Turning everyday moments into art.
It’s been five months since my son started preschool.
I vividly remember dropping him off on the first day. I was expecting tears, nerves, and lots of hugs… Instead, he jumped out of the van without hesitation, yelled “Bye Mom! Love you!” and walked away. (I was the one who cried!)
A big reason for his love of school are his teachers. They are rock stars (honestly, aren’t all teachers?). It’s been a year of finger painting, gluing, and learning to write – and we’re thankful our son is in such good hands.
When Christmas rolled around, I was put in charge of finding a class gift for each teacher. I was hoping to find something meaningful, but also useful… Then I stumbled upon this awesome idea from Everything Pink and Spoiled But Not Rotten.
In a nutshell, it’s a homemade book filled with student quotes, drawings, and cold hard cash! (Spoiler alert: The teachers LOVED this gift!)
To start, I cut a bunch of paper into slips the size of a dollar bill (click here for a free template).
Then I gave each class member a slip of paper and asked them to draw a picture for their teachers.
I also asked each student four questions about each teacher, and used the extra slips to record their answers. (Example: “What did Mrs. Corrigan teach you this year?” One student answered, “How to play with play dough!” – or – “What do you like best about Mrs. Shink?” One student answered, “She likes Frozen!”)
Once all the slips were filled out, I started assembling the books. I layered one slip of paper, one $1 bill, one slip of paper, one $1 bill, and so on.
I topped it off with a simple yellow cover that said, “75 Reasons We Love Mrs. (fill in the blank)”.
Then I clamped the paper together and used a paintbrush to apply a coat of padding compound to one side. (I bought the Padding Compound from Amazon for $7. A little goes a long way – I’m convinced the bottle I bought will last me a lifetime!)
The padding compound dried clear, was extremely flexible, and it held all 150 sheets of paper together beautifully!
And the best thing about padding compound: you can pull pieces of paper out of the book without them ripping. It doesn’t leave any sort of film behind, so you can cleanly pull out the dollar bills and use them – no rips, no mess!
I thought the cover looked a little empty so I added a small bow to the front. (Polka dots always make me smile!)
And there you go! If you’re willing to put in the prep work (cutting paper and collecting quotes), this book is extremely easy to assemble and makes a great gift! (My son’s teachers still talk about how much they loved their gift!)
You can download a free template to make your own books here: Teacher Gift Idea (Template)
We recently learned my son needs to wear glasses. And while he’s doing a great job wearing his new frames – he’s feeling a little self conscious.
Since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, I thought it might be fun for him to make a pair of glasses for all of his classmates as part of his Valentine.
After playing around with various designs over the last few days, here’s what we came up with!
Seriously – how cute is that?
We made six different styles of glasses, and a Valentine’s Day card that looks like an eye chart and says, “Eye think you are amazing!”.
To make the glasses, I printed and cut out the templates I created, then my son helped me glue on the temples. When we were done assembling the glasses, my son decorated each pair with stickers and markers.
He’s very excited to hand these out at his preschool Valentine’s Day party. (We’re going to add a bag of candy to each one.)
If you’d like to create your own, head on over to my shop. I’ve added the templates as a freebie! (Find the templates here: Valentine’s Day Glasses + Card)
If you decide to make some of your own, please share your creations! Head over to my Facebook page and upload a photo!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
My son currently loves the Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day movie. And since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, he asked if we could decorate “every single room and wall” for Valentine’s Day.
That seemed a bit ambitious, so I asked if he’d settle for a Valentine’s Day sun catcher for our window – thankfully, he agreed.
His only condition was he and my daughter could each make their own. What the heck? I’m all about compromise, so I agreed as well.
I’d never made these before, so I did a little research and decided to try making them with construction paper, contact paper, and tissue paper. It was ridiculously easy and took very little prep time (honestly, like less than 10-minutes)!
I started by cutting a frame out of construction paper. Since we are getting ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I cut a heart shape.
Then I cut a piece of contact paper large enough to cover my heart. I peeled off the back of the contact paper and laid my heart on the sticky side. Then I carefully cut the excess contact paper off, leaving about a 1-inch margin around the heart.
Next, I cut up some red and pink tissue paper into various shapes and sizes.
Then I let my little ones go to town! They took turns laying the tissue paper inside of the heart. It took them about twenty minutes to fill each frame.
When we were all done, we stuck the hearts onto our window.
The contact paper peels off windows easily, and all the paper stays intact. So my children have been moving the sun catchers from window to window, and door to door…
They are so fun, and colorful, and they definitely make the weather outside seem a little less gloomy. Happy Valentine’s Day!