Wednesday, December 10, 2014

for the teachers on your list

It's that time of year... time for the crafters of the world to wearily run through the list of people left on their holiday gift-giving list. The long, LONG list of people that you had every intention of crafting some super-creative, handmade masterpiece for. Back in September. So, for once, you could be ahead of the game come December. And, I'm willing to bet that somewhere on that list is penciled... your kid's teacher.

Never fear! I have the perfect solution. Have more than one teacher on that list? No problem! This craft takes barely more than an hour, so multiples are a cinch. So, without any further ado, I present to you...


I first came across this idea via a Hobby Lobby e-mail. It had almost zero instructions. Mostly just a list of supplies. So, I winged it. They used 2 embroidery hoops for their wreath form. I'm not exactly sure why. They carry so many other wreath forms that are WAY more practical... like the chipboard one that I used. They also added a whole bunch of other do-dads that just complicated the whole process: alphabet blocks, tiny clothespins, etc. I simplified it a bit for ya'. So, here's what you'll need...

(1) 12" Wreath Form (I used a chipboard on from The Paper Studio available at Hobby Lobby)
Acrylic Paint (I used red... might go for a lighter color, like yellow, next time)
Foam Paint Brush
(2) Boxes of 48 Count Crayons
(2) Sheets Light-Weight Patterned Scrapbooking Paper (handwriting paper available at Hobby Lobby) 
(2) Sheets of Textured Cardstock (although red is pictured here, I ended up using blue)
(1) Mini Chalkboard (purchased these from Amazon)
Chalk Ink Marker (purchased here at Amazon)
Alphabet Stickers
Stickles or Other Glitter Glue
Hot Glue Gun
Scrapbooking Adhesive (I used my Xyron machine)
Staple Gun

Start by painting your wreath form; set aside to dry. 

While the wreath frame is drying, write your teacher's last name on the chalkboard using the chalk ink marker; set aside to dry. (If you don't like your own handwriting, you can always use white rub-ons as well.)

Sort your crayons, and put them in the order that you want to glue them. The pattern I used was pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black/white/grey... repeat.

Start gluing your crayons to the wreath frame. You'll have to eyeball the placement. I tried to match up the flat ends of the crayons, and place them at a slight angle like so...

You'll want to use the hot glue gun for this, and your line of glue will run about like so...

This is really the only nit-picky part about this project... making sure that all the crayons are facing the same way when glued down so that your wreath doesn't look sloppy. I like them with the "Crayola" logo facing up. 

Next, we'll want to start putting together our paper bow. Start by trimming the light-weight patterned paper. You'll want 2 strips that measure 1 7/8" x 12" for the bow loops (these will be cut with the letters running length-wise horizontally). Another two strips cut with the letters oriented the same way into 1 7/8" x 7 1/4" for the ribbon tails. The final piece will be trimmed to 1 7/8" x 6 1/2" for the middle loop on the bowl, but this piece will be trimmed with the letters running width-wise vertically. 

Now trim your solid colored cardstock into 2 strips measuring 2 1/8" x 12", 2 strips measuring 2 1/8" x 7 1/4", and 1 strip measuring 2 1/8" x 6 1/2"; set aside. Run your patterned paper strips through the Xyron machine (or apply scrapbooking adhesive to the back side of each piece). Center, and adhere them to the coordinating cardstock strips.

Now, we'll start actually assembling the bow. Take the 2 12" loop strips. Make a loop out of each strip, securing with hot glue gun.

Use the hot glue gun to affix the loops together where they are slightly overlapping.

Take the 6 1/2" strip, make a loop around the center of the bow; secure with hot glue.

Adhere the 2 remaining 7 1/4" strips together to form the ribbon tails.

Adhere the tails to the back side of the bow loops.

Adhere the bow to the top of the wreath using your hot glue gun.

This is the point where I lined the patterned paper edges with some yellow Stickles. Although, you can't see it very well here. But, I waited to add it so that it didn't crack while I was assembling the bow. Set the wreath aside, allowing the Stickles to dry. 

Meanwhile, add the alphabet letters to your chalkboard. I used Thickers. And, I secured them to the chalkboard with hot glue. Because, let's face it... as much as we all LOVE Thickers... their adhesive really doesn't have the staying power.

Affix the chalkboard to your wreath once everything is dry.

For hanging, I attached a length of ribbon to the top of the wreath. I adhered it to the back of the wreath using a hot glue gun. Then, for EXTRA hanging strength... I added a couple of staples with my staple gun. 

Voila! One teacher gift ready to go! Now, you can sit back and relax... until the next holiday conundrum befalls you!

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