Open House Teacher Treat Tutorial

Middle- and high-school teachers tend to get left out of the gift-giving flurry so common in elementary grades, though those teachers are no less deserving of a "thanks" or a "good job!" It's not as easy to come up with gifts, though, so I'm always happy when I find something that suits.

Liquid soap makes a sweet hostess gift and might also work in a k-4 classroom, but for a middle- or high-school teacher's classroom, it's pretty useless, since most don't have access to running water. Nearly every classroom at our high school has a bottle of (teacher-provided) waterless hand sanitizer that they refill from their own funds. (School accounts have been cut drastically this year.)

I decided to gift them a bottle and make it a little special, with an under-$2.25 gift that blesses everybody with an inspirational quote and less sickness all around. (Which is really good news right now, since strep and staph AND the first case of 'flu are rampaging through all three schools here!)

The Learn-as-you-go Tutorial:
1. Cut transparencies to fit bottle.
2. Remove label by hook or crook.
3. Insert transparency.
Or, follow the Learn-From-Somebody-Else's-Mistakes Tutorial...

  1. Decide on your art. Snag the images I've made and used so far here and even more here, or make your own. Just the teacher's name or school logo would be okay, but I've spent many days over the last three years at the school painting inspirational quotes on the walls, and so I chose to continue that trend. You know, to kill germs and bad attitudes at one go.
  2. Measure your bottles of hand sanitizer. I was going to give standard measurements for you, but then I noticed a problem with that plan.  As the week rolled along the project grew from giving something just to the teachers we'd had before to include 14 (!) of 15 teachers this year (We aren't planning to give the ROTC C.O. a bottle...just too weird, I'm afraid.). Since I'd only picked up five bottles to begin with,  I picked up first one and then other bottles of GermX  wherever I happened to be.  Strangely, they turned out to be all different sizes. (I wasted a couple of transparencies on this learning curve before I realized that little fact, but on the bright side, the woman at Office Depot knows me on sight now!) So, measure first, then size your images. You can fit several on one page.
  3. Make a laser transparency or do what I did, go to Office Depot. Shop back-to-school sales while the transparency is being made. Make friends with the nice copy desk lady. Pay her about $1.49 per color transparency.
  4. Remove the label. Not quite as easy as it sounds, allow me to spare you the experimentation!
    • GermX has one paper+vinyl label and one that's pure vinyl. Soak the bottle, paper side down, in really hot soapy water until it's cool enough for you to put your hands in it, about 10 minutes.
    • Use needle-nose pliers to grip the labels and pull s-l-o-w-l-y. The more slowly I pulled, the less adhesive got left behind. I also noticed that if I did it under the warm water, the sticky tended to stick to the vinyl, not the bottle, which saved me work later.
    • Peel s-l-o-w-l-y!
    • Put the now peeled bottle(s) somewhere you won't mind some chemicals going. Spray any leftover adhesive with WD-40. I tried goo-gone and various other products, but they marred the plastic. (I ruined a few bottles trying things out.) Plain old WD-40 worked best.
    • Use a paper towel to wipe any stick-um off (you may have to spray twice), then use dish soap and warm water to get rid of the WD-40. Dry off the bottle.
  5. Trim the transparencies along the black lines. Make sure you trim the bottom as straight as possible so your transparency won't list like a drunken sailor.  You may find you need to trim a little "waist" into the transparency if your bottle dips in at the sides...I did on some, didn't on others.  If you don't, your transparency will curl and the words will be hard to read.
  6. Insert the transparency. Remove the lid/pump. Roll the transparency and drop it in. Use the pump (and/or a skewer) to position it. I put mine along the front, but you could leave it floating in the middle if you wanted.
  7. Replace the lid/pump, wipe any spilled sanitizer. (I used my damaged bottles to add a little extra to each.)
  8. Add a gift tag/bow/note and you're all set!
Creativity? For Art, of course.
Invent the Future--for a Tech Ed class.
The "What a Teacher Is" bottle is for a career class that gives
 high school students the opportunity to teach in elementary schools
before they commit to be an education major.
If you make one (or 15!), I'd love to see! If you're a middle- or high-school teacher, do tell: do you agree this is a cute/appreciated gift?

To see/use all the wordart I included, click here.

Frabjous Day! Submitting this to my first-ever linky party...with thanks to the hostess!

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