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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Teacher Gift.

I am not particular crafty.. I mean I LOVE the idea of crafts, I love doing crafts... but there is a lot of cleaning up to do before when setting things up, and after... and heaven help me if it's something that needs "prepped" so my kid can help as well!

However, this year our teachers have been extra special for us. So, doing some research and talking to some other teachers... I found a craft made by a child was usually something that meant more to them then the $5 coffee gift card. Seeing as how I spend so much quality time on Pinterest, I set out to find just the right "bright idea".

I actually saw it on the ABC show "The Chew" making ornaments out of melted peppermint candies. Now I had seen the platters before - but an ornament that seemed like something that was practical and could make a cute gift! The could eat it , break it up and put it in coffee, or hang it on the tree to enjoy! Perfect! We could make them for all the teachers, and admin staff as well! Wonderful! Simple, easy... fairly inexpensive right?

Turns out, not that easy. I went to 3 stores to find the peppermints - first - WHY would stores not have big bags of these around for the holidays? I swear I see them ALL the time! I ended up having to get several smaller bags... to keep from having to go to yet another store... in the holiday season.

I tried it first on the slipmat... epic fail, as my slipmat gets used for too many crafts, I guess. It ended up making the white look burnt... so back to the store for wax paper.. which was suggested.... only to have it stick to the peppermints, and nearly smoke me out of the kitchen. One MORE trip to the store for parchment. *sigh*  I know, why do I not already have these basic things... I am going to blame my lack of desire to bake anything. So again... layout everything... and... miserable results. I couldn't cut them with our cookie cutters, even when warm, they cooled too fast, and would break as I was trying to use varies knives, and pizza cutters... btw, were on day 3 of this "simple" project, now.

So after this last fail, I simply gave up! I mean, this is sad enough I didn't even photograph it for you!!! EPIC FAIL!

Would my kid go for a gift card? Please... no. No amount of begging on my part would get her over the disappointment of NOT making something special for them. Great.

So off to the far reaches of Pinterest I went again yesterday, searching for something I might be able to do with things from around the house! When I found... Frosty Hot-Cocoa! Well, the name was different, but its a make your own cocoa mix, in a recycled jar that is dressed up to look like a snowman. Bonus. I had two jars with lids that I had been holding onto, and luckily the ingredients for the mix as well!

So I dug out a recipe I liked better then the one on that blog, I used this from Alton Brown.

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Only I used a pinch of cinnamon, so it wouldn't be quite as spicy but still add a bit of "hmmm what is that" to it. Split it up between the jars and proceeded to think "whew!" done!

Well, not quite, I then proceeded to spend WAY too much of my last day without a child before Christmas on trying to create a top hat out of construction paper, pom poms.. and other craft items I am too embarrassed to admit to. I finally went to Hobby Lobby and was SUPER lucky in finding a couple craft hats made of felt that would fit when glued to the lid! (and spend WAY too much on them) While I was there I picked up some ribbon for the scarf. 
By the time I picked up the little one from school I had google eyes and a pack of foam beads in different shapes set up with the scarfs tied and hats glued, so she could just decorate.
Here is one of her creations.

So all in, not counting gas it took me the better part of 3 full days, around $20-$30 in supplies depending on if you want to count the things I bought but didn't use, and the gift bags we purchased for the unmade candies, and such... and I have learned a very valuable lesson.

Next time, just get a $15 gift card for each of them. No, not really... but I did learn that I need to work better at my time management, and schedule our crafts and gifts better and be a little less "ooohh" over Pinterests version of "easy". This year has been one big time suck after another. I could have used an extra 2 days this week!

So lesson learned, I am going to order these for our next round of gifts, ahead of time like I should have done for Christmas!
To keep your lips kissable for Valentines!

And smellies with a beach theme, along with some flip flops or a fun beach book for End of Year gifts!

Btw - if you don't shop with the  Streeter's You should! She is awesome! Be sure to check out her blog, and shop here - and find your own "easy" present for your kids next holiday party too!

P.S. I am starting to work towards doing more "Pin"spiration  posts... and this week I am happy to join the link party from

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