Crafting with Kids

Back to School Teacher Gifts

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

It's hard to believe the summer is almost over! Like every other family in Calgary, we were busy doing back-to-school shopping and organizing this weekend, but we also made time to create some gifts for the boys' new teachers. As a teacher, it's always a nice surprise to receive a gift - no matter how big or small or at what time of year, so we thought we would put together a little "Welcome Back" pack!

Grayson did not find out who his teacher was until he arrived at school this morning, and although Sam will have the same speech and occupational therapists, he will have a variety of new classroom assistants. So since we didn't know all the teachers, I thought the gift packs should be a fairly generic with things that anyone working in a school setting could use. Here's what we came up with...



A Mini-Composition book, decorated with Enchanted Storybox Papers (more info below)
A Pen (altered with matching paper)
A Pencil
Post-it Notes
Tissues
Moist wipes
Hard Candy and Chocolate Treats

Grayson helped me package them all up in simple cellophane bags. We punched some tags from the Enchanted Journaling Boxes with my Tag Maker to add "Welcome Back to School" tags! I saw lots of poems for Teacher Survival Kits online, but I really just wanted these to be low-key little goodies for them to USE instead of cutsie things like an elastic to "stay flexible" or a pin to "stay sharp". For a busy teacher those kind of gifts, while thoughtful and cute, are really not that useful!



Here's the cost breakdown:
  • Mini-Composition books - .33 each (3/$1.00 at Dollar Store)
  • Pen - .85 each (12/$10.16 at Staples. Yeah, I could have got less expensive pens at the Dollar Store, but I like these ones so I can open them up and slip in the matching papers! They are Pentel RSVP brand)
  • Pencil - .20 each (5/$1.00 at Dollar Store)
  • Post-it Notes - .33 each (3/$1.00 at Dollar Store)
  • Tissues - .13 each (8/$1.00 at Dollar Store)
  • Moist Wipes - .13 for two (24/$1.00 at Dollar Store)
  • Hard Candy/Chocolate - .50 each portion (I bought 4 bags at $1.00 each at the Dollar Store and divvied them up and still have a little left), and  I had the mini smarties in my snack cupboard!
  • Papers, Rhinestones and Adhesive to alter notebooks and pens - from my scrapbooking stash
  • Cellophane Bags - I ALWAYS have these in my wrapping drawer, but I think you can get 24 or 30 in a package for $1.00 - $2.00, so it's a minimal cost!
So for about $2.75 each, the boys can give a little token to each teacher to help get the school year off to a happy start! If you only have one or two teachers to make for, then you can certainly add a few more items but since I had to make 8 bags, I kept the contents - and cost - down. This idea is so adaptable and easy to put together for any occasion.

Here are the easy instructions to alter the composition books themselves (really, it's so easy you don't even need instructions...so just consider these to be "tips!)
  1. Choose a lightweight decorative paper instead of a cardstock weight and trim down to a size just slightly larger than the cover of the book. The photo matts in the Enchanted Storybox set were a perfect weight.
  2. Since the black edging is slightly raised from the cardboard covers, it provides a perfect edge to line up your papers on for a nice clean look. Adhere the paper to the book with mod-podge or white glue and be sure to coat the entire surface, right to the edges, then smooth the paper down.
  3. Repeat on the back.
  4. It helps to weight them down with a heavy object while they are drying so the cardboard covers don't warp.  
  5. Once the paper is dry, add flat or dimensional embellishments, or stamps if you are a stamper! That's it - see, told you it was easy!

Anyway...I hope your kids are off to a happy start, too!

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