Saturday, May 5, 2012

'Tis the season!

(To rack your brains for fun/appropriate/affordable teacher gifts)

It's that time of year to express our thanks to the teachers that put up with educate our rambunctious darling children.  I kid, I kid with the crossed out words - I actually think my kids are pretty swell.  However, I've chaperoned enough field trips to know that those kids exist.  And if my kid were that kid my end-of-the-year teacher gift would be a Sam's Club sized bottle of Advil.

Fortunately, having well behaved kids allows me to get a little more creative with my gift giving:

I know a lot of people poo-poo practical gifts.  I am not one of them.  I would rather give you a really nice pizza cutter that gets used once a week and saves you frustration than give you a ceramic tchotchke that you have to dust.

  Molly recently brought home a note from school saying that the kids had pretty much consumed all their consumables.  I.e., they were all out of pencils and crayons and glue sticks, and hey, wouldn't it be nice if you sent some more in, cuz hey, it is their education that we're talking about here.

That got me to thinking about how much teachers need to share with kids.  And how, I imagine, it's less "sharing" than "giving."

So my gift isn't fun.  It's not a Starbucks gift card.  It's not premium chocolate.  It's not a bottle of OPI nail polish with a clever note attached saying "Hey, you really nailed it this year!"  (hmmmm)  But it's practical.  And it will get used.  And it's pretty derned cute.

I mean seriously.  Check them out:

I guess maybe it's the math-nerd in me, but these black Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are fabulous.  They write well, sure, but they're so sleek.  I hear I look 10 pounds slimmer when I write with them.  ;)

At any rate, this is just a juice can wrapped in Lily Bee Design paper, with a chunky eyelet border cut from (more) Lily Bee Design paper, using the Cameo. (I didn't really need to mention that, did I?)  The tops of the pencils are wrapped in yet more LBD paper, but they're only a little bigger than an inch long.  I thing the 6x6 pad of paper would be perfect for getting a nice variety.  Because I know better than to trust adhesive on a curved surface like that, the colorful baker's twine from WeRMemoryKeepers is doing double duty - looking cute AND holding the paper in place/down.  Oh wait! It's doing triple duty! It's also holding the little tags down.  They were mass cut on the Cameo and have V stickers from the LBD alpha letter sticker sheet.  I'm not going to lie: I'm glad the teacher getting this is Ms. Vidmar and not Ms. Smith, Ms. Thompson, or Ms. Martin.  I don't mind giving up all my Vs, but for any of those other names we might have to exploring a stamping options. ;)

And in the interest of full disclosure, the picture shown above isn't complete.  The label wouldn't stay put. I tried wrapping it in twine for a could of days - I hoped to let the adhesive 'set', and maybe make the paper less resistant to the curve, but it just didn't work.  No biggie though.  I used my Crop-o-Dile to make some small holes at the widest part of the label and added some small brads.  Now I feel confident that the label is there to stay.

I'm really pleased with the way this came together.  It wasn't a speedy project - it probably took an hour and a half to wrap the pencils, but in the end I think it was worth it.  It's cute and practical and I know it'll get used.

I'm not making them for all the teachers though.  So I better start hunting down some new ideas.  Got any thoughts to help a sister out? ;)

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