Teacher Appreciation

Hard to believe that summer break is right around the corner.

As this school year winds down you may be thinking about ways to say "thanks" to that special teacher in your child's life.

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Cameron and Jordy's elementary school takes part in a teacher appreciation week to give students and parents a chance to pay tribute to all the wonderful teachers at the school.

This year, I made these keepsake, memory pillows for my kids' homeroom teachers.

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This project is super easy and can be constructed in just a few hours.

The pillows are created using photo fabric sheets which allow you to transfer a favorite photograph directly onto a cotton sheet which can then be used as fabric.

Blog teacher appreciation sheets 
The fabric sheets look like regular printer paper, but they actually have a cotton fabric top with a peel-away, supportive backside.

Load the fabric sheet into the printer tray as you would any regular sheet of printer paper. 

Always load one fabric sheet at a time.

Pull up a favorite photo.  Don't forget to set your printer to the "best quality" option in the printer settings.  Then, print the photo onto the sheet.

Blog teacher appreciation printer 

After the sheet is printed, simply peel away the back, supportive layer.

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Once the backing is peeled off, you're left with a the transferred image on a sheet of flexible cotton that is ready to be sewn into any project.

In addition to pillows, you can create a variety of fun-photo projects including purses, totes and quilt squares to name a few.

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With fabric sheet dimensions about 8 1/2 X 11, this is a fairly small pillow project.  You'll need to cut an equal size piece of canvas for the back of the project.

Before pinning both sides together, add an additional touch of personalization to the back piece of canvas with machine or hand embroidery.

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Pin both sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving 1-inch opening for stuffing. 

Turn inside out, stuff and then close the opening by hand using a slipstitch.

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You don't have to add piping but I think it's a nice touch of extra color.

You can read more about how to add piping to pillows in one of my earlier posts entitled In Full Bloom.

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Here's a look at the embroidered back of the finished pillows.  What a coincidence that Cameron and Jordy both have teachers named Melissa. 

Tip: If you don't have access to an embroidery machine or you don't have time to embroider a message by hand, you can create a message using your computer, print it onto a second fabric sheet and use that imprinted fabric sheet as the backing for the pillow.

Blog teacher appreciation embroidery 
Don't you just love class photos?  Here's a closer look at Jordy.

He's a bit of a class comedian but as an honor roll student every semester, he delivers good grades along with his wry humor.  

Years from now when he looks back on this picture, I hope he remembers how much fun he had in 4th grade.

Blog teacher appreciation jordy

Here's Cameron's closeup.  She's a cutie, and one smart cookie too.  She's an honors student who excels in advanced mathematics. 

Cameron has had a very successful elementary school experience and she's really looking forward to her first year of middle school this fall.

Blog teacher appreciation cameron

Meanwhile, regular readers of this blog, know that I love handmade tags.  It's just one more simple way to add a personal touch.

Punch out a few tag shapes, use the printer to create a label and them out in strips.  Adhere the labels to the tags and add a little piece of thin string or jute. 

Blog teacher appreciation tags

Tie a pretty ribbon with a bow around the finished pillow and slide a small bouquet of artificial flowers behind the ribbon.

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Attach the handmade, personalized tag and you have a perfect pillow presentation.

You can easily create several of these keepsake pillows in just one day, so there's still plenty of time to make a few before the end of the school year.

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Of course, this project can certainly be created for any gift occasion including birthdays or showers.

Consider making a pillow for a new mom and dad featuring a picture of their newborn.  Or you could make a pillow with a photo of a new bride and groom with the nuptial info embroidered on the back.  Grandparents may also appreciate a gift like this with photos of the grandkids. 

The list of gift possibilities is endless.

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Meanwhile, when it comes to teacher appreciation, I can't say thanks enough.

To all the teachers out there, you are truly appreciated.

And to the teachers who directly touch my children's lives, thanks again, for everything.

  • Cee

    Beautiful!
    My students nearly KILLED me this year.

  • kerri

    ahh! i used to be a first grade teacher and my two favorite gifts i ever received were:
    1. a coffee mug with our class picture. many years later, i still have that coffee cup and use it often!
    2. a quilt a room mom put together where each kid drew a little picture on a square and then she sewed it all together and made it look great. it would’ve been SO COOL if she had done what you did with the pillow and somehow put a picture in there, too!
    love your pillow, and i’m sure that teacher will really treasure it! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful! I love your wonderful work. You got so much talent and you are using it to greater use. Their homeroom teacher will definitely be grateful for this gift.

  • Shar

    Beautiful project – thank you!
    Also, congratulations on your project article in the new ROMANTIC HOMES!

  • Deb Wisker

    awesome Lisa! It is the best “teacher gift” a teacher could receive!

  • Denise

    Fantastic idea! This gives me an idea for Christmas for the grandparents. 🙂

  • Vicki

    You did it again, another inspirational post!

  • Nuria

    A very good idea !!!!, Really nice.
    Can you inform me were can I buy this sheets on internet, here in Spain we don’t know them !!!
    Thanks and Regards
    xox
    Núria
    my e-mail: [email protected]

  • John'aLee Burk

    I love your blog. I’m picky as to who I add to my own “Inspirational Blog” list….and yours just had to be on there!
    Great work!

  • Elena

    They are so beautiful Lisa. I love how they were presented with the tag, bow and flowers.

  • Judith Norman

    Excellent! You just made my day. I love this blog.

  • Karla

    What a lovely keepsake and such a pretty presentation with the satin bow.
    Karla

  • adrienne

    Ok, I am totally going to have to remember this for NEXT year! I LOVE IT!

  • medival dress

    ohh.. That’s a really sweet gift. The idea was brilliant too! I love them! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Melony Bradley

    Lisa- super cute idea. Love the personlaized tag touch. I am sure the Melissas will love this! Check out my idea for teacher appreciation on my blog when you have a chance…
    http://mel-designs.typepad.com/my-blog/2010/03/trendy-little-thank-you-gifts.html

  • Pat

    As a teacher of 23 years it is wonderful to get such thoughtful gifts from parents. I miss those days!
    Pat

  • Stephanie

    Truly a special gift that will be treasured forever. You always add the perfect little touches too.

  • Kiki The Flying Grandmother

    Lisa, you really inspire me! Your are one talented gal! I got back into sewing after finding your blog! I wish we were neighbors! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jocelyn

    Lisa, what a very wonderfully creative idea! So much better then a mug! Thanks for sharing.

  • Allie

    Once again, you show a fantastic project – Cameron and Jordy aren’t the only ones who can deliver! Congrats to them both on being such wonderful students!
    I really love the added touches – the flowers, ribbon and tags. You took this from very special to ULTRA-special!

  • D'Anna

    What a beautiful gift! and I love the “packaging!”

  • Julie

    That’s really sweet, Lisa! What teacher wouldn’t love such a thoughtful and original appreciation gift? 🙂

  • Annette

    What a wonderful idea! Thanks so much. My daughter is a second grade teacher and I know she would love something like this from her students.

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    You are so very creative and talented! I always enjoy your posts!