Frugal DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Next week is Teacher appreciation week at the kiddos schools and we wanted to post a few of our favorites from the past years we’ve done.  It’s always exciting to find cute frugal gift ideas for the those special teachers who shape the minds of our children.  There really are no words to express gratitude for all they do.  So don’t forget to send a note or gift of appreciation to the teachers in your life.

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Magnet Board 3

Homemade Magnet Fabric Bulletin Board

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Color My World Thank You Gift

M&M

M&M Teacher Appreciation gift

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Do you have any you want to share? We would love to hear about them!

Valentine Bath Bombs

Tell your Valentine how much you love them with these Valentine Bath Bombs.  They make the perfect frugal, DIY gift for friends, family, and even your kids teachers.  I made these bath bombs a while back for my girls and they LOVED them!  Just follow the simple steps below to create your own Heart Bath Bombs and attach a cute note that says your the bomb.  20140203-141958.jpg

Here’s what you need!
makes 4 small bath bombs
2 TBS Baking Soda
1 TBS Cream of Tartar
Food Color or liquid Dye (you can find at any craft store) ½ teaspoon Essential Oil (lavender)
Spray Bottle of Water
Soap Mold or Ice Cube Tray

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Add 2 TBS Baking Soda to bowl. Then add 1 TBS Cream of Tartar and ½ teaspoon lavender or Essential Oil. Next, add your food color. (I would suggest that if using food coloring to color these, make sure you use non-toxic vegetable based color.  Safer for everyone, especially for children).  Stir it up and add a couple of sprays of water and keep stirring. You want to get it where it is just sticking together without adding too much water. NOTE: Only add a couple of sprays of water at a time or your bombs will lose their fizz. Put your bath bombs in a soap mold or ice tray, and leave over night to dry out. NOTE: The amount this recipe makes all depends on how big your molds are.  You can really make them as large or as small as you would like.  You can make them the size of a baseball or the size of your thumbnail.  you can double the recipe and make more than four at a time.  I decided to make one batch at a time and change the colors during each of the batches.

When ready just drop your bomb in the bath you can watch it fizz as it releases its sent and colors your water! These bath bombs can stay good up to 1 year as long as they are stored in a dry, cool place that is out of the sun.  ENJOY!!

DIY Heat Transfer

Put on your seat belt ya’ll… you’re about to see some extreme cuteness!!

Since this was my first time doing this type of project and I wanted to do something fun for valentine’s day. The best thing about this craft is it turned out to be super frugal costing me about $4 dollars per shirt.  Tip…one of my favorite ways to save money on fabric at Joann’s is to dig through the remnant bin. “Remnants” are small pieces of fabric, anywhere from a few inches to up to a yard or so the cool thing about the remnant bin is that everything in there is 50% off. Better still, it’s 50% off  the current price for that type of fabric. I always go there first before purchasing fabric for projects similar to this.  I finished these shirts by sewing the patterns with my sewing machine for additional strength but it’s not necessary.

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Materials
T-Shirt
Pattern you want to use for shirt
Fabric scrap for your patterns
Wonder Under (I use Pellon 805 found in the fabric section of your craft store).
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1.  Fuse Wonder Under to wrong side of fabric using the directions on the product.  You can watch a video by going here if your a visual learner like me:)

2.  Print or draw the pattern and cut out ( If your image includes words or letters make sure to make your image backwards as it will read correctly later when you apply it to your shirt).  Place your design on your shirt shiny side up and then place a piece of cloth on top of it.

3.  Set your iron to “cotton” setting, allow to heat up, and then press firmly and iron your design onto the shirt for about 60 seconds.  Allow the design to cool.20140202-210714.jpg

Easy peasy jungle breezy.

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The best things in life aren’t things….Happy Heart day my friends!

Advent Calendar (Baby Food Jars)

This will be the third year we’ve used this Advent calendar and it’s one of our favorite Christmas pieces.  I had somehow collected a ton of baby food jars and came across a super cute idea on Nap Time Crafters. Each jar holds candy or an activity for each day of Advent.  In our family, we write a Christmas activity on a small piece of paper and place it each jar.  Activities range from decorating the Christmas tree and Cocoa Cruising (looking at Christmas lights) to helping others in need like adopting an angel or delivering food to the local food pantry…you get the idea.  The whole family looks forward to opening a jar each day to see what type of fun surprise we’ll be doing as a family!   We’ve found that it’s a great addition to our celebration of the Christmas season as we anticipate the coming of our Lord and Savior.

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Materials:
Baby food jars (25)
Assorted Christmas Scrapbook paper
Assorted number decals
Round Heavy Strength Magnets (50)
Hot glue gun
Metal Serving Tray (found mine at Hobby Lobby super cheap!)
Plate holder stand (sturdy enough to hold the tray)
Red tissue paper (enough to fill the inside of the jars)

Trace the top of your baby food jar onto the back of your scrapbook paper.  Once you have 25 traced, cut and hot glue the circles to the top of the lids. Add the assorted number decals to the lids and set them aside to dry.  Next, hot glue one magnet to the bottom of each jar so they will “stick” to the serving tray (Note:  if you find that your jars with magnets are not “sticking” to your serving tray, hot glue a second magnet to the tray itself and allow the magnets to stick together for added support).

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Next, stuff the insides of the jars with the red tissue paper and you’re ready to fill your advent jars with goodies or activities!

Merry Christmas and Happy Crafting!

Re-fashioned T-Shirt

Every year, my daughter Kinley has college week at her school.  Each day involves a theme and one of the days she needed to wear her favorite college shirt.  Unfortunately we didn’t have one in her size but no worries… we found a way! My sister-in-law and I began researching “no-sew” fitted t-shirts and found this DIY project.  We took one of my husbands old college shirts (out of about 1,000) and found a simple and cute way to dress it up.  This project took about an hour total and cost me an old t-shirt = FREE.

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We went through Russell’s closet and selected this one for our Project.  We cut off the bottom so the edges would roll up. Then we cut the sides of the shirt all the way up the side and even the sleeve. Note: Make sure the cut is as straight as it can be, the only thing that should be still stuck together after this step is the neck of the shirt.

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Then we cut about one inch strips all the way up the side and even the sleeve.
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We tied the strips into knots, like you would tie a shoelace or string into a knot. (don’t pull too hard but make sure its tight enough so the knot won’t fall out). Do this step to both sides of the shirt.
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 Cut the neck as big as you wish and cut the end of the sleeves off of the shirt. we decided to tie knots all the way around the sleeves but you can design or make unique for your liking.
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The rest is yours to decorate how you would like.  We added a few bows and made a cute headband to match.
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Go Red Raiders!

Mod Podge Photos (On Canvas)

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Without a doubt, this will be added as one of my top favorite project ideas from Pinterest!  It was the perfect craft for me because I take tons of photos and LOVE using them as home décor.  If your looking for a fun gift idea this would be perfect for those Grandparents, or even yourself!

20130710-110345.jpgWhat you will need:

Pre-stretched canvas
Paper cutter or scissors
Cute paper pre-cut to fit the sides of your canvas
Cute photo’s
Two (2) – Paint Brushes or Sponge Brushes
Wax Paper
Mod Podge in Matte
towel Acrylic/Craft Paint

20130710-174635.jpgApply a thin coat of mod podge to your entire canvas, sides included.

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Have your strips ready? If not, cut them to fit on each canvas side while the Mod Podge is drying. My strips were 1/8 of a inch smaller that my measured sides.   Once Mod Podge is Dry, you will re-paint an additional thin layer on one side of your canvas.

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Place your strip of paper along the edge of your canvas. Smooth it over with your fingers several times making sure no bubbles form. Repeat step 3 with all sides.  Your edges don’t have to meet up exactly together.  You can cover the exposed canvas with paint in a few more steps.  If you didn’t already tear off a large piece of wax paper, You will use the wax paper again in a few steps. Also pre-cut your photo 1/8 inch on each size so that there was no edge overlap.

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Place the photo down onto wax paper and apply a good amount of mod podge to the back of your photo. The photo paper is thick enough that it won’t pucker or bubble at all.

20130710-174750.jpgTurn the photo over and smooth it onto your canvas.  You can cover the image with a soft towel to do the smoothing. Wait about 20 minutes for Mod Podge to dry.

20130710-174758.jpgMod Podge the front of the photo. It will look milky white, but remember it dries clear.

20130710-184637.jpgDry Brush (or sponge) Paint Application.  You can use any dry brush or sponge. Make sure the brush or sponge is DRY to get that vintage look. Dip the brush in a small amount of paint, and before you start to apply, wipe your sponge/brush on a paper plate or paper towel so you use a minimal amount. Then dab your sponge/brush along the edge repeatedly until it is as dark as you want.

20130710-215828.jpgThis is how mine turned out!

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I used this one of the girls as a stand alone.

After your photo’s look complete, you will want them to dry fully over night.  Place your photo canvases face down on your wax paper onto a flat surface.  I also like to cover the back of my canvas with heavy books that will press my photo to the canvas even more overnight, this will helps minimize any bubbles or puckering.

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What you will need for the Photo Hanging:

Mod Podged Photo’s on Canvas
Staple Gun
Ruler
Ribbon

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Put your canvases in order the way you want them to look on your wall. Also, decide how far apart you want them to be {1 inch, 2 inches…etc}. Multiply that number by 4. Measure your ribbon out to that length. Cut as many as you need for holding up canvases below. For three Canvases you will need four ribbons in this length.  Get your ribbon ready to staple.   I made a double fold on the ribbon strand to give the canvas more strength when holding up another photo canvas below.  Then staple your ribbon to your canvas.  For the top, determine how long you want it to be then cut double that length for extra strength.  Stretch your ribbon flat, and then fold it over to the other side and staple your ribbon.  Now you can hang your finished product!  I added a bow to the top of the ribbon by making a twist.  You can add your own flair to make it fun!  Enjoy your creation!

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God’s Eye Craft

If you’re looking for a fun craft for all ages, check this out!  We made these a few weeks ago and the kiddos LOVED it!  It came with hours of entertainment!  Now I know why my mom introduced this when we were growing up… it gave her time for the nervous breakdown she deserved watching all of us during the hot summer days 🙂

Neat history lesson…The Pueblo and other Native Americans wore special decorations called a God’s Eye, which were thought to bring good luck and long life. They were also created for celebration or blessing, presented as a gift or designed to bless a home.  Now more often they are sold in markets, reminding us that God looks with love on people everywhere.

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Things You’ll Need

two sticks the same size and yarn or string. Seriously… THAT’S ALL!!

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Place 2 sticks together to form an X. This is the frame for the God’s Eye.

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 Tie one end of the yarn around the center of the frame to hold them together. Make the knot tight so the sticks aren’t loose.

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With the other hand, wrap the yarn over and around one arm of the X, then over and around the next arm, and so on. Pull the yarn tightly each time and push the yarn down snugly toward the center.  Continue working this way until the God’s Eye is completed.  Cut the yarn 3 inches from the end of the God’s Eye.  20130710-081530.jpg

You can wrap the entire X with the same color yarn, or you can add different colors; it’s your choice! Once you get the hang of making God’s Eye, try making a gigantic one using two rulers; or a tiny one using toothpicks!  Enjoy!

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