Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10 Unique and Low Cost Back to School Gifts for Teacher

I am not usually one to, well, to be honest…kiss butt.  However, I do think that first impressions are important especially when it comes to the person you are entrusting your children to six hours a day, five days a week.  I don’t want them to think I am a crazy parent, which I am not.  I want them to have a warm feeling towards my kids off the bat, even if they may not be perfect angels.  So one of the best ways to do this, besides meeting them for a quick chat before my child starts school is with a thoughtful gift.  It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just sweet and thoughtful.  

I have put a list of some of what I think are the cutest, most unique, low cost, first day gifts I have found, including mine.  Enjoy and just remember it is not kissing butt…it is a first impression!  :)

1. A First Day Kit
   I found a small little organizer box in the jewelry section of Michael’s.  A lot of the items I filled it with I already had at my house.  Make sure you add some kisses as well.  I then borrowed a great chalkboard image I found here source at Crstyal’s site, A Pumpkin and a Princessm and taped it on the inside.  She also has a great tutorial about an Emergency Kit for Teachers which is so cute!  Here are my results: 

                        The gold hearts are cute lil push pins I found.

2. Notebook Tea Cloths
These are adorable.  If you have an embroidery machine you could even add a few words on it or the teachers name. This is from Liz Stanley from the blog Say Yes.  source

3. Gold Glitter Apple Tote
For the teacher you think may like some bling!  Very useful for teacher and stylish too.  This is from Katie at The Casual Craftlete  source

4. Mason Jar School Supply Organizer
If you have some mason jars and a wooden crate, this is very useful and thoughtful.  I love the rustic look of this.  Check out the tutorial from Kim Six at The Kim Six Fix source

5. Personalized Memory Stick
This is such a smart gift!  It is so easy to loose memory sticks.  Give their teacher a gift that they will be useful and they will have a hard time losing.  Check out the tutorial at Jessica’s blog: Mad in Crafts. source

6. Wake Up Teacher Gift
I, myself, am a coffee addict.  If you know your child 's teacher drinks coffee or if you can find out from someone else at the school this is a great gift!  I, personally, would love it!  I think you may also do this for a tea drinker.  Mique at Thirty Handmade Days has a fun tutorial. source

7. Smart Cookie Jar
This is one your child can help you make.  However, with all the allergies now a days, make sure you find out if your teacher has any food preferences, or issues or allergies.  This Smart Cookie Tutorial is so sweet from Laura from the blog Corner House. source

8. Personalized Teacher Note cards
If you are good at stamping or graphics or if you just want to download a basic layout, this is the craft for you.  This is a gift that would be cute and definitely useful for a teacher.  Marie at G*rated has a great tutorial. source

9. Burt’s Bees LIps
This is an easy, simple, and quick gift that also shows you are thinking of the teacher.  Here in the East Coast, a chapstick is great all year long.  Julie at the Happy Home Fairy blog shows you the cutest way to gift some chapstick to your teacher. source

1 0. Teacher’s crate
Every teacher needs a little organization!  This personalized gift can be filled with bleach wipes, notebooks, pens, whatever you think a teacher may need.  When they are done taking out all the goodies, it will be really useful in the classroom for organization.  FYI  I noticed this week that Michael’s has rulers you could just hot glue on the crates, if you are not into painting.  Melissa at Sippy Cup Mom came up with this great idea and tutorial. source

And While you are at it….Give them a survey for future gifts.

I included one of these surveys in with my gift to the teacher.  I added a note for them to fill it out and send it home with my child.  This survey not only helps my child get to know the teacher, but also helps me figure out what would be good gifts for them later in the year for Christmas or Teacher Appreciation Day etc. 

Here are three of my favorites:

This one comes in this color and a red and pink you can chose from.

Hope you and your children have a Great school year!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Great ideas for a 70s Disco Party Part Duex

Here is part 2 of my 70s party post. 
If you missed the first part of this can find the post here:
The entrance to your party is so important.  It sets the tone for your party and gets your guests excited the moment they walk up to your house.  I decided to do a red carpet with stanchions.  Both of which I bought on Amazon.  The stanchions you can find here:
They are plastic and filled with sand in the base, so you don't have to worry about them being metal and hurting someone.  

Here are some more groovy pictures from the party. 

You can easily make your own photo booth.  It is well worth the cost as you will use it time and time again for different events, birthdays and tons of your friends will want to borrow it.  Just change out the backdrop. 
You can view the Photo Booth Tutorial here:  

Here are some groovy pictures we took in the photo booth.  

Disclaimer...I am not promoting smoking...these "cigarettes" were candy cigarettes.  :)

My groovy family

 Of course if you are going to have a 70s Party, you have to have a disco.  We made a dance line and people took turns dancing down the middle showing their funky moves.  It was so much fun!  We used the Disco light speaker you can find in my other post here: 
You can see in the picture and in the video below the dancing lights it casts on the ceiling.  It puts out great sound too.  
 Make sure you put together a far-out playlist of disco, rock, and R&B songs from that period (the disco speaker is bluetooth as well). 

Notice the fake cigarettes in some of the people's mouths.  Remember those?  You can blow "smoke" out of them and eat them?

We recreated some 70s game shows.  We had the Gong Show.   We even had the Unknown Comic  who told lame jokes.  I don't have a picture of my friend who did this, but he looked something like the original shown here: 

We had a "Gong" which was really a high hat from a drum set.  For those of you who don't know what the Gong show was you can watch videos of it on Youtube.  Basically it was a talent show of bad, silly, lame acts. Before the party we told our guests to figure out things they could do for the gong show.  Make sure you know ahead of time who is going to do it and what they call them selves so you can announce them.  We picked three of which was the birthday girl.  The acts would come out and perform.  A few times the Unknown Comic would try to interrupt and tell a lame joke in between acts.  When the judges can't take it anymore they are gonged.  This was so much fun and we all had so many laughs!  At the end  we had all the acts line up and when I put my hand over each person the audience clapped.  The one with the most claps one and got a prize.  In this case the prize was one of the lava lamps I had placed around the house for decoration.  They could take it at the end of the party. 

Here is our winning act 
dancing for the birthday girl...his name I will keep anonymous. HA! 

       We also played the "dating game".  The winner would win a lunch date with our birthday girl it could be a boy or girl.  How we played this is we had a screen or divider we put up.  The birthday girl was on one side and the "bachelors" and "bachelorettes" on the other side where she couldn't see them.  She would a question from a list of questions I prettied up.  She could pick from that list.  In order for her not to know who it was by their voice since she knew everyone at the party, I had them disguise their voices with a voice changer I got from Amazon when they answered questions.  It was a lot of fun.  You can get ideas on the types of questions and how to play by youtubing the old Dating Game show.
Another very 70s game we played was Limbo stick.  We played the limbo stick song.  

 One last thing...I made my own sign props for the photo booth as you can see below.  I just googled disco party words or decorations and printed them out and pasted them on poster board and glued sticks to them.  Some of them I made myself with photoshop or a Word program.  I just enlarged them before I printed them.



Monday, April 25, 2016


Ever wanted to rent a real old fashioned photo booth for your event or party?  Have you actually priced these things??? It can start at $475 and go up.  FORGET THAT!  I have a great tutorial here on how to make your own and use it over and over again!  Be warned...however...your friends will all want to borrow it for their events too!

Here is what you will need:
  • 10 X 10 pop up canopy tent (around 100.00)
  • Yards of  cheap black fabric (8-10 or more)
  • bluetooth or airport printer
  • Light or work light to shine towards the people for the photo if it is dark. 
** If you don't have an iPad or don't want the three small pictures like an vintage photo booth prints out, then you can skip the iPad, the Photo Booth app, and iPad floor stand.  Instead, just have someone in charge of snapping pictures at the photo area.

If you follow these easy steps you will have pictures that print out like these:

                                                                DISCLAIMER:  I am not promoting smoking.  The "cigarettes" in these picture were candy cigarettes. 

If you choose to make a realistic photo booth, you will need the 10X10 canopy.  Once you put up the canopy, you can cover it with black fabric (as show below) to make it private for the users. I used the same clips  o clip on the fabric around the canopy as I have listed above to clip on the photo backdrop.  You can put a sign outside that says: "photo booth".  Put the photo backdrop stand together and clip the backdrop to the stand.  Put the bench or chairs in front of it.  Put the prop box inside filled with props and signs. Have the iPad on the iPad stand facing the bench and with the vintage photo booth app on.  You may or may not need to make directions and post them inside the booth on how to use the app.    You may want to take a few trial pictures before the party to have the iPad at the right  level from the bench.  The stand is moveable and bendable which helps so you can get the exact angle for the pictures. 

Here is the sign I hung outside the booth.  

This was the set up inside. I put the backdrop up with the photo backdrop stand and put a cute bench in front with my cute daughter to pose.

Here is the iPad on the stand and a box of props.  Many times you can either use things around your house for props or get things from the dollar store or make your own prop signs. 

Have your security code disabled on your iPad so no one will have to bother you about how to log on.  However if you can't do that, then post the password somewhere in the booth. 

As I stated previously, ou may have to post directions on how to use the app, but my friends didn't have a problem.  It was pretty self explanatory.  Sit down, press the button and change your pose each time the screen flashed.  

As far as getting your friends their pictures, you can do this one of two ways.  You can have a bluetooth or airport printer there for them to print out right there, which will cost a bit to get all the ink and paper.  The cheaper way is to upload all the pictures on a Facebook group page later or email them in a Google doc.  Then people can download them and print them if they want, saves you money and time.

Another option, which I have done in these pictures below, is that I did not have the "booth".  In other words, I did not set up the tent and black fabric or the iPad.  I just set up the backdrop and props and took pictures with my Cannon.  Here are some examples of that:

Another option is to set up the backdrop and the iPad with the Photo Booth app and stand, but with no tent and black fabric around it. I have done that as well even at a wedding. 

Now is your turn to make your own booth!  Let me know how it goes!  I use mine at EVERY event and then some!