Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Easy Teacher Gifts

Earlier this year, I discovered an easy to make teacher gift. These gifts can be highly personalized and fashionable. I helped teach a room full of 60+ woman how to do it and I've made several on my own. As a matter of fact, I made six of these easy teacher gifts earlier this week for Charlotte and Mary's  MOPs teachers.

They are decorative clipboards. Here is your supply list:
  • 1 plain clipboard (not the plastic kind)
  • 1 bottle of modge podge
  • 1 foam paint brush
  • scissors
  • cardstock of your choice 
  • nail file
  • clear acrylic spray sealer
  • old newspaper to cover your table



Step 1 - Design your layout. You can keep it simple and just use 1 or 2 sheets of paper. But they look more fashionable and designer-ish if you get creative. Think about interesting ways to cut the paper. Consider that a design might be best near the bottom so the thick paper does not mess up writing.

Step 2 - Cut out the space at the top for the actual clip part of the clipboard. If I am making more than 1 or 2 at a time, I prefer to make a template that I can trace on the back of the paper to make this part easier.

Step 3 - Remove paper from clipboard and apply first coat of Modge Podge directly to the clipboard. A thin layer is all you need. If your layer is too thick, your paper might buckle and that isn't very pretty. (Note: If you've never worked with Modge Podge before, just know it is sticky like glue and can damage the finish on tables. To be safe, just lay out some newspaper or an old sheet to protect your work surface.)

Step 4 - Apply a thin layer of Modge Podge to the back of the first sheet of paper. By putting the Modge Podge on both items, you make it easier to  slide the paper into the right place in case you put it down wrong.

Step 5 - Apply Modge Podge to the rest of your paper items and place wherever you like.


Step 6 - Allow to dry. A thin coat should be dry in about 15 minutes. I don't think a second coat is necessary, but if you have a lot of small pieces, you might want to add it.

Step 7 - Since you didn't obsess about getting the corners of your paper perfectly matched to the corners of your clipboard, now you get to use the nail file to file the edges off. This is the easiest way to take care of those corners if you want to save your sanity. Wait until the Modge Podge is dry though before you do this step.

Step 7 - Spray a clear coat of acrylic sealer over the clipboards.

Step 8 - Give to the gift recipient and be prepared for lots of thanks!

Ideas for paper include buying a "scrap pack" that is already coordinated (if you are fashion challenged like me). You could also create a theme for the kitchen by using food themed paper. Or if the clipboard might be used to track chores, you could work on that theme with your paper choices too.

These easy teacher gifts can also be embellished with stickers and ribbon. One friend uses ribbon to tie a nice pen to the top of the clipboard.

What is your favorite teacher gift?

(I wish I had better pictures, but my camera was in the shop when I had these made. These were taken with my cell phone. Phooey!)

5 comments:

  1. LOVE this idea! And that's saying something, since I used to teach. *grin* Thanks so much, Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I still have the one you showed us how to make @ MOPS - and I love it! :)

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  3. Oh no, sorry your new camera is in the shop already. That must be a downer.

    ReplyDelete

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