01 May 2011

Teacher Appreciation Gifts -- Fabric Flower Pen tutorial

This coming week is Teacher Appreciation Week at AJ and Ellie's school.  Every year, each kid gets a paper lunch sack with a letter on it, and the gifts for both teachers must start with that letter *and* fit in the bag.  Ellie's letter was "G" and AJ's was "Y."  Not wanting to go with yo-yo's, Yoo-Hoo, yak figures, gum, grapes, or gimp lanyards, I decided to harness my current passion for making fabric flowers and give something useful, too.  So AJ's teachers are getting yellow flower pens/pencils, while Ellie's have a garden of many colors.  (Stretching it?  A bit.  I think the cute makes up for it, though.)

Here's how I did it:

First, I cut 1/2" strips of green felt to wrap around the pen as the stem.  I left enough room at the bottom to grip the pen normally; for the pencils, I wrapped to halfway down to leave room to sharpen.  Attach with a bit of hot glue.  At the top/eraser, I glued down the felt over the top to give the fabric flower a better surface to grip to.

For the flowers, I used my rotary cutter to cut two strips for each bloom of various widths from fat quarters of quilting fabric -- up to 3/4" for the biggest flowers.  Tie the strips into a knot, fold the top ends into the knot and secure with hot glue.  I found that having a large center helped balance the flower on top of the pen, and helped in the next step of showing both sides of the fabric.

Now, twist the strips individually, then twist together and start wrapping the twisted strips around the center, hot gluing every so often to hold it together.

When you get to the end of the flower, glue the remaining "flap" down to the underside of your flower.

You can see how this method gives a very "shabby chic" sort of bloom, with lots of twists and texture.

Next, I cut leaves from green felt, leaving a bit of a "stem" at the bottom, and glued it to the top of the pen.

Finally, glue the flower onto the top!

I grouped two pens and one pencil together for each teacher, and then tied the bundle with yellow ribbon.  I printed out these adorable, edit-able tags that say "Thank You for Helping *Name* Bloom" from Skip to my Lou , glued them onto some scrapbook paper, and tied it on.

I'm really excited for the girls to give these "bouquets" to their teachers!

I'm linking up this post to Sew Darn Crafty at Sew Many Ways , Tatertots & Jello Weekend Wrap-Up , Whatcha Got Weekend at lollyjane boutique , Green Door Designs Saturday Spotlight , Think Pink Sunday at Flamingo Toes , the Monday link party at CraftOManiac , Made by You Monday at skiptomylou , Make Something Monday at Sarahndipities , Made with Love Mondays at SewChatty , Inspire Me Mondays at Homemaker in Heels , Show Me What You've Got at Not Just a Housewife , Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings , Creative Juice Thursday at Momnivore's Dilemma , Sugar & Spice at seven thirty three , Get Your Brag On at Gluesticks and Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog !


Kate said...

I love these. I would love for one of my students to make me some of these. Thanks for sharing.
I am visiting through your link on Skip to my Lou.
A Southern Lady

Jessica @ O. Alouette said...

Very cute! What a sweet gift idea!

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...


I would have loved these on my desk when I was teaching...

Thanks for linking to Creative Juice Thursday! Hope to see you back again this week.

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea for teachers!

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hi, Erin! I'm admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

aggieam01 said...

LOVE this!!!!!!!!

Pink Ink Doodle said...

this is really cute!! thank you for sharing!