handmade gifts for teacher

Note: I found this post "in draft" from two years ago. I don't know why? - probably had to check the links and then forgot ??  

I haven’t posted about any of the paper crafting going on around here lately so here are some handmade gift ideas for those fabulous teachers in our lives. In many towns parent groups like to have a teacher appreciation event at the beginning of the year, our area likes to have one in May.  These are actually really nice for any time of year you want to make handmade gifts.

We used some of these for the national PTA’s Teacher Appreciation Week/Day and for end of year gifts. Our school has activities for a whole week in May involving teacher appreciation; beginning with the children writing a special Thank You to any teacher they wish to compliment and ends with the PTA sponsored appreciation luncheon at the end of the week.
I think about all the other caring adults and volunteers we run into as a family and I know they put aside time each week to plan something special for the kids. From the preschool parent/child group organizers to the religious education volunteers at our church each one has a special place in our hearts.
I turn to making something handmade. Fortunately I have found out that we have many scrapbookers in our teacher mix. This is good news for me since I’m really only good at one thing. Paper. I also find it simple to put together something that is practical, that will be used and that is versatile to be used any which way they want.

A set of handcrafted note cards or hand stamped journaling cards are a recent example. I pulled from my  “stash” of scrapbooking and card making supplies and also from the growing stash of digital designs I have fallen in love with.

1. The hand stamped journal cards were inspired from an old blog post over at the fontwerks blog.
2. (no picture available, sorry) A handmade note card set using digital designs can be made with any digital brush kit. It is easy...I simply find a digital design that is pretty and using some type of photo or graphic design software on your computer you customize it according to paper size you are using and what size you want the finished product to be. I like using an 8.5x11 piece of heavy weight card stock, cut in half this will give you two note cards. Mix and match with envelopes and tie together with twine or ribbon.

3. Journaling cards were made from several designer digitals products, (the handwritten digital designs are from Ali Edwards).  Digital butterfly sticker also from designer digitals (though, no longer available). I also like to print out a background design and cut it to the size I need or use a paper punch (oval or circle scallop), then hand stamp an outline flourish or botanical design in the corners. Rubber stamps used are from hero arts or found online at impress rubber stamps. I am always attracted to either the botanicals or the flourishes. I always like to use a nice sturdy weight card stock for handstamping and digital projects. Can your printer handle some watercolor papers? If so, even better, that texture is beautiful. Mine can, but only the not too thick kind.
{This grouping also includes digital designs from Paper Relic (birds, butterflies with banners). Background paper from a digital kit of IOD (iron orchid design) designs from way back (2007 maybe.) Purchased at another fave site, scrapartist.com. They were some of the very first digital downloads I purchased and I still love them.}

There are so many to swoon over. And new ones added every week. Since you can print these out to use for your personal use (not commercial) and re-use again for cards/invites/gifts, plus re-size, and recolor, this is also a double bonus {or is that, triple? quad?}. Most are between 2.99 to 6.99 – I think that is affordable.

4. Let’s not leave out the “freebies” that could be practical additions to a paper project. Like making your own paper to fit your needs. I like to use these two freebie sites as a starting point for ideas such as making your own background patterns for a project. Here I like to use heavy weight card stock also.
Two favorites lately have been:
printablepaper.net (I discovered this one from a post over at the fontwerks blog) Cool school-lined paper.
And, a new to me,  free grid and graph paper site:
incompetech.com. I've loved graph paper ever since my high school days. This site has a circle grid graph generator that has nearly endless combinations of color and patterns. hmm, more swooning.

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