Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The end is near....

Summer is so close I can feel it.   I know around some parts of the country children are getting out in a matter of days.  Here in our part of the country, we go to school well into June which kind of stinks, but we don't go back until after Labor Day so I guess it all equals out.    My little guy is "graduating" from his final year of preschool in 2 weeks.  While I am thrilled to have him home, I am so sad that my time as a preschool mama will be officially ending forever!

I have so many fun ideas to share for summertime, but I wanted to start with a few ideas for end of school year gifts. While we just celebrated Teacher Appreciation last week, there are never enough reasons to spoil teachers (or at least as far as I'm concerned....and to note, I was never a teacher!)  Here is what we ended up giving our teachers this year for Teacher Appreciation Week.

We re-used the homemade "vase" idea for my son's preschool teachers and they were more than surprised.  They didn't even know it was Teacher Appreciation Week so they were thrilled with our surprise gifts.

Please pay no attention to the mess in the background.  I had so many crafts going on at one time :)

And these were soooo simple to make.  Here's all it takes...

The supplies were a can (ours was a large tomato can), a few packs of Dollar Store pencils and a hot glue gun.   The quantity of pencils will depend on the size of your can.  Simple so far.

 Then you just start gluing...no joke, that simple.   You can either put the erasers at the top or bottom.  Totally your call.  I made mine stick out below the can because the can had a little bit of a lip to it.

And here is what it looked like when totally full.
I added a ribbon and done..that simple and so cute, right?

For my daughter's teachers I wanted to do a little more.  First of all, they are 4th grade teachers so the pencil vase is probably not as "cool" for them and secondly, she spends a great deal more time at school than my son's 2 1/2 hours a day.  We decided on clipboards.  I am so happy with the way they turned out, but they were a lot of work.  Don't get me wrong, I would do them again and hope it gets easier, but it was our first time so it was a trial and a few errors.  Here is the finished product for 3 separate teachers.

She said they were a big hit and one of the teachers was very animated in her reaction.  She also asked that we don't do any gifts next year for middle school....I think she's a little embarrassed giving them now.  At least I have another one starting to school  :)

While they took a lot of work, they were inexpensive and so fun to create.  The supplies included:  clipboards, scrapbook paper, Dollar Store flowers, Mod Podge, paint and ribbon.  
Here's how we did it.

We started by painting the entire clipboard...even the handle part.  I happen to have tons of acrylic paint on hand from other crafting projects, but you can buy these inexpensively at any craft store.

Next we measured our scrapbook paper and cut out for the clip part.  Some clipboards allow for the clip to be unscrewed and removed, but our did not so we worked around it.  We left a little board showing at the bottom too.  Your call on that.

I know it probably would have helped to have pictures of one clipboard continously throughout the steps, but I'm not that together yet.  At least I remember pictures this time.

Once measured, we used our Mod Podge to attach the paper to the board and then completely covered the paper and board with a coat as well.  You want to put on several coats, but...make sure it's TOTALLY dry before starting the 2nd coat.

Love this stuff.

Once it dried, we "fancied" them up with the teacher's names and Mod Podge'd those and we added ribbon.  We made sure to add ribbon under the clip part too so that the Mod Podge wouldn't stick if the board was in a hot room.

Lastly, we hot glued flowers and ibbon to the back to cover up the ugly clip.

Our finished product again all wrapped up!  I thought these would be fun for a girls' birthday too.  What little girl wouldn't love a clipboard for crafting our writing?  
Maybe next year???

Another idea that was a huge hit and was great to gift from an entire class was this "bouquet" of flowers filled with gift cards.   My pictures are terrible, but hopefully you get the idea.

Believe it or not, this was quite simple.  You'll need:  small terracotta pot, paint, card stock in various colors, glue, plant stakes (the small green kind), ribbon and any other decorations you might want.

With the money collected from each family, we were able to buy a gift card from each child in the class. This would be cute with a picture of each child as the center of the flower too....thinking that may be my son's class gift this year!

Here is where I got the original idea...and if you click on the link below the photo, you can get the template for the flower envelopes.

This is super cute too...

The last homemade gift idea that I've personally made that I wanted to share was bags for each teacher.  What teacher doesn't carry stuff home, or her lunch or other things throughout the day?   I figured a fun bag would be a personal gift.

After making these last year, I decided that I enjoyed sewing enough to start my own "Poshed Up" business and have since expanded to many other bags and such.   Check it out...HERE!  If you enjoy sewing, there are tons of free templates out there to get you started on a simple bag or such.  Or, if you like mine, you can custom order for your child's teacher with monogramming....like this but more mature (these were all children's bags).  Just a thought!


I have found so many other fun, inexpensive and easy teacher and classmate end of year gifts that I'll be sharing over the next few days so I don't overwhelm.  Enjoy!

As always, I'd love to hear about and see your unique gift ideas!

Poshed Up

1 comment:

  1. what glue did you use for the pencils on can?