Teacher Christmas Gifts

It probably comes as no surprise that  love making Monster’s teachers presents for Christmas.  This year, he is in the bumblebee class at school, and I found the perfect fabric for a bumblebee teacher – it has apples and bees!  I’ve noticed that all of the teachers wear their ID’s on a lanyard around their necks, so I thought it would be nice to make them some to go with their class theme (I blame all the different animal squadrons we’ve been in for making me use a theme in everything!).  I also made them each a clip keychain, because I have one myself and it’s super handy!  And since it’s Christmas time, I wanted to give them each a bumblebee ornament (which Monster got to help me make).  Plus a gift card to Target.  Can you tell we love our teachers??

So without further ado, let me show you how to make some gifts to spoil the teacher (or friend or relative) in your life!

I made the lanyard and the keychain at the same time, since they use basically the same supplies and methods.  To make both, you’ll need:

Cut a strip of fabric 4″x36″ (one yard) for the lanyard.  Save the scrap from the end (since the fabric you bought was 42-45″ long).  Then cut a piece 4″x11″ for the keychain.

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Not pictured: the scrap from the lanyard piece that you will use

Press the short ends of the lanyard fabric towards the wrong side, then press in half longways.  Open it up, and press each of the raw edges into the center fold you just made.  Fold it back in half again to make a 1″ strip with no raw edges showing, and stitch a scant 1/8″ around the whole border.  Repeat for the 11″ strip, but don’t press the ends in (the raw edges will be covered later on they keychain).  Repeat one more time for the 4″ wide scrap, again making a 1″ wide strip.

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Folding up the lanyard. It’s the same for the keychain and the scraps except for turning in the raw edges at the ends.

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1″ strips for lanyard, keychain, and the scrap

For the keychain, loop the 1″ strip you just made onto the swivel clip.  Then use a wide zigzag to make a loop from the raw ends.  Move the zigzag connection down towards the clip, and cover with the scrap that you sewed, trimming and tucking the raw ends between the layers of the keychain.  Stitch around the scrap to secure and complete the keychain.

Key Ring Construction

Left: Zigzag to hold the ends in place. Right: See how the scrap covers the zigzag right next to the clip? And the raw edges are tucked between the layers to be hidden.

To complete the lanyard, slide the 2nd swivel clip onto the 1″ yard-long strip and stitch in place (think about making a V shape that will accommodate the wearer’s neck comfortably).

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Pin and stitch the swivel clip in the center, making a V shape

Then, loop the back like a necklace and stitch on the Velcro – I was careful to make the hook side face away from the neck so it won’t be scratchy.  You could just sew it, but many schools require that teacher’s have a “quick release” on their lanyards in case of strangulation (crazy, but we want our teachers to be safe!).

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Completed lanyard and keychain!

Last year, Monster was too little to help with making anything for his teachers.  But this year, he is obsessed with painting!  Anytime I ask him what he did at school, that’s the first word out of his mouth.  So I knew when I saw this adorable bumblebee ornament made from a light bulb, it was the perfect craft for us to do together!

I used a box from our favorite “fruit squeezes” to hold the bulbs.  The box comes with one hole which was perfect for the bulb, and I just used scissors to cut out the 2nd.  Then I laid down a paper bag with some paint, handed the toddler a brush, and he went to town painting them!

Paint Lightbulbs

He did a really excellent job, I only had to touch up a couple of spots later on – and he had a blast!

Once the yellow paint dried, I added black stripes and a black head (where the screw part was inserted into the box – an egg carton comes in handy for drying).  Then I used a glue gun to add googly eyes, pipecleaner wings, stinger, and antennae, and a pipecleaner to hang it by.  And don’t forget to sign your work!  Monster can’t help with that yet, but maybe next year!

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I signed Monster’s name and the year on the bee’s butt!

I feel like the ornament will be much more meaningful to his teachers, knowing that he actually contributed to it rather than me doing everything or buying them things.  And I hope that the lanyard and keychain are useful to them!  At the very least, I don’t know that there is a human on this earth who wouldn’t like a Target gift card, and especially a teacher, who I know puts her own money into my child’s schooling.

Feel free to steal my ideas to make your own teachers something nice and useful for Christmas, and let them know how much you appreciate them!

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