Summer’s Here – End of the School Year gift

I used to not like summer.  As a child I never looked forward to several months away from my school friends staying home and being bored.  Sure, I loved the break from homework and classes, but that would wear off quickly.

When I was a 6th grade teacher, summer break was such a welcome sight!  Months and months of LONG days and weekends spent grading papers were gone and the new school year was several weeks in the future.  As a mommy now that is homeschooling one child and driving another to preschool 3 days a week, can I just say I have been counting the days until summer break!  {Anyone else???}

Teachers work hard and they NEED their summers off to relax just as much as the students (and us mommies) need too!  You know me, I love to spoil my boys’ teachers since I know first hand how hard they work.  So when I saw this idea for an end of the year gift, I knew it was perfect!

To cut down on expenses (and use up some of the junk items I have saved in the garage for repurposing into something creative), I decided to use these babies:
drink carrier

A while ago, after a run to Sonic for Happy Hour, I received one of these fabulous drink carriers.  That prompted another trip to Sonic for a second one a few weeks later.  Today, however, I was bummed when I asked my hubby to pick me up just one more and he brought home a much smaller version :(

The goodies

Here is the run down on what I got to fill the drink carrier.  Overall it was only $23 at Target!!!  Since I have 3 teachers to buy for that was a bargain – plus I had 2 of my friends with children in the same classes split the cost with me so that made it even better!

Reuseable cup $3.99 (Ross)

Towel $6.99

Candy $1 each

Flip-Flops $2.50 – gotta love the dollar spot!

Lays Chips $1 – on sale

Magazine $3.99

Crystal Light Lemonade $2.04 (used half the package in one and the other half in the other)


Now onto how I decorated the drink carrier:

Cover with paper

First I cut some scrapbook paper to fit each side of the carrier

mine was 8 1/2″ by 5″

tacky spray

Have you used this Tacky Spray?  I LOVE this stuff!

So easy for adhering paper and it was perfect for this project.


Then I typed up some simple and quick tags (thanks to Skip to my Lou for the cute rhyme!)

finished gift

And here is the finished product!  Can’t wait to spoil some teachers over the next couple of days with these.

Teacher Appreciation Week!

I am not sure who thought it would be a good idea to have Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation week at the same time of the year, but alas they are.  That means lots crafting and gift giving is in my near future.  Since Teacher Appreciation week is coming up next week, I thought I would give you a look at what I am planning on giving to my boys’ teacher this year.

Some of you might be thinking – But don’t you homeschool?  What do you mean teachers? Isn’t that you?  Well, yes I am my oldest son’s teacher for the most part but he does have a supervising teacher that we turn all his work into.  So she deserves a treat for putting up with my emails and questions all year long ;)  As for my preschooler, he attends preschool 3 days a week so I like to give a smaller gift each day instead of just one gift.  I was a teacher so I know all the hard work that goes into teaching and how nice it was to receive little treats! My older son also has a piano teacher so I might just throw in a little something for her as well!

I have been pinning ideas for a while now on my Teacher Appreciation board on Pinterest.  Here are the ones I am going to be using this year!

Gift #1 – PICKED  basket of treats(courtesy of Eighteen25)

Couldn't have Picked

You can find the blog post here detailing what you need to make your own, as well as the link to print your very own tag for your gift basket!

Gift #2 – Supplies 4 Teacher (courtesy of Less Cake, More Frosting)


Here you can also download the free printable tag.  Instead of filling it up with necessary classroom supplies as she suggests, my plan is to load up a cute little gift bag with a light duty staple gun and staples since I constantly see my son’s preschool teachers doing the whole “wack the opened up stapler against the wall” thing when they are changing up the classroom decorations.  The best tip I EVER got as a teacher was to use a light duty staple gun!  Saved me so much time when putting up bulletin boards. I am hoping to find a staple remover that slips right under the staples too (not the pinching kind that looks like it has vampire teeth) to include as well.

Gift #3 – Can’t live on Apples alone… (courtesy of Little Pumpkin Grace)

Apples and Hugs

This is a a nice and easy gift to give – I mean, come on, who doesn’t like some chocolate!  I will need to create my own tag since I  think a printed one looks nicer than a handwritten one.  So now I am hunting for just the right container to put the hugs in!

Of course you could always create a personalized gift for your child’s teacher too!  A couple years ago I made these adorable crayon letter frames that the teacher’s just loved!  In fact they are still proudly displayed in their classroom (I know because those teachers are my preschooler’s teachers this year – bummer, no reusing gift ideas for me!).

Crayon initial

Let me know what you are planning on doing for your child(s) teachers this year!  I love getting new ideas for appreciating teachers!

End of the Year Gifts

My oldest son just finished his second and final year of preschool. It is both exciting and sad at the same time. Exciting because that mean we are heading into school years and I will be embarking on the roller coaster that is homeschooling. Will it be challenging, yes. But will the rewards outweigh the challenges, definitely. I can do all things in Christ. He has led us to the decision to homeschool our children, and He will equip me (yes, a credentialed teacher needs to be equipped! Teaching YOUR OWN kid is VERY different from teaching a room of 35 sixth graders).

Above is the adorable card I made using my Cricut (have I told you lately how much I LOVE that little machine!). CB (my oldest son) was certainly blessed with TWO #1 teachers this year! What a blessing they were.
For the gift, I had saved this one for just this occasion! As some of you know I have a large list of blogs that I read on a regular basis. When I see an idea that I love I save it in my Delicious list (an online bookmarking list, so your bookmarks are available anywhere that has Internet.) Anyway, a few months ago while I was peeking at Nap Time Crafts I saw this beautiful idea! You can’t get much more simple than that: crayons, some Tacky glue, and a shadow box frame.
I cut out each teacher’s first initial in a very large font so I would have a guide for where to place the crayons. I backed that paper with black so the letters would stand out. I love the All Mixed Up font cartridge! Such a cute font!!!
They loved them!!! I was so happy with how they turned out and even the wrapping was super cute. I had found bags that were covered in apples in the Dollar Spot at Target a LONG time ago and had put them away for teacher gifts. When I started planning on making these, I thought the bags would be too small since I was going to get 12×12 shadow boxes. However, when I was at Michael’s I didn’t see any I liked so I grabbed these 8×10 frames. They fit just right in the bags!!! With the addition of a bit of yellow and green tissue paper and a cute bow, they were the perfect way to say thank you for all CB’s teachers had done this year!

Washer Necklace For Teacher Appreciation Week

I saw this idea a while ago and have been saving this project for teacher appreciation week. These washer necklaces were SUPER easy to make (and fast – only took about 10 minutes). To finish them off I sewed each end of the ribbon through an extra washer. I didn’t like the idea of tying a knot since I felt that would be irritating against the wearers neck. I used all ONE size washer but the tutorial called for various sizes. Either way, it is super cute!
My Cricut was chirping as it cut out these school building and letter for the teacher’s card. Not my favorite card creation, but it was pretty cute.
*Sorry for the bad photography. Eventually I will figure out where to take pics of my creations so the pictures come out better! I had forgotten to take a pic of the necklaces so I was doing this at a light on the way to my son’s school! LOL*

Little Teacher Appreciation Baskets

I saw this idea here and made it my own using all the baby food containers I have been saving! I didn’t use all the sayings but I did fill the containers with paper clips, mints, change (for a soda), a post-it notepad, and cute magnets from the dollar bin at Michaels. To bundle them all together I put them in baskets I found in the Dollar Spot at Target.

Teacher Appreciation Treats

The preschool asked for parents to help with making their staff feel appreciated during Teacher Appreciation week. I asked what was involved and was told that for Wednesday the “theme” was yellow & lemons. So in true Allison fashion, I took that and ran with it.

I made these milk carton treat boxes for Christmas cookies and figured they would be perfect. I saw the idea here and figured out how to make them. (see tutorial below) Inside of the carton, I made cake mix cookies from lemon cake mix – box of cake mix, 1/2 c. oil, and 2 eggs. The teachers LOVED them. Really, they were so easy! To top it off I added in a water bottle, embellished with the scrap paper from the treat boxes, and a packet of Crystal Light.

Milk Carton Treat Box Tutorial

Maybe one day I can get this on video or do a better job of explaining this but for now this is all I got :)

1. Using a 12×12 sheet of sturdy cardstock, you will cut to size and score lines for the fold. These treat boxes were 4 inches tall so I cut the paper down to 8.5 inches tall by 12 inches wide.
2. Score paper 2 inches from the bottom.
3. Next, score paper 2.5 inches from the top.
4. Score paper 1 inch from the right side. This will make the flap for assembling the box
5. Continue vertical scoring lines measuring each one 2.75 inches from the last. (2.75 x 4 = 11 inches) This will make the sides of the carton.
6. Fold paper along all scored lines. Cut the the 2 inch lines on the bottom. Fold the 2nd and 4th flaps into triangles.
7. Glue box sides together. Fold bottom flaps in to create the bottom of the box. Then fold the triangle flaps up and glue it all down. You now have the bottom of the carton created.
8. Bring the front and back top edges toward the center, folding the sides in (like a milk carton top).
9. Hole punch the top and tie closed with a ribbon (after filling with some treats, of course)
I know this isn’t the best tutorial :( I will try to post pictures that go along with each step soon. Might even try a Flip video if I can find a camera person.

Teacher Appreciation Treats coming soon!

The gifts for Chris’s teachers are done and I am hoping to post pics and a tutorial for the milk cartons tomorrow. I am just WAY too tired tonight since I was up until 1:30am last night getting them done. Who is the crazy lady that signed up to make treats for the Preschool staff?!?! Oh, yeah, that would be me!

It was all worth it seeing how it brightened their day today. Chris and Cameron paraded around the school passing out the milk cartons (full of lemon cookies) and water bottles complete with Crystal Light Lemonade attached. They were blessed so all my hard work paid off! Teachers work hard and they deserve to be pampered a bit!!!
Check back soon for the treats and the tutorial!

Check back soon…

I will be working all next week on gifts for Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week! Check back soon to see the final products. They can’t be posted until after they have been given ;)

Thanksgiving Banners

As a little thank you for my son’s preschool teachers, I made banners that say “Give Thanks”. Using my Opposites Attract Cricut cartridge to cut out the letters. From one set of lettering I was able to make both banners. I cut the other shapes with my Creative Memories cutting system. With a few pieces of grosgrain ribbon, the banners were complete! The teachers loved them and they cost me virtually nothing since I already had all the materials.

More Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Here are the finished magic boxes for CB’s teachers at preschool.  Inside boxes are filled with apple shaped post-it notes, tacks, paper clips, and Hershey’s hugs.  A simple white gift bag with a quick tag and ribbon finish it off.  On the tag, I made sure to note that the boxes should be opened carefully so the contents doesn’t spill out all over!