Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teacher Gift Basket

This is what I decided to do for the
school teachers this year -
Here's a little background info on these
particular gift baskets:

 I wanted to give each teacher something
homemade, and I love giving lots of little things
in a bin or a basket.  I enjoy putting them
together and painting something fun on the
container, and I imagine it's fun for
the teachers to pull things out one by one.
Like a clown car, so to speak.

I  bought food-safe jars at Hobby Lobby
to hold the spiced tea mix I made.
(Recipe to follow)
Then, I purchased a cute mug for each
basket; I found mugs at TJ Maxx, but I know
the dollar stores carry them, also.

I bought a tin of shortbread cookies for
each basket, and a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates
to split among my baskets.

Because I made EIGHT baskets this year,
I purchased two four-packs of shortbread
cookie tins from the warehouse store.

I found my red and green bins at Target in the
dollar aisle ... $2.50 per bucket.  Wow!
I thought that was a great deal.

Here's how to make the personalized bin.

First, I wrote the alphabet in capital letters on
a sheet of notebook paper.
Then, I enlarged them 200% and used
tracing paper to make a pattern for
each teacher's name.

I cut each pattern apart so the letters would
curve around the bin.

Use transfer paper and a stylus to apply
the name to each bin.
Use a flat brush dipped in black acrylic paint
to go over each letter.
Once the names were dry, I used a liner brush
and thinned white paint to outline the letters.

I had planned to leave the bins painted
with just a name, so that the teachers could
use these all year.
But my Christmas spirit got the better of me!
I had to add a sprig of holly to the
top of each bin.

First, I used a fat stencil brush to pounce
green paint onto the bin in the general
shape of the holly sprigs,
to give the design a little opacity.

Next, I outlined the holly leaves
and painted them in with green paint.

I used a grayer shade of green to outline
one side of each holly leaf.

Next, I used a bright green paint to
outline the opposite side of each leaf,
and the center of each leaf.

Use the handle of a paintbrush to add
a cluster of bright red holly berries.

The berries show up a  little better on
the green bins ...

I added some Extreme Glitter hologram
to each holly leaf; then I used
a stylus to add white dip dots to each
berry, and gold dip dots to the edges of
the leaves.

I filled my jars with Spiced Tea mix,
and used Marvy Uchida punches to make
little double-layer tags for each one.
I wrote the instructions
for a cup of tea on the tags:

Now, to fill the baskets.
Please note, filling baskets is NOT 
my specialty.  Nor is tying bows.
Which is why I didn't tie ANY bows on
this project; but I couldn't avoid
actually filling the baskets.

So I did.
I filled em.
But it ain't pretty.

Stuff in the tissue paper.
Then add mix, mug, cookies,
a few Ghirardelli squares,
and an ornament or two.
(The snowflake ornament came from
Target - a pkg of 4 for $1)

A better person than me
(I'm speaking about Crafty Girlfriend here)
could have made these bins look
like *WOW* !!!
But, it was just me, so they
look like ... wow.

Merry Christmas!

Peace and Gift Baskets

3 C Orange Breakfast Drink Mix
2 C Granulated Sugar
1/3 C Instant Tea (I used Decaf)
1 t Ground Cinnamon
1 t Ground Cloves
Combine all ingredients.
Store in an airtight container.
Stir 1 1/2T into 1 C hot water.