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Monday
Jun222009

quick and easy teacher gift

C finished preschool last week and we wanted to do a little something for his teacher Miss Laurie, who is all sunshine and smiles. Funny story: After his first week of preschool C asked me if I could be "more like Miss Laurie." And when I asked him what he meant, he replied "Well she is just happy ALL of the time." (Hmm..)

I had gone with Miss Laurie and the kids on a field trip to the fire station earlier in the year and had taken lots of photos. So we decided to pick our favorites and put together a little album. Here's how to dress up a cheap plastic album (available at craft stores and photo stores for about $2). Ridiculously easy.

You will need a plastic album that holds 4x6 photos (I think this one fit 24 prints). Two different pages of thick pretty paper (mine are from the Martha Stewart line). And a sharp x-acto knife and cutting mat.

The covers on these albums are usually pretty ugly, and they are sealed into the plastic so they can't be removed. Open your album and using your x-acto knife, cut carefully along the edge of the plastic that is holding the cover in place. You just want to cut through one of the layers of plastic if you can (it looks a little neater than if you cut through both the front and the back). Start at the top edge of the book (where it is bound) and cut neatly down to the bottom. Then you should be able to slide the ugly cover out of the book and replace it with something pretty.

One you've pulled your cover out, you can use it as a template to cut your paper. Lay it down on your pretty paper and cut two covers for the front and back (if you like you can also cut two more out of a complimentary paper for the inside front and back cover).

Carefully slide your new pretty covers into the album, taking care not to bend the corners. (I used the blue paper with white dots for the cover, and the white paper with blue dots for the inside covers.) Insert your photos into the album.

Dress things up by adding a cute label to the front (these are also from the Martha Stewart collection). And you're done.

I keep a stack of these albums on hand for all sorts of things. They make great gifts for grandparents (filled with pictures of their grandchildren, of course.) Or newlyweds (filled with photos from the wedding, and sent to the bride and groom as a surprise on their first anniversary). The next time you are at a baby shower or birthday party, and the hostess is running around too busy to take photos, grab your camera and get to work! When you hand her your album a few weeks later, she will be thrilled.

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Reader Comments (22)

fantastic idea -- thanks so much!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenteraud

That is a beautiful idea.

I love all your craft projects :o)

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammi

What a great idea! I often find myself taking photos of things/events for others, but I usually end up just emailing them to the people afterward. This is a great thank you gift for things. And the simplicity factor is key. :)

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrittany

I love that all of your gift ideas are touched with simple thoughtfulness. An unexpected gift is really the most fun and shows sweet consideration. I'm working on sending more unexpected letters, but I will keep this in mind as well!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCallen

awesome, i can't wait to try this! thank you so much for sharing :O)

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterrobin

Beautiful! I always see these at the drug store but I never get them because I can't stand the covers...I never thought about replacing the paper...great idea!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Very cute gift! Thank you for sharing it!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Love this idea! The expense of photo albums keeps me from making as many as I would like to. This is a great, cheap hack. Ha, you know where you should send this idea? Design Sponge, their Before and After category. Then link to here with step-by-step instructions. I have no affiliation with them, but I love both your sites.

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarta

Good idea! I want to take a teacher gift to my daughter's Sunday School teachers.

brilliant! thanks for the tip

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterReese

Fantastic idea!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkate

what a simply wonderful idea! i love your blog!!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkiss my spatula

Fantastic idea, I may just do it. School doesn't end for a few days still.

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeachMama

perfect and likely within everyone's budget these days!!

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkathryn

I'm sure Miss. Laurie was filled with indescribable joy & was overcome with tears of gratitude when she recieved such an amazing & precious gift!!!

I'll have to ask her what that felt like.

06.23.2009 | Unregistered Commenterem

Thanks so much. Great gift idea indeed.

06.23.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharnel

As a Kindergarten teacher there is no other gift that I like more than pictures of the class or drawings done by the child; I would have been absolutely thrilled had I received this!

06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

What a lovely project -- thanks!

This is a fantastic idea and I know just how I am going to use it. This was very timely, thanks very much!

06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhiannonM

that is a really great idea.

06.25.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

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