Saturday, May 14, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

Well, I always say I'm going to get better at this whole blogging thing and then life happens and I fail! I've been subbing like crazy lately but the school year is winding down now and I only have three days lined up for the remaining weeks.  Kind of glad for a little break though because I need to get on the ball with some end of the year teacher gifts.  Our school didn't really do anything for Teacher Appreciation because the week we would have celebrated, our area was recovering from the tornadoes that blew through the previous week.  So, I'm putting my creative energy into end of the year teacher gifts instead.

Cole has a great teacher this year.  I always love to make things for his teachers at the end of the year.  He requires a little more 'teaching' than the 'normal' child so I like to go a little beyond the typical gift.  Here's a link to last year's gift.  Two other moms went in with me for that so it was a lot!!  This year, I'm on my own but I'm still shooting for the same type of gift.

One of these:

And you can see how to make this here!! 
And then one of these:

I found directions for this last year here
Cole also has a Special Ed teacher that works for him and then an Occupational Therapist, too.  In the last few years I just have run out of time when it comes to making something for them.  I feel bad that they've been neglected since they are so important to his education, too.  So, this year, I'm planning on making them something, too.  Here's the idea for them - you can see the directions here:

This is a girl's emergency clutch.  The inside has small Ziplock bags sewn in and you put all your little supplies in the bags. 

I love this idea.  I'm thinking I want one for me to use for my jewelry when we go out of town.  I usually throw everything in a little hinge top jewelry box that a necklace came in.  If I take bracelets or necklaces, it's a tangled mess, so I'm thinking it would be a better solution to use one of these.

Oh, wait - I'm planning teacher gifts, not stuff for me!!  So, I think I'll fill it up with a little pack of gum, some bandages, shout wipes, and germx wipes.  Then I'll attach a little tag with suggestions - the blog that posted the tutorial had great suggestions for the bags (medicine, tweezers, nail file, spare house key, etc).

Here are some other ideas that I really love, but probably won't have time to get to this year - but I'll keep them in mind for gifts next year!!

This one is really cute - directions here:

And I totally forgot I bookmarked this one - I may have to do this for this year, too!!  I love these!

And this is too cute - a free printable - too bad I don't have colored ink right now!!

Wow - too many options, too little time.  But now that I have a Silhouette, it's much easier to get cool things like these done!!  Can't wait to get them all finished up next week before the end of the year parties at school!!

Thanks for stopping by!!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Welcome wreath tutorial

 I've been meaning to post this for a while, but have had no internet due to the storms that came through Alabama last week.  Storms isn't really a strong enough word - but I'll leave my thoughts on that for another time!

I'm a big fan of decorating but hate to change things each season. I just took down the Easter decorations yesterday!!  I hate the idea of changing what's on my front door every month or so.  Actually, I love the idea, but just can't seem to actually do it.  So, I thought it would be fun to make something that I could easily change each month, season or special occasion.  Here it is:

Here's what you need:

A wreath
piece of scrap wood
sand paper
paint (chalk board and color of your choice)
drill and drill bit
two dowels
patience (I hate waiting for paint to dry)
misc. items to change it out as the times change - (burlap, paint, letter stickers, ribbon)

I started with these supplies:

I very carefully measured out where I wanted my holes - and marked the spots with a pen and then went outside to drill.  And by 'very carefully' I mean, I eyeballed it and used a piece of ribbon that was laying around!!

Next I drilled two holes.  I don't have a fancy work place to do any drilling.  I just go out on my front porch, hold the wood down with my feet and drill over the edge of a step.  It works for me, but does tend to make a mess. 

See, two holes!!

Next, I sanded the edges just to smooth it all out.

Next, I spray painted with my chalkboard paint.  I did several coats, as this type of wood just soaked up the paint.

Once it was dry, I gave it a day and then chalked it up and wiped it clean.  It was ready to go.

I picked a mid sized grapevine wreath, grabbed my ribbon and chalkboard plaque and got to work.

Cut two pieces of ribbon - I didn't measure, just cut about 18 inches each. I found that a satin ribbon worked better here - I got a tighter knot and prettier bow.  Simply thread your ribbon through one spot on the wreath, through the back and back around to the front, double knot it and thread one piece of ribbon through the hole in the plaque and then tie a simple bow.

Now, pick your next spot and thread the second piece of ribbon through, double knot and thread through second hole and finish with a bow.

Now your plaque is attached and you could just simply hang it up, write a message and be good to go.But if you want to personalize it more, keep reading!!

I decided to attach two dowels (which I quickly spray painted with my favorite Krylon Ocean Breeze Blue.  You could pick a more neutral color, but this is my current fave, so I went with it!!) I simply applied hot glue to the bottom of each dowel and stuck it in behind the chalkboard plaque.  Then added a bit more hot glue to the top part of the dowels to attach to the wreath.  You can see in the photo that I didn't hot glue at the very top of the dowels - that's so you have some room to wrap your ribbon around the top.

Now, I can change out my decorations easily by tying on a different item between the two dowels.  For my wreath right now, I painted a little bunny face on a piece of burlap.  I stitched a second piece of burlap to the back (starting at the bottom, going around the ears and stopping about an inch from the first stitch) and stuffed the bunny head with some cotton batting and finished off the bottom with a few more stitches.  I used the hot glue gun to attach the little bunny head to some ribbon (about 3 yards long) and then tied the ribbon on to my two dowels.

Here's the Easter/Spring wreath:

Here's another idea to hang from the dowels - a little Welcome sign!  We have friends that we hang out with most weekends - this would be a fun way to great them next time they come over. 

The options are endless! You could cut out some flowers from the burlap, add some paint, or leave them plain and attach them to some ribbon and hang it up!!  I could string up some ornaments at Christmas or snowflakes would be cute, too. Birthday banners would be great, too.  Looks like I need to whip up some more things and have them ready to go for every occasion! I love that I can leave the same wreath up all the time and just add one little item to the top to dress it up.

Thanks for checking out my tutorial!!  If you make one - come back and leave me a link!! I'd love to see your version!



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