Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back to School - Pencil Centerpieces

Here we are at the beginning of the school year and life is crazy!  And I know it is even crazier for my teacher husband and friends... organizing their classrooms, starting lessons plans, and doing all those little things that make the first week back so amazing for our kids.  So, when our PTSA started planning the back to school teacher Breakfast catered by Waffle House, I quickly offered to take on the challenge of centerpieces.  I know centerpieces do not sound that vitally important, but it was just one small way to make the teachers feel welcome and show my appreciation.

I often think that Middle School teachers kind of get the raw end of the deal.  We are so quick to do fun and cutesy things for teachers when our kids are little, but once they get into Middle School we kind of forget to say thanks.  And those are teacher working with our kids during the largest growth spurt of their life (except for 0-3 years old).  That's right, our kids grow and develop more in Middle School than any other time in their life except for when they are first born.  Sorry, I got off on a tangent, but needless to say, I was glad to have a chance to say thanks.

I scoured Pinterest for cute ideas, but so many of them were a little young for the Middle School theme.  Then I came across this website by Lisa Renee that had several cute ideas...  The pencil center piece with flowers was a winner!

And here is my version and how it was made:

I purchased canning jars at Target because I could get 12 of them for under $10.  The flowers came in bunches from the dollar store along with the Styrofoam balls.  The ribbon was laying around from various craft projects.  And pencils, sticky tape and rubber bands rounded out the supply list 

Luckily I have this amazing friend named Grace that also loves to craft and share her craft room with me.  I want to live in her craft room!  So I brought over all the supplies and we went to work.  Thank you Grace!  

The sticky tape is the type used for card making, strong stuff (stronger than double sided tape).  I decided not to use the glue gun in case the pencils could be used later (my husband says teachers are ALWAYS in need of more pencils).  We put three bands of sticky tape, one around at the top, the middle and the bottom of the jar. Then a few more strands were placed going up and down on raised parts of the jar.  

After securing the pencils one by one beside each other, we used a rubber band to secure then from the outside, a little below the middle of the jar.  In addition to being decorative, the ribbon helped hide the rubber band, clever and handy.  Since I am not the best at tying bows, a few small flowers were used in the middle secured by more sticky tape.  Love that stuff!

Lastly, the Styrofoam balls were placed in the middle, and we began to arrange the flowers.  I put a few leaves in some of the arrangements for an added touch.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture!  To complete the arrangement, we sat each flower holder on a book bought at the dollar section at Target and put an apple on the side.  

The centerpieces were a big hit.  We decided to include them in a drawing and heard squeals of delight when each teacher won.  Several teachers even came up and asked for the instructions or if I'd seen it on Pinterest.  My reply being, "of course!"  So thank you to all those that inspire us on Pinterest because without you, my creations would never be!

In the end I was so busy trying to meet and greet teachers arriving that I forgot to take a final picture.  But I have called in reinforcements, knowing others did, and hope to have one up soon.  In the mean time... remember that crafting is even more fun when you get to give the end result away to someone who really deserves and appreciates it.  And few people I know deserve it more than our teachers!    

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