 8th grade. Our large fundraiser is very simular. Each class makes something for the auction. I teach 1st grade and we have painted a large canvas for several years. I sketch the large picture onto the canvas, with painters tape, make a grid, one square for each student. They paint their square how ever they want and then we take the tape off and touch it up. This year I am puting together a memory quilt. A self portrait of each child will be on the quilt.

Thanks for such great ideas. Hope you make tons of money!!!!
Heather K.

Faye Lewis

Just watched your video on "putting a zipper in a pillow and the one on piping". So clear and concise. Wanted to say thank you!


Hi Erin, I'm amazed at your creativity. I'd love to hear more about the photography. Did the students take the pictures?

Erin | house on hill road

yes, they did! i'll dish more later!


This sounds like a wonderful way to involve children in creating and receive the appreciation of a buyer taking an item home to enjoy for along time.

Erin | house on hill road

you are welcome! i'm glad it was helpful.

Erin | house on hill road

that sounds adorable, heather!

Erin | house on hill road

ok. more info coming.

Erin | house on hill road

i'm with you on that! i just finished episode 7 last night.

Erin | house on hill road

thanks, ruth. it was!

Erin | house on hill road

yes, you can use any of these ideas! the rain barrels were a challenge to paint - i think i'll go into more details on that in a post. stay tuned.

Erin | house on hill road

ok. more rain barrel info coming soon. also, the collected rain is used for watering the garden.

Erin | house on hill road

stay tuned for more rain barrel info!

Erin | house on hill road

 thanks beth! and yes, the photo collage was created in photoshop. it was surprisingly easy to do.

Erin | house on hill road

thanks, jennie. i'll dish more of the mosaic. stay tuned!


YAY! Thank you. I will be watching.


I would be interested in the mosaic planters- I think my nephew would enjoy making those. The play tents look fun too. I think you should you should do them all in a series - maybe one a month or something. Great ideas!


When I taught Catholic School, I ran a similar project! It was AMAZING to see the interest generated by these projects! The parents just EAT IT UP!

Jill G

What great ideas you had Erin, and a ton of work. Good job pulling it all together, everything looks amazing. I'd love to know more about the advent calendar, it looks so cute and I love the kid made pieces!




The collage canvas - were they pictures, placemats . . .?


You are awesome! Those quilts look amazing. As does everything else. I would totally get one of those rain barrels. I've been feeling like I've been spending too much time on PTO activities, but not in comparison to you - the super mom. (Also, happy to hear you came to a satisfactory conclusion on the single girl quilts. I know they'll turn out great as well.)


What fun and beautiful projects! You deserve a huge pat on the back for being in charge of all of this. I can't imagine how many hours you must have spent!

The comments to this entry are closed.