Saturday, June 12, 2010

end-of-year teacher gifts

since school is now done for another year, a couple weeks ago i started thinking about what i should do for thank you gifts for our kids' fabulous teachers this year. since i am a procrastinator, i didn't really get started until just a couple days ago. so, just in the nick of time, i finished putting them together. another year behind us, the time sure flies by . . .

i usually like to make something unique, useful and personal for those people who invest so much in the lives of our precious kiddos and this year i came up with this::
handmade laundry soap in fun {upcycled . . . or is it just recycled? reused maybe? i really don't know!} etched glass containers that read either "clean" or "wash" {and in one case both!} that i did here and there throughout much of tuesday this week {i etched the containers and made the laundry powder myself} and also some handmade soaps from the local blue heron soap company which i picked up at the farmer's market {i love the farmers market!} -- our family soap of choice is goat milk soap {we LOVE it}, but i wanted something local for our teachers. i attached cute little tags to each gift that say "have some good, clean fun this summer". {i was pretty proud of myself for coming up with that one. creativity with words is not usually my strong suit.}

i love gifts that are useful and consumable. and, for me, if it's unique and handmade that is even better! most of us don't need one more "thing" in our homes to clutter things up. right? and i figured most of the teachers were probably full-up on apple printed "#1 teacher" coffee mugs. i'm quite confident that each of the recipients who will be got these both bathes and does laundry, so hopefully they will find it useful . . . and all the more in the summer when so much time is spent outside. especially if you are a teacher and have the summer off!

so, that's what i've been working on . . . along with some shower invitations and a big order of wedding invitations that i hope to finish over the weekend and a baby gift and another wedding gift that i helped my mom to make . . . there's so much creating to be done! i love it!


  1. As a teacher who gets waaaay too many apple mugs and Starbucks gift cards, I LOVE this gift and wish I worked at your kids' school! Great idea, beauty*full presentation. Just fabulous!

  2. You are too clever! I love this.

  3. I love this idea! There are so many recipes out there for laundry powder. Do you mind sharing your recipe? Thank you so much and have a great day!
    dlbeisel @ gmail dot com

  4. lucky teachers. Your gifts I am sure will be much appreciated. I think this is my first time at your blog. Would you be interested in sharing your laundry soap recipe with us all?

  5. since you asked, here goes:

    Here's the recipe that I use . . . after hunting around quite a bit, the recipes seemed to basically all be pretty similar, so I went with:

    2 cups grated castile bar soap (I used Dr. Bronners in peppermint. I really like Dr. Bronners soap and there are a few different natural scents, or one with no scent at all -- but you wouldn't have to use Dr. Bronners, there are other brands out there too, I just find that they sell the Dr. Bronners in many places I shop anyway and the other kinds I would have to work a little harder to find. It takes not quite 2 whole bars to get 2 cups of soap. I didn't grate mine by hand, I just stuck it in our mini food processor)
    1 cup baking soda
    1 cup washing soda (also called soda ash sometimes, found in the laundry section of most grocery stores)
    1 cup Borax (also found in the laundry section of most every place that sells laundry stuff)

    Just mix it all together and you're done. It will yield 5 cups (duh, since 2+1+1+1 is 5) which will do roughly 40 loads of laundry. You use about 2 tablespoons per load (2 tablespoons is the same as 1/8 cup, FYI). You can obviously adjust the amount per load based on how dirty your stuff is or how big your load, just like you would do with whatever product you wash your clothes with otherwise. It gets regular laundry really clean, but isn't the best for stuff that's really stained. Try to pretreat or scrub it out before you stick it in the wash. Otherwise, I hang my laundry in the sun on the clothesline, which is fabulous for stain removal!

    Hope that helps!


  6. You are so sweet and thoughtful! I am a teacher and (though I do not need any gifts) it is so sweet when parents think enough of you to get you something. And when it is homemade it is so much better!

  7. I've never thought about giving this as gift! What a great idea! I've also given homemade baby wipes as gifts at baby showers and moms usually love them.

  8. Great gift idea! I totally agree on the consumable and practical gift idea. Most teachers don't get paid exorbitantly anyway, so something practical perfect. It would also make a great wedding shower gift. So cute!


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