Saturday, May 26, 2012

Teacher Gifts

I don't know about you, but I am always scrambling at the end of the school year for teacher gifts. Yes, a gift card will suffice, but I like to give something else with it. Usually I end up spending $10 or more on the little gift - and I'm not even that impressed with it. Well, that changed today!

I kept a promise to myself, that I will use Pinterest for good, not evil! Okay, not evil - just a positive influence and not just a major time suck. (You may have seen my previous post on my Pinterest addiction.)

So I am challenging myself to create some of the things I pin. With such amazing ideas posted every day, surely something would be a great DIY teacher gift to accompany a gift card to Starbucks, right? But it needed to be something I could accomplish with supplies on-hand at 10 o'clock the night before the last day of school. Yup, that's how I roll.

Enter the current project - super simple, inexpensive (most items everyone has on hand) and downright adorable. I followed the links from my pin to a tutorial for a 3-dimensional apple made from an old book. I did modify my supplies, only because I can be a bit lazy and impatient when completing a project. Don't judge! It's still really stinkin' cute.

No worries about deconstructing a good book. This was a children's math logic book that is seriously out of date! (I chose a paperback - I think that is less work than a hardcover.) My book was even tall enough to cut 2 apples from it. One for the teacher and one for the teacher's assistant. 

It was a fairly simple project. I promise!

I used the following supplies:
~ an old book 
~ a pen or pencil
~ sharp exacto knife
~ hot glue gun
~ twigs or even a real apple stem
~ ink or paint 
~ extra embellishments

Now, here's where I get lazy. The original tutorial I found used a template. And you may want to cut a template for yourself, but I like to wing it sometimes. I'm just crazy like that.

First, I tore off the cover. Then I drew a half of a heart shape - but left about 3/4 inch at the bottom for a base. (Very technical, I tell you.) Hopefully, the image below will help. This shows the two heart shapes I cut out of the book. The spine is to the left.

I started by cutting through a couple pages at a time and then increased as I went along. Again, a template could be useful for someone who prefers a less "wing-it" approach.

Once I had my shapes cut out, I took my handy-dandy damp paper towel and and dabbed red ink long the egdes of the curved shape. I found it easier to do this before you open it. You can put on as much or as little as you want. I ended up with two different looks. You could also do yellow or green on the apple if you prefer.

Next, I opened them up (approximately in half) so I could see the spine. Then I used hot glue to adhere my "stems". If you haven't noticed yet, I am a very impromptu kind of gal, so when I realized I needed something to resemble a stem, I ran into my family room and broke off a few tiny branches from my birch twigs in a vase. Hey, they worked perfectly!

Once the hot glue was cool and dry, I fanned open my book shapes and again used hot glue to adhere the front page to the last page. {I didn't feel like waiting for craft glue to dry.} Be careful not to burn your fingers. My hot glue gun must be a low heat type, as it wasn't too hot to burn.

Again, once dry and cool - I continued to fan and fluff the pages until they looked full and even.

Next, I cut a free-hand leaf from green cardstock. I wrote the teacher's name on one side and "Love, Bella" on the other. Then I hot glued the appropriate end in between two book pages at the top. (I left a long stem on the green leaf to make sure it would have something to adhere it.)

Now my apples were finished! Yeah! A homemade gift to include with the gift cards. So cute, and pretty unique if you ask me. And free to boot - I had all items on hand.

I even took a few pages from the cut book to make personalized gift bags.

I used glue dots to adhere the open apple pages to a kraft gift bag. Then I hot glued another "stem" and leaf with the teacher's name. I drew on seeds with an embossing pen. I wrapped the apples in tissue paper and put them in the gift bag. The tissue paper left a good fluffy spot to set a gift card.

These are for preschool teachers. And my 3 year old is very curious, so I decided to tie the bags shut with some red and white twine.

I was so happy with my finished product! And proud of myself for making a craft instead of buying something at the store. I also fulfilled a promise to myself to create some of the fun things I pin on Pinterest.

I'm giving this project an A+. Sorry - I couldn't resist!

~ All images on this post are my own and can be found, where else, on my Pinterest boards. ~

Linking up to the following great parties ...

The 36th AVENUE

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  1. Oh my goodness, I love these! So glad that you did not have to sacrifice a special book to make them ;) I came to your site to take a peek at your ouchless headbands and feel like I've fallen down a rabbit hole of loveliness! Your photos are gorgeous and I love all the touches of vintage in your decor . . . and your Pinterest boards. Oh my! I could go on and on :)

    Needless to say . . . new follower!

    1. Hi Claire!
      Thank you so much! That is the nicest comment I have received on this blog yet! :)
      I am so glad you stopped by and are now following!
      I popped over to your blog and am now a follower, too. :)
      I am so looking forward to seeing the progress on your cottage!
      Again, thank you so much!

  2. hey wondering how thick the book was that you used ??? how many pages to get this fluff ? and oh yeah , you r so right !! its a definite stinking cute gift ;D


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