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Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. ~Twyla Tharp

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mavalus Tape

Part of the job of any art teacher is to display student work around the school.  I have a lot of issues with this, one being that the art work often gets destroyed.  Most of the time it is from the wear and tear of being up in the hallways where our students line up and lean against it all day long.  Sometimes, it ends up being vandalized, but not often, thank goodness.  Another problem I have is just the sheer effort of keeping the stuff on the walls.  I have been known to walk around with a stapler and a roll of masking tape around my wrist to restick, restaple, reattach and fix artwork that has fallen off the cinder blocks or bulletin board strips that line our hallways.

I have been on a mission this year.  A mission to deliver my school from the drabs and drearies.  I often joke that my school is painted in the lackluster colors of East Berlin but OH MY GOSH!  I am not kidding.  There is a black line, at chair rail height that circles the building.  It's about 12-14" wide.  Above the line the cinder blocks are painted gray.  Not light gray or bluish gray or a warm gray.  It's painted the gray that can probably found in the bowels of a submarine.  Below the black line, the wall is blue.  Not the bright, vibrant blue that we at Albemarle Middle School know as Bulldog Blue.  It's grayish blue.  It's dark.  It's like the whoops paint that you might find at Lowes marked down for $1.50 a gallon. It's not even close to our school colors.  Sigh.  It's depressing.

At the beginning of the school year, I found a neat little one day project on Pinterest.  The link is currently broken, but here is a link to my board: Index card 1 day Project.  I had all of my classes from first quarter create a small piece of art on a 3 x 5 plain index card.  I saved them all and did the same thing with my new second quarter students.  After they finished them, I had 200 + little masterpieces.  I mounted them on 24 x 36 construction paper and laminated them. They are heavy. I knew exactly where I wanted to put them but how to keep them up there was my problem.  It was at the other end of the school.  Upkeep was going to be a beast.

See what I mean about the colors?  Blah.
Enter Mavalus tape.  OHMYGOSH!  You guys!  This stuff is insane and has changed my life completely.  I know that sounds excessive but seriously, I am so not kidding.  Over the summer, I went to the teacher store at the big old mall in the next county over and as I was checking out, the girl behind the register noticed that I had a lot of art related items and asked me if I was an art teacher.  I guess it was obvious.  She asked me if I had ever heard of Mavalus tape.  I hadn't and she convinced me to buy a roll.  I really didn't think much of it until a month or so ago when I started putting things up in earnest.

I hung some fairly heavy quilled paper initials up in the foyer.  The wind has blown in on them for weeks and they are still hanging.  I hung posters in the hallway and in my classroom.  Despite temperature changes, mother nature and middle schoolers, they are still hanging.  Over the years, I have tried everything to keep stuff on the walls.  Hot glue (it works but it's a pain to remove), masking tape (most of the time it doesn't even stick to itself), sticky tack, double sided foam tape, command hooks, silicone caulk (I'm serious), duct tape and those little hooks with the sticky, gooey wax stuff on them.  Obviously, I have tried everything.

But no more.  I have found the Holy Grail of adhesives and it's name is Mavalus Tape.  It can be found online (I got a bunch from Amazon but it's locked up in my supply closet so don't get any ideas), at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, AC Moore and Michael's and probably at your local teacher store.  Get some.  It will change your life.

Even though it sounds that way, this is not an advertisement for Mavalus tape and I am not being paid in any way to endorse the product.  It's just that good.

Mavalus tape.  My hero.  Sigh.