Student Gifts (are not all they're cracked up to be)

Okay, peeps!!!  I'm going to see Edward and Jacob today!  Finally!  If I could just get Bella out of the picture . . . anyways, I'm not really on one team or another.  I go back and forth depending on who is in the scene.  I'm easily swayed.  If they're both in the scene, I don't really force myself to pick one and I just eat my popcorn.  And milk duds.  And drink my icee.

Yesterday I got stuff done.  It was good.  

I tackled one project that took me about three hours (with breaks for a Lifetime movie called The Perfect Teacher - holy cow, this crazy teenager is hot for her math teacher and she basically sets out to ruin his life.  My little teacher troubles are nothing in comparison!  I just couldn't concentrate on my project).  

I make the gifts for my kids to give to their parents for Christmas.  That's right.  Me.  I know, I know, this is so wrong.  Surely, the kids should do all of the work.  Right?  Then it's all "kid-zy".  I get it.

But a few years ago, I got tired of the Oriental Trading catalog foam stuff that glue does not work on and the kids get frustrated and I have to say, "Hold it and count to 1000 and it will stick!" thirty times (well twenty times because back then, I only had twenty kids.  Can you imagine?) and I had to tell them "No, you cannot wash your hands yet because we have more gluing to do so why would you wash your hands now?!  Go back to your seat!"  I'm getting tense just thinking about it.  

I tried a variety of projects.  None that I remember.

And then a kinder teacher showed us her nifty little idea and that's what I do now.  I consider it more of a present from ME to the parents as a little bribe thank you for their support.  I get big thanks from the parents every year.  It's a KEEPSAKE, people.  It will not end up in the circular file (I hope, anyway).   I do have my kids make a cute reindeer card and the gift bag for the gift.  And they help me wrap.  Plus they make a bunch of crafts at our Winter Party that they take home as gifts, too.  Have I convinced you yet?  I sure hope so because the energy this is taking to come up with valid reasons for doing my kids' gifts is quite exhausting.  You could have already started yours.  Stop looking at me like that.

Here's all you need:

Okay, I'm kind of lying.  That's not all you need.  You have to take pictures of your kids first and then insert their cute little faces into THIS template or another kind of template.  For example, wreaths.  But I couldn't find a wreath with an actual OPEN CENTER causing me lots of grief and utter frustration and a fruitless search online for special graphic programs with no success. (Please do not leave me a comment saying you know how to do this.  Please wait at least two days minimum and then you can.)
Once you've inserted their faces, print them on regular paper and take them to Staples or some such place and get a copy printed on color transparencies.  You could buy the whole box but it's super expensive.  If you end up buying the whole box, can you please leave me a comment and let me know which school district you work for and if they are hiring.  Thankyouverymuch.

Once you've got all of your "transparencied" pictures cut out, you're good to go.  Do not cut off the tab.  You need that so it will stick up in the neck of the ornament and then your picture won't fall over.  Tears and snot. Tantrums and howls. Trial and error, people.

1.  Take off the top thingamajig of the ornament.
2.  Pour sequins (or glitter - I've used glitter before) into the neck of the ornament.  Or nothing.
3.  Roll up the little picture so it's skinny enough to slide into the neck of the ornament.
4.  Put the top thingamajig back on.
5.  Tie a bow.

This is what you get.  I used a picture of me but I wished I had taken one of my pup instead.  I could have given it to the hubby this year as a gift.

This little cutie is Rohen.  He is in my class, but his mom is one of my
good friends so she could I could put his picture on my blog.
And - BONUS - he's a TWIN!

Can you tell?  I'm transparent.  I'm inside the ball.  INSIDE.  Every year, I have one or two DIY parents ask me how this is done.  You can change this to meet your needs in any way you want.  I tend to stick with blue and silver so that it's not too Christmas-y in case I have families who don't celebrate.  But you could do anything!  I also add the year at the bottom of the pic with a text box.  And, like I said, you could put their faces inside of wreaths or something.  

So that's what I do.  These are the presents that my kids give to their parents.  They do pose for the pictures so that's something, right?

If you want the template, go to {this post} for the link.  But that template works for the smaller balls (that makes me a laugh a little) so if you get a different size, you'll need a different template.   

****Also, please, please, please, I have no idea where this came from except that one of our Kinder teachers gave us the idea, but I am in no way saying that this was my idea, so please don't turn me into the Idea Police.****

All right.  Well, I am running late for my date with a vampire and a werewolf so I'll see you later.  

ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!!!  And if I don't talk to you tomorrow, it's because it's Thanksgiving and my family told me to join the land of the living.  So Happy Thanksgiving and please know that I am truly thankful for all of my new friends in the virtual world.  Really.  In an almost weird way but let's not talk about that.  We'll just say:



  1. I do almost the same thing...but I just use the regular picture, I cut it into a circle...slid it in, etc...but in the back of the picture (that is white-back of photo) I stuff crumbled up tissue paper...then I let the kids use their finger tips to put polka dots on that side (red and green usually) I think your ornament is adorable! =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. Very cute! I totally agree about the Oriental trading crafts. I gave up on them this year. It's so much easier to do my own stuff and it saves me tons of stress.

    Swimming into Second

  3. You are amazing!! I have given up the stress of the foam gifts and have been searching for something special like this! We (my team) also make a book with their handprints on each page like a wreath, tree reindeer etc. with a cute rhyme they copy and that is a definite keepsake but this would be better!! Thanks so much and I really appreciate teachers like you sharing.

  4. I can totally relate to the constant "Glue and hold it" comments. Total frustration.


    Yearn to Learn Blog

  5. Of course, I'm the reader who focuses more on the Edward and Jacob comment. Ha! I went to see it last night with a couple teacher friends. LOVED IT! It was a cheesy as the first 3 and everything I hoped it would be. =) I hope you enjoy it too..and yes, I might be using your idea for a gift this year. too cute!

    Kinder Kraziness

  6. wow this is adorable! im so tired of oriental trading too!!

  7. Those ornaments are so cute!! Also, I am going to see Twilight on Saturday and I cannot WAIT!!


  8. Love your ornaments! Super cute and creative! I LOVED Breaking Dawn - saw it at Midnight showing (my kids and husband said I was crazy! especially since I had school on Friday!)
    Crayons and Curls

  9. We have a color copier in the district office. Can I print the pictures with that on regular transparency paper. I have some left over from years ago.

  10. I love this idea!!! This is super super cute!! I bet parents just love this gift! Thanks for sharing. And oooooh baby I saw B.D. last night and it was great!! I have been team Edward up until last night and I flipped to team Jacob. But the whole imprinting on a baby???? A little weird in my book! ;)
    Teaching First

  11. Love it! These are gorgeous! I'd love to have the template!

    Primary Inspired

  12. I'm so glad to see how these ornaments are made. Several years ago a parent made them for another teacher's class. I've always wanted to try them but didn't know how. She printed her pictures in black and white on photo paper and used red ribbon, I think.

  13. I've awarded you a Sunshine Award. My post is here.


    Twilight was oh so good!! I loved every cheesy bit!

  14. I love that idea. I know our color copier will print on the transparencies, so that would help with the cost. Thanks for the idea.

  15. LOL! I love your borrowed idea and I would rather make the present than deal with the kids too. We usually glue puzzles together to make a frame but last year mine turned out ugly (just being honest) so we are doing the foam thing. If that fails, I am jumping on the transparency band wagon. Happy THANKSGIVING!!

  16. Ok, so I totally cracked up throughout your post, and I'm completely sold! So how do I get that template?


    Happy Thanksgiving!



  17. That's a very cool idea. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I can't even remember what we did as gifts last year. Hmmm, guess it wasn't too memorable;)
    Grade ONEderful

  18. Love this idea...going to Michael's to look for the ornaments. Would love to have the template. Thanks for a great idea,even if it didn't start with you! ;0)


  19. Those ornaments are awesome Kristin!!! They're so pretty and meaningful--definitely something parents will keep forever!

    I cracked up about that Lifetime movie...haven't seen that one yet, but, we just had our last day of school yesterday (and it was excruciatingly long!!) so last night my sister and I just sat and watched Lifetime movies. I haven't watched them in an eon and it was totally therapeutic...the last one we watched was particularly horrible (acting) but just as riveting--hahaha!


  20. This is really cute and will be soo meaningful to the parents! I would love to have the template! Thanks so much for sharing! I love to read your blog! Sooo funny!



  21. I LOVE this idea. While I do not do much of the foam stuff (my class moms tend to for the parties because they haven't learned yet:-)), I do make sure there is a photo ornament in their collection of all my "traditional" holiday projects every year. Since I used to do a personalized apple ornament as a gift from me to the children and haven't been able to in years since I can't find them; I may finally have a replacement.

    Thank you!!!! I would love the template.

  22. I would like your template for the Christmas ornaments. I actually made these years ago for grandparents. It's hard to get the picture the right size. I used transparencies for ink jet printers.

  23. Wooooo fancy! Very adorable! My ornaments are so cheesy and lame in comparison : /

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  24. I would like the template too, please.


  25. Thank you so much for sharing all your great ideas. You are so kind to do so. I would also love to have the template.
    Love, love, love your blog!!!


  26. Totally cute! I love it ...and I laughed all the way through your post! I can totally relate to the stress of FOAM and GLUE...and the grouchiness that comes with it! Must have been designed by a teacher hater! LOL
    Rockin' Teacher Materials

  27. I love this idea. Please send me the template. I am going today to find the ornaments. Thanks for your great blog.


  28. What a great idea! I would love to try something new this year. Would you mind sharing your template? If you are Emailing, my address is kendralr@yahoo.com I love your blog!

  29. Oh, I just refreshed and the template was there! THANKS!

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  31. I just stumbled upon your blog, and I love it! Fantastic info, seriously hilarious and fun personality, and for this I thank you.

  32. I just found this on Pinterest. I totally relate to everything you said. Very cute craft! Thanks for doing the experimenting for us. :)

  33. Just found this project! Super adorable.

  34. I love this! Can you please send me the template as well? spk72608@gmail.com

    Thank you!!

  35. Hello again! I tried to use your template today, but since it is a pdf, there is no way to "insert" student pictures. Is there any way I could get you to Email it to me?? Thanks in advance!! kendralr@yahoo.com

  36. Just have to say THANKS for the great gift idea! We made these for parent gifts this year and the kids LOVED them! They really turned out cute! Lots of great comments from other staff members who heard about our class making these, too. :)

  37. like the idea...Very impressive...Thanks for sharing.
    Send Gifts To Pakistan From Australia.

  38. I love this idea, including making it myself! Having the kids make the gifts is never fun for anyone. I have already horded the glitter from the supply closet and bought the ornaments. Is the template still available? Thanks for the inspiration!

  39. I love this idea! I just found it on Pinterest. Could I please have the template? fettera@baycityacademy.com

    Thank you!

  40. Great idea! May I please have the template? Thanks so much.

    Thanks so much!

  41. Hi! I just came across this on Pinterest and was wondering if you still have the template?? If so, could I please have it? I have done these in the past and it's super hard to get the size right! Thanks! staceyv7@gmail.com

  42. Thank you for sharing! I am excited to do this with my class. May I have the template? stb2002@netzero.net

  43. Super cute!! I was also wondering if you could share the template. Thank you!

  44. Okay... first of all, you are hilarious! Your post caught my eye because I've been doing almost the same ornament as holiday gifts for a few years. But yours? So much more awesome! I too braved the cold and crowds to purchase my ornaments from Michaels during break. Like you, I have learned through experience that the plastic ones are way better and avoid additional trips (both back to Michael's for more ornaments or the ER for stitches...) I usually put fake snow in mine but love the sequins! And the transparency? Genius!!! Not to mention the knobby thing so the picture doesn't tip. You made my day! Now I'm almost glad that I'm home sick today because otherwise we would have been starting this project today. You made my day :-)

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  46. So cute! Is there an advantage to using the transparencies instead of cardstock or photo paper? Do the others curl? Glass or plastic ornaments? Thank you!