Rollercoaster Mum: Inexpensive Teacher's gifts - my first PinAddicts Challenge


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Inexpensive Teacher's gifts - my first PinAddicts Challenge

Yarn wrapped pen pots - teacher's gifts
The finished article! 
As usual I leave it until the last minute (well almost) to think about teacher's gifts. Now I'm not one to spend a fortune. At Christmas they get a token gesture (homemade biscuits, sweets or mince pies), I don't bother at Easter but it is nice to give them something at the end of the year if you think they've done a good job. I have in the past given those Oxfam gifts, jars of jam and last year I did resort to wine (but I was particularly impressed).

This year I had the problem with both girls at school that although one teacher definitely deserved wine I wasn't so sure about the other one and then of course you have the teaching assistants - it goes on. I'm sure it would be noticed in the staff room if you favoured one teacher over another! So I turned to Google and Pinterest. One popular idea that I hadn't thought of was to give teachers pens.

This seemed like a great idea and then I discovered a pin on wool (or yarn) wrapped loo roll tubes to make a pen pot. Aha! Light bulb moment. My only issue was this was that we didn't have enough of these and no time to save them, so I thought maybe we could use jam jars (also wrappable) and then I found a pin on yarn wrapped plant pots - perfect. It was also a craft that was simple enough for the girls to do so they get to make their teacher's presents too - even more perfect.

Cue visit to Wilkos - terracotta plant pots 60p each, pack of 10 biros 25p, two posher pens £1.20, wool we already had but you can buy a roll of wool for £1 in there, PVA glue we already have. I also got a cheap place mat to cut up and stick in the bottom to cover the hole. (25p per teacher - you could also use felt or card) and some ribbon to tie the pens (about 40p per teacher). The only other thing we used was felt tips to write and draw on the rim of the plant pot and some tissue paper to pretty them up. Total per teacher - about £2.70. OK not super cheap but less than wine!

So here's how you do it: I used the original tutorial over at Celebrations at Home as a guide to help me.

yarn wrapped pen pots

1. Plant pots tend to have holes so we cut out circles of the place mat (or use felt or card) and stuck them in the bottom of the pots using PVA glue.

2. Now to wrap the pots (the one in the picture is actually a plastic pot but for the teachers gifts we used terracotta clay pots). First cover the pot in PVA glue - you may need to use more so keep it to hand. Take your wool and carefully lay it around the top of the pot under the lip, pulling it fairly taut. Keep wrapping the wool layer by layer around the pot until you want to change colour. Take your second colour of wool and after recovering and refreshing your pot with more glue (it doesn't matter if you use too much as PVA dries clear) carefully lay the second colour of wool slightly over the last bit of wool and wrap slightly over it so that the wools seem to merge. Keep doing this until your whole pot is covered. The last few layers can be a bit tricky so you may need to use loads of glue. Leave to dry.

3. Lastly the pens - take your selection of pens an carefully tie a piece of ribbon around them - tie the ribbon in a bow. Place the pens in your pot with a bit of coloured tissue paper to keep them in and look pretty. Lastly write a message or name around the lip of the pot.

Et voila! Pretty, inexpensive, practical and hopefully appreciated teacher's presents. (And if you haven't got anything yet you've probably still got time to do this - it doesn't take long - even when the kids do it!)

Oh and do pop over to the PinAddicts Challenge below for some far more experienced and superior crafters to me!

PinAddicts Challenge


  1. Great idea - I love it! We made homemade flowers...or at least I did. Won't be doing that again..took far too long!

  2. Lovely idea, beats my cup cakes!


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