Getting crafty

It’s that time of year again…school’s almost out…teacher’s deserve a lil’ something for putting up with my darlings for 9 months. In years past I’ve made goody bags filled with an assortment of baked goods. One year it was a decoupage clipboard with images that showed things each teacher enjoyed. This year, thanks to pinterest I found this idea!  This will be the last year that my kids have the 1st grade teacher. She had all 4 of my boys and we are very fond of her. I wanted to give her something really special.

The tricky part was, I couldn’t really find a good tutorial on line. Here’s what I ended up doing…

  • Create your page in whatever program you are comfortable with. I used Photoshop Elements. I selected a bold font and made the large letter and centered it on an 8×10 canvas, leaving enough room at the bottom for the teacher’s name. I filled the letter in with white and selected a very faint grey as the outline so I would have a guide to use. Then I selected a “pretty” font to do the teacher’s name in. I printed a sheet on regular paper, made sure it was what I wanted and printed a copy on good card stock. Each was trimmed to an 8×10 size.
  •  My kid’s wanted to go to the park and I thought it would be a great location for the messy crayon cutting. I packed up some double sided tape, the regular paper copy, brand new crayons, a plastic placemat for cutting on, and cutting tools (the best ended up being Pampered Chef paring knives.) I found that scoring the paper with the knife, all the way around, then chopping down was the best method to get a good clean cut.
  • To lay out the crayons, I covered the letter with double stick tape. Then I began laying the crayons on to fill the space. I trimmed where needed and tried to keep most edges as either the point end or the end end of the crayons instead of a cut end. By doing this I was able to precut and assemble before gluing and the tape kept them in place so I could easily transfer it to the card stock when I got home.
  • First I tried using hot glue as was indicated by several other blogs. Hot glue has never really liked me much and did not want to stick the crayon to the paper. I switched to the tried and true Elmer’s Glue. Lay a line of glue (I started at the top or bottom of the letter), transfer the crayon over. Lay the next line of glue and keep going until all finished. I tried to roll the crayons so the Crayola emblem was up, unless it happened to be upside down, then I rolled it the other way. Leave the glue to dry completely.
  • Shadow boxes were purchased at A.C. Moore for $14.00 each, but I found that I didn’t know how to attach the crayon paper to the back and hold the glass in place. After much deliberation and consulting with the hubby, we determined that black foam board was the solution. Strips were cut to fit around the sides of the frame, leaving enough room for the thickness of the foam board backer, they would serve to hold the glass tight against the front of the frame. These were glued to the sides of the frame. Another piece of foam board was cut to 8×10 size and served as a backer to the image. More Elmer’s was applied to the back of the crayon sheet in the same area that the crayons were so that if the paper wrinkled it wouldn’t show. Then it was affixed to the foam board. Again allowed to dry. This fit right inside the frame, the foam board “sides” kept it to the back of the frame and helped the inside of the frame look finished. I added the original cardboard back, put the metal tabs down to hold everything in place, taped the baggy that held the hangers on the back and had a beautiful finished product.

There were various blogs showing similar projects. Some glued the crayons right to the front of the glass and used a regular frame. Some squished the crayons between the backer and the glass. I wanted the depth of the box but also wanted the glass to keep the crayons from getting dusty (I hate dusting and avoid things that collect dust.) I really hope the teacher’s like them. The boys were thrilled with them.

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