It’s that time of year again… FUNDRAISING SEASON!
PTAs and planning committees far and wide are getting together and trying to raise money for a very worthy cause: their schools!
We’re quite fortunate that our school only has one large fundraising event every year. We don’t have to sell cupcakes, or trinkets, or endlessly harass our neighbors to buy donuts and cookies all year long; one big fundraiser in the spring and we are done!
That being said, I feel a bit more pressure to make nice items to auction off, because it’s the only time of year all parents are together in the same room. (This is self-inflicted pressure, by the way, no one makes me feel this way but myself.)
This year I volunteered to make four class projects: PreK, Preschool, first grade and fourth grade. The committee gave me some fantastic ideas in the fall and I set off to make them come to life in time for our annual gala.
CLASS SILHOUETTE CANVAS
This was actually the last project I made. And I barely got it done in time for the auction. But I L-O-V-E the way it turned out!
I e-mailed all the fourth grade parents and asked them to send their child to school with a prop. It had to represent an activity they really enjoyed doing.
As you can see, we got a wide range of activities! Everything from horse back riding, to playing the piano. There were avid readers, sports fans, a child building Legos, and even someone playing the iPad (which seems the most realistic to me!).
The kids were great! I took a photo of each one doing their “activity”, then I imported the photos into Adobe Illustrator and created a silhouette.
After I was done, I opened everything in Photoshop and made a 16″ x 20″ design, with the Dr. Suess saying, “Today you are you that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.”
When the design was finished I had it printed on a canvas. I am *so* happy with the way it turned out.
CLASS THUMBPRINT PLATTER
This was the first project I completed and – no joke – it took me less than two days!
I made this first grade thumbprint platter (which is a very loose interpretation of the “Giving Tree” – a large tree in our school’s courtyard) by painting a tree trunk with glass paint, using a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint marker to draw in empty leaves, each child’s name, and the outline of the tree.
Then I used green glass paint and had each child fill in their “leaf” with their thumbprint. When I was done, I brought it home to bake so the paint would dry and not smudge.
You can Google different ways to bake paint onto platters – there are lots of options out there! I always put the platter in oven BEFORE PRE-HEATING. This is very important so you don’t crack your platter or have your paint curl.
Then I turn the oven on at 350-degrees and bake for 30-minutes.
When done, I crack the oven door, and let the platter sit in the oven while it cools. I only remove it after it’s completely cooled off.
Overall, this project was insanely easy, quick, and the teachers loved it!
BALLOON THUMBPRINT CANVAS
This project took a little more time, only because it was for the PreK students and everyone seemed to be sick when I went in. (It’s my own fault for doing this during the cold and flu season.)
At the end of the day, I love, love, love the way it turned out.
Once again, I set up a time to come into the classroom and grab thumbprints from each student. (The teachers made this so easy to do.) I brought in light blue and dark blue ink pads and got to work.
When I got home, I scanned each thumbprint and used Photoshop to create a 11″ x 14″ print. I typed in each students name, arranged the thumbprints into a balloon shape, then added the words “Oh, the places you’ll go” at the bottom.
I had it printed onto a canvas and we were all set!
Again, this project only took a few days once I was able to secure all the thumbprints. You don’t need a lot of skills to make this one work. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of scanning in each thumbprint, you could just print the saying on a canvas and have students leave their thumbprints directly on the canvas with paint.
Same concept – slightly different look.
HANDPRINT + FINGERPRINT ART BOOK
Hands down, this project took the longest, but only because I had to design each page from scratch.
If we decide to do something similar next year, I’ll have the artwork done and it should go much faster.
I started by going into the preschool classroom and getting every student’s handprint. Then I scanned them into Adobe Illustrator and turned each handprint into art.
Each letter of the alphabet was different: “A for Angel”, “B for Butterly”, and so on. The only problem we initially had was there were more than 26 students in the classes.
To make up for it, we also did art for each number from 1 to 10. We had to get creative, so I had the students hold up the appropriate number of fingers to trace, then I grabbed their fingerprints as well to create little pieces of fingerprint art. For example, we did four flowers and eight hearts.
And that’s it! My projects were complete! I couldn’t tell you how much they went for at the end of the night, but I do know there were a few bidding wars.
At the end of the day, we made a lot of money for our school and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Good luck during this busy season everyone!