We have “Back to School Night” tonight! So in typical “Jennifer style”….. I was making “teacher pails” or “teacher bucket gifts” for my kids’ new teachers….LAST NIGHT. With just hours to spare. Screeching in on 2 wheels. I know some of you creatives can relate! We work best last minute and under pressure. EMBRACE IT if that’s YOU!
My friend Lynne is the mastermind behind this teacher bucket gift and we used to get together every summer to make the pails. Now, her kiddos are in middle and high school, so I am scrapbooking them solo and missing my buddy!!!!! It’s tons of fun to have a Girl’s Night Out at someone’s house to make these during the summer. Put it on your plans for next year!
First, you are going to need paint pails. And your 10-year-old to take a slightly out of focus picture of you pointing to the paint pails. Ha. This is at Lowe’s and the pails were $5 each. Sometimes scrapbook stores sell them (usually way higher in cost) and some paint stores will have them (usually lower in price). But I know Lowe’s has them! You can also get these clear paint buckets mailed to your front door. So easy!
Yesterday was family movie day at our house. That means all 5 of us in our bed, watching movie after movie. I just can’t sit that long without something else to do, so I literally made this year’s pails in bed while watching Divergent. Ha! The body of the teacher bucket gift will need 2 identical pieces of scrapbook paper and the lid will need just one sheet of a coordinating paper. So you need 3 pieces of scrapbook paper total for each pail!
Because I have made these for so many years, I have “templates” that I keep to make the cutting of the paper easier. You will have to just wing your first one. But if you think you may ever make this teacher bucket gift again….then make yourself a template to keep once you get the cut outs right. Notice the notches cut out for the part of the paint pails where the handles attach. That’s the part that you will most need to mess with. I adhere the paper to the pail with scrapbooking adhesive. You could glue it also.
And then the embellishing part is where I have the most fun! I have bags and bags (hello intervention) of note cards, ornaments, broken jewelry, bling, etc, etc. I just get it all out and start gluing and attaching. I bought nothing new BUT the paint pails for this teacher bucket gift project!
And here is my first can finished. This will be for Ava’s teacher. She gets an extra pretty one cuz’ she will need extra energy to have my world-changing girl in her class! The paper is transparent, so in spots you can see my clear adhesive, but it’s minimal!
The top of this teacher bucket gift is decorated in polka dot paper, some scrapbook bling that is adhesive on the back (I think it was from Hobby Lobby years ago) and I hot glued an old knob from a furniture piece to the top.
I wired a flower that I got from Lord-knows-where to the handle and put this Christmas ornament on the handle too. It’s my favorite part! That should be worth all “A’s”, right? I jest! I jest!!
This is my son Easton’s teacher bucket gift. He doesn’t want to carry in a real girlie pail, so hopefully his teacher will like this less frilly version! I adhered ribbon to the middle of the pail for something different. From the side I hung an old piece of leather I had with all my crafts and a metal embellishment.
He’ll write a note for his teacher on the tag. It will probably say something really deep like “From, Easton”. He’s a minimalist like that. Ha!
I glued an old dresser handle to the top of the lid. The key is that you have to find knobs that are flat on the bottom, missing the screw. Otherwise, you have to cut, rip or pull the screw part off.
And here are some of the goodies we are filling our teacher bucket gifts with. I’ll give you some suggestions:
- Quarters for the pop machine
- Note cards
- post it’s
- nail files
- hand lotion
- any other “survival” thing you can think of
I think these are my favorite teacher bucket gifts that I have made… and I have made them for 6 years. You can see the ones I blogged about several years ago here and I’ve since updated my blog with more diy teacher bucket gifts here. And make sure you let me know if you make one of these, will you? Remember, it doesn’t have to be done for the FIRST day of school. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Teacher bucket gifts can be done anytime and for anyone!
If you need more gift ideas, here’s some Mother’s Day gift ideas that you could easily apply to teacher’s appreciation week in May too!