Saturday, May 23, 2009

they're not knit, but...

the NO DEADLINE KNITTING resolution has reared its ugly head. and because of that happy notion, i have done my teacher gifts for the year. i am shocking myself with my level of preparedness. there are 2.5 weeks before school is over, and i am DONE!

i want to share my $ saving project. it involves a few steps i have been working on for a while:

1. saving all of that paper that comes home from school printed on one side, that you read and throw away. i've done that since september.

2. using credit card "miles" to "purchase" gift cards. our credit card points redemption website has $50 border's cards, and $10 starbucks cards. and, other than paying out the points (which we rack up no matter what!), all those cards are free! i would have spent over $250 on the cards i am giving away if i had bought them at retail.

3. finding a cute website and persuading my kids to write thank you notes

so while i recognize that this info may be useless to you at this time of year, maybe it will inspire you for next year.

so, number 1.
i have long been resentful (oh, yeah, look at me) of the sheer quantity of one-sided paper that arrives from school. i read it, i threw it away. so i decided to save it this year. i QUICKLY developed a large pile of scratch paper. it's been great. i print patterns on it, i print lists on it, kids use it for paper airplanes. i have decided to use it for teacher gifts, and to make simple personalized note pads from these vast mountains of scratch paper. here's how:

start saving paper ;-). what will you do with this 1st grade homework list after the week is over? make a snappy notepad, of course! and big giant costco cheerios boxes? something needs to support that snappy notepad...

cut the paper in half, and cut the cereal box to 5.5" x 8.5":

get together with the kids, and come up with a cute poem that uses the teacher's name, and format it in word. print those half pages out.

clip everything together with binder clips, and glue the top edge with rubber cement. i find it works best to sort of shove the rubber cement down into the paper edges.

clip the top of that note pad and wait for about 1/2 hour, until the rubber cement dries, slap on another coat, let that dry, peel off the top page (it's a bit messy, in my case) and call it done!

all right, that takes care of a little something extra-personal for the teachers, but what about the school nurses? office staff? RSP? OT?

number 2:

no cost gift cards! there is no way to take an interesting picture of $50 borders cards (teachers, nurses) or $10 starbucks cards (everyone else) but suffice to say that i make excellent use of my visa for EVERYTHING (including my phone bill), racking up points for this very occasion.

number 3:

check out this cute website. you can download a pdf that allows you to print this sweet envelope on whatever paper you have around (i used 8.5x11" photo paper). adorable notepaper sheets are included, along with instructions (duh):

get those kids to write a thoughtful note, use simple glue-on picture corners to affix the gift card to the envelope, and you're all set!

so there's a touch of homeyness and personalization for the teachers, who deserve the most effort, and a bit of that also for EVERYONE else who has helped us this year. it's been a hard one, and they deserve a ton of thanks.

there you go! back to knitting...


h2o said...

i LOVE this! i'm already trying to figure out when i could do this! maybe i could just pay YOU to do them for me... :') --sheepish grin... eli

Rachel May said...

Rubber cement? That's genius! I will definitely be messing with that idea soon....I hate wasting paper too-yuck.