It’s time once again for some Craft Lightning – a craft you can make in 15 minutes or less (minus drying time). This week we’re sharing ideas for Teacher Appreciation gifts and I’ve got a really cute one to show you. When I was a classroom teacher, my favourite gift was always when parents and/or students would write me a personal note. I still have all of them – some are in a scrapbook and others I have framed and hanging up where I can see them every day and remember the lives that I touched. So, this Apple for the Teacher jar is a perfect gift to show a teacher just how much they mean to their class!
All you need for this is: a jar (I used an old pickle jar that I washed really well and took off the label. Soaking it for a few minutes in a sink of soapy water and then using a kitchen scrubber removed the label in a snap), an apple stencil (or you can make your own as I did with some adhesive Contact paper), an apple shaped punch if you have one, scissors, red and green paper, red craft paint, paintbrushes, some apple/school themed fabric and Mod Podge Fabric (or you can use an appropriate paper or simply use some paint instead), tacky glue, and any other trims and embellishments you’d like (I’m using a wooden apple shaped button with some red bakers’ twine to attach it, and some red rickrack that I had on hand).
Step One: The first step is to get all of the painting done: Apply the stencil to the jar and paint on the apples. Be sure to press the stencil on well to avoid bleeding through but if any does happen, simply clean it up with a cotton swab or fine tipped brush before it dries. I also painted the wooden button to match. (Note: I don’t have an apple punch so I used the button as my template for making my stencil. You could print one off on your computer.)
Step Two: While the paint was drying, I applied a medium layer of Mod Podge Fabric to the front of the fabric I’m using. I’m applying a piece of fabric as a label to my jar (since it was the perfect theme) and I’m covering the top of the jar lid with fabric as well. Set this aside to dry too. The reason for applying it to the front of the fabric is that it helps minimize fraying when you cut the fabric to size and it helps to seal and protect it. If you’re using paper instead (either a print you found or if you’re printing An Apple for the Teacher on some paper, it’s helpful to seal this with some regular Mod Podge. If you’re handy with paint, you could paint a label on the jar instead, perhaps using a paint marker or some puffy paint for the writing.)
Step Three: Once dry, I Mod Podged the fabric label to the jar and the fabric to the lid of the jar as well.
Step Four: Finally, all you need are some pieces of paper to put in the jar. If you have an apple shaped punch or die for your die cutting machine, that works well. If not, you could get each child to cut out their own apple shape, making it even more personalized. And of course, just red and green paper cut into rectangles works just fine too. Get each child in the class to write something they like about their teacher and put this in the jar. Making this just with your own child? Help them come up with 20-30 things they like about their teacher and fill the jar that way instead. You could even add a gift card or two or some wrapped candies to the jar if you want. But, trust me, as a former teacher, I can tell you that those little pieces of paper will be the most treasured part of this gift!
I’ve made this type of jar before for another teacher who was retiring and we got her current students, former students, and other teachers and staff to fill out papers for her so that she could draw one out every day for 100 days!