Teachers Gifts Part 2

For end of the year teachers gifts, I have been giving “explosion boxes”  for a few years. My son has had one teacher for 3 years and is now moving onto Jr. High so I wanted to give her something a little different.  I came up with a tool box concept and searched for how to do it online.  I came across this file.  I liked the fact that it had a removable top tray to hold the tools with room underneath.  Under the tool tray I was able to fit the actual gift, gift cards with room to spare for a note from myself and my son.


tool box tool box open tool box tools

Oh, and I also made a backpack.


Walk like an Egyptian….Party!

Parties have been sort of easy to pull off in recent years.   Once I realized how to farm them out, we did.  We ran the circuit of indoor bounce houses, bowling and laser tag locations.     This year Braden said he wanted to have a home movie night party.  I told him to let me know what the theme was going to be and after a few days passed, he said wanted an Egyptian themed party honoring the first female pharaoh Hatsheput.

Oooooookay then and how do you even spell that?


By the time I got all that information together I realized that I had to get the invites out that day.

I didn’t have time to do anything really unique with these other than use my mad Word skills and send out by email.


You know what you don’t get at a party store?

Egyptian themed decorations.

 I knew that I needed a focal point and decided on a large painting as a backdrop.

 I found this picture and decided I could take elements from it.

Egypt scene

Food buffet bars are really popular on Pinterest right now.  I went with a popcorn bar for the party.

popcorn bar

There were 3 types of popcorn plus toppings to choose from.


popcorn bar bowls

As for the table, thank all the Egypt mummies that we saved this playmobil set that he got years ago.

I used burlap as the tablecloth.  Being wrinkled made it sort of look like sand.

whole table view




takehome bags




As for the cake, I started out wanting to do a king tut cake.  Then I thought I’d do a pyramid cake.

Honestly, when it came down to it, I sort of ran out of time and ended up dialing it in with a Nile river cake.

Not my best work but you know what?  That’s ok too.

I really had a fun time with this theme.   My other son has a June birthday.  I’m rooting for a carnival party……I guess we’ll see!






Grandinroad Knockoff

Last year I saw this on the Grandinroad website:


Super cute right?  I wanted to use it as my centerpiece but by the time I got around to ordering it?  Gone.

I noticed this year it came back again but it was too late, I already made a copy of it myself and this is how it turned out last year.


Also cute right?

I’ve had many compliments on them and I tell people that I made them but that they can get them from Grandinroad, except they sold out of them again this year.

My friend loved them so much that I decided to make her a set for Christmas this year.   And lucky for you I took pictures along the way in case you want to make your own too.  Actually, that right there is why I don’t craft blog more.  I’m not a “Hey let’s stop and document this” sort of person.  I just like to do it.

These blocks can be made into any word or Holiday theme.  I’m thinking of making a Be Mine one for Valentines.  I just really like cutting wood.




  • Wood- I used pine in 7 1/4 width and 3/4 thickness.  They came in 6 foot planks for $5.  At 6 feet you have enough to make 2 so make one for a friend.
  • White spray paint
  • Red spray paint
  • Darker red craft paint
  • Snowflake stencil (the one I used was Martha Stewart and I liked the 2 different sizes)
  • Stencil Brush
  • Tape
  • Some way to cut the wood.  I used a compound miter saw but you could also use a jig saw.  I suppose you could also buy wood blocks but that might be more expensive.
How To
First cut your wood to the sizes you need.  Mine were as follows:
B — 7 .25″  x 5″
E—  5″ x 5″  (all same)
L— 7.25″  x 2.75″
V—7.25″x 3.5″
So the B,L, and V used the whole width of the wood I had so only one cut for those.  The E,I,V’s had 2 cuts each.
I’d insert a picture of me cutting wood here but safety first.  Also?  Unshowered.
Once you have your wood cut sand down the edges





Now to make the letters. There are a few ways you can go about this.  One way would be to buy letters and stick them on.  Scrapbook stores have adhesives of all shapes and sizes these days.  They also usually have machines that you can use in store for a small fee.   A cricut, Silhouette, or a Sizzix machine would all work.

If you don’t have access to these machines, you can use microsoft word to pick font and then use the outline feature, print them on your paper and then cut them.  The only letter you’re going to have an issue with is the V.  I made mine skinny so it could go on the skinny block.  You can adjust all the sizes to your own liking.

This is a screen shot of what I’m talking about in a Word document. Because you are printing these fairly big, cutting them out is not an issue.


On mine, I actually made a stencil of each letter and then crackle painted them.  For my friends, I decided to cut the letters out and glitter them.  You can’t tell in the pic but they’re really pretty glittered.


My son saw me working on these and he said “Your not fixing the back are you?”   Because I used this as a centerpiece last year, there were going to be people seeing both sides of the blocks.  I didn’t have enough time to finish the back so I just did this with post it’s.


I actually do have time to fix them, but I think I’ll leave them just the way they are.