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)