February 19, 2010

Halloween Cape

This cape completed my daughter's Halloween Witch costume, and I am very proud of it.
I got 1 yard of purple fabric, and 1 yard of black fabric.

To make the 2 sides of the cape, I took a piece of string and a fabric pencil, and made the cape as deep as I could (just the width of the fabric), and traced a small arc until I hit the edges of the fabric length wise. I then made a smaller arc for the neck.

I found pictures of Halloween items that I liked, in this case a cat and a spider, and traced them out of the opposite color fabric and cut them out.

I used iron on fabric to temporarily hold my cut outs onto the fabric, so they would stay put while I sewed around them. I did a tight zig-zag stitch, about 1/4 inch thick, all the way around each shape in coordinating thread.

I made 2 strips for the neck ties out of scraps of the fabric.

After sewing around the cut outs, I put the cape right sides together, put the neck ties facing in, at the edges of the neck arc, and sewed all the way around, leaving a few inches to turn it right side out.
I whip stitched the small opening closed. Done!

Wood Burned Clock

Don't know what woodburning is?? Click Here!
I bought this wood, with a pre-drilled hole, at the craft store.  These are made specifically to turn into clocks.  You can also buy the clock parts at the craft store, very inexpensively. 

After sketching out my design, I woodburned images of things that fly - to go along with the theme "Time Flies."

After woodburning, I painted it with acrylic paint, and sprayed it with a sealer.
It is a great, colorful addition to my daughters' room. 

Wood Burned Plaques

Don't know what woodburning is?? Click Here!

Start with a square of wood. I had them cut for me at home depot from pine. They are only about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut a piece of paper to the same size as your wood.
Draw your picture on the paper.
Once you are ready to transfer the picture to the wood, rub chalk or pencil on the back of the paper. Place the paper over the wood, and trace your picture. This will leave a mark on the wood. Do the same for the words. Print them the correct size and font on the printer, rub chalk or pencil on the back and trace the words onto the wood.
Wood burn using a very hot tool.
I used a combination of paper and acrylic paint on these. To use paper: make a rubbing of the woodburned piece, and cut out the pattern that the rubbing made. Trace each piece onto the paper that you want to glue down.
Once the entire thing is painted and covered, be sure to spray it.
I hang it with a picture hanger nailed into the back of the wood, the kind with teeth, purchased from the hardware store.

Painted Garden Stakes

These wooden stakes cost about 30 cents each at the hardware store.  They are about 8" long by 1" wide.  First paint them with a base coat (I used acrylic paint). I chose a different color for each vegetable, and made at least two stakes per vegetable for each end of the row.
Then, with pencil, write the name of the plant, and then using an embossing tool, paint the name with black paint.  Finally, draw a simple picture of the vegetable with pencil, and paint it in. 
I used google to find cartoon examples of some vegetables - to give me ideas of how to draw them by hand. 
Sprayed the stake very well with a clear coat when it is all dry - this will help to weather-proof it. 
To add the dragonflies, I got a spool of 20 gauge (.81mm) copper wire from the hardware store, and a pack of inexpensive plastic beads.
I put one bead in the middle of a length of wire, made four wings, and twisted and bend the wire to get the rest of the beads to stay on the dragonfly.
I drilled a hole in the top of the stake, and wound the ends of the wire through the hole, twisting and knotting the wire to make it stay put.
This made a very fun, very inexpensive, and thoughtful gift for my friend!

February 17, 2010

Customized Bleach T-Shirts

We purchased cotton t-shirts from Michael's and ACMoore when they were 50% off, making them $2.50 each. The sale comes around often enough that it is worth the wait! These t-shirts were given to all the participants of a youth group, and each month that they attended the group, they were given a patch to iron on the back.

1. Using contact paper, we cut out the letters "Y" and "K" and circles for the front of the shirt, and stuck them on.
2. Using a spray bottle full of bleach, we sprayed a small circle of bleach over the area with the contact paper. Remember to put a piece of cardboard in the shirt so the bleach does not leak through to the back. Not a lot of bleach is needed, and it works best if it is done in the sun. The sun helps it develop more quickly.
3. Rinse thoroughly when it is finished developing, and remove contact paper. Do not bleach the back of the shirt until it is dry again.
4. We used a Clorox Bleach Pen to write the words "Youth Kehillah" and "5770" on the back. We used the spray bottle to make the circle of white. This created a designated space to iron on patches.
5. Run through the washing machine when finished to completely remove the bleach.

Printed Iron On Patches

When the students attend the monthly service, we iron a customized patch onto their t-shirt to show that they came.
I create a document in word using graphics, color text, and whatever I want!  I can fit six patches to a page, then print with my inkjet color printer and cut them out.  In this case, I have to print a mirror image (see the one with the piano - before it has been ironed on).
The students love to collect patches, and it is an easy way to encourage participation. 

We are thankful for you Cards/Certificates

We have each student in the class tell us something fun about their teacher, and compile the responses into a document that we print and laminate, like a certificate.
We asked questions like,
"What do you admire about your teacher?"
"What makes your class fun?"
"What is your favorite part of class?"
It is important to ask these kind of questions in order to get a good response. Teachers love this personalized, thoughtful keepsake.

Personalized Flip Books

These personalized flip books were a fun way to involve all the students in the class (and some of the parents too!)

I printed the cover information onto cardstock, 2 to a page, and cut the page in half.

I used a glue stick to glue on the scraps of torn tissue paper, and sequins, and used glitter pens to add color and texture. Then, I covered the cover in clear contact paper to protect it.

We gave each student a pre-cut, pre-punched card. Again, each card was half of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock. (8 1/2 x 5 1/2) They were punched using only 2 of the prongs in a 3 hole punch. Just be sure to line up your pages in the same place each time you punch, so that the holes ultimately line up.

Students were encouraged to draw pictures, write their favorite thing about their teacher or their class, things they learned, etc. And we encouraged them to use different mediums including paint, markers, crayons, construction paper, photographs, etc. Also, they were told to include their name.

We then compiled the cover and all the pages, secured with 2 ring clips. The finished product was a very sweet flip book with personal notes from the teacher's students.

Customized Tote Bag

Customized Tote Bags were a big hit with the teachers. This was a gift we gave from the school to the teachers, teacher aides, and parent helpers.
We went to this web site because it had a good price, and uploaded our art, chose the color and style of the bag, and color of the imprint.
We then made Fancy Popcorn, wrapped it in colorful cellophane, and put it inside the bag to present as a gift.

Goodie Containers for Teacher Aides

We got these glass canisters at a kitchen supply store.
We drew on them with glass markers. When you bake it, according to the directions, it becomes permanent. (Be sure to take out the plastic rim seal first!)
We then filled the container with brownies and Lemon Squares wrapped in colorful cellophane.
It made a fun, personalized, reusable gift!

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February 16, 2010

Painted Flower Pots

To make this bright and fun teacher appreciation gift, you will need:
- a terra cotta pot
- acrylic paint and paintbrushes
- a foam stamp (I used an apple)
- plants and potting soil

1. Put a cream base coat on the pot and let it dry.

2. Paint colorful squares around the top rim of the pot. You can pencil in the squares first to guide you if necessary. I just used a foam brush, and eye-balled the size of the squares. I alternated the squares with a darker and lighter color to add variety. Let it dry before stamping.

3. Paint the foam stamp, and pressed it firmly onto the pot. Rock it back and forth slightly to make sure that all the paint transfers to the pot. I would also suggest adding depth by using darker and lighter colors to make shaddows and highlights - as seen on the apple in the picture.

4. After the stamp image has dried, you can write over the image with a small brush, or fine point permanant pen. We put the name of the school, and the year, but you could put the teacher's name or any other personal information.

5. Spray the pot with a clear sealer, and after it has dried fill it with plants.

Rag Blankie with Circles - 4th of July Theme

I made this blankie to sit on when watching 4th of July fireworks. All the fabrics are patriotic in theme, but of course this blanket could be made with any style or fabric theme that you want.

1. Start by cutting 126 circles out of your cotton fabric, and 63 circles out of your batting. These circles are 9" in diameter. I used a round tupperware bowl, but you can use any circular item as a guide. A stiff piece of cardstock or cardboard could also be used as a guide.
2. Place 2 fabric circles wrong sides together, with 1 piece of batting in between. Sew around the outside of the circle, leaving .5 inch seam allowance. You will have 63 completed circles.
3. Sew the circles together in rows of 7. As you sew them together, sew all seams facing the same direction, and leave .5 inch seam allowance at the widest part of the circles.
4. Sew each of the rows together, continuing to sew all the seams facing the same direction, leaving the .5 inch seam allowance at the widest part when sewing the circles together.
5. Clip all the seams, .4 inch apart. Do not cut through the thread, otherwise it will come undone. If you do clip through, sew over it again to reinforce the seam.
6. Run it through the washing mashine and drier to enhance the fraying.

Fancy Popcorn

Melt 6 squares of white chocolate with 1 Tblsp. of shortening.
Drizzle the chocolate over popcorn, periodically stirring in a bowl.
Sprinkle with salt, and continue to stir.
Spread the popcorn out over a baking sheet that has been covered in parchment paper.
Melt a small amount of dark chocolate with shortening.
Drizzle the white chocolate popcorn with dark chocolate. I dip a fork in the dark chocolate and shake it over the popcorn. This adds a decorative element.
Let the popcorn dry VERY thoroughly.
Package in colorful celophane with a twirling ribbon.

February 2, 2010

Customized Pens

We purchased these pens from the imprinting company Amsterdam Printing. They have good clearance prices, and a quick ship time. They were given to each student during a school-wide event.

February 1, 2010

Customized Carabeener Tape Measures

 We purchased these from Amsterdam Printing, and had them imprinted with the words:
"BETC Volunteers Measure Up" and the year. They were given out at our Volunteer Recognition Dinner.