Back to School Teacher Gift Basket with Free Printable

Create an unforgettable gift basket for your child’s new teacher this school year! Get a basket, lunchbox or a supply caddy,  and fill it with goodies for your teacher (see below). Print out and cut the free teacher gift basket printable, then use cute ribbon, twine, or raffia to attach each of the labels as follows:

  • Highlighters – “You are the HIGHLIGHT of my day!”
  • Scissors – “You are a CUT above the rest!”
  • Mints – “You are MINT to be my teacher!”
  • Tape (or Post-It notes) – “The lessons you teach me will STICK with me forever!”
  • Chalk – “CHALK one up for my awesome new teacher!”
  • Gum – “I CHEWS you to be my teacher!”
  • Glue – “You’re the GLUE that holds our class together!”
  • Hershey’s Hugs – “You deserve lots of HUGS!”

Attach the “For my new teacher” label to your basket, and you’ve got a fun, memorable, and useful gift for your child’s new teacher!




Back to School Printable: “Looking Forward to a Sweet Year!”

Here’s a cute, easy (and delicious!) back to school gift for teachers. Just download our free printable, print it out (high quality card stock works best), and wrap it around a large Hershey’s Chocolate Bar. Secure it on the candy bar with a little tape, and your gift is ready to go!

Since this is so simple and inexpensive, it makes a great gift for everyone from teachers to principals to art, music, and P.E. teachers, or anyone else in school!



Pencil Cup: Back to School Teacher Gift

Brighten your new teacher’s first day of school with this colorful pencil cup! This back to school gift is quick, easy and inexpensive to make, and is sure to be a hit with teachers!

You can make this cup using colored pencils or crayons; either way, it makes an adorable and unique (not to mention useful) gift for children to give their new teacher at the beginning of the school year. You can even fill it with pens, pencils, or other supplies that teachers use!


This is really a simple project; start by choosing either colored pencils or crayons to create the cup. You’ll need a can – the size of the can depends on whether you use crayons or colored pencils.

For the colored pencils cup, I used a tall 28 ounce can (from baked beans; spaghetti sauce also comes in cans this size). Using this size can, I needed 4 boxes of colored pencils (each box contained 12 pencils) to cover the circumference of the can.

Alternatively, for the crayon cup, I used a short 16 ounce can (also from baked beans). Using this can, I used 2 boxes of crayons (each box contained 24 crayons, and I had a few left over).

After you have your can selected, open it, pour out the contents, peel off the label, and wash and dry the can well.

Next, line up the crayons or colored pencils according to the color spectrum, and begin hot gluing them to the can, working around until the can is covered. You can tie a brightly colored ribbon around it, or jest leave it as it is. You may even want to fill the can with candies, pens, pencils, or other supplies for the teacher.

Voila! You have a unique, handmade gift that teacher will love to use!







Beaded Safety Pin Bracelet

This updated version is a twist on the classic safety pin bracelet with a variety of decorative beads that really dress up the bracelet and will have everyone in disbelief that it’s made out of safety pins!

It’s easy to customize this bracelet for any occasion; use your favorite color scheme or create a bracelet with school colors, team colors, or holiday colors. They are great as gifts, and would even be a fun activity for slumber parties!

It’s easier than you think to create your own custom jewelry with supplies you probably have laying around the house!


  • Safety pins – 1″ (you will need quite a few; I used 84 in my bracelet)
  • Head pins (I used 50)
  • Seed beads
  • Larger beads, any color/shape/size you’d like to embellish your bracelet
  • Elastic beading cord
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors



Slide 2-3 of your decorative beads onto each head pin.

Use needle nosed pliers to twist the end of the head pin into a loop.

Use the pliers to hold the loop you just created, and with another pair of pliers (or your fingers) start wrapping the end of the wire around the wire below the loop (wrap 2-3 times).

If you have extra wire sticking out after wrapping, use the wire cutters to trim it off. Use the pliers to pinch the wire you just cut so that there is not a rough end sticking out.

I made 50 of these using different sizes and colors of beads. These are what will decorate and dress up your bracelet – you can even add charms if you’d like!

Slide seed beads on to safety pins.

Divide your beaded safety pins into two equal groups – set one half aside, and the other half will be used for adding decorative beads in the steps below.

Slide your beaded head pins on to the remaining half of the safety pins. I slid two beaded head pins on some, and just one on others;  this is what sets your bracelet apart and makes it unique – make it your own, have fun, and add beads in any way that you like.

With the pliers, clamp the head of the pin (the part where the pin opens and closes). You want each safety pin to be securely clamped closed, so it will not open up while your wearing it. Some use glue on their safety pins to keep them closed, but I find that clamping it with the pliers is quicker, easier, less messy, and looks better.

Cut two pieces of elastic beading cord, 10″-12″ long each. Make a knot at one end of each cord.

Now,it’s time to string your safety pins: put one of the strings through the head of a pin, and one through the bottom of the pin. For the next pin, reverse it, so that the bottom is facing up and the head is down (of course, make sure that the beaded side of the safety pin is always facing out). Continue stringing your beads, alternating each one – top, bottom, top, bottom, etc.

For my bracelet, I also alternated a pin with just seed beads, then a pin with the extra beads, and so on.


Once all of the safety pins have been strung onto the elastic, it’s time to tie off the ends. Before tying it, check to make sure it will be the size you want but carefully wrapping it around your wrist (I like mine to be a little loose like a bracelet, while others prefer it more snug like a cuff).


To finish your bracelet, tie the top elastic cord by gently pulling it (not too tight, or it will change the size of the bracelet) and securely knotting it. Do the same with the bottom cord.

Slip it on to make sure it’s the size you want. Cut off any extra cord, and your bracelet is complete!



Newspaper Flowers

Recycle old newspapers to create these fun & original flowers!

Each sheet of newspaper can make multiple flowers, which you can use as a unique and eco-friendly way to decorate cards, and embellish any plain gift bags or wrapped gifts!



-Flower template {download template here}

-Old newspapers


-Paint (watercolor or acrylic, depending on your desired look)



-Small decorative brads

-Pen or pencil

-Optional: Spray starch (to make more stiff)



Download and print out the flower template. Cut out each flower from the template page and use a toothpick to punch a small hole in the center of each flower.

Choose the newspaper pages that will become your flowers – try to choose pages that have a lot of text and few pictures (and you’ll probably want to avoid the obituaries).

Painting Option 1 – Acrylic Paint

This method will result in more coverage; acrylic paint is thicker, so you won’t see as much newsprint  through the paint.

Choose your desired color(s) of acrylic paint – the flowers I created for this tutorial used 3 colors of paint. Use as few or as many colors as you’d like, and experiment with different color combinations for different looks.

Using acrylic paint will yield the look  in the picture below:

Painting Option 2 – Watercolor

Using watercolor paint gives a tint of color to the newspaper, and allows all of the newsprint to show through. I’ve found that when using watercolors for this project, it looks better to stick to just one color on a page.

Using watercolor on the newspaper will produce the look in the picture below:


Paint one side of the newspaper, using any painting technique you like – I randomly painted different areas with each color, and then did a little dry brushing on top. Allow paint to dry completely.

Turn the newspaper over (painted side down), and trace each of the flowers cut out from the template. Be sure to mark the center of each flower.

Cut out the flower shapes. Use a toothpick to gently poke a small hole through the marked center of each flower.

Gently “crumble” each flower.

Open each flower up, being careful not to tear the paper. Put the brad through the hole in the center, starting with the smallest flower, and working up to the largest flower.

Secure the flower by opening the brad in the back.

Optional: you can spray your finished flowers with spray starch to stiffen the paper and help the flower hold it’s shape.

Each sheet of newspaper should be able to make several flowers – have fun!
















Yo-Yo Flowers

These simple, yet adorable flowers have been around for ages, and they have recently come back into style in a big way! They are great accessories, and look cute adorning headbands, bobby pins, alligator clips – even on clothes and bags!

Yo-yo flowers are super quick and easy to make, and they’re a great project for beginners. Try stacking them for a fun look, and get creative by using them  to embellish napkin rings, t-shirts, decorative pillows, picture frames, or gift bags!


-Paper (can be scrap paper)




-Strong thread


-Button or beads

Optional to create “slide-on” back for the yo-yo flower:


-fabric glue or hot glue



Trace a circle on a sheet of paper – this will serve as the pattern template for your yo-yo flower. Any size circle will work, just keep in mind that the pattern circle you make should be at least twice as big as you want the finished yo-yo flower to be. For example, I traced a 5 3/4″ diameter circle for this tutorial, and the finished flower was 2 1/2″ in diameter. If you don’t feel comfortable free hand drawing the circle for the pattern, try tracing something circular onto the paper – soup cans, cup rims, bottles, jars – there are tons of items around the house that can be used!

Cut the circle out.

Trace the paper circle onto the wrong side (the back) of your chosen fabric. Cut the circle out. Hold  fabric face down (wrong side up) and fold back the right side of the fabric, about 1/8″ – 1/4″ folded back (see picture below). Use strong thread to make small gathering stitches (long stitches that aren’t tight), working your way around the circle.

When you’ve stitched around the entire circumference of the circle, pull the gathering stitch you just sewed, which will gather the center of your yo-yo into the middle of the circle.





Add a few stitches to secure the yo-yo, and cut your threads. Sew a button (or anything decorative you choose for the center) into the middle (covering up the hole), making sure to sew all the way through the yo-yo to secure everything into place. Congratulations! The flower is complete!

Now you can use it to accessorize anything you choose. You may want to use the yo-yo flower as a hair accessory – keep reading below to learn how to add a “slide-on” to your flower that will allow it to simply slide on to any headband or hair clip, so that you can use your yo-yo in a variety of different looks. By using this easy slide-on, you can change up the way you wear your yo-yo and switch it between any of your hair accessories, without having to permanently attach it to anything!

You’ll need a small rectangular piece of felt (smaller than the yo-yo you plan on attaching to) – for example, for the 2 1/2″ finished yo-yo that I created for this tutorial, I used a 1 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ rectangle of felt.

Fold the felt rectangle in half lengthwise, and cut two small slits large enough to slide your clips/headbands through – see picture below.





With hot glue or fabric glue (my personal favorite is Liquid Stitch), glue around all four sides of the rectangle, but do NOT put any glue in the center. Glue on to the back of your yo-yo flower.

When the glue is fully dry, your flower is ready to slide on to any clip or headband you choose.


Pink Summertime Sangria

This quick and refreshing sweet sangria is perfect for outdoor entertaining!

Summertime Sangria


1 Bottle of White Zinfandel

8 ounces of Strawberry Daiquiri Mix (non-alcoholic)

6 ounces of Peach-Flavored Mixer (such as Fuzzy Navel – non-alcoholic)

8 ounces of pineapple juice

16 ounces of pineapple rum

Assorted fresh fruits: strawberries, pineapple, lemons, limes, oranges, or peaches (any combination)


Combine the wine, fruit juices, and rum in a pitcher. Cut up any fresh fruit you’d like and put into the pitcher. Chill in the refrigerator, and serve over ice.

Handmade Envelope

Create your own custom handmade envelopes to coordinate with cards you make! You can use any color or pattern of paper for your envelope, so it will stand out and truly be one of a kind! Try using paper that has a pattern printed on each side – your envelope will look great inside and out!


-Envelope template {download template here}

– Card stock or scrap booking paper


-Double sided adhesive squares or glue


Download and open the envelope template.

**Before printing, make sure that in the Print Dialog Box, the “Page Scaling” option is set to “None”.  This will ensure that the template will print large enough to create an envelope that will hold a 5″x7″ card. If the lines don’t reach all the way to the edge of the paper when printed out, you may want to use a pen or pencil to extend the lines all the way to the edge of the page.

On the printed template, cut along the solid lines, which will remove small portions of each corner.

Trace this shape onto your patterned paper, then cut your paper along the lines you just traced.

Use the template’s dashed lines as a guide to fold in the two flaps on the sides (marked #1 on the template). Use double sided tape (or glue) on the folded-in flaps, and then fold the bottom (fold #2) up, attaching it to the flaps.

Fold the top flap down (fold #3).

Your envelope is now ready to hold a card! When you are ready to seal the envelope, just use double sided adhesive squares/tape to secure the envelope closed.

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Kitchen Message/Menu Board

Give new life to an old picture frame by painting and re-purposing it as a fun message board for the kitchen that can display the your menu, wine selections, inspiring quotes, or anything you’d like. This creative board uses dry erase markers, so messages can be easily wiped clean and replaced!

When choosing a materials for this project, keep a few things in mind: choose a frame that is appropriately sized for the place in your kitchen you’d like to display it (I used an old 8×10 frame for mine), and make sure the frame has glass (to write on with the dry erase markers). Also, when choosing decorative paper to go behind the glass, pick a one with a pattern and color scheme that are not too dark or bold, so that the messages you write will be readable.


  • Old picture frame (any size – this example uses a 8×10)
  • Sandpaper (fine)
  • White spray paint (for a base coat)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Decorative paper (scrap booking paper, wall paper, wrapping paper… any type of pretty paper will do)



Choose the frame you want to use, and take it apart, being sure to save the glass and any inner cardboard.

Sand the frame and wipe off all dust and debris so that you’ll have a clean painting surface.

Spray a light, even coat of white spray paint over the frame. *Tip: I used spray paint because it’s quicker than hand-painting a base coat; if you don’t have spray paint on hand, you can always paint a base coat with your chosen acrylic paint.

Allow paint to dry. Lightly sand wipe off any dust from the sanding.

Apply an even layer of your chosen paint to the frame.

Let dry, and if you want a distressed or weathered look, sand again and dry brush or use a rag to rub on another layer of paint.

Cut your decorative paper (or fabric) to fit, and put it into your frame (be sure to clean the glass before reassembling).

Your message board is ready to be written on with dry erase markers – your family and guests will love getting to see what’s for dinner! 🙂

*If you like the way mine turned out, here’s the specific paint and techniques I used:

After spray painting, I brushed on an even coat of Delta Creative Ceramcoat in Maple Sugar Tan. After it dried, I lightly sanded it, wiped it off, and used a rag to quickly apply Delta Creative Ceramcoat in Black Green, not being too careful to apply evenly so that some of the color underneath was still visible in spots. Lightly sand again – the more you sand, the more distressed it looks.


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Red, White and Blue Coffee Filter Wreath

Celebrate America with a fun and festive red, white and blue wreath that’s made from colored coffee filters! Get the whole family in the patriotic spirit by getting the kids involved in this project (under adult supervision, of course)!


  • White coffee filters
  • Blue food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • Plastic cups
  • Newspaper
  • 7″ inch Styrofoam ring (any size will work, 7″ is the size used in this tutorial)
  • Straight pins OR hot glue gun
  • Pipe cleaner


Put red food coloring into plastic cup, and add a small amount of water. Test the color intensity by dipping coffee filter into cup. To enhance color, add more food coloring to cup (in this example, I used 1 bottle of food coloring diluted in about 4 tablespoons of water). Repeat with blue food coloring in second cup.

Fold coffee filters into triangular shapes and dip into cups of food coloring. To save time, fold many filters together and dip. Lay flat on newspaper to let them dry.

After filters are dry, pinch the center of each filter and twist tightly to create a small tail, but still leaving the outer part of the filter full and un-twisted  (as pictured). *This is  a great step to get the kids involved in – it’s fun for them, and it makes the process go much more quickly! 🙂

Begin constructing the outer ring of the wreath by pushing a straight pin through the twisted “tail” of the filter and into the outer rim of the Styrofoam ring. Alternatively, you may prefer to use hot glue instead of straight pins, which will work just as well.

Do the same to create a ring of white filters and red filters, working in to the middle of the ring. You may need to add an extra ring of red in the inside of the circle, to cover any visible Styrofoam.

Cut a pipe cleaner in half, bend it into a U-shape, and push the ends into the Styrofoam, creating a hook to hang your wreath from. A dab of hot glue on each end will help to secure the pipe cleaner hook into the wreath.

Hang and enjoy your patriotic decoration!

*FYI: If you’re wondering how many coffee filters you’ll need for this project, here’s what I used:

For the 7″ styrofoam circle, I used 52 blue filters on the outer ring, 25 white filters for the middle layer, and 55 red filters on the 2 inner rings.

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