Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beach in a Can ... DIY Teacher's GIft

Beach in a Paint Can that is. This year, my daughter has a wonderful "Mr." for a teacher. And sometimes it can be hard to know what to get for a guy teacher. A few years ago, we did a gift can for one her "Mrs." teachers and it was a hit. You can see that post here. My daughter wanted to do this idea again. She said her teacher talked about blue, ocean-scented candles as a favorite way to relax after a long, hard day of teaching children. So we went that idea and expanded it to a Relaxing, Ocean Summer Vacation Theme. We bought a white tin paint can at Hobby Lobby. And from various stores in the area, came up with lots of fun little Ocean and Summery things to fill the can with, as you can see in the collage below.

1. We found some ocean-scented candles at Michael's, some citronella tea lights, and a fish tea light holder decorated with tiny shells at The Christmas Tree Shop.
2. Michael's had a lovely collection of starfish and seashells to use as filler for the can and to decorate the lid. (I'll show you that in a bit.) We also picked up some white shredded crinkle paper. And I had twine and shipping tags laying around the house.
3. K & Company had beautiful 3 dimensional ocean themed stickers. My daughter picked these out. I think they look great! We found some striped paper that seemed to matched well and some ocean/waves paper to decorate the outside and lid with.
4. The Grocery store had these Crystal Light canisters with individual ice tea and lemonade packets.
5. We found a see through reusable cold drink cup with straw that we thought we would fill with pens and pencils. Only the pencils were too tall, so we just used pens. You can see the 2 candles and the white paint can in this photo too.

 1. We put the citronella tea lights into a clear bag, tied with twine & added a shipping tag. We found those cute little drink umbrellas at The Christmas Tree Shop too, so one of those will go into the can.
2. We just started filling the can with big items and then added some of the shells and stuff from the Seashells we found at M's.
3. Here is the reusable cold drink cup filled with red & blue pens.
4. The finished, stuffed can.
5. Close-up of the bottom of can with the crinkled white paper shreds.

1. After the fun part of stuffing the can with the summery, ocean goodies is complete; comes the not-so-fun tedious part of decorating the can with the patterned paper. Here we found a bowl that was just slightly smaller than the lid. My daughter traced it and then cut it out. The old trick of holding the scissors steady in the hand, while rotating the paper works wonders to get a clean looking circle even when cut by hand. By all means if you have some fancy contraption to cut a perfect circle large enough ... go to it!
2. We used double-sided line tape along the top and bottom of the can (see bottom of can with tape in photo 4). We measured the can and cut the paper about 6 inches in width to fit nicely around the can. We left the length at 12". You will need two 12 x 12 sheets of paper to go around the can. I used a circle punch to cut out a half tab to go around the handle on the side. I really just guessed and made sure it was bigger than the handle, that way if i was off a bit (which i was!) it didn't matter to much. *fine print: i find math calculations and exact measurements to give me a headache, so i often "wing" it.
3. (Read 4 first!) I carefully attached the paper. Once it sticks, it is stuck with this double-sided tape! Watch out. Here is the other side of the handle. I waited to do the circle punch on this side to see if I needed to trim my length a bit. I ended up just trimming a tiny bit and then punched the half circle. Then attach your 2nd sheet of paper, overlapping each handle cut-out a bit. Again, I just "winged" it.
4. The red needs to come off the double-sided tape lines before you can adhere the paper to it. You can use any glue you have on hand that will stick to metal. Perhaps try a glue gun or glue dots.
5. I used glue dots to attach the hand cut circle of paper to the lid.

1. I hot-glued the starfish and seashells. Added some of the K & Co. ocean themed stickers. Then we tied a shipping tag onto the handle with a note signed by my daughter.
2. The straw for reusable plastic cold cup didn't fit inside the can, so we attached it, with twine, to the outside. Here you can see the finished can with all the embellishments.
3. Here is an example of just how sticky that double-sided tape is, and just how easy it is to mess up. But I wasn't worried about it. I just covered it up with a big old palm tree sticker. See photo 4.
4. Big Old Palm Tree sticker .... and birds, to cover up my boo-boo.
5. Close -up of the top of the can.

Note: Cute little tape bits on the collages are from liv.e designs' Maskerade Kit found at jessicasprague.com.

Another class mom was in charge of the gift card for the teacher this year. So this gift is just from my daughter. He'll get the gift card separately from the class as a whole. Otherwise I would have tucked that inside the can, just like I did for the Summer Themed Can a few years ago.

That's it. Easy peasy & fun to do. My daughter & I made a day of shopping around for all the little goodies to go inside the can, as well as all the fun stuff to decorate it. It's a little bitter sweet though. She's off to middle school next year, so this is really the last teacher gift we'll get to do. My middle school-er informs me they don't "Do" teacher gifts in his school.

Thanks for checking in. -xoxo jenn


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