Sunday, May 08, 2016

Keys to Our Success: Volunteer Appreciation Gift Idea

With only fifteen days left in the school year, and despite the many, many activities and events packed into those busy days, it's important to remember and thank parent volunteers and teacher aides for all of the time, effort, and in my case, helpful humor that they contributed on behalf of students during the year.

In years past I've given summer flowers, bookmarks, handmade star charms (for my Super Stars) or photos of my class (in decorated picture frames) to the sweet parents, families and aides who helped us carve pumpkins, cover shoe boxes with butcher paper for valentine mailboxes, pulled workbook pages, and transported our lunches in their own vehicle for field trips.  This year, I returned to the star charm idea, but decided to make key/purse/zipper fobs instead:

I cut one inch by one inch squares of scrapbook paper (dark blue with cream stars and denim print) along with glittery heart and star punches.  These will be encased in one inch by one inch glass pieces.

I cut my copper tape using pinking/deckle scissors to make a decorative edge.  This will give the soldered finish along the front of the charm a nice design.

I carefully wrapped the copper tape around each charm, and burnished the edges with a bone folder:

After brushing on the flux (from the yellow tin in the photo) and mounting the charms in the jaws of the jewelry stand, I soldered v-e-r-y carefully using my soldering wand.

Interesting factoid: when solder touches your bare skin, it's so hot that for the very briefest of moments, it feels ~cold~.  Afterward, ouchie, ouchie, ouchie.  

Here are the charms before I added the jump rings (metal loops for a necklace chain or fob):

... and after:

Here are the finished fobs, to be given to the volunteers and aides who were the KEYS to our successes and enjoyment this year!

I'd love to know how you thank and celebrate your parent volunteers and aides!  Leave a comment and let me know (and hang in there, the end of the school year is in sight)!

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