Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to school gifts...

My cousin J. is going into Gr. 7! She's turning in to such a teenager.

Since Gr. 7 is such a big deal to many kids, I decided to make her a little back to school gift. Then, since I was making her something, plus something for my honorary niece, who is starting kindergarten this year, I decided I should just go ahead and make something for four other young people who are special to me.

My inspiration was a post on TwoPeas. Someone asked about a Schultute... a German 'Back to School' cone. They are normally made of poster board and are filled with school supplies, maybe toys, and candy. Since I knew my friends had already purchased their kids' supplies, I focussed on the toys and candy. That, and I like being the cool 'cousin/auntie/friend.' No matter how ya cut it, school supplies just aren't cool. ;)

Now, I am not one to be able to figure out how to make something on my own, so I had to google directions to make this item. There are MANY websites with directions. I liked the write up on ehow http://www.ehow.com/how_5149227_make-schultuete-first-day-school.html as well as this one http://www.themotherhuddle.com/back-to-school-traditions-schultuete-school-cones/ because she's got some cool links.

The first hurdle was deciding what to put in the cones. I was prepping for the August Lovebug blog hop, and while searching for poems I saw 'new teacher survival kits.' That inspired me to look for student survival kit ideas. There are LOTS of these all over the web - just google 'student survival kit' or your child's grade, or if you have ideas about what you want to put in it already, google the item name (i.e. pencil) and survival guide and it'll give you ideas for the meaning of the item, plus other items that would go well with it.

I did my shopping at Superstore. I'd considered going to the dollar store, but a friend convinced me that in the end due to what I was putting in the kits, we'd do better at super store. And she was right, because we were able to shop in the bulk section. The shopping, which I expected to be the second hurdle, turned out to be dead easy. For that I can thank my friend Laura, who reminded me about the benefits of buying in bulk. She was instrumental in pulling off this whole project.

The second hurdle, in fact, was making the cones. Bazzill cardstock is too thick to roll properly. It cracks and starts to rip, near the bottom especially. So in the end we made baskets. Here's a quick run down of what we did... Laura was saying she thinks she may have learned how to make these via Splitcoast, but she couldn't say for sure:

1)Cut a piece of 12x12 cs down to 6x12. Score it on the short (6") side at 1" and 5", then turn it and score the 12" side at 5.5 and 6.5. The first score makes your sides and the second makes the bottom
2)Cut along the two parallel score lines where you have the 1" square, just to where the lines meet. Those flaps you've created will make putting the box together much easier.
If you're decorating the boxes, you'll want to do so BEFORE you put it together. Ask me how I know... although really, I'll give you 3 guesses, and the first two don't count. LOL.

3)Add a good strong adhesive to two of the "x5.5" strips (you'll want to choose either both top or both bottom strips) and fold up like this:
4)Once you've attached your flaps to the edges you can put the top strip over the bottom fully adhere it all and you'll end up with this: Now, if, like me, and you forget to decorate the cardstock before you fold it up into your box/gift bag, all is not lost. You'll have to do any stamping you wish on other paper, cut it out, and adhere, preferably with pop dots, because they'll stick better than regular adhesive at this point, unless maybe you were to use liquid glue (I had none easily accesible). The other thing you can do, to save yourself having to hand cut out any images, is to use punches I did flowers for the girls and for the boys I did do some hand cutting, simply because I didn't have any masculine punches.

Here's the finished product, both sides... one with the decorations and the kids' names, and the other listing what is in the bag:
The poem* reads:
Your banner year begins right here,
With a nifty bag full of school year cheer.
Look inside and try to guess,
How each item will bring success!

Stick to it (stickers)
It's ok to make mistakes (eraser)
You're worth a mint! (Jr. Mints)
Reading is FUNdamental! (bookmark)
You're smart! (Smarties)
Write down your ideas (pencil)
Roll with the punches (ball)
Blow away your blues (bubbles)
Try to be sweet (lollipop)
You can lick your problems (lollipop)
There's a rainbow after every storm (Skittles)
Don't bite off more than you can chew (gum).
We put the Skittles, Junior mints, and gum all in one little baggie and tied it up with a ribbon like so:
We got the boxes constructed and filled in one night. My wonderful friend Laura was a huge help. With a project like this one which requires precise scoring, I get nervous, so she did that all for me. I typed up the poem and I did all the decorating.

So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures and that the instructions were helpful.

*The poem was greatly inspired by something I saw on the web. Sadly, I've lost the link so I can't credit the poster by name.


Cheryl said...

Wonderful back to school gifts. I am sure they all will just love them.

KER said...

great tutorial...tfs that...and my dgd just started kindergarten..she would be thrilled to receive something like this...thanks for inspiring me

Tina said...

Very clever, what a lovely idea.

Dixie said...

Great idea, and you did a wonderful job of putting it all together. They are very cute, and I'm sure that the recipients will love them!

Becky said...

This is fabulous !! They will love this. I know I sure would :)

Martha said...

what fun little boxes.

Kathy Braun and Lucky said...

Great idea, I bet they had a great time receiving these. TFS

Elisabeth said...

What a darling idea, love it!