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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Teacher Appreciation or Teacher gift? You choose!

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This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Last night, my sons and I made candy topiaries. Since Jo has also started our dialogue regarding the end of the year, and room parties, you can also do this for the party. They make great table center pieces. If you have more than one teacher (say a main teacher and an aide) then you have your gifts AND decorations.

A candy topiary tree can be created using a variety of candies. They really make great gifts. Every time I make one, the first response is "I've never seen anything like this." Unlike flowers, they won't wither away. In fact, the best part of a candy tree topiary is that not only does it look attractive, you can eat it.

What you need:
  • Candy of choice (not too much, because otherwise you will eat the extra as you blog)
  • wooden dowel 
  • Styrofoam ball or cone to decorate
  • smaller Styrofoam ball, cut in half, for the bottom (or plaster of Paris... but with this option, the pot can not be reused)
  • Hot glue
  • Flower pot
  • Paint pens, glitter glue, or other crafts to decorate.
  1. Center the end of the wooden dowel at one end of the Styrofoam ball. Push the dowel into the ball firmly. Do not push it all the way through, however push it far enough so that the weight of the candy on the ball later will not cause it to fall off the dowel. You can also put some craft glue on the end of the dowel to ensure it stays in the Styrofoam ball.  Wrap the dowel with the ribbon, using the hot glue to hold in place.

  2. If using plaster of Pairs, mix the plaster of Paris according to package directions in the bowl. Pour the mixed wet plaster into the flower pot or cup you are using for your topiary. It should come almost to the top but not quite. Take the end of the wooden dowel that does not have the ball on it and push it into the wet plaster. Be sure it is straight and let the plaster dry.

  3. Place a small spot of glue on the piece of candy and place on the ball. Hold in place a few seconds until it dries. Continue with each piece of candy until the ball is covered in the desired design. A popular method is to start placing the candy at one end and work your way down, but you can put the candy on in any way you like.

  4. Fill the rest of the flower pot with more candy (I used chocolate mini bars this last time---get it?  for dirt?), colored pebbles or Easter grass to cover the halved Styrofoam ball or plaster of Paris.  If you like, use the paint pens, glitter glue, acrylic paints, etc. to paint a design on your flower pot as a finishing touch.

 Let us know what other ideas you have for teacher appreciation gifts.  Here are some more that Jo posted on FaceBook and there are some other ideas to the right in the Savvy Etiquette box:
  • Pick up an extra latte on your way to school and deliver it with a note card that says “A special thank you . . . For providing an extra boost of energy to every part of our children’s education!”
  • Ask the local coffee shop to donate a carafe of coffee and a platter of scones for the break room. Make a giant card out of poster board to display next to the treats and have the children sign it. Include a small sign that says “Provided by (insert coffee shop name here)” as a thank you for the donation.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the topiaries. They kind of remind me of the candy corn pots and gumball machines that we used to make. Do you remember when we did craft shows? It was before you had kids and feels like a lifetime ago. I just don’t have as much crafting time these days. I really miss it-- you, me, no husbands, and no kids hanging out all day at the craft fair. We spent more money than we made! If there was enough to cover dinner out it was a HUGE success.



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