Extra! Extra! Get your last minute Teacher Appreciation gifts! Last minute Teacher Appreciation gifts here!

Posted in DIY
on June 12, 2014

Wow! We made it! We are in the final week of school.. are you ready? With the start of summer vacation, comes the end of another great school year. With the end of the school year comes the last opportunity to show our appreciation for the teachers!

As a parent of many children, I’ve given my share of mug related gifts throughout the years. But, I got to thinking.. If you had been a teacher for 10 years, and you averaged 26 students in each class, and if even half of those students gave you a mug for an appreciation gift each year, during your 10 year career you’d have amassed 130 miss-matched mugs. I can’t be alone in my miss-matched mug OCD.. please tell me I’m not? Okay, if I am, it goes without saying that a mass amount of miss-matched mugs would drive me CRAZY. In a very appreciative, and appreciated, way of course.  And, so began the mad search for something non-mug different, inexpensive, meaningful and easy-to-create.


I’m hardly the jewelry making expert, but honestly, this was a fun and surprisingly easy craft that I think will be enjoyed. It was all made very easy with a few readily available materials that I picked up at Joann’s, including this bezel made by Spellbinders. There are about a million things you can do with these babies – including what I did! 
Susan Lenart Kazmer Art Mechanique Square Hobnail, Medium, Antique Brass
{Source}
The center “stone” was made using shrink art medium. That’s right.. it’s a shrinky dink! Even though I’m 44, I still can’t say shrinky dink without giggling just a little bit.. But, back to the topic at hand. 
First, I found a chinese image that translated to “Teacher”. Once found, it was easy enough to print the image onto the shrink film sheets, specifically made for ink jet printers.
Grafix 8-1/2''x11'' Ink Jet Shrink Film-6PK/Clear, , hi-res
{Source}
I  printed the image in reverse, and doubled plus .25 of an inch to what I wanted the completed size to be. In this case, my completed size needed to 1.5″ x 1.5″. As a result, my image before printing was cut out to 3.25″ x 3.25″. I cut it out and rounded the corners before baking and shrinking. 
A tile before and after baking. 

Following the instructions on the package, I preheated my oven to between 325 and 350 degrees. I laid the jewelry tile out on parchment paper and covered with the same. I then baked the tile for 2 minutes and removed it from the oven. Be sure to allow the tile to cool completely before moving it. 

Once the tile was cool, where needed, I sanded the edges using a nail file. When I was sure of a proper fit, I simply popped the tile in to the bezel. It fit tightly enough that it was not necessary to add any adhesive. 
I put the completed bezel on a chain, added a tassel and a small charm and voila! Charming Teacher Appreciation gift that is both meaningful, different and fun!

For another quick idea, check out our “Extra” gift from last year!

{A little “Extra” Teacher Appreciation}

So, how about the rest of you? Has your summer vacation begun and are you enjoying some lazy summer days? I hope so!

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