I've been sitting on this post for a couple weeks now because my son's teacher is a personal friend, reads my blog and is also my FB friend so I couldn't share this...It had to be a surprise! We gave the teacher gifts today so I can finally share!
When trying to come up with a fun, creative idea for something this year (I put a lot of thought into teacher gifts because I really want to show our appreciation!) I decided to combine a few things I had seen out on the internet, and put my own spin on it. The first thing I knew I wanted to do was create a dry erase board for the teachers. Who doesn't love/need/want a big dry erase board!? This is where being a professional photographer has its perks as I belong to several pro labs that offer specialized items such as custom dry erase boards in various sizes. The co-head-room-mom, my good buddy Gretchen, and I decided to go with the big 12X18 size.
Our thought process was to incorporate group class pictures I had taken at the beginning of the year along with something personal from the kids onto the dry erase board. The photo strip on the top was easy to put together in Photoshop. I then told Gretchen about something I had seen on Pinterest (my current addiction) which I loved: fingerprint guest signing boards for weddings with special designs using the fingerprints as either balloons attached to a sketched bike or leaves on a sketched tree. The purpose of these guest sign in boards was strictly for weddings but upon seeing it, I had immediately thought about how great it would be to create something using that idea for a teacher gift instead!
I hand sketched a tree using the exact dimensions needed for the future dry erase board (which took me about four tries to get something remotely useable because I am AWFUL at drawing) and then brought the "barren" tree into the classroom (teacher was sent away) and had the kids put their thumbprints (ie: leaves) all over the tree, and signed their name under their "leaf". I then scanned the "sketch", dropped it into my photoshopped file, added some text at the bottom and VOILA! Ordered the dry erase board through Miller's and received it a few days later.
I really think the teachers LOVED them and I'm hoping it's as practical a gift as it is a heart warming one. I've always been more practical than sentimental so I can't help but go for the practical gifts. I'm the gal who bought myself a vacuum cleaner for my birthday one year. Yeah. Anyways, here is the photoshop file of the end result. I added the green stroke around it just to have it stand out against my white background on my blog but there was no stroke on the final product.