Ribbon Bookmarks

ribbon bookmark groupHonestly, I need an Etsy store for all of my craft project overages (or I need craft counseling). Currently, I am over-producing ribbon bookmarks to wrap around journal books. I was testing an idea to make some riboon bookmarks to give to my children’s teachers for Teacher’s Appreciation Day on May 3. Come to find out, the ribbon bookmarks are easy to make; the color combinations look super cute, and I like making things in large batches.

I thought these would make nice teacher gifts because, as a teacher, I always need something to mark my page in all of my teacher materials. Teachers use bookmarks for class novels, textbooks, manuals, planning books, grade books… I currently have about 8 Post-it notes, 3 notecards, and 11 scraps of paper peeking out of the stack of teacher books near my school computer. A few ribbon bookmarks would definitely come in handy for me. Plus, they have the added benefit of not dropping out of the book when I pick it up, and I can slide my scraps of papers with notes under the edge of the bookmark where it will hold.

ribbon bookmark supplies

Materials

  • durable ribbon, at least 1/2″ wide (like grosgrain ribbon)
  • buttons in coordinating colors
  • Fray Check (a little like clear fingernail polish to keep ribbon ends from unraveling)
  • covered hair bands in coordinating colors
  • thread in coordinating colors
  • needle

ribbon bookmark flat

Directions

  • Cut strips of ribbon to match the size of the book you will use with your bookmark. I used 5″ x 8″ journals, which are a similar size to a basic paperback book. I cut my ribbons to 15″. This allowed for the length of the attached rubberband not stretched too much and a little end piece to fold around the rubberband when sewing. Your finished bookmark stretches a little because of the rubberband, so the bookmark will fit a book that is a little bigger and smaller than the book you use as a guide for measuring.
  • Drop Fray Check onto each end of the ribbon to prevent the ribbon ends from fraying. Let dry.
  • Place the rubberband near one end of the ribbon and fold the ribbon end over. Stitch across the width of the ribbon with the rubberband held in place. You can hand sew or use a sewing machine.

ribbon bookmark stitched end

  • Loop the ribbon over and let the ends meet to see which side of the ribbon will need the button attached. Sew the button to the non-rubberband end of the ribbon. The button should be attached with only a little ribbon showing beyond the edge of the button.

ribbon bookmark with journals

 

Teacher Appreciation Dos and Don’ts

teacher emergency kit filled and gift tags

I spend way too much time analyzing what makes a good teacher gift, but I see it on both sides since I am a teacher and a parent with school aged children. Are teacher appreciation gifts required? NO. Do many families choose to give their teachers holiday gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, and end of year gifts? YES. Are you required to spend a lot of money? NO. Are teachers thankful for all small gifts and kind gestures from parents and students. YES. But, a cutesy, punny note does not a good teacher gift make.

In my experience, the best gifts for teachers are ones that show consideration for the teacher’s day at school. Remember, teachers have very little free time during the day to run out of the building to grab lunch or pick up some little item at the drug store. We can barely get to the water fountain that is in the school building. Here are a few guidelines and ideas that I believe make good teacher gifts. Based on the comments I get on my Crappy Teacher Gifts Pinterest Board, not everyone agrees with my good/bad teacher gift criteria. So, as a little disclaimer, these suggestions are TheRoomMom’s opinion and may not apply to every teacher or parent.

favorite books bookmark

Gifts that help a teacher remember a specific class are special. For the past several years, I sent an e-mail to the parents in my children’s classes asking for a favorite book name of a book read during the school year. I compiled the list into columns on a Word document and added a class picture. I used the list to make a Favorite Books Bookmark for the teacher and one for each student. Teachers need many bookmarks in the classroom for all of our teacher manuals and read aloud books. The bookmark creates an age appropriate book list for the group. I have also seen or used other ideas that would help teachers clip or mark classroom materials…

mason jar soup labels

Food based gifts can work well too. It is difficult to have food delivered or leave the building to grab a sandwich during the school day. Yes, teachers love chocolate, but if I have not packed a lunch (or eaten breakfast), I would rather have something with a little more substance. The nice thing about food gifts is they can often be made in bulk if you would like to give a gift to multiple teachers. Not only can you bring food items for during the school day, but I think all working families love to have low prep meals for when you get home. This year, I sent Mason Jar Soup Mixes to teachers, and I have also organized a Freezable Meal delivery for my children’s teachers during teacher appreciation week. Here are other food based gifts I have made or am thinking about making…

 

Back to School Teacher Emergency Kit

My favorite gifts are the ones that help a teacher with school day emergencies. These gifts include items that are great to have on hand for those little unexpected events. I have two versions– Teacher Emergency Kit 2012 and Teacher Emergency Kit 2013. You might also consider these kit ideas…

gift card wallet giveaway

And finally, you can never go wrong by giving a gift card. Chances are, you do not know your child’s teacher that well outside of the classroom, so a gift card covers a lot of bases. If several families want to contribute, you can pool resources into one gift card. Or, if you are giving a gift by yourself, there are so many gift cards that work well in small increments. Last year, I sewed little Gift Card Wallets, but I also found some non-sewing ideas that included thoughtful student notes…

As a wrap-up, I would just like to say again that families are not obligated to go to great lengths to give teacher gifts. It is always well received to write a note, send an e-mail, or simply say, “thank you” in person if you appreciate the work your child’s teacher has done during the school year.

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week!