Saturday, December 27, 2014

Student Holiday Gifts for 2014!

I know I am a bit late in getting this post up, but finally catching up with all the photos on my phone that have been eagerly awaiting their blog appearance!  
Hopefully this won't be my last 'catch-up' post...I have pictures from November still waiting!

Instead of my traditional 'book, pencil and candy cane' gift, this year I went 'all out' and made my students' holiday gifts!
I am not sure if it was the 'heat of the moment' Pinterest find or too much sugar in my coffee that made me think this was smart....I am not going to lie...it was time consuming...but the looks on their faces...and parent & student notes afterwards made it all worth it!

So on one of my many Pinterest journeys I came across this pin for a 3-layer fleece scarf and I immediately thought this would make a great gift...

Then I opened the Scholastic catalog- the $1 book was Snowmen At Christmas...

A few kiddos came to school with no hats/gloves/jackets for recess....

The Joann's Craft flyer came....70% off fleece

OK OK OK!  I got the sign....I am doing it!

So on the Saturday after Thanksgiving I was at Joann's buying 20 yards of fleece!  In addition to the 70% off I used my 15% off entire purchase (sale or regular price) teacher discount!

In the meantime, our house wound up needing some emergency repairs...my husband had to take a week off of work...all of the furniture in our den (aka my sewing station) had to be removed.  Our dining room was transformed into the tool & supply workstation and the bathroom was gutted too!

Here's one of the 'better' views of my den in this process:

Insert insane stressed teacher, mommy, wife, homeowner scream....
AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But I had 20 yards of fleece...do I abandon ship and save it for next year???

Nope- I took to the floor in our living room (which was housing all the regular furniture PLUS den, dining room and bathroom stuff!) and began cutting!  It actually became a bit of therapy!

My 'sophisticated' measuring at this point was to just measure as wide as my scissors were long!  I did that on both ends, snipped, folded it over and cut.  

About an hour and a half later I had all the pieces I needed cut and ready for assembly!

Next was to place 3 strips together:

Put them neatly together
 

Until I had all the scarves 'bundled' and ready for sewing!

The next day I broke out the sewing machine, set up a make-shift sewing station and got to work!

All I had to do was simply sew a straight line up the middle of each scarf stack!


Until I had this nice neat 'line' down the middle

This really took no time at all!  I had all the scarves done in about an hour!
Here they are all ready for the next step...fringe!

For the next 2 nights I sat in front of our make-shift TV stand with my pile of scarves, cup of coffee and scissors and went to work making the fringe!

It was quite easy- just snip all three layers together, on both sides of the sew 'seam'  about an inch or so apart.

And then give it a good 'fluffing'! 

I had already picked up gloves for each kiddo at Dollar Tree and the makings for Snowman Soup at Christmas Tree Shoppe!  The Scholastic order came (ordered with my points and free book coupons) so I was all set!

I moved my 'assembly' to the kitchen counter for the snowman soup!
There are several different versions of 'Snowman Soup' on Pinterest, but I used what I had found at Christmas Tree Shoppe to make my version!

I found adorable winter ziploc bags, snowman peeps, fun holiday straws and hot cups PLUS the hot cocoa packets and was ready!

I had to trim the straws to fit in the bags (but honestly a long straw only calls for disaster with a 5 year old anyway!)  In each hot cup I put the pack of hot cocoa and the peep. 

Then I stuck the cup, with its goodies, and the straw in the baggie and sealed it up. 

I made up a little header and came up with a 'ditty' and stapled that on top! 

If you want the topper, you can download it for free by clicking here!  
I made it editable too- so you can type in your name (or the name of your child- my boys gave these to all their school friends as a holiday gift too!  
It was a Snowman Soup making factory- 90 packs made all together!!!)

So now I was ready for assembly!
Scarves- check!
Gloves- check!
Snowman Soup packs- check!
Snowman At Christmas book- check!
Bags- check!
Ribbon- check!
Cute poem to staple on the outside- check!

Each child got this:
The girl sets had pinks and purples, while the boys had blue, green and red!

I rolled the scarf up and put it on the bottom of the bag, slipped the book in the back, laid the gloves on top of the scarf and placed the 'soup' on top.  Tied it with a cute little bow and stapled the poem I made to the front!

And here is how all 20 looked ready for delivery! 

I gave the gifts out to my kiddos at our Elf Craftivity Party (read about it by clicking the hyperlink) and received so many wonderful parent notes/emails!
I even got this picture and note from one of my kiddos- modeling the scarf in front of her tree!!

So our Christmas wasn't 'traditional' this year- we didn't get to go pick out a tree, decorate or bake cookies, but we still made the best of it!  A colleague gave me a 4 foot pre-lit tree that we put up on Christmas Eve and the boys even wrote letters to warn Santa not to take the chimney this year!
Top: Dear Santa,  Don't go down the chimney.  You will get hurt.  Use the stairs.  Love, Jonathan (Age 4)
Bottom: Dear Santa,  You will fall on your head.  Go to the stairs.  Love, Thomas (Age 5)
The boys saw my hubby using our attic stairs and decided that was the best route for Santa this year!
"The Hole"- where our chimney used to come out!

They wanted my hubby to put these signs up on the roof  with caution tape around the chimney- lucky for him it was raining real hard on Christmas Eve, so we emailed Santa and our elf Rudy let him know too!

As for my den...here is the latest (as of 20 minutes ago!)...we have 'floors' and 'walls' (it actually took me 2 days to get this post up because I am the 'helper' that kept getting called to hold sheetrock in place!)

Hoping to enjoy Christmas 2015 in here!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
Until next post,
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