Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to easily make a mini blackboard teacher gift

teacher gift

School will soon be coming to an end and the kids will want to come up with a unique teacher gift.  You can go out and buy something or a gift card always works, but still, your child may want to make something that come from the heart. 

This little mini blackboard teacher gift is so easy to make with a throwaway take out container.  As long as there is a number 6 in the little triangle on the container you can shrink it in a home oven to become 1/3 of the size and hard.  It makes a great little personalized gift tag, key ring, or even a brooch.  And what is best is that this teacher gift can be extra special with names, dates, and more. 

Shrinkable take out containers come in white or black but you will need the black one for this project.  So let’s get started…

look for the number [6]


Black take-out container marked with number [6]
White gel marker
Hole punch
Home oven
Cookie sheet lined with foil
Optional – jump ring, key ring, and needle nosed pliers

1.     Use the top or bottom portion of the container.  Measure and cut a rectangle 4” x 3”.

2.     If you are going to use it as a tag or key ring, punch a hole in one of the corners with a hole punch

3.     Next, Have your child write a message on the rectangle.  You can write to: teacher’s name.  You can write a thank you message.  Your child can sign his or her name so the sky is the limit. 

4.     Then make some curlicues or design all around the edges. 

5.     Now, line a cookie sheet with foil.  Place your prepared piece in a 300-degree oven for about 5 minutes or until the blackboard has shrunk and is relatively flat. 

6.     Remove from the oven (be careful so an adult should do this part) and immediately use a spatula to flatten the blackboard.  Let it cool and it will be hard and thicker.

7.     To make it into a key ring, use the needle nosed pliers to open a jump ring by twisting rather than pulling apart.  Insert through the hole and then close the jump ring with the same twisting motion.  Attach a key ring. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Make an easy rose pen for a Mother's Day surprise

rose pen

Did you know that you recycle a simple brown paper bag into an adorable rose pen for a fun Mother’s Day surprise?  Follow the simple steps and you can make an entire bouquet for Mom’s desk in no time, with very little cost! 

This project is easy enough for older kids with a little help.  Your Mom will love her new rose pen and use it often! 

rose pen

Recycled paper bag rose pen


Stick pen
Brown paper bag
Flower pattern
Thin cardboard
Tacky craft glue
Small paintbrush
Acrylic paint in choice of color
Marker in a similar color
Small piece of packaging tape (stronger than regular tape)
Green floral tape


1.     Download the flower pattern and trace onto a piece of thin cardboard.  Cut open a brown paper bag and lay it flat onto your work surface.  Use the cardboard pattern to trace three flowers and cut them out.

2.     Using the acrylic paint apply a coat of paint onto each flower.  Let dry, turn over and apply a coat of paint on the opposite side.  Let dry.

3.     Use a ruler and coordinating marker to mark spoke like lines from the petals (See photo) do this on each flower.

4.     Cut one section to the center of one flower.  On the second flower cut out one petal.  On the third flower cut out two petals.  Save the cut out single and double petals, they will be the center of the rose.

5.     On the first flower add some glue to the petal adjacent to the cut line and fold and attach the petal next to it.  (See photo)  It will look like a bowl.  Repeat this step on the second and third flower folding the petals together.  Let the glue dry.

6.     Use the scissors to cut a small curved opening at the bottom of each flower (This is where the pen will be inserted)

7.     Using the cut pieces of petal use the pen or a pencil to fold around and glue together.  Cut the uneven end straight.

8.     Insert the pen through the smallest center petal and slide up to the top leaving some extra at the end.  Cut a small piece of packaging tape and secure this center petal onto the pen.  Working from the bottom (pen point end) slide on the next sized center petal all the way to the first one.  It will fit tightly.  Use the small paintbrush to curl the petal down.

9.     Continue adding each flower from smallest to largest and curling the individual petals with the paintbrush until you have added them all.  Cut a small piece of tape and secure the last flower onto the pen. 

10. Begin at the bottom of the flower with floral tape, twisting around the pen and down.  Floral tape sticks to itself.  Cover the entire pen up to the end. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

How to make a Mother's Day birthstone bracelet for Mom

birthstone bracelet

Mother’s Day is almost here and this year instead of the usual flowers or candy why not give mom a personalized gift she will treasure forever.  You can make this birthstone bracelet for mom quickly and easily with no special skills required.  Use the colors of stones for the birthdays of all her children or grandchildren. 

Your mom will want to wear her birthstone bracelet all the time! 


14-gauge silver-plated wire (available at all craft stores)
Needle nosed pliers
Wire cutters
Beads in the colors using the birthstone color chart for your birthstones
Small spacer beads in silver

Colors for Birthstones

January – Garnet (deep red)
February – Amethyst  (dark purple)
March – Aquamarine (Lt. blue)
April – Diamond (Clear glass)
May – Emerald (Green)
June – Pearl (pearl)
July – Ruby (Red)
August – Peridot (Olive green)
September – Sapphire (dark blue)
October – Opal/Pink tourmaline (pearlescent or pink)
November – Topaz (yellow)
December – Tanzanite (violet blue)

1.     Using wire cutters cut a piece of wire so that it fits around your wrist twice.  If your wire comes in a ring (Which many do) it is already the perfect shape for a bracelet.  If not, bend it to a circle shape using a can or any tubular shaped item as a mold to create the round shape.

2.     Using the needle nosed pliers curl one end of the wire.  Start to add the beads on the uncurled end of wire. Thread two small spacer beads on the wire.  The curled end will keep the beads from falling off as you work.  

3.      Next thread on your birthstone bead.  Follow with two spacer beads and continue with as many birthstone colors as you desire with two spacer beads in between each one.

4.     Curl the second end of the wire in the opposite direction as the first one.

I like to use glass beads or Swarovski crystal beads but you can substitute any beads you like.