March 1, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Personalized School Supplies Clock

I have mentioned before that I am the school secretary for an after school religious school program, and every year, we have a Teacher Appreciation Dinner and Service where we give gifts to each of our teachers, tutors and student aides.  It is a beloved event, and since I happen to love doing crafty things, it has been my job to make gifts for many years now :) 
When I saw this post at Emilie Handmade, I knew what I was going to make this year!  I fell in love with that clock.
Ultimately, I made 40 clocks altogether, and now I feel like a pro!

This clock came from Walmart - and it is perfect for this project!  and I would definitely suggest trying to find this exact one!  It has plenty of space between the face of the clock and the glass and it is easy to take apart.

One thing I found really helpful, was marking the position of each number on the outer edge of the clock with a pencil, like I did in the picture below.  I prefered knowing exactly where the numbers had been, after I covered them up with the carstock personalized face.  It made it easier to place the items. 

For the clock face, I modified a saying from Ecclesiastes in the bible - since these clocks are going to religious school teachers ;)  I did have to use some trial and error to make it the right size, and to leave the correct space in the middle.

I made one for my family as well that says our last name.  In my opinion, the school supplies are really the stars of the show though:)

I used a sharp pencil to poke through the center of the clock face (where the hands will go)  I found it made a nice round hole.
Apply glue (with a glue stick) to both the original clock face and the back of your cardstock.  I learned long ago that if want paper to stick to paper, you glue both pieces before sticking them together to create the best bond. 

Also, I put the hands back on BEFORE I started arranging and gluing down my school supplies because I wanted to make sure that my hands did not hit anything!  I twirled my hands to each position to make sure that nothing was sticking too far out to get in the way of the movement. 
Using a hot glue gun is great, because it is strong and dries very quickly, but it is also not very forgiving.  You must make sure you know where you are going to stick things, because once they are down, you can't scoot them over if they get in the way of the clock hands!  So, just keep that in mind ;)

Below is a list of some of the things I included on my clocks.  There are obviously more than 12 listed there, so I got to mix and match since I was making so many.  I tried to add color as much as possible, so when I had the chance to get green and blue rubber bands, instead of beige, I did; and colored paper clips instead of silver.  Obviously, if you are just making one clock, it would be great to scrounge up some of these things from around the house, or buy only the items that don't come in a package of a million ;)  I also tried to make sure that nothing clashed, and all colors coordinated with each other.
  • Push Pins
  • Pencil Top Erasers
  • Paint Brush Tips with a line of puff paint. (I cut these with a very sharp box cutting knife)
  • Ruler (mine were actually yard sticks.  Yard sticks were the only thing I could find that didn't have a metal strip that I didn't feel comfortable cutting through.  And plastic rulers just shattered for me.  So I scored the yardstick on both sides with the box knife, and snapped it.  Each piece is about 1 inch, and I put the number on the ruler at the corresponding position on the clock. (I.E. the 9" section was put at the 9 o'clock spot.)
  • Colored Pencils (scored with a sharp box knife and broken)
  • Regular Pencils (scored with a sharp box knife and broken)
  • Crayons (scored with a sharp box knife and broken)
  • Staples
  • Rubber Bands
  • Paper Clips (I went to Staples and found some colored/shaped ones which I love!  I tried to use colors whenever possible, and these gave me the opportunity to add color instead of using plain silver paperclips.  For the music teacher I used the paperclips that were shaped like a guitar and a treble clef!)
  • Binder Clips
  • Colored Dots
  • Large Pink Erasers (cut into smaller pieces with a sharp knife)
  • Colored popsicle sticks (this one might have been a little bit of a stretch, but they do get used in craft projects, and added some great color when needed)
  • Brads
When gluing things down, I put seams and imperfections toward the bottom, and only glued on the contact points.  Most items hide the glue very was on things like the paperclips that I tried to be very careful to only use a small amount of glue, and only in a place that it touched the face or other paperclips. 

Each clock also has an item I made out of clay in the 12 o'clock position.  This is another way you can add a lot of personalization to your clock if you wanted.  All of the teachers I am making these for work at a Jewish Religious School, and we wanted to reflect a Jewish element in the gift.  So, I made a little item out of clay that fit the bill. 

Once all your items are glued on, make sure that there aren't any glue strings hanging around, and blow away all pencil or crayon shavings.  It's the worst when you screw the clock entirely back together, and some particle drops onto the glass, and you have to take it apart to wipe it away because you KNOW it will bug you if you don't!  Same with fingerprints :)
ALSO, Make sure your clock hands line up correctly!  Set the minute hand at the 12 position, and make sure that the hour hand lines up on an hour.  I used the 3 spot to test that the hour hand was in the right position, because it was easy to judge a right angle. 

I can't tell you how pleased I am with the way these turned out!!  They are so unique, personal, bright and fun!  The great thing is, you can really personalize this sort of clock to fit any theme you want!  I LOVE clocks, and they are really fun to give as personalized gifts.
You could use sheet music for the face and put music related items around the numbers and give it to a music teacher.  My friend has a daughter who loves monkeys, and she was thinking she wanted to make a clock for her room using the Barrel of Monkeys toy for the numbers :)
The one for our family looks great by the computer desk, but would also look great by a child's homework desk!

I know how hard it can be to decide on a gift for a teacher, and I can tell you that this is one gift that is a HUGE hit - and won't break the bank either!  And be sure to go check out Emilie Handmade for the full tutorial!

Looking for other Teacher Appreciation Ideas?  Check out the Teacher Appreciation section of my tutorials link here.  

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  1. These are so great, can't believe you made 40 of them. You were busy. I may have to make something like this for my niece's teacher, such a great idea.

  2. this is so great! you need to add those "facebook sharing" buttons on the bottom of the post. Darling. :)

  3. I love it!!!! I am going to have to do this with the kids. Thanks for such a fun idea!

    :)rachel at

  4. Being a former teacher I think this is awesome. I will have to remember this when my little guys are in school!

  5. This is so absolutely adorable!!

  6. I just found your blog and wanted to say hi and let you know I am your newest follower. Love your blog! :)

  7. Super Cute! Such a great idea!!Your amazing for making 40 :)


  8. Oh my goodness, I think this is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen! Those teachers are so lucky! My wheels are turning! I am your newest follower!


  9. what a perfect gift idea!!!


  10. That is such an awesome idea, I'd be so excited to get a gift like that!

  11. This is a great post! Thank you for sharing such a sweet and fun idea! I can't wait to get to Walmart and try this! : )

  12. You made it into the finals at Saturday Mornings! Come check it out!

  13. These are so adorable. Thanks for the great idea.

  14. My mother is a teacher, and I think this would make her very happy! Thanks for linking up!

  15. Love it! So cute! I'd love to have you link this up at my new Link Party!


  16. What an adorable idea. I will have to make one. I'm your newest follower. I'm having a party over at I would love if you stopped by and linked up your project.

  17. Oh so very cute. What a great idea.

  18. I am a teacher and love this clock! Thoughtful hand-made gifts are the best!

  19. I am a teacher and I can whole-heartedly say that I would LOVE to receive this clock! It sure beats some of the other things I've gotten! (Not that I didn't appreciate the thought behind each and everyone, you understand! It's just nice to receive something that is thoughtful, practical, and oh-so-cute all at the same time!) Can you e-mail this it to all my students' parents, please?? :-)

  20. Wanted to come back and say thanks again for the inspiration. I made one of these for my niece's teacher.

  21. This so cute and fun! Thanks for linking up at Make Something Mondays! Hope to see you again next week!


  22. How cute! Great tutorial!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie last week! I can't wait to see what you have for this week!

  23. Your blog is so cute. New follower from Spotlight Saturday.

  24. I love love love these clocks! I'll have to try and make one for my classroom!

  25. These are terrific! What a great idea and a beautiful job! ~Lori

  26. I don't even know what to say... these clocks are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this and I love the detail in the tutorial. I will be making these for my kids' teachers. Love it!!! I'm your latest follower. Heather @

  27. I'm a teacher, and I would love that clock in my classroom! What a cute idea!!! :-)

  28. This is such a great idea! What a cute and crafty way to say "thank you" to your teacher! LOve it! Thanks for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party @

  29. adorable! What a neat idea! Handmade gifts are special!

    I am having a fine art photography giveaway on my blog. The artist is Melanie Alexandra. She has more than 200 photographs in her Etsy store. Leave me a comment telling me which is your favorite image to win any photograph of your choice.

  30. Thanks so much for your link to the other tutorial as well as for your tut'. I bookmarked this months ago to save & do for the end of the school year. I just finished doing one for my dd's teacher and it turned out wonderful. I know he's going to love it. Hopefully he'll hang it on his wall for years to come! I wrote in the middle "Time in Mr. ___'s class is Time Well Spent!" Fingers crossed that he'll like it! :) Thanks again.

  31. I love all you did - miracle babies products are gorgeous! I also wanted to let you know I blogged about miracle babies Personalized Gifts. We love our miracle babies! Here’s a $5 off coupon from My Miracle to celebrate! $5 off your purchase of $30 or more.Use coupon code: COUPON05.

  32. Wow its really something great post. Really innovative post.
    Wine Gift Basket

  33. This is so, so, so adorable! A school supply clock. Wow. What an incredibly clever and truly crafty idea.

  34. wow!!!! I LOVE!!!!! Def. going to make one for my classroom!

    I'm your newest follower :) & grabeed your button!

    A Teacher's Treasure

  35. have purchased few personalized gifts from mymiraclebaby - those were very gorgeous and beneficial to use. I liked them so much and wanted to refer to other's as well. They have huge collection for other products like - monogrammed baby gifts, personalized bathrobes, hooded towels, gifts for the nursery, baby shower gifts and more. You can also use this coupon code: COUPON05 for availing $5 discount on your purchase of $30 or more.

  36. Will you be willing to sell this in your shop? I LOVE IT!


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