There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread throughout the house. When that bread is banana bread, that’s even better.
These mini banana bread loaves are not only delicious but with a special finishing touch, this particular bread can also help raise a lot of “dough”.
It’s that time of year again when students, parents and volunteers scramble to bake, create and make all kinds of goods to be sold for worthy scholastic causes. Yes, it’s time for THE ANNUAL SCHOOL FUNDRAISER.
I enjoy working on fund-raising efforts because it typically turns out to be a nice creative outlet for me. I’ve taken on my share of school projects in the past too, a few of which you can see here and here.
This year I supervised the Oglesby home-based banana bread production line. I also had the good fortune to snag a dedicated, hard working, all-volunteer staff.
There are a ton of delicious recipes for banana bread.
I personally love banana bread with nuts, but with so many childhood nut allergies these days we played it safe and stuck with a favorite no-nuts recipe we found in this fun cookbook for kids.
Cameron and Jordy are eager beavers when it comes to things like this. I suspect any kid would love being let loose in the kitchen to get their hands dirty with flour and bananas.
Of course, I’m still working on getting these two to enjoy kitchen cleanup just as much. Wish me luck on that one.
We wanted to wow potential buyers with our product, so we decided to spice up the packaging by attaching handmade recipe cards to the bread baggies.
It never hurts to incorporate a little craftiness into the picture and this little monkey die cut is adorable and just right for this project.
A die is a metal plate that contains a raised image or lettering that is used in conjunction with a press tool like the one shown in the photo below.
The metal plate is topped with a square of colored cardstock and then the two pieces are fed through the special press.
As the metal plate and cardstock come through the other end of the press tool, the pressure cuts the image into the paper and a die cut of the image or letters is created.
Repeat this step several times. It’s a good idea to target specific portions of the image with smaller pieces of colored cardstock to get the exact monkey part you need as you go.
This avoids cutting monkey parts in colors you don’t need which would waste a lot of cardstock.
Once all the monkey pieces have been cut, separate the various cardstock pieces into like-shapes.
Then, put your volunteer staff to work assembling everything.
OK, I just had to throw in this photo of my little monkey-boy. Jordy has the most adorable smile complete with irresistable dimples and a few missing teeth.
Meanwhile, I think you can tell that this mini-assembly line is the perfect project for little hands.
Decorative craft chalk (found at most crafts stores) is an easy way to add some depth to the die cuts.
Plain die cuts typically look pretty flat so when you introduce a bit of chalk into the picture it really helps the image come alive.
After chalking the monkey shapes, adhere them to cut cardstock.
You can see how much nicer the cards look with the chalk-shading on the monkey parts and along the edges of the card.
Pull out the label maker to make the ID’s and a corner-rounder punch gives the cards nice curved edges.
By the way you don’t always have to glue down every part of the die cut image.
I decided not to adhere the monkey tail to the card and I think leaving it loose and free-flowing adds a cute dimension to the project.
Another tip: Make the recipe cards well in advance of the fund raising date so you won’t get jammed up making bread and cards at the same time the night before. We made these cards several weeks before we actually needed them and it was nice to have them finished early and ready to attach to the bread.
The addition of the banana bread recipe (or just the ingredients) on the back of the card helps bake sale browsers know exactly what’s inside the bread before they buy it.
That can be very useful information to many families, especially those with allergies in-house.
Print the information from your computer, cut it down to size, round the corners and use double sided tape or glue to adhere the recipe to the back of the card.
Be sure to use the strong twist ties that come with the mini bake sale bags to seal the bag tightly so the bread stays fresh. The mini bags with twist ties are available at most crafts stores that sell baking accessories.
A pretty ribbon is a nice way to finish off the packaging. I love this green and white polka dot and the ribbon also conceals that boring twist tie.
Finally, add a strip of double-sided tape (not glue) on the bottom of the card to adhere the recipe card to the back end of the bread baggies.
If you tape the card so that the bottom of the card stock is level with the bottom of the bread, that will help the card stand up straight for display.
Once the bake sale buyer has devoured the bread, they’ll have this cute little card to hang onto for future reference. This banana bread would look great on any bake sale table from any direction.
I really think presentation is just as important as content.
We baked and packaged two-dozen loaves and I think an attractive offering like this is a great way to draw greater interest to any bake sale item.
Huge thanks and hugs go my little volunteers for pitching in every step of the way.
By the way, I suggest you bake a few extra banana bread loaves to serve at home.
When your young helpers have finished their monkey business, I think you can guess what they’re going to want to bite into.