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I’m very excited it’s Back to School time. Whether they admit it or not, I know my kids like going to school with the routine and seeing friends every day. My preschooler cannot wait for school to start again. This year she’s going into 4 year olds, and she’s thrilled that most of her friends from last year will be back.
My oldest is in high school, and it can be hard to send gifts to several teachers I don’t really get to know. Usually I send boxes or cellophane bags of homemade treats at Christmas and the end of the year. However, for my youngest two, with just two teachers, I send gifts at different times of the year just as a thank you.
One such time is at the beginning of the year. While school supplies are at such great prices right now, I headed to Office Max for Sharpies, Papermate pens, and Mr. Sketch markers for supplies to make teacher gifts for the upcoming year.
While supplies last you can save $5 Off your purchase of $20 or more on Select Newell Rubbermaid Brands (PaperMate, Expo Neon Window Markers, Sharpie, Uni-Ball, & Mr. Sketch). And, there’s a sale this week (Aug 17-23): All Sharpie Singles are $0.25! W00t! Who doesn’t love gathering a collection of Sharpie colors?? Don’t forget to sign up for Office Depot Rewards before you go!
This year, I made flower pen bouquets, but the flowers are actually coffee filters that I colored with Sharpies and then dipped in alcohol. It’s actually a lot of fun and your kids can help in dyeing the coffee filters.
Coffee Filter Flower Pens
- Coffee filters – basket type not cone
- Colored sharpies
- Rubbing alcohol – at least 70%
- Green masking tape
- Capped pens
- plastic cups
- 24 oz wide mouth mason jar (or other “vase”)
- Download the FREE PRINTABLE tag here
1. First, dye the filters. Fill a small plastic cup about 1/8th of the way with alcohol.
2. Stack 6-7 coffee filters, color as much as of the very top filter as you’d like. Then, flip it over and color the back filters. Make sure to color the very center and to color the edges.
3. Fold into fourths and dip the top edges and the center into the alcohol. Let it sit for a second to absorb the alcohol at both ends. You’ll want the alcohol to travel from both sides and meet.
4. Then, open them up, set aside, and allow to dry.
Here is a visual tutorial:
5. Once the filters are dry, separate them into 2 piles of 3 filters each.
6. Fold each pile into fourths. Cut one into a flower shape trimming about 1/2 inch off the edge. For the second, cut it into a flower shape, but trim 1-1 1/2 inches from the edge. You want one larger than the other.
7. Open them up, and place the smaller pile on top of the larger one.
8. Then, in the very middle, overlap the middle just slightly and staple it in the back. (check the pictures below)
9. Lay the pile down in front of you, it should not lie completely flat at this point because of the staple. Begin with the very center filter and pull it up and crumple it just a bit around the center to begin the flower. Do each coffee filter layer this way working from inward to out.
10. Now your flower is formed, tape it to keep its shape. Form a small knob on the underside of the coffee filters. Then, tape around it to keep the shape and form a small stem.
11. Turn the pens into flower stems and attach the flowers. Remove the cap and wrap green masking tape, begin about 1/2 inch from the top of the pen (to allow the cap to still fit), all the way to the bottom of the pen.
12. Hold the flower on the bottom of the pen and wrap from the top of the stem of the flower down to about 1 inch on the pen.
13. Flip the flower upside down and add 3 pieces of tape down to the pen. It makes it more secure and it looks like the stem opening onto the flower.
14. Now recap the pens, and tie together in a bouquet with tulle.
15. To put the gift together, I used a 24 oz wide mouth mason jar and filled it with Mr. Sketch markers. (Love those! They smell so yummy!)
16. Then, I wrapped two colors of tulle around, added my printable tag, and finally placed the flowers on top. (Download the Free Printable tag up at the supplies)