Teacher Gift Petal Bag Giveaway

teacher appreciation gift bags

Are you desperate for one of the petal bags I have been mass producing? Enter TheRoomMom giveaway to win a fabulous Teacher Manicure Set! The giveaway ends Friday, April 4 at noon (EST). Two winners will be selected.

teacher appreciation gift bag

  • Click on this Entry-Form link to enter the giveaway!
  • Winners receive one drawstring petal bag containing clear nail polish, nail clippers, tweezers, and an emery board. Keep it for yourself or give it to your child’s teacher and become the #1 room parent.

Entry Form Information

  • The entry form links to TheRoomMom on Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Click the social media links in the entry form and complete the regular “like” or “follow” procedures on the sites directly. Then submit the entry form after you complete the like or follow. Just hitting submit does not create a follow or like.
  • Already following TheRoomMom? You can leave a comment below and enter the name you used to comment in the entry form. You can enter a new comment every 24 hours and submit another entry form creating more chances for you to win.
  • All likes, follows, and comments are “verified” at the end of the contest, and the two winners will be randomly selected.

teacher appreciation petal bag giveaway



Petal Gift Bags

teacher appreciation gift bags

In my last post, I mentioned how I needed a crafty project to keep me busy on my spring break from school, and I started sewing petal pouches. “Crafty project” is really code for I-will-disappear-for-2-days-and-ignore-my-family-except-to-feed-them-while-I-get-lost-in-a-project.

Here is how it went down. I made two bags for a teacher appreciation gift I had in mind using materials I had on hand. Miss Priss and Mr. Star Wars wanted a bag too, so we bought some additional fabric and ribbon and made 2 of the large petal bags for them. I now had a small collection. The collection looked unfinished since I had not tried the smallest size bag possible in the pattern. I made two more bags in the mini size. Now, I had a set, but the set would be broken when I gave some of the bags away as gifts. I returned to Hobby Lobby for more material determined to make enough bags for a personal set and have some spares for gifts (and a giveaway??).

petal bag collection

Jump to today. Petal bags cover my dining room table. I do have enough for my own set and some for gifts, so I am starting to relax a little just in time for school to start again tomorrow. These are my plans for the bags…

teacher appreciation gift bag

Teacher Appreciation Gift: School Manicure Set

  • clear fingernail polish (so it can be used to stop a run in your tights, fix a fraying shoelace, or other classroom emergencies)
  • nail clippers (great for snagged nails during the day)
  • tweezers (just in case someone gets a splinter)
  • emery board

tween gift bag

Tween Gift: Trendy Manicure Set

  • fingernail polish in “ice cream” colors
  • nail clippers
  • emery board
  • nail art stickers
  • Emi-Jay-like hair ties (in the mini bag)

baby gift bag

Baby Gift: Diaper Bag Dopp Kit

  • pacifier
  • Aquaphor
  • travel Q-tips
  • baby nail clippers
  • travel baby wipes

dog treat gift bag

Pet Gift: Dog Treat Bag

  • dog treats

TheRoomDog’s best friend is on the injured list, and we haven’t been able to get the dogs together for vigorous playdates, which greatly reduce TheRoomDog’s need for other activity– like eating pencils. We are trying to deliver the get well gift before the treats are gone. (Bad dog, Birdie.)

dog treat gift bag birdie


Petal Bags

petal bag 3 sizesI am on spring break this week and since we just replaced our HVAC unit AND my 11-year old car, an out-of-town vacation was not in the budget. I needed a crafty project to keep me busy. I had this little Valori Wells pattern from my Christmas stocking last year (that would be 15 months ago), and I thought it would be a good time to try it.

petal bag pattern cardMy sewing skills are limited, and I only attempt patterns with minimal steps and straight stitches. The petal bag project met my expertise level, so I started with two medium sized bags– so cute. I shared with Miss Priss and Mr. Star Wars. They wanted one each, so we headed to Hobby Lobby for more fabric and ribbon (against my better judgement). Eight hours later, I had made a bag in every size. I made a bag for everyone in my house. I made a bag for the dog and the neighbor’s dog. I made bags for teacher gifts. They assemble pretty quickly, and it is so fun to pick the coordinating fabrics; I can hardly contain myself.

petal bag blue medium size



  • To make the large bag, cut two 18″ squares in two different fabrics.

petal bag cutting fabric

  • Place the two squares of fabric right sides together. Stitch around all edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a 3″ opening along one edge.

petal bag trim corners

  • Trim fabric from the corners.

petal bag turn out

  • Turn the fabric to the right side, push corners out, flatten edges, and press with an iron.

petal bag slip stitch opening

  • Slip stitch the 3″ opening closed.

petal bag fold corners

  • Fold down the 4 corners of the square to create the petals and press. The petal should be 5″ on both sides of the fold, so the petal will be square and even. The fabric that you want on the outside of the bag should be facing up. The fabric you want as the petals will be seen when you fold the corners over.

petal bags sew channels

  • To form the casing, stitch 1/2″ from the folded edge beginning at the edge of the bag. Backstitch to secure the petals.

petal bag thread cord

  • Cut two lengths of ribbon or cord ~26″ each. Beginning on one side, thread one ribbon through the 4 petals and tie the two ends together. Start at the opposite side of the bag and thread the second ribbon through the 4 petals. Tie the ends together.

petal bag drawstring threaded

  • Pull both drawstrings to create the petal bag.

petal bag lego men

Uses: You may be asking yourself what one might do with umm, I don’t know… say 13 petal bags. I have many ideas.

  • The large bag is perfect for holding Lego men.
  • The medium bag is a great place to keep American Girl doll shoes and socks.
  • The medium bag is a nice size to hold dog treats and poop bags while you are on a walk.
  • The mini size is made for hair bands.
  • The large bag would work well as a cosmetics bag when traveling.
  • The large bag works like a “hat” when you hold drawings for winners, or Bingo pieces, or student names in the classroom.
  • The large bag would be perfect for a mini manicure set for a teacher gift.

petal bag American Girl shoes


  • I’ve listed the basic instructions for the largest bag. I recommend ordering the little pattern card to get the measurements for the small and medium sized bags and for more specific directions (with diagrams!).
  • Use ~6 extra inches of ribbon length than what is called for in the pattern to make it easier to thread the drawstrings.

petal bag cord end

  • Wrap clear tape around the edges of the ribbon (like the end of a shoestring) and put a safety pin through the ribbon and tape. This will help thread and keep edges from fraying. Push, wiggle, then pull the fabric back to work the safety pin through the drawstring channel.
  • If you use this as a dog treat bag, use picnic tablecloth material as the lining, so it can be wiped clean easily.

petal bag dog treatsWhat would you do with your petal bags?

Miniature Worlds

the doll people

Mr. Star Wars’ teacher just finished reading The Doll People as a read aloud to his class. Mr. Star Wars promptly checked out the sequel, The Meanest Doll in the World, and read it in one sitting. It reminded me of other miniature world stories that I loved when I was his age. The Borrowers and The Indian in the Cupboard were my favorites. In these books, there are mini characters living in a regular-sized world. I think the technical name for this genre is “enchanted reality” but I might be making that up. I wanted to create a book list of all of the great miniature world books, but it turns out there really are not that many that I have read– or could find. So, I guess it is fitting that I have a miniature list of books.

indian in the cupboard

  • Awfully Short for the Fourth Grade by Elvira Woodruff
  • The Borrowers (and sequels) by Mary Norton
  • Castle in the Attic (and sequels) by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • The Doll People (and sequels) by Martin and Godwin
  • The Indian in the Cupboard (and sequels) by Lynne Reid Banks
  • Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager
  • The Littles (and sequels) by John Peterson
  • The Minpins by Roald Dahl
  • The Wednesday Witch by Ruth Chew (out of print– locate a used copy through Amazon or search your local library)

I considered adding books like The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary and The Rescuers by Margery Sharp because they have small animals doing human things in a regular sized world. I feel that a book like that fits into animal fantasy better. What do you think? What great books would you add to the miniature world list?

the mouse and the motorcycle

Sick Day

missed work page

Just about every kid illness has swept my class this year. Since December, students missed school due to the flu, strep, a throw-up virus, fever virus, that unnamed “yuck” stuff where a child does not run a fever but can barely get his head up off the desk, and lice. I have also had absences for a variety of other reasons.

Student absences fall into two categories. Teachers are tolerant about the first group and get irritated about the other. Make-up work is hard on students and teachers. Students never perform as well completing work days after the rest of the class finished it. Logistically, teachers hate tracking the make-up work, and things get overlooked. Bottom line, if it is at all possible to have your kids at school, get them there.

Excused Absences: An excused absence is typically due to illness where a child is running a fever, and a doctor note can be provided. At my school, excused absences also include a close family member’s wedding (or funeral), religious holidays, and family emergencies.

  1. If parents let the school know about the absence first thing in the morning, most teachers have a MISSED WORK form. They can gather missed assignments and send it home with a sibling, a neighbor, or leave it at the school’s front desk where a parent can pick it up at the end of the day.
  2. Do not expect make-up work before the end of the day. It takes almost the same amount of time I spend teaching a lesson to gather books, make a list of assignments, and provide teacher notes.
  3. If a parent requests make-up work be left at the front office, the parent better PICK IT UP. I have arrived at school the day following a student absence to see the pile of books still sitting on the counter in the office. I’m pissed. Organizing sick assignments usually takes an entire planning period. When parents do not collect the work, it makes me feel like they do not have respect for my limited time during the day.
  4. If we send work home with a sibling or neighbor, ATTEMPT TO DO THE WORK (see #3). I have kids return from an absence all the time telling me they did not even look at the assignment sheet I carefully completed.
    • Sometimes there are situations where students aren’t able to complete any assignments that go home. Contact the teacher and make arrangements to complete any missed work when the child returns. Don’t make the teacher go through the trouble of creating the make-up work packet when you know it is not possible for the child to do any of the work.
  5. Finish missed work as soon as possible. Typically, students have one day for each day absent to complete any work. If a student was sick for two days, he can have two days when he returns to complete all missed work. The longer it takes to catch up, the more opportunity there is to get further behind.

Unexcused Absences: Unexcused absences are things like family vacations, checking out of school early for a long weekend, spending the day having a passport picture taken, or driving 100 miles for a Taylor Swift concert because it is your birthday.

  1. If the absence is planned ahead, and the teacher is notified, the student may have to complete any assignments or take any tests he will miss before leaving (if it is convenient for the teacher). Otherwise, the work will be made up the day the student returns. OR, the work will not be made up at all, and the student may receive a zero.
  2. Do not ask the teacher if a student will be missing anything important. YES, HE WILL. There is no way to replicate instruction when students are not in school. Even if teachers do give the page numbers from a textbook, it will never be the same as participating in the class discussion, listening to the explanation, or completing an activity with the group.
  3. Do not expect a list of assignments before you leave. If you want to take your family to Disney World at a non-peak time (which happens to be when school is in session), I am not responsible for making sure you have school materials before you leave. There is another reason too. I do not plan weeks ahead. I have a general idea of what will happen the next week in my class, but I never know for sure until the day before. I might give work to a student ahead of time, and by the time he returns, our class plans have changed based on student performance and interest. I may have replaced an activity with something different or decided to reorder lessons based on student responses. The classroom adjusts all the time.

Getting Sick at School

  1. In my experience, the students who are really sick and need to be sent home won’t say very much. They get very quiet, stop participating, want to wear a coat or big sweater in the classroom, and don’t move very much. When this happens, my antenna goes up, and I run a mom check for illness.
  2. Kids who complain a lot about not feeling well usually should have eaten more breakfast, need a drink of water, need lunch, have a missing assignment, did not prepare for a test, or want to get out of class and visit the school office.
  3. I am unlikely to let a kid go home unless they are running a fever, have (confirmed) vomiting, or I have a note from a parent about potential illness before they came to school that morning. Be warned– if a parent sends a my-kid-might-be-sick note, but it is a kid who is frequently absent and kind of a hypochondriac, I will employ my best water fountain diversion tactics to keep him at school.

missed work teacher notesWhat is the absence policy at your school, and how do you handle make up work with students at home?