By now most schools have begun. And after all the lazy days of summer many of us are getting into the new morning rhythm of getting up early and getting the kids out the door. For me it also means the house is finally getting back under control. (I just found my laundry room floor again!) and I am realizing that I have sometime to start daydreaming about things I can do with that little bit of free time I have each day before the kids come home. Needless to say I feel very grateful for my kids teachers! Not only are they taking on the amazing task of teaching them, but they are also giving me some much needed alone time. So I wanted to let them know how much I appreciate them and all that they are doing. What better way to do this then giving them a survival kit for the new year.
When deciding on what to give them I knew I didn't want it to be just another little box of paperclips, staples, and a hand wipes. I wanted it to be something they would like and would really use. And of course it needed to have great packaging! Here is what I came up with.
Of course I wanted to make the packaging attractive but I also wanted it to be useful after the gift was opened. So I decided on a canvas bag. First I selected a size that would fit a binder of paper and maybe a small lunch sack. For the look I setteled on black and white color scheme to reflect a chalkboard. I wanted to add a little quote or poem to the bag that would reference the awesome work these teachers are doing. After much thinking everything I came up with was just so sweet. I didn't want the words on the bag to keep them from wanting to use it, so I decided on a simple statement that covers the feel of the new year; 'And so the adventure begins' seemed perfect.
Now for the gift inside. Being the packaging nut that I am I didn't want to just fill the bag with a random assortment of goddies. Instead I wanted to create something that would give the feel of many little gifts. This hopefully could replicated the same feeling I get each day as I enjoy those 2 hours to myself. (wink) Taking a few policy sized envelopes I printed a single letter on each one. When put all together they spelled out TEACHER. Then added a word and definition or statement that related to the little gift items that would be placed inside.
T - TOOLS of the trade (filled with pens, highlighter, #2 pencil, post-its)
E - ENERGIZE with snacks (filled with granola bars)
A - ASEPTIC germ-destroying (filled with hand sanitizer, lotion, breath mints, tissues)
C - CHOCOLATE sweeten your day (an assortment of chocolates)
H - HYDRATE with a boost (a reusable cup with Starbucks VIA coffee and a water flavoring)
ER - EMERGENCY just in case (I chose to give $15 Target gift cards but you could easily put in band-aids, Tylonal packets and alcohol wipes too)
Click on a picture to enlarge.
To keep with the school theme I chose a paint brush font and placed it on a paint brushed background to lend them a more kids-in-art-class look. After sealing them I added a bit of black and white paper tape to finish the look. Filling the bag with the packets was cute but at the last second I included an apple along with the the quick note card to the teacher. It just seemed fitting to finish it all with the apple.
I LOVED doing these so much I made an extra for the office aid. At our school she does as much for us as parents as any of the teachers do for our kids. I can't tell you the times she has helped me out over the last couple of years. When you start thinking about all the people who are there for your kids you might also find other people you want to give one to. Maybe a music teacher or coach? And the start of the new school year is a perfect time for any of the people in our lives to know how excited we are to start this new adventure.
If you want to duplicate this here is what you will need.
Canvas Bag Supply List:
1 - Black canvas bag. I got mine at Micheal's but you can easily get them on Amazon
4 - 9x6 open ended OR catalog envelopes in Kraft. You can find these at your local office supply store and online at Jampaper.com. The key is to get ones without the clasp so you can send them through your printer.
1 - A2 envelope in Kraft. These you can get at a craft our stationery store. Order online at Jampaper.com
1 - roll of kraft wrapping. Any store that sells packing and mailing material will have this. I got mine at Walmart in the box isle. You will want enough to cut 1 piece of 8.5x11 and still have left over to wrap the cup.
1 - roll of paper tape. I chose black and white to keep with the look but you can select what you like. I got mine at Hobby Lobby.
1 - roll of iron on vinyl. I got mine at Micheal's. This is only needed If you have a cutting machine like a Cricket, Pazzle or Cameo machine. If you don't you can order custom iorn ons. Here are a couple of great websites to visit. Ebay Transfer Iron Ons OR Stickeryou.com
Steps to create:
1. Cut out the vinyl. I really liked the statement
"So the adventure begins"
but you can of course choose what you would like best. Here is the link to an EPS file of this already set in reverse so it's ready to cut.
2. Iron on the quote to the center of the canvas bag. This was my first time using cricut's iorn on so I did a little homework on Youtube. Here is a link to the one I liked best. A bit dry but really covered all the issues and techniques.
3. Print the letters on the kraft envelopes. Depending on how comfortable you are using the advanced settings on your printer I would suggest you create a custom setting for the envelopes and print right onto them. If you aren't sure how to set this up or don't want to deal with feeding the envelopes, you can print this all onto a 8.5x11 sheet of the kraft paper (cut a letter size piece from the kraft paper you got to use to wrap with). After printing cut into 3.5x4.25 labels and attach them to the front of the envelopes. Use the following links depending on which way you decide to print these.
4. Now you are ready to fill your envelopes with the goodies. Here is a list of what I gathered to put in the packages. But you can of course select what you would like to give.
Goodies Supply List
T: 1-Pencil, 1-Highlighter, 2-Pens, 2-Sticky Note Stacks
E: 3-Granola Bars (Keeping in mind any NO NUT policy your school may have)
A: (all of these in travel size) 1-Hand Sanitize, 1-Hand lotion, 1-Tissue package, 3-Wet wipes, 1-breath mints package
C: 5-7 Small chocolates in your choice (I used Ghirardelli. I like their small square sizes and they come in a handy bag of 8)
H: 1-Water bottle or drink cup with straw, 1-Flavor water drops, 2-3 Instant coffee or tea packets (Starbucks has quite a few options)
ER: 1-Gift card to common useful store (Target, Walmart, other all-in-one store) OR 3-5 band-aids, 2-travel size pain pill packets. I choose the gift card because I wanted the to be able to get something they might need for the classroom or extra supplies for teaching. But this might not fit in your budget. And with the bag already being such a great gift you may select to go with the other option. Besides you can never have enough band-aids on hand where you are with kids all day.
5. Fill the water bottle or cup with the water drops and instant drink packets. Open the top, drop in the water drops and packets and close it back up.
Once put back together, wrap the cup with the sheet of kraft paper and attach the 'H' label.
6. After sealing the envelopes and wrapping the cup finish them off by adding a touch of the paper tape to the flap on the back or the top of the wrapping. It just adds that last bit that makes them feel more like something special to open.
7. Fill the canvas bag with all the packets and include an apple for that final flare of "old school" teacher gift. Write a note and your are good to go.