Friday, August 6, 2010

Back to School Teacher Gift!

So one of things that I have done with my son's pre-school teachers was give them a little "Back to School" gift.  My oldest son is starting Kindergarten this year, which is a very exciting time for him and I hope that the enthusiasm that he has now continues throughout his school career.  The idea for this gift I saw on a post a few years ago on Splitcoast Stampers and jotted it down and saved it in my idea drawer.  Unfortunately I did not write down who posted the idea, so I apologize to that person.  If anyone recognizes it and know who posted it, please e-mail me and I will give the proper credit.  First let's start with some pictures...

For starters, I used a "My Timeless Template" from Papertrey Ink called Home Made.  This template is only sold in PDF format, but with the help of Kay from Clever Someday and THIS method, I turned this template into an SVG file.  I then imported the template into MTC and made it as large as possible using 12 x 12 Core'dinations Cardstock.  The bus is an SVG from  The windows are stamps from the Home Made stamp set that Papertrey Ink developed specifically for this template.  The funny thing is that I bought this template and stamp set back in November when it was released, and this is the first chance I had to use it!  Better late than never!

Now for the contents of the box!  Each item is tied with some Pure Poppy Baker's Twine from Papertrey Ink.  The tag was created from the Report Card stamp from Taylored Expressions' Make The Grade stamp set.  I got this stamp set at CHA and just knew it would be perfect for this project.  The create the shape of the tag, I used MTC.  I stamped the Report Card stamp on some white cardstock with black ink.  I then put this image on my scanner and using the Twain feature from the Pixel Trace function was able to bring this stamp into MTC.  I had to adjust the threshold to the point where I got a solid line on the outside edge of the stamp.  I then selected the image and did a "Break" and then a "Weld.  This gave me a solid image the exact size of the stamped image.  I then did a "Shadow Layer" and selected the width that I wanted.  If I were doing this over again, I would have made the Shadow Layer a little thicker.  The Taylored Expression stamps are cling rubber stamps and it was a little hard to see if I was getting the stamp completely on the tag.  Once I had my Shadow Layer, I deleted the original blacked out shape.  I then opened up my Basic Shapes and grabbed a circle.  I used the Align feature and made sure that I had half of the circle over the Shadow Layer and that it was centered on the tag.  I then welded the two shapes.  I then grabbed another circle from the Basic Shapes and sized it down and placed it on the half circle topper, and did a Boolean Join.  This method can be used for just about any stamp that you have.  If you have trouble getting the Pixel Trace to give you a solid edge, simple take a black marker and color in the edge to make sure that it is solid and try again.

I cut out 7 of these tags and stamped them with the Report Card and also the sentiment from the same set.  On the back of the tags, I handwrote some messages that relate to each gift to give it a more personalized feel.  Here are the messages along with each of the gifts.

1. Hershey Bar with Almonds - "Open in case of chocolate emergency, for when they are driving you nuts"
2. Post It Notes - "To remind you that this class sticks together"
3. Pencils - "For one sharp teacher"
4. Lifesavers - "Sometimes you need one, Sometimes you are one"
5. Hand Sanitizer - "For always giving your students a hand"
6. Kleenex - "To wipe the tears, thiers and yours"
7. Swedish Fish - "For when you O-FISH-ally have had enough"

I just barely fit all of these into the box, but a little smart packing got the job done.  If anyone would like additional instruction on the method I did with the tags, please e-mail me and I will gladly help you.  I saw a tutorial on this method somewhere, but I can't seem to find it now, but I will keep looking and will post it here should I find it.

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