Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of Year Teacher Gifts

Tomorrow is Emily's last day of 2nd grade. Can you believe it?? I can't. Gonna go cry now..
Anyway, I wanted to do something special for her teacher Mrs. Feeney. I had the idea to make a personalized print with quotes she might use and are very common with teachers but nothing to sweet and generic; I wanted funny. I asked my sister and my friend Jennifer in Japan (both teachers) what are some fun things teachers are always saying to students. I also grilled Emily about what are Mrs. Feeney's favorite things to say (she was not much  help by the way. She spends 7.5 hours/5 days a week with this woman and she can't tell me one thing she likes to say...). So a list was compiled (of funny and generic sayings) and I started working on it. Then one day I looked over at my giant pretzels drying and thought, what better gift to give a teacher living in Bavaria, Germany than a Giant Pretzel for her wall!! I was sooooo excited by it! More so than the personalized print. I even went on the hunt for the perfect Bavarian/Oktoberfest blue and white check ribbon (

She gave both gifts to her teacher today and I am told they were well received:)
Below is how I dried and sealed the pretzels so skip this part if 
you are not searching google for how to preserve bread! I didn't have a lot of luck when I googled it so I thought I'd share my experiment. My 1st batch was done by spraying the pretzels with clear sealer. They eventually over dried out and fell apart. This second attempt using clear sealer in a can, done on 6 pretzels, has so far held up nicely.
*I had a German bakery make a giant pretzel (about 15"x12") then I left it to dry for about 7 days (just laying on the kitchen counter and flipped once during this time so the bottom isn't soggy from sitting. I figured they were completely dried out once I couldn't press down on them and feel the pretzel give). Then I used a matt indoor/outdoor shellac bought in the aisle that had sealants for wood and other things. 
The can is German and this is what the translation on it is:
indoor/outdoor, clear matt, excellent running, shock and impact resistant, solvent-based . 
I coated the pretzels front and back heavily with a brush and in a large unused litter box lined with a trash bag for easy clean up. I also wore gloves. Then stuck tacks in the bottom of the pretzels to keep them up and off the ground while drying and laid them on wax paper to dry. I let them dry about 24 hours then did a 2nd coat. after another 24 hours I flipped the pretzels so the bottoms could dry. Take the tacks out when you flip them--before they dry. After they are dry check to make sure all cracks are filled and you should be good to go!

Ava at school|Super dirty knees|With her BF in the background
Below are photos from the Flossenburg Castle Ruins about 20 minutes or so from the Czech border. There is also Flossenburg concentration camp here as well. 

Friday we fly to Scotland for 4 days!! 


Anonymous said...

I think that the teacher gifts are amazing and so much more thoughtful than an amazon gift card (which btw I got a few and loved too)...honestly they would have made me cry, which of course you know is not hard to do. Her teacher is blessed that you took so much time considering what she might LOVE in the years to come. JennyBean

Jocelyn Clarin Richards said...

I want to be Emily's teacher just so that I can get these kinds of gifts from you too. I think I'm going back to school to get a teaching credential. 😜 Seriously though, the stuff you made is super cute. I love "eyes on me!" 😊 The pictures of the girls are gorgeous.

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