Teachers really do love handmade gifts. Valentine’s Day gifts that are handmade and practical too are really great. I think I speak for many teachers when I say that homemade chocolate baked goods are very practical. However, this cute Valentine’s Day craft our family is making for teachers (and grandmothers too) are really unique and practical too.
Ink pens are a teacher’s best friend. They sometimes seem like a natural extension of our hands. We are always writing notes, reports, lesson plans, letters, lists, grades and on and on. Why not make a special ink pen for a special teacher this Valentine’s Day? Are there classroom teachers, music teachers, tutors, youth group leaders or Sunday school teachers on your Valentine’s Day list this year? You and the kids can decorate a pen for each of them.
A special pen covered with “bling” takes less than a half an hour to create.
glue gun and glue sticks or glue dots
beads (including tiny ones)
cloth table cover
Consider adding “teacher” themed items such as paper clips, small erasers and wiggly eyes. You can also use wooden letter beads. You could add the teacher’s initials, name or spell out “teacher.” You could also add the year with number beads. Or if your teacher has a pet you could create dog word art.
Cover your work space and spread out all of the supplies. The decorating process can move rather quickly if you have everything ready. Begin by adding the buttons, beads or gems down one side in a straight line. If you’re using a hot glue gun, less is more. Make only small dots of glue. Do one line at a time and don’t worry about spaces at first. Most pens will require four rows. Now that you have basic coverage over your pen you can fill in any spaces with tiny beads.
Tip: If you want to add larger items like an eraser, big button or paper clip, don’t glue them directly to the pen. Put a flat button on first and then glue the items on top of the buttons. The buttons will give you more gluing surface than the pen itself. Let the pen dry for at least 15 minutes.
Once your decorated pen is dry, you’ll want to test it. Simply grip it naturally and start writing or doodling and see if any decorations fall off that weren’t secured. In our experience, one to three items would fall off each time. Sometimes you see they aren’t needed and other times you’ll want to replace them with a bigger dot of glue.
A decorated pen can be just the “write” handmade gift to tell a teacher that she’s/he’s very special this Valentine’s Day.