If you feel like your computer monitor looks like everyone else's, jazz it up this fall and make it as unique as the person using it. Create a simple, hip computer-screen frame with inexpensive craft supplies. While you're at it, make a house for your mouse with a recycled, empty single-portion cereal box or juice box. Your kids can use it as a storage container for the mouse when the computer isn't in use. Here's how:

Measure the outside screen dimensions of your computer monitor and mark them on a sheet of craft foam or poster board to create a 2-inch wide frame. Cut out. Decorate the frame by creating designs in contrasting colors of foam or poster board. Cut out and glue to frame. For extra fun, cut tiny frames to fit school photos. Glue the mini frames and photos to your large computer frame.

When the glue is dry, attach two 2-inch strips of Velcro to the top and bottom of the back of the decorated frame. Attach matching pieces to the monitor and press frame to computer. Add a plastic clip to the side for tiny notepaper.

To make a house to store your mouse, cut off the top of a single-portion cereal or juice box and discard. Measure down 1 inch on the front of the box. Draw a horizontal line across the box at the 1-inch point and use as a guide to cut off the top front.

Paint or cover the box with adhesive-backed paper or craft foam. We covered our box with yellow foam and cut out holes to look like a block of Swiss cheese, a fitting abode for a "mouse." Attach Velcro to the back of the box and a matching piece to the side of your computer. Attach it in place. Store your mouse inside the decorative box to help teach your kids how to keep a neat desk.

How do you create study spaces for your kids? Send your ideas for use in future columns to Donna at www.donnasday.com.


Write Donna with your questions and ideas at www.donnasday.com. Donna's latest book, "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families," is available in bookstores nationwide. © Donna Erickson

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