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It has been a snow-filled couple of weeks here and we’re almost to the end of January. That must mean Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.
Has anyone come up with good gift ideas yet?
The husband and I decided to forego gifts this year and spend the money on something to do together. I ran across this great cooking class for couples on the 14th – five courses of fancy food, plus chocolates and flowers. It sounded great. Sadly, it was sold out.
I may have thrown a little temper tantrum because I really wanted to go. And because now I have to come up with Plan B.
But. At least the kids’ gifts were easy. The little guy’s teacher and classmate Valentine’s gifts came together no problem as well. Want to see?
My little guy has a planner that he brings home every day in which his teacher has him write anything he needs to do for homework, reminders, and so on. Every day they also have a motivational quote.
I thought it would be fun to give her a way to display some of those quotes thus – the Quote Clipboard.
The base for the quote clipboard is just a 12″ x 12″ piece of wood that I stained and coated with poly. (Link to my favorite poly)
To make it stand up, I drilled a hole on the back and inserted a 3″ dowel. Silly me left the stain down at the shop, so I ended up painting the dowel black. In a perfect world, the dowel gets its own coat of stain too.
You could glue the dowel in, but I left it loose and just taped it to the back of the board so it would be easier to gift wrap.
Adding a clip to the front completes the assembly process.
See? Totally easy.
I have a whole box of clips but I know that they can be hard to find. So (nice person that I am!) I’ll save you the trouble of hunting them down – the clips are generally referred to as Bulldog Clips and can be purchased HERE.
Tyler helped me select three of his teacher’s most-used quotes from his planner and we found a few new ones for her as well. The top row of quotes in the photo came from HERE.
I loved the rainbow colors on the printables, so I used a similar style on our quotes (bottom row).
Not bad, if I do say so myself.
I like my kids to be involved in the process when they give gifts. So after a quick review of my Pinterest Boards I gave my little guy a short list of ideas he could give to his classmates. He chose bouncy balls. Nice.
It was a simple matter to come up with a “punny” saying for the tag. It reads: “I have a BALL with you Valentine.”
As luck would have it, we had these bags leftover from some of my husband’s pre-Christmas baking. Easy peasy.
Tyler stuffed the bouncy balls into the bags and I stapled on the tags. Teamwork, people. Teamwork.
Now we’re all set for Valentines – more than two full weeks ahead of schedule! (I get a high five for that, right?)
Now back to figuring out what to do with the husband on Valentine’s Day. Any suggestions?! Please?
If you are still in search of more Valentine’s gift ideas feel free to check out my Pinterest Board or some of my ideas from previous years like my Crazy Cool Valentines last year or Teacher Gifts in a Cup.
And as always, if you make your own DIY Quote Clipboard or anything else you see on the blog – pease share!
That’s right – it’s time to start thinking about Valentines for classmates and teachers. At least, it is if the stores have anything to say about it. I even spotted some bikinis for sale the other day (said as I look out at the new 6″ of snow we got this week, on top of what was already there. Eesh). Sometimes it feels like retailers are rushing us a bit, though I’m all for staying ahead of the curve.
Keeping that in mind, why don’t we take a look at the Valentines my kids gave to their classmates and teachers last year? (One of the few posts that didn’t transfer from the old domain so now is a great time to repost, don’cha think?)
With the kids bringing home dozens of small gifts from classmates every year, my goal is always to do something a bit unique. I also try to keep it easy and inexpensive because dozens of gifts can add up fast! So, I was happy to run across these cute printable tags on Pinterest.
I kept the design on the tags just as in the printable and added the “love Tyler” to the bottom (he would do anything to keep from having to write his name 30 times!) then printed them on cardstock. It was a simple matter to cut a couple of slits in the tag to slide the straw through. A quick staple attached individual Koolaid packets to the tag.
Bonus! Non-candy Valentines make us happy!
Now the teacher gift is where I truly out-did myself. 😉 Knowing I was going with the “cool” idea for the classmate Valentines I kept my eyes open for something that fit that theme. So, when I ran across these great containers when I was grabbing a few more lunchbox containers for the kids I was soooo excited. (What?! You don’t get excited in the container section of TJ Maxx?!) The containers have mini ice packs in the lids – perfect!
The containers came in a set of four, so I had enough for both kids’ teachers with just one set of containers. Change the “kool” to “cool” on the tag (that font is called Jokerman) and we were all set.
I’ve already started working on ideas for this year’s Valentines for my son’s classmates and teacher. Stay tuned!
Want more teacher gift ideas? Check out my Teacher gifts in a Cup
Or. While we are on the subject of lunchbox containers, check out some of my Lunchbox tips and tricks (for picky eaters).
Until next time. What should we create next?
Hello Wednesday! Has anyone checked their calendars lately? And did you do a double-take (as I did) when you realized just how quickly the last day of school is approaching?!? T-minus 15 (school) days and counting, according to my little guy on Monday, which translates to just over two weeks until school is out for the summer. That’s a bit late for our typical school year and I know a lot of schools are finishing up even sooner than that. So in the interest of being on the ball, ahead of the game, and all of those other clichés that help keep me from feeling stressed, I wanted to put together a fun little end of the year gift for the teachers – and do it now rather than later.
The first place I always turn for inspiration is my Pinterest Boards and it wasn’t long before I ran across this great printable Bucket List tag. So cute – and half the work is already done for me! So I printed it out and took a quick trip to the dollar store.
Don’t you just love the dollar store? I never leave there with just the items on my list, but I sure do have fun while I wander – and my kids or husband usually get some fun treat out of the deal. For this project I simply let myself wander, repeating the thoughts “summer…bucket list…summer” as the kids and I wandered through the store. In the end my collection included a fun pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, Sunny-D (catching the theme here, aren’t we?), a bag of gummy bears (Tyler’s pick for his teacher when I told him we needed a treat to add to the bucket), and some small buckets.
*the dollar store is my absolute favorite place to find inexpensive containers for gift baskets.
It looks pretty good all put together doesn’t it? Hopefully the teachers will like it and if not, they’ll still appreciate the sentiment.
I had purchased the buckets in a set of three so I had one leftover after putting together the two teacher gifts. I decided it would be great to use for a little Bucket of Fun for my kids on the last day of school. I wasn’t sure what I wanted in the bucket so I took a look at what I’ve done over the past few years (I wrote a blog post about some of our traditions last year. You can find it HERE)…then decided that wasn’t really helpful since my kids already had those items. 😛 So plan B was to just let things jump out at me and it worked great. One day at the grocery store I ran across those Milk Magic flavoring straws – Cotton Candy flavored! That’s something I knew my kids would love to try, so I picked them up. Another day Tyler was with me at the store and spotted the Slushies on the shelf. I told him we didn’t need them that day, then when he turned around I snuck them into the cart under the vegetables. And this past Sunday the bubble wands caught my daughter’s eye while we were looking for a birthday gift for a girl in Tyler’s class. 12 years old and she still thinks bubble wands are fun – great! So I let her grab the 5 pack, gave two to the kids to use that afternoon, put one in the birthday gift, and kept the other 2 for the bucket. Perfect.
Bring on the last day of school because we are now ready for it! Are you?? Maybe not, but just think of all those days we might be able to sleep in a bit instead of rushing out the door to school, and no homework and… 😉
For more Last Day of School (or teacher appreciation) gift ideas or End of School traditions with the kiddos feel free to check out:
–End of the Year Teacher Gifts in a Cup (my most Pinned blog post on Pinterest for the past month!)
–Super Powered Teacher Gift
–Crazy Cool Teacher Gift (this one was for Valentine’s Day but I think a “stay cool” spin on this idea would be awesome)
-my Last Day of School Traditions over the past few years
15 days ’til Christmas! And yes the title DID say GIVEAWAY! Keep reading ’til the end to not only see what my Silhouette Challenge buddies and I have been up to, but to get a chance to win some Silhouette goodies of your own! (Giveaway is now closed)
I have spent a lot of my free time the last week or so writing lists, double checking lists, running errands and shopping, and rewriting lists…that’s how the holiday season goes, right? When December hit I was feeling pretty behind on things but the more I cross off the list the better I feel and the more excited I get for Christmas.
This year my son’s classroom is doing the 12 Days of Christmas, so each of the children are assigned a specific day to bring in their classroom gifts and my son was assigned one of the first of the twelve days. It just happened to be the day before his birthday and I was neck deep in party prep, so I knew that I needed something that didn’t require a lot of time or effort to put together. But fankly, it’s me and we all know that even when I want things simple and inexpensive I also strive for a bit of creativity and cuteness.
It took a bit of thought, but I finally settled on snack-size bags of microwave popcorn. My kids are HUGE popcorn fans (and kept trying to steal the bags while we were assembling the gifts!) and I figure the popcorn is a nice change from the typical candy canes and Christmas pencils my kids usually bring home. And dressing them up was a snap – with a little help from my Silhouette (die cutting) machine and my kiddos.
So there is a look at the supplies I used for decorating the popcorn bags. We dressed half the bags up as reindeer and half as Santa. This is the point to which I prepped the supplies before enlisting the help of the munchkins.
–snack-size microwave popcorn
–preprinted adhesive labels: Mine say “Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a Poppin’ New Year, Love, Tyler” and are printed onto a sheet of Avery address labels. You could substitute any kind of tag you want to use.
-brown for the reindeer and red for Santa, cut into strips (construction paper is 9″ x 12″ and I found that cutting it into three 4″ wide strips was a perfect fit)
-also a piece of black paper cut into 1/2″ wide strips (by 9″ long)
-white paper cut into squares (1″ x 1″) with two cut lines in the center for Santa’s belt. I used the Silhouette to do this and it saved a lot of quality time spent with an Xacto knife, but that’s certainly an option. I was planning to have the kids thread them onto the black “belts” but quickly found that I had cut them to fit pretty tightly and my 8 year old was likely to tear half of them trying to put them on so I did it myself. So when cutting yours out you may want the cuts to be a full 5/8″ to allow the 1/2″ black pieces to slide through more easily.
-dark brown paper (I used cardstock as I’ve found the thicker texture cuts better for projects like this) cut into cute little reindeer antlers. These are approx 2 1/2″ high. I’m sure you can find a cut file somewhere but I decided to create my own using some antler clip art (just google it) and the trace feature in the Silhouette studio. You could also just hand-cut them, though I was happy to not have to do that particular step.
-oh! And don’t forget some red circles for the reindeer noses!
Assembly went pretty quickly and the kids were easily able to do it all themselves. They just wrapped the larger strips of paper around the popcorn bags and secured it on the back with tape (I had them tape one side directly to the bags so they wouldn’t slide out of the wrappers), then added the embellishments and stuck the address label “tags” on the back.
We made sure to attach the antlers to the back of the brown strips before wrapping them around the popcorn bags for the reindeer, but other than that the assembly is much the same. Add the google eyes (we used glue dots for that), the noses, and the sticky “tag” on back and you’re done!
While I was at it, I put together the gifts for the kids’ teachers as well. I found these adorable mason jar shaped drinking cups on clearance at the craft store after Thanksgiving and knew I just had to do something with them for Christmas.
I rounded up some red and green colored Sharpies, green post-its and some great hot chocolate mix (looking at the photo I’m wondering why oh why I didn’t get a few extra so I could try out the toasted marshmallow flavor?!) to put inside the cup. And I wanted a bit of customization (when in doubt – customize, right?!) so I fired up the Silhouette machine again and did some cute labels using the teacher’s names.
Done deal! The kids are now all set for Christmas festivities at school, which is great since we are down to only ONE more week before Christmas vacation! (oh boy!)
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
1. Beauty in the Mess // 2. JustTyra // 3. Dream a Little Bigger // 4. Simply Kelly Designs // 5. The Stamp Doc // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. TheKimSixFix // 8. unOriginal Mom // 9. HaberdasheryFun // 10. Tastefully Frugal // 11. Sisters, What! // 12. Small Stuff Counts // 13. Where The Smiles Have Been // 14. Whatcha Workin’ On? // 15. Designed Decor // 16. Architecture of a Mom // 17. Decor Adventures // 18. Create & Babble // 19. Tori Grant Designs // 20. Tried & True // 21. The Thinking Closet // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Get Silvered // 24. McCall Manor // 25. Cutesy Crafts // 26. Ginger Snap Crafts // 27. My Favorite Finds // 28. Cupcakes&Crowbars // 29. Pineapples & Pinecones // 30. The Crafting Nook // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Alayna’s Creations
And I’ve saved the best for last. My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I in partnership with Silhouette America are hosting a mega-huge giveaway …. Giveaway is now CLOSED.
Summer is coming FAST! I’m kind of excited about it actually. We have a lot of fun things planned and *bonus* we get a break from having to get up and out the door early every morning. What’s not to be excited about?
I’ve been on a roll this week – knocking things off the list, getting ahead of things when I get the chance. Not only did I get the teacher’s End of the School Year gifts put together, but I even got them posted on the blog the other day! As I was doing so, I occured to me that it wasn’t the first time I’d put together a gift like that for the teachers so I did a little back-tracking. Yup. This is my third year in a row using a similar idea for the teacher gifts – Summer Kit in a Cup. When you find a good thing it’s ok to just keep doing it, right? And there are oh-so-many ways to take a single idea and change it up.
This year’s Summer fun trinkets were contained in a double wall cup that I monogrammed. Inside you can find sunscreen, Chapstick with SPF, lemonade mixes, and Italian Ice freezer pops.
Last year I used really cute daiquiri glasses, filled them with goodies (drink mixes, sunscreen, chocolates, and freezer pops), and topped them with adorable little paper umbrellas and paper straws. (printable for the tags can be found here)
Double wall cups with flip-top lids filled with (betcha can’t guess what!) sunscreen, Chapstick with SPF and some After-Sun lotion. Tag printable were originally found here.
So I’m thinking next year I’m going to use some of those cute mason jar cups or maybe those cool glass milk jugs I saw at the craft store the other day…
Searching for other Teacher Appreciation or End of the School Year ideas? I have plenty! Like:
–Bucket of Summer Fun Teacher Gift and Last Day of School gift for the kids
–Super Powered Teacher Gift Basket
–More Teacher Appreciation Ideas
May is crazy isn’t it? There are so many things all jammed into one little month – testing and final projects, sports, field trips, recitals, graduations, weddings, parties, Mother’s Day. Plus my anniversary! It can be a little intense. I’ve been trying to grab some time to get ahead when I can find it and one of the things I really want to get a jump on is all the gifts for this month. I had the kids with me out shopping on Saturday and with Teacher Appreciation week about to start and teachers on the brain, we went ahead and picked up supplies for a simple gift for the last day of school for their teachers.
Teachers are a big part of our kids’ lives for an entire year and while I never have a lot of money to spend on them, I do like to give them a little parting gift. I figure teachers are looking forward to summer just as much as the rest of us are – maybe even more so! 😉 So we put together a little Summer Kit in a Cup, inspired by this tag
Wish I could give credit for the saying on the tag, but frankly I’ve seen it in quite a few different forms on Pinterest lately and I’m not sure which is the original. To whomever came up with it – great job! 😉
I wanted to dress the cup up a bit so I added a vinyl monogram.
Then we filled it with goodies related to summer
Inside the cup: lemonade drink mixes, sunscreen, Chapstick with SPF, and Italian Ices.
They are now ready and waiting for the last day of school. When the time comes, I just have to remember to send them! 😉