Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Teacher’s gift: Super-sized pencil

It’s that time of year when the kids say good bye to their beloved teachers for the summer. The opportunity to show appreciation for the teachers come several times a year and it can be a little difficult to decide what to give. I generally like to give personalized gifts on behalf of my children, but it often requires time to place the orders and can get expensive. Since this was a last-minute attempt, I turned to Pinterest for help. After perusing many great ideas, I came across this pencil gift. Pretty neat huh? You may remember how I felt about crafting after my last DIY post on making a running medal display rack, but I decided to give this a shot…despite my feeling 😉

internet pecil craft When I looked at the original post, however, I realized that I didn’t have nor was I willing to spend money on all the fancy-schmancy equipment needed to make this gift. I decided to attempt it anyway…spending as little money as possible and using my creativity to complete the project. Here’s what I needed:Pencil supplies22The original list also called for a Circle Cutter, Score Board or Paper Crimper and Tear Edger. None of which I have. I cut the yellow paper into 11′ wide x 10.5′ high pieces. I applied the Mod Podge with the sponge brush to the Pringle’s can only. I aligned the edge of the yellow paper under the rim of the can and wrapped it around the can.

Pencil cuttings

I then cut the pink paper 10″ wide x 1 3/4″ high to make the eraser. I also cut out  11″ wide x 1″ high gray paper for the metal band between the eraser and the pencil. Because I had neither a crimper or score board, I used my hand to make tiny fan-like folds in the gray paper, then stretched it out. Pencil crimpled paper Collage

Then I applied the Mod Podge to the back of the pink paper and wrapped it around the bottom rim of the can. I applied the Mod Podge to the back of the gray crimped paper then also wrapped it around the can slightly overlapping the pink paper.Pencil w eraserThen I cut out 9″ wide x 3/4″ yellow paper. Again, using my hand (because I didn’t have an “Edge Tear-er”), I tore the edges to give it a rough look like a pencil that has been sharpened.

Pencil torn edgeNext it was time to make the tip of the pencil. I had to really use my creativity to achieve this. I did not have a Martha Stewart Circle Cutter as used in the original post…nor a circle cutter period. I decided to improvise, adapt and overcome. I pulled out a couple of bowls from the cupboard that looked small enough. I took a tape measure and measured across the top. Wouldn’t you know, the first one measured 5 1/2’…the exact circumference needed. The other two bowls weren’t the exact same size but I used them anyway. Bowls for pencilI traced a 5 1/2″ circle on brown paper (because my pack of construction paper didn’t have tan). I used my 3″ diameter bowl to trace another circle in the middle of the 5 1/2″ brown paper. I also traced a 4″ circle on black paper. Then I cut out all of the circles.Pencil cutout Collage

Next, I pasted the black cut out onto the larger brown cut out, then cut a slit from the edge to the center. Then I made a cone shape from the cut circle, making sure that it can fit in the lid of the Pringle’s can. I pasted the cone to make sure that it kept its shape. (You can trim off any extra layer off the bottom of the cone if you choose.) Using the E6000 glue or a hot glue gun, adhere the pencil tip cone to the top of the Pringle’s lid and let dry.  Then adhere the torn edge paper to the outer lid using either the Mod Podge or glue. (I forgot to take another pic.)

Then I used 2″ and 1″ stencils that I previously had and with a permanent black marker, wrote “teacher’s name” is No.1 (Instead on the standard No. 2 pencil :) …the idea taken from the original post). So here is the final product.Final pencil container layingThen I filled them with some goodies for the teachers.Pencil container(Sorry the lighting is off. I used the flash on the 2nd pic. )

This was a fairly simple project. It took about an hour and a half to complete. It probably would’ve been less if I didn’t have the kids helping from time to time. Because my schedule is so busy, I had to sacrifice a workout and actually cooking dinner that evening to be able to pull this off in the middle of the week.

If you follow this blog, you might remember me saying that I don’t like crafting after my last craft project. Well, I realize that what I actually don’t like is the nailing and painting, but I really enjoy gluing and pasting. I’ll be posting what my kids teacher’s actually think of our little project on Facebook and twitter. So please join the conversation by liking and follow Defining Hope.

What kind of gifts do you give your children’s teacher? Do you give purchased or crafted gifts? Which would you rather receive?

DIY: Running Medal Display Rack

As you may know by now, I’ve been participating in a week-long blog challenge sponsored by Joi, The Rx Fitness Lady. In case you missed any of those posts, feel free to check them out below.

Today’s day 5 prompt is: An Appropriate Do-it-yourself project. I am super excited to share this project. I posted a while back that I’m partially motivated by the race medal or “bling”. At that time, I only had 3. Well, over the last year of running, I’ve accumulated a few more race medals. I’ve seen several display racks, but thought to myself that I could probably make one myself; so I did. Here’s what I did.Final Medal Rack CollageFirst, I gathered all of my supplies. I ended up spending about $40 dollars total. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but I made a few costly mistakes that hopefully, I can help you avoid. Medal rack supply Collage

I spray-painted the edges pink. When it dried, I placed tape over it then spray-painted the surface black. (I forgot to add tape to the supply list because I already had some and didn’t have to buy any) medal rack black

Then I placed the decorative stencil across the center and the letter stencils spelling the word “running” across the top. I used tape to cover and protect the remaining surface from unwanted splatter. (If you look carefully (through all that pink) you’ll see where the stencils were placed)

medal rack stencil paint

While I waited for the paint to dry, I also spray painted the brass cup hooks black.

Medal rack Spray paint hooks

Now for the big reveal! UGH! The spray paint smeared under the stencils. By the way, this was attempt #2. I had to erase the first attempt by repainting it black.

Medal rack bad stencil

I also had to touch up some areas that smeared on the decorative stencil as well. I simply used a black permanent marker to sharpen the edges of the design.

Medal rack save Collage

Finally after getting frustrated with the stencils, I headed back to the craft store. I racked my brains trying to figure out the best and easiest stencil to work with. Then, there they were…wooden letters. Ahhhh! *cues Hallelujah chorus*. I spent about $3 bucks for them, spray painted them and pasted them on with wood glue.


Finally! I have a beautiful rack to display my run medals. I didn’t even realize that I had so many.

Finished Medal display rack

It took about a total of 2-3 hours to complete this project including drying time. But because of work, kids and other responsibilities, I didn’t have the time to knock it out in one shot. It took me almost 4 days of working on it 10 minutes here and there. I learned that I am much more patient with people than projects. Before being married with kids, I’d spend hours on a craft project.  Now, it seems less enjoyable because I don’t have time…unless I’m doing crafts with the kids. All in all, it was fun to tackle and I absolutely love the way it turned out.

How often do you do craft projects? Do you enjoy it? Are you a patient project person?