Friday, July 13, 2012

Teacher Gifts - Free printable quotes and personalized bookplate stickers

I know a post about teacher gifts is a few weeks late for all of you, but some of my children's teachers visit my blog, so I could not post their gifts until after they are given out on the last day of school. I hope some of you will remember these ideas (when in doubt ... Pin it) and use them next year when you are struggling, like I always do, for an idea for a teacher.

My children are both in French Immersion, so I have 4 teachers to purchase gifts for - two French and two English.  To make my gift giving even more difficult, my son is two years younger than my daughter and he always gets the same teachers she had. Therefore, I can't reuse previous ideas because all his teachers have received them in the past.

This year I wanted to make something practical that the teachers will use and thought I would make them personalized bookplates. You know, stickers the teachers can put in their books to identify it belongs to them.

I purchase two sizes of Avery Labels (one with 6 stickers per sheet #5264 and the other with 30 stickers per sheet #5160) and downloaded free templates from the Avery site.
Source Avery - Linked to template downloads
Source Avery - Linked to template downloads
After I downloaded a few different templates, I merged (just by copying and pasting) the designs my kids liked onto one page so I could print a few different designs at once. I also used some free JPEG images and other designs (i.e. digital scrapbook paper) to make my own creations.

My kids wanted some of the bookplates to say "This book belongs to" and others to say "From the library of". We translated the phrases (hopefully correctly) into French for those two teachers.

Tip: I had to print a few test pages before I managed to get this to print properly. The oddest thing happened every time I printed the sheets, the ink would smudge. I was stumped. How can a laser print smudge? Then I realized there is an option in your printer setup for paper type of LABELS. This somehow prints differently and they came out perfectly! So look for the paper type option and see if label is in there before you waste a few sheets of labels.

I printed 6 sheets per teacher of 6 stickers per page design.
I selected my two favorite designs for the smaller stickers. I printed 3 sheets per teacher of the 30 stickers per page.
I removed the outer border of the sticker pages and cut the sheets into smaller sizes so they looked like individual stickers.

Using my a cheap food saver I purchased at the local thrift store for $6 (for another craft) I made a custom sheet holder for the stickers so the teachers can put them in their supplies binders.  I sealed two seams (one across the middle horizontally and one about a third from the edge vertically) in a plastic sheet protector and opened up the bottom half with small sharp scissors.
If you decide to try this, be sure to try it out with extra plastic sheet protectors. I melted some completely through, so remember only to hold it down for a second or two. Also don't try it with your good food saver/sealer. I do not want to be responsible for you destroying it!

I had intended to include a book store gift card along with this gift but I didn't want to drive across town and spend another $80 ($20 per teacher). I had hoped to only spend $10 more per teacher...but that didn't seem like enough on a gift card to buy much.

So, I thought I would make the teachers a small frame with a quote that reminded us of them that they can hang in their classrooms.
I designed each of these 5x7 quotes with free digital scrapbook paper you can find online. I searched for teachers quotes and selected four that seemed to best fit the teachers. Here they are:
In case you are interested in using these, I have included the images below that you can save and use for yourself. I would love some feedback in the comments if you download these. Let me know which you prefer and if you would like them in different colors. I can always change them and post the revised images.
Note: I have not put my logo or the teacher's names on these examples so you should be able to right click on the image and open in a new window(to open it in full size) and then right click on it again to save it. These were uploaded in a resolution large enough to print as 5x7s. As with everything I create and offer to you for free, I just ask that you please do not sell these...but feel free to use them for your own personal use! Remember I love your feedback so leave me a comment :)
Each teachers gift cost me around $12.  Here is the breakdown of pricing:
  • I spent around $40 on the label stickers to make the teacher's personalized bookplate stickers, but I have enough left over to do another year or two worth of gifts or I might just make some for my kids or for friend's birthdays.
  • The framed quotes cost me approximately $7 each.
I hope this helps some of you with your teacher gift struggles next year!

How are your summers going? Anyone have suggestions on entertaining two busy kids while you try to work from home?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Decorating for a Party on a Dime - Personalized Name Crosses -DIY

When I was planning our daughter's first communion party, I knew I wanted some photos and art on the table as decorations. So, I frames some of her baptism photos from when she was a baby and made this beautiful cross out of her name. I found the idea on Pinterest and knew it would take no time to make. If you are not interested in making it yourself, you can buy these from many different Etsy shops. But if you are like me and want to save the $15 plus shipping they are sold for, here is how I did it.

I started with a blank 8x10 Publisher file. Insert a text box and type the first name, middle name and phrase.  When I was making this I used 'In God We Trust' but changed it to 'God's Precious Gift' right before I printed it. So you will see both phrases alternating on this tutorial. 


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