The boy and I made these handmade gifts for teachers from recycled aluminium (cat food) tins! We made them for more than one teacher, because the boy had so much fun planning and making them. They were fabulously popular with his teachers and they were a piece of cake to make.
The’re perfect for school fete days too. If you’re looking for simple, cheap projects for the children make in class and sell for school fundraising!
Here’s the collection of recycled can projects we enjoyed making.
Step 1. As the cans needed to be totally dry. I gave them all a quick blast from my hair-dryer on ‘high’ to be sure any residual moisture was banished. You could pop them in the oven too, but be sure to let them cool down fully before you handle them.
Step 2. I applied a thin coat of poster paint to the outside of the can, left it to dry completely. Then I applied a second coat of paint, before popping the can into the airing cupboard to dry for another hour.
Step 3. Using a length of string to measure round the can, I worked out how much ribbon I would need, then cut the ribbon to size, allowing an extra 5cm for overlap. Then I used a small amount of craft glue to secure the ribbon where I wanted it on the can.
(Craft glue did the job perfectly, but I’d probably used my trusty glue gun if I was going to make these again)
Step 4. Using tweezers and a tiny amount of craft glue, I positioned the paper flowers on the ribbon, and then glued a small gem in the centre of each flower.
Step 5. I also applied 3 larger crystal gems just below the rim of the can, but you can decorate exactly how you like!
When the glue was dry, I added a ‘bunch’ of cheery, coloured pencils. I’ve also filled these decorated cans with homemade truffles, sitting in a bed of pretty tissue paper and it works every time!
Step 1. We cleaned and dried the cans, then applied a coat of craft glue to the outside of the can, leaving it to one side until the glue was tacky.
The temperature of your room will determine how long you need to leave the glue until it is tacky.
Step 2. Next I arranged the coloured pencils horizontally around the can, with all of the sharpened ends pointing upwards.
Step 3. I wrapped a length of rough garden string 4 times around the can and finished this off with a messy bow.
Step 4. Finally, I added a homegrown basil plant to the ‘plant pot’ and my son gave it to one of his teachers for Christmas.
This is such a quick, easy gift to make because it only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish!
Step 1. Using clean, dry cans as above, I measured the height of the cans with a ruler and used a piece of string to measure round the middle of the can.
Step 2. I marked out the height and width of the can on the reverse of my paper, and cut it to size.
Step 3. I applied a little craft glue to the paper, then wrapped it in place round the can, making sure not to press hard on the ‘ridges’ on the can!
Step 4. I topped off this ‘plant pot’ with a homegrown money plant, but have also filled them with mini daffodils as Easter gifts. So simple and so cute!
You don’t have to spend lots of money on teacher appreciation gifts. The trick is to get crafty and create wonderful handmade gifts! Before you know it, you’ll be hooked on making these little treasures too. What will you use yours for?
Did you try making these handmade gifts for teachers with your kids? If you did, I’d love to hear what you made!
I’m Coralie, a Harrogate based blogger and mum to the reluctant teen. A crafting and upcycling addict, lover of outdoor life, juicing and gin. I’m never far from a cup of tea…
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