Three Craft Gifts to Say Thank-You to Teachers
by Natasha Shaikh, Coordinator, Online Merchandising and Fulfillment, Harlequin
One of the most underappreciated professions is that of teaching. Teachers are responsible for shaping children’s minds and kick-starting the education that motivates their students to contribute back to the community with meaningful jobs. With World Teacher’s Day around the corner and a month of school having already gone by, it’s time to start thinking about how to show teachers we care about and appreciate them. Below are three advanced DIY crafts that can be done at home and given as gifts to teachers:
Mason Jars for Stationary
– mason jars (three different sizes), 1 lid needed
– white, red, green, brown, blue, and yellow acrylic paints
– painter’s tape
– chalkboard stickers and chalk
– wood dowel pin
– polyurethane spray
– 1 straw
Step 1: Give each of the jars a coat of white paint. Wait until they are dry before applying painter’s tape to the large “note jar” to set a guide for painting the blue notepad lines. Dip the straw in brown paint for the holes in the left margin, and dot them three times in a linear pattern, like a three-hole punched lined sheet, per the following image:
Step 2: Paint the medium-sized jar yellow and the smallest jar red. Paint the lid for the red jar green. Cut leaf shapes from green paper. Paint the dowel pin brown or leave it as is. Glue leaves and dowel pin to the top of lid for the “apple jar.”
Step 3: Spray all of the jars with a coat or two of clear polyurethane to protect the paint. Make sure the lid is not on the apple jar at this time. Small chalkboard labels can be glued to the jars to label the contents. It’s simple, but effective!
– vintage teacups, any shape or pattern
– candle wax flakes/cubes
– wooden skewers
– a package of standard wicks
– Scotch tape
– double boiler for wax
– oven mitts
Step 1: Tape two skewers together at the ends. Slide the wax wick between the skewers and clamp them shut on the opposite end, while taping this end closed. There should be two skewers taped together at both ends with a wick clamped in the middle of the skewers. Position the wick in the center of the cup so the metal base of the wick touches the bottom of the cup, like so:
Step 2: Fill a shallow pan with water and warm over medium to high heat. Use the double boiler to melt the wax in. Place the top bowl or pot for the double boiler in the hot water and pour in the wax flakes or cubes. After the wax has melted into liquid, feel free to add any scent oils or to leave the wax as is.
Step 3: Once the wax has completely melted, using oven mitts to lift the bowl, carefully pour the wax into your teacups (don’t burn yourself!), and avoid pouring wax onto the skewers by holding them in place. Fill the teacups to about a quarter of an inch from the top of the cup. Immediately clean the bowl to remove the wax; put it back in the hot water bath if the wax needs to be melted again.
Step 4: Let the wax harden completely before trimming the wick to a centimeter or so above the wax. Using very sharp scissors, cut your wick directly at the skewer clamp and pull away the skewers. All done and ready to light up!
Book Tissue Box Cover
– 1 hardcover dictionary (secondhand), bigger than a tissue box
– box cutter
– Mod Podge (with a little water) or puzzle glue
– tissue box
Step 1: Wrap the dictionary’s front and back covers with plastic bags to avoid getting glue on them. Brush glue on the edges of the pages all around the book. Brush on a few layers, but make sure to smooth out any globs. Press the book firmly in your hand to keep the pages together and to prevent them from wrinkling.
Step 2: Place the book in a vice or under any weighted object you can find to prevent warping. Let the book dry for about an hour.
Step 3: The compartment should be slightly larger than the tissue box or loose tissues (removed from box carefully). Use a ruler and pencil to outline the tissue box, but leave at least half an inch border around it.
Step 4: Using the box cutter, cut along the outline of your secret compartment. Do this slowly, as it is messy, and clean up the corners, as they tend to gather uncut pieces.
Step 5: Brush glue on the inside edges of the cut pages.
Step 6: Cut a very narrow rectangular slit in the top cover of the dictionary. This will take a bit of time, due to the thickness of the cover. Be sure that the slot is a little bigger than the width of the tissues that will come through. Make sure to clean up the slot so no jagged edges exist. It may be easier to cut this slot from the inside of the cover, rather than the outside.
Step 7: Finally, place the box or displaced tissues into the now cleaned up and dry inner compartment of the book.
Step 8: Pull the top tissue through the slot and enjoy your gorgeous new tissue box!
Looking for some great teacher reads? Check out these books!