Bucket Full of Summer Fun

Thanks for helping me have a great year Last Day of School Thank You Gift for Teacher AlaynasCreations

Hello Wednesday!  Has anyone checked their calendars lately?  And did you do a double-take (as I did) when you realized just how quickly the last day of school is approaching?!?  T-minus 15 (school) days and counting, according to my little guy on Monday, which translates to just over two weeks until school is out for the summer.  That’s a bit late for our typical school year and I know a lot of schools are finishing up even sooner than that.  So in the interest of being on the ball, ahead of the game, and all of those other clichés that help keep me from feeling stressed, I wanted to put together a fun little end of the year gift for the teachers – and do it now rather than later.

Bucket List Last Day of School Teacher Thank You Gift Idea AlaynasCreations

The first place I always turn for inspiration is my Pinterest Boards and it wasn’t long before I ran across this great printable Bucket List tag.  So cute – and half the work is already done for me!  So I printed it out and took a quick trip to the dollar store.

Last Day of School Bucket List Teacher Gift Idea AlaynasCreaions

Don’t you just love the dollar store?  I never leave there with just the items on my list, but I sure do have fun while I wander – and my kids or husband usually get some fun treat out of the deal.  For this project I simply let myself wander, repeating the thoughts “summer…bucket list…summer” as the kids and I wandered through the store.  In the end my collection included a fun pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, Sunny-D (catching the theme here, aren’t we?), a bag of gummy bears (Tyler’s pick for his teacher when I told him we needed a treat to add to the bucket), and some small buckets.
*the dollar store is my absolute favorite place to find inexpensive containers for gift baskets.

 

Bucket List Last Day of School Teacher Thank You Gift AlaynasCreations.jpg

It looks pretty good all put together doesn’t it?  Hopefully the teachers will like it and if not, they’ll still appreciate the sentiment.

Last Day of School Bucket of Fun for Summer gift idea for the kids AlaynasCreations

I had purchased the buckets in a set of three so I had one leftover after putting together the two teacher gifts.  I decided it would be great to use for a little Bucket of Fun for my kids on the last day of school.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted in the bucket so I took a look at what I’ve done over the past few years (I wrote a blog post about some of our traditions last year.  You can find it HERE)…then decided that wasn’t really helpful since my kids already had those items. 😛  So plan B was to just let things jump out at me and it worked great.  One day at the grocery store I ran across those Milk Magic flavoring straws – Cotton Candy flavored!  That’s something I knew my kids would love to try, so I picked them up.  Another day Tyler was with me at the store and spotted the Slushies on the shelf.  I told him we didn’t need them that day, then when he turned around I snuck them into the cart under the vegetables.  And this past Sunday the bubble wands caught my daughter’s eye while we were looking for a birthday gift for a girl in Tyler’s class.  12 years old and she still thinks bubble wands are fun – great!  So I let her grab the 5 pack, gave two to the kids to use that afternoon, put one in the birthday gift, and kept the other 2 for the bucket.  Perfect.

Last Day of School Summer Bucket Quick and inexpensive gift basket idea for the kids or teachers at the end of the school year AlaynasCreations

Bring on the last day of school because we are now ready for it!  Are you??  Maybe not, but just think of all those days we might be able to sleep in a bit instead of rushing out the door to school, and no homework and… 😉

For more Last Day of School (or teacher appreciation) gift ideas or End of School traditions with the kiddos feel free to check out:
End of the Year Teacher Gifts in a Cup (my most Pinned blog post on Pinterest for the past month!)
Super Powered Teacher Gift
Crazy Cool Teacher Gift (this one was for Valentine’s Day but I think a “stay cool” spin on this idea would be awesome)
-my Last Day of School Traditions over the past few years

 

Linking to:  R&R Wednesdays, Home Matters Linky Party,

Super Powered Teacher – Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket

Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Super Teacher Super Powered Teacher End of the School Year Gift

You know what next week is, right?  Teacher appreciation.  And Mother’s Day and my daughter has a band concert and our own personal Paint Night that weekend (three sessions of which I somehow ended up being in charge of setting up and playing hostess for – more on that later if I don’t take another unplanned two month blog break).  Busy week, and that means it’s time to look ahead and do as much prep work as I can now.

Super Teacher Teacher Appreciation Gift Tag AlaynasCreations

Luckily, I got all enthused about the idea I found for Teacher Appreciation gifts this year and I already have them put together and they are all set to deliver.  I’ve run across the saying “I teach, what’s your Super Power?” a few times in the last couple of years and recently it just clicked.  Then I ran across THIS adorable printable tag (while browsing my existing Pinterest Board haha) and that clinched it.  A quick brainstorming session and a spin through the grocery store and I had everything I needed for a cute gift basket.

Super Powered Teacher Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Teacher End of School Year Gift

Inside the basket:  Powerade, Super Hero themed microwave popcorn, Super Hero themed travel tissues, and a pack of teacher reward stickers with plenty of “super” stickers.  You could use anything that had the word Super, Power, or anything Super Hero themed (and with all the new movie releases for Avengers, Batman/Superman and so on there are a lot of options out there).
*Quick tip:  check your local dollar store for cute and affordable baskets and containers.

A quick note from the kiddos completed the basket.

I am a teacher What is your Super Power Tag AlaynasCreations

Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Super Power Teacher

The teachers will love it, right?  Or at least they’ll appreciate the effort 😉

For more Teacher Appreciation or End of the School Year gift ideas check out some of my past ideas:
Teacher Gifts In a Cup
End of the Year Countdown Blocks
More Teacher Appreciation Ideas
Bucket of Summer Fun Gift Idea for last day of school for teachers and children

Or check out my Back To School Pinterest Board where I am constantly adding any fun ideas I run across.

Crazy Cool Valentine

Crazy Kool Valentines  Cool gift ideas for classmates and teachers

Don’t you just love it when you get inspired and then things fall together quickly, easily, and well ahead of schedule?!  After more than a month of scrambling to stay on top of things or just going with the flow and “playing” practically non-stop I have to admit that a part of me has been very happy to settle into our more regular routine this week and even better, I’ve found myself with some time to not only catch up but get ahead of a lot of things.  In the past few days I have worked on a lot of gifts, which I can’t share here (yet) but I can show off the Valentines I put together for the kids’ teachers and classmates.  A whole month before they are needed – that’s like a blogger timeline, which I am almost never ahead of the curve enough to follow 😉

With my oldest is in middle school, I only needed one set of classroom Valentines which is great because my son has a rather large class of 27 this year and that felt like plenty.  For classmate gifts, I often try to do something a little unique and with the added bonus of using something lower in sugar if possible (not that I’m one of those moms – and no offense if you are.  I just have a lot of other priorities and worrying if my kids get a little too much sugar now and then isn’t one of them).  So I was doing my usual pre-hoilday browsing through my Pinterest boards and ran across this great printable (found here) and knew that was what I wanted to do this year.  I’m all for quick and easy projects, and if someone has done the adorable prep work ahead of time, I’m all for it.

I think you're crazy kool Valentine Great non-sugar Valentines gift idea for classmates with silly straw and individual packets of Kool-Aid

It was a pretty simple matter to add the “love, Tyler” sentiment (in Paint) and print the tags out, 9 to a page. I cut a couple of slits in the tag to slide the straw through and stapled the Kool-aid packets to the back of the tag.  The whole process took under 30 minutes, most of which was done while watching Arrow with the husband (our new Go To show when we have the chance to watch TV together.  Gotta love Netflix).

Great non candy Valentine idea for classmates A silly straw and Kool-aid I think you're crazy kool Valentine

With the classmate Valentines complete, I figured I would eventually run across a great idea for the teachers – and I did!  I was in TJ Maxx the other day checking out the kitchen section since my daughter has requested some divided containers for her lunchbox.  In the past I have put together quite a few great teacher gifts using cups, mugs, or water bottles (see those fun ideas here and here and here), but having just done something like that for the current set of teachers for Christmas (see this idea) I hit the container aisle before the glass/bottle aisle and discovered these fantastic lunchbox containers with the ice packs in their lids.  And it hit me – these are quite literally “cool” and fit in perfectly with the theme I already had going on with the classmate Valentines – how perfect is that?!  Not only could I use the same tags, but I felt like the lunchbox containers were something the teachers would actually have a use for and not something they would typically be given as a gift.  So I grabbed a set and split it in half for the two teachers.

Lunchbox containers with ice pack in the lid are a great gift idea for teachers I think you're crazy cool Valentine

Again, a quick change to the tags I already had – changing the “kool” to “cool”  (the font is called Jokerman, in case you are wondering) and tied them together with ribbon.  Easy peasy!  And totally adorable, right?

Lunchbox containers with ice pack in the lid are a great gift idea for teachers I think you're crazy cool Valentine

I can now sit back and wait for Valentine’s Day without worrying about scrambling for an idea at the last minute – and you can too!  I’d love to hear about it (and see photos!) if you use this idea, or if you have a great idea I can use for next year 😉

Next up on the list of things to plan and create – my very first care package for this deployment.  Oh boy…
Linking to: Tip Me Tuesday, Made By You Monday, Lou Lou Girls, Home Matters Party, Pretty Pintastic Party, BFF Open House,

Easy Christmas Gifts for Teachers and Classmates – AND a Giveaway!

Easy Christmas Gifts for Teachers and Classmates with a little help from my Silhouette

15 days ’til Christmas! And yes the title DID say GIVEAWAY! Keep reading ’til the end to not only see what my Silhouette Challenge buddies and I have been up to, but to get a chance to win some Silhouette goodies of your own! (Giveaway is now closed)

I have spent a lot of my free time the last week or so writing lists, double checking lists, running errands and shopping, and rewriting lists…that’s how the holiday season goes, right?  When December hit I was feeling pretty behind on things but the more I cross off the list the better I feel and the more excited I get for Christmas.
This year my son’s classroom is doing the 12 Days of Christmas, so each of the children are assigned a specific day to bring in their classroom gifts and my son was assigned one of the first of the twelve days.  It just happened to be the day before his birthday and I was neck deep in party prep, so I knew that I needed something that didn’t require a lot of time or effort to put together.  But fankly, it’s me and we all know that even when I want things simple and inexpensive I also strive for a bit of creativity and cuteness.

Easy Classmate Gift idea that even the kids can do themselves
It took a bit of thought, but I finally settled on snack-size bags of microwave popcorn.  My kids are HUGE popcorn fans (and kept trying to steal the bags while we were assembling the gifts!) and I figure the popcorn is a nice change from the typical candy canes and Christmas pencils my kids usually bring home.  And dressing them up was a snap – with a little help from my Silhouette (die cutting) machine and my kiddos.
Quick and Easy Christmas Gift for Classmates using microwave popcorn and construction paper
So there is a look at the supplies I used for decorating the popcorn bags.  We dressed half the bags up as reindeer and half as Santa.  This is the point to which I prepped the supplies before enlisting the help of the munchkins.
snack-size microwave popcorn
preprinted adhesive labels:  Mine say “Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a Poppin’ New Year, Love, Tyler” and are printed onto a sheet of Avery address labels.  You could substitute any kind of tag you want to use.
googly eyes
construction paper:
-brown for the reindeer and red for Santa, cut into strips (construction paper is 9″ x 12″ and I found that cutting it into three 4″ wide strips was a perfect fit)
-also a piece of black paper cut into 1/2″ wide strips (by 9″ long)
Santa belts made out of construction paper using the silhouette machine
-white paper cut into squares (1″ x 1″) with two cut lines in the center for Santa’s belt.  I used the Silhouette to do this and it saved a lot of quality time spent with an Xacto knife, but that’s certainly an option.  I was planning to have the kids thread them onto the black “belts” but quickly found that I had cut them to fit pretty tightly and my 8 year old was likely to tear half of them trying to put them on so I did it myself.  So when cutting yours out you may want the cuts to be a full 5/8″ to allow the 1/2″ black pieces to slide through more easily.
Reindeer Antlers for Christmas projects cut with the Silhouette Machine
-dark brown paper (I used cardstock as I’ve found the thicker texture cuts better for projects like this) cut into cute little reindeer antlers.  These are approx 2 1/2″ high.  I’m sure you can find a cut file somewhere but I decided to create my own using some antler clip art (just google it) and the trace feature in the Silhouette studio.  You could also just hand-cut them, though I was happy to not have to do that particular step.
-oh!  And don’t forget some red circles for the reindeer noses!
Cute and Easy Classmate Christmas Gifts the kids can assemble themselves
Assembly went pretty quickly and the kids were easily able to do it all themselves.  They just wrapped the larger strips of paper around the popcorn bags and secured it on the back with tape (I had them tape one side directly to the bags so they wouldn’t slide out of the wrappers), then added the embellishments and stuck the address label “tags” on the back.
Assembling these cute classmate Christmas gifts is so easy even the kids can do it
We made sure to attach the antlers to the back of the brown strips before wrapping them around the popcorn bags for the reindeer, but other than that the assembly is much the same.  Add the google eyes (we used glue dots for that), the noses, and the sticky “tag” on back and you’re done!
Santa and Reindeer Decorated Popcorn Bags make a great Christmas gift for classmates or neighbors
Mini bags of microwave popcorn dressed up like Sant and Reindeer make great Christmas gifts

While I was at it, I put together the gifts for the kids’ teachers as well.  I found these adorable mason jar shaped drinking cups on clearance at the craft store after Thanksgiving and knew I just had to do something with them for Christmas.
Mason Jar cups filled with school supplies and hot chocolate mix make a great Christmas gift for teachers

I rounded up some red and green colored Sharpies, green post-its and some great hot chocolate mix (looking at the photo I’m wondering why oh why I didn’t get a few extra so I could try out the toasted marshmallow flavor?!) to put inside the cup.   And I wanted a bit of customization (when in doubt – customize, right?!) so I fired up the Silhouette machine again and did some cute labels using the teacher’s names.
Decorative Teacher Name Labels cut with my Silhouette machine to dress up Christmas Gift

Embellished mason jar mug for teacher Christmas gift using vinyol and Silhouette machine

Mason Jar Gift for Teachers Christmas or Teacher Appreciation Gift in a Cup

Done deal!  The kids are now all set for Christmas festivities at school, which is great since we are down to only ONE more week before Christmas vacation!  (oh boy!)

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Easy Glitter Snowflake Ornament Ornament Surprise Box Merry & Bright Christmas Stocking Gift Card Holder Holiday Projects with Heat Transfer Vinyl Christmas Tree Card Display Easy DIY Hello Kitty Ornaments Fa la la Christmas Shirt Make Printed Holiday Tea Towels Christmas Tree Countdown: December Silhouette Challenge Modern Advent Calendar 'All is Calm, All is Bright' Canvas Sign Tutorial DIY Faux Aged Copper Snowflake Ornaments from a Cereal Box! Sew Easy Pillow Covers Easy Gold Striped Monogram Ornament Monthly Dry Erase Planner Handmade Christmas Tags Cactus Gift + Printable Buffalo Plaid Gift Tags Coffee Mug Gift for the Star Wars Geek Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons & Gift Tags Cut File Merry and Bright Christmas Pillow Damask Reindeer Print Ikea Star Ornament DIY Etched Nativity Ornament Fa La La La Pillow {Tutorial} DIY Split Monogram Pillow Fun Holiday Gift Tags - Free Print and Cut Etched in Glass DIY Easy Red and White Christmas Pillows 3 Easy Ways to Create Christmas Baby Onesies with HTV Easy Christmas Gifts for Teachers and Classmates

1. Beauty in the Mess // 2. JustTyra // 3. Dream a Little Bigger // 4. Simply Kelly Designs // 5. The Stamp Doc // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. TheKimSixFix // 8. unOriginal Mom // 9. HaberdasheryFun // 10. Tastefully Frugal // 11. Sisters, What! // 12. Small Stuff Counts // 13. Where The Smiles Have Been // 14. Whatcha Workin’ On? // 15. Designed Decor // 16. Architecture of a Mom // 17. Decor Adventures // 18. Create & Babble // 19. Tori Grant Designs // 20. Tried & True // 21. The Thinking Closet // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Get Silvered // 24. McCall Manor // 25. Cutesy Crafts // 26. Ginger Snap Crafts // 27. My Favorite Finds // 28. Cupcakes&Crowbars // 29. Pineapples & Pinecones // 30. The Crafting Nook // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Alayna’s Creations

Silhouette Giveaway

December2015GiveawayGraphic-1114pixels

And I’ve saved the best for last.  My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I in partnership with Silhouette America are hosting a mega-huge giveaway …. Giveaway is now CLOSED.

End of the Year Teacher Gifts in a Cup

Days Til Summer Countdown Blocks

Summer is coming FAST!  I’m kind of excited about it actually.  We have a lot of fun things planned and *bonus* we get a break from having to get up and out the door early every morning.  What’s not to be excited about?

Teacher Gifts in a Cup Ideas

I’ve been on a roll this week – knocking things off the list, getting ahead of things when I get the chance.  Not only did I get the teacher’s End of the School Year gifts put together, but I even got them posted on the blog the other day!  As I was doing so, I occured to me that it wasn’t the first time I’d put together a gift like that for the teachers so I did a little back-tracking.  Yup.  This is my third year in a row using a similar idea for the teacher gifts – Summer Kit in a Cup.  When you find a good thing it’s ok to just keep doing it, right?  And there are oh-so-many ways to take a single idea and change it up.

End of the Year Teacher Gift

This year’s Summer fun trinkets were contained in a double wall cup that I monogrammed.  Inside you can find sunscreen, Chapstick with SPF, lemonade mixes, and Italian Ice freezer pops.

Teacher Gift Idea Summer In a Cup

Last year I used really cute daiquiri glasses, filled them with goodies (drink mixes, sunscreen, chocolates, and freezer pops), and topped them with adorable little paper umbrellas and paper straws.  (printable for the tags can be found here)

Teacher Gift End Of School Relax

End of School Teacher Umbrella Relax Gift

And the year before last looked like this:
Teacher Appreciation Gift Vacation Kit in a CupIMG_1670

Double wall cups with flip-top lids filled with (betcha can’t guess what!) sunscreen, Chapstick with SPF and some After-Sun lotion.  Tag printable were originally found here.

So I’m thinking next year I’m going to use some of those cute mason jar cups or maybe those cool glass milk jugs I saw at the craft store the other day…
😉

Searching for other Teacher Appreciation or End of the School Year ideas?  I have plenty! Like:
Bucket of Summer Fun Teacher Gift and Last Day of School gift for the kids
Super Powered Teacher Gift Basket
More Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Linking to:  Wow Me Wednesday, The Party Bunch, Pin Me Linky Party, Frugal Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase,

End of the Year Teacher Gifts

May is crazy isn’t it?  There are so many things all jammed into one little month – testing and final projects, sports, field trips, recitals, graduations, weddings, parties, Mother’s Day.  Plus my anniversary!  It can be a little intense.  I’ve been trying to grab some time to get ahead when I can find it and one of the things I really want to get a jump on is all the gifts for this month.  I had the kids with me out shopping on Saturday and with Teacher Appreciation week about to start and teachers on the brain, we went ahead and picked up supplies for a simple gift for the last day of school for their teachers.

Teacher Gift in a Cup Last Day of School

Teachers are a big part of our kids’ lives for an entire year and while I never have a lot of money to spend on them, I do like to give them a little parting gift.  I figure teachers are looking forward to summer just as much as the rest of us are – maybe even more so!  😉  So we put together a little Summer Kit in a Cup, inspired by this tag

End of School Teacher Gift Tag Relax Summer

Wish I could give credit for the saying on the tag, but frankly I’ve seen it in quite a few different forms on Pinterest lately and I’m not sure which is the original.  To whomever came up with it – great job! 😉

I wanted to dress the cup up a bit so I added a vinyl monogram.

Monogram Cup For Teachers

Then we filled it with goodies related to summer

End of the Year Teacher Gift Relax for Summer Cup

Inside the cup:  lemonade drink mixes, sunscreen, Chapstick with SPF, and Italian Ices.

Teacher Gift Idea Summer In a Cup

They are now ready and waiting for the last day of school.  When the time comes, I just have to remember to send them! 😉

End of the Year Teacher Gift