Back to School Teacher Gift{Occasionally Crafty}

Hi, I’m Valerie, one of the authors of Occasionally Crafty.  My sister and I have a little corner of the blog-o-sphere where we like to make a little bit of everything and share it with you!
I’m thrilled to be here today, really!  This is one of my must-read blogs each day, and I’m honored to be submitting a project for all of you to see.  The theme this week, of course, is Hardware.  To be honest, I’m not a hardware store-going gal.  I’m not great at building, using power tools, or anything really large in home decor or design.  I am, however, a full-on crafter:  I can make something out of pretty much anything and use it to make a sweet gift or to decorate my home.
So, I immediately headed for the washers.  Plain old flat washers.  Why washers?  Well, I’ve made a few projects using a whole lot of buttons.  When I do, people will always comment on how they wish they had cute buttons or the right colored buttons.  Well, who needs buttons when you’ve got flat washers and spray paint?  You can paint them any color you want and make a cute decoration for any holiday or season.  They would even be awesome in a monogram!
I chose to use them for a little back-to-school gift for my daughter’s teacher.

Here’s my tools:
Wood plaque
Spray Paint and craft paint
Gorilla Glue Super Glue
Flat washers- I used two different sizes- 20 larger and about 75 smaller (just buy a box!)
Scrapbook paper and Mod Podge
*optional* template for tracing
Vinyl/vinyl cutter
Skill level:  Beginner
Time:  Less than an hour
Cost:  $15+ if you have to buy everything.  $6 for me because I had everything on hand except the washers and the glue.

 This is quick and easy.  Lay out your washers, making sure none are touching, and spray paint. One good coat should do it.  I only did the fronts and sides.

While you’re waiting for them to dry, paint your plaque.  I went with a matte black and painted the back and sides.  Two coats should do it.

While you’re waiting for that to dry, go browse your favorite blogs or Pinterest.  That’s what I do 🙂

Adhere your scrapbook paper to the front of your plaque. I chose a cute paper that looks like old-school handwriting paper.  Use a thin coat of Mod Podge to adhere it to the block.  See how mine is bubbling a little?  Usually, that’s okay.  Just smooth it out as best you can, and often it will flatten as it dries.

Use your template to trace your shape.  I used a clipart image for my apple, but you could freehand it if you’re artistic.  I’m not.

Use your washers to fill in your shape.  I started by using the large ones to outline, then filled in the rest of the apple with the smaller ones.  I really just made this up as I went along, so just keep adding washers until you like how it looks.

A note- I chose the Gorilla super glue because it adheres to metal and dries translucent.  Lesson learned- translucent is not the same as clear.  There is some residue remaining that I’m going to have to clean up, but as far as I can tell, I can easily remove it with soap and water.  Any ideas for a better glue?

Finally, cut out your leaves from some felt, and use hot glue or regular craft glue to adhere it.  Don’t use the Gorilla Glue.  The felt sucks it up and turns the leaves white-ish.  So I’ve heard…..

I finished up by adding the teacher’s name and school year with some vinyl.  I found this really cute “D’nealian”-esque font that went perfectly with the theme of my plaque.   We don’t actually use D’nealian at our school- we use Spalding.  But I’m using it anyway!  Do you think she’ll care?

 So that’s it!  You’ve got a great teacher gift. I’d love to see how else you use this idea.  Pumpkins for fall?  A monogram for a wedding gift?  A wreath for Christmas?  Share them with me at my blog or on Facebook, and you just might be featured!

Thanks again for having me here at The CSI Project!



I am a craft lovin', Diet coke drinkin' kind of girl! I love glitter and anything leopard print. My passions are crafting, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle and of course my family. The CSI Project believes in the mission to Create, Share and Inspire. When you create and share, you are sure to inspire! Hope you come away from The CSI Project inspired and come back anytime!!!

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