National Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up, and summer break is on the horizon as well. Those are two good reasons for kids to show gratitude to those who teach them (though there are certainly lots more). So here's a little fun "homework" you can do with your kids to create a memorable thank-you. The result is an adorable (and useful) gift of gratitude that's guaranteed to last a lot longer than an apple on the teacher's desk.
Looking for more teacher appreciation ideas? Get the instructions for our fun teacher award ribbons.
Teacher "thank you bunches" craft
Crafter level: Easy
Time needed: 5 – 10 minutes (per pen)
Download the instructions
What you'll need
- Clay flower pot (we used a 4-inch pot)
- Coffee beans, pinto beans or glass marbles for filler
- Chalkboard paint and paintbrush
- Chalk for writing; hair spray to adhere chalk (optional)
- Non-click ballpoint pens with "caps" on ends that can come off (one for every flower pen you want to make, plus a few extra, just in case)
- Green floral tape
- Craft knife
- Low-temp hot glue gun or strong craft glue
- Silk flowers with thin plastic stems (one bloom for every flower pen you want to make)
- Leaves from silk flowers (optional)
- Coordinating ribbon for bow on pot
How to make it
1. Paint a clay pot with chalkboard paint and set aside to dry. Apply two to three coats as necessary. Brainstorm with your kids to come up with a "thank-you" message to write on the pot later. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Thanks a bunch!
- Thanks for helping me learn and grow.
- Thanks a latte! (Fill the clay pot with coffee beans to hold the pens.)
- You're my #1 pick!
2. Remove the little caps on the non-writing ends of the pens. If they don’t just pop off, use your craft knife to cut off the plastic tops.
3. Cut the stem of each flower bloom to about 1/2 to 1 inch—enough that you’ll be able to insert the stem inside the pen cylinder easily.
4. Add some glue to the stem and insert it into the pen cylinder. Let dry.
5. Wrap the pen with floral tape, starting at the writing end of the pen. Stretch the tape gently as you wrap and overlap your wrapping so none of the pen shows through the tape. Wrap all the way up the pen, secure with a few tight wraps and cut off the end of the tape. You can use a bit of glue to secure the end of the tape to prevent future unraveling (optional).
6. Create more pens following steps 3 – 5 until you’ve created your bouquet. (We made about a dozen with smallish flowers for a 4-inch pot.)
7. To add a little greenery to some of the pens (optional), cut several leaves off the silk flower stems and glue the leaf stems to the pens slightly below the flower blooms. Let dry. Wrap around the base of each leaf stem with extra floral tape to further secure it to the pen.
8. Wrap your ribbon around the rim of the pot and tie in a bow; secure ribbon to pot with glue.
9. Write the message to your teacher on the outside of the pot with chalk. Use hair spray to adhere the chalk (optional).
10. Fill your pot with coffee beans or other filler to hold the pens in place.
11. Arrange your flower pens into a bouquet in the pot and give it to your teacher.
Jeanne Field is a Hallmark editor who loves finding ways for her kids to get as messy crafting as she does.