It’s that time of year again in Australia when busy parents have to think up something for their children to give to their school teachers as a thank you gift for all the hard work they have done throughout the year. I’m pretty sure this gift is going to get the teachers approval!
Mrs Red has come up with a unique and very practical gift that these teachers can actually use and will most likely be very grateful for. And really, how many boxes of chocolates does the teacher need?
A candy cane made of pens and blutac!
This gift cost me $34, with $29 spent on the pens and blutac and $5 on wrapping and decoration. The pens I purchased were not the cheapest nor were they expensive and I put a mix of coloured, traditional red, blue, black and the all-important highlighters. The main thing with choosing your pens is that they need to be of similar thickness and length, otherwise I think the end result won’t look as effective.
What you need:
Stack of pens
Whole pack of blutac (I found white at Officeworks)
Sheet of newspaper
Large piece of thick cardboard
White acrylic paint and large brush (optional)
One sheet of clear cellophane (75 x 100cm)
Ribbon and bows for decoration
Sticky tape, black marker, pencil, stanley knife and scissors
Let’s get creating!
Layout your sheet of newspaper and arrange the pens into a candy cane shape. When happy with the shape, take your black marker pen and trace around the outside of the pens, then cut this shape out. This becomes your template.
Take your template and lay it on top of the thick cardboard and now trace around it with a pencil. Best not to use marker pen for this as cutting the shape out of cardboard is difficult and you don’t want to see bits of marker pen around the edges.
Now it’s over to an adult to use the stanley knife and cut out the candy cane base. You can neaten the edges up with scissors afterwards if you have made a bit of a hack job of it.
If you wish, paint the top side of your candy cane with white acrylic paint. It wasn’t really an option for me, even though ‘Antler’ is kind of appropriate for this time of year, I still did not want the luggage brand name being seen. Yes, Mrs Red got new suitcases for a trip to Canada in January (so excited!!!).
Once the cane is dry, get the blue tack out and stretch throughout the centre of your cane as this is what the pens will stick to (and they stick well). Then begin by laying pens out with big even spaces and slowly make those spaces smaller with more pens. Don’t press them into the blutac yet as you may need to move them around a little for even spacing. Once all laid in place, gently apply pressure in the centre of the pens so they adhere to the blutac.
This is where the fun really begins, not! I did not photograph wrapping the candy cane as I was figuring it out as I went along. However, I did use only one sheet of cellophane. I lay the cane down with all the pens facing down onto the cellophane and then I made a cut up the center and gently wrapped it all around and stuck it down with sticky tape all over the back. Use as much sticky tape as you want because cellophane tears easily. Again, adult help may be required here. Then if you choose to use ribbon as I did, wrap it around and stick more tape at back of cane and then place any further decoration on front of cane where you choose.
The only thing left to do now is get the kids to make a handmade card for their teacher and stick it on front of your pen candy cane!
This whole project took less than an hour to do and apart from the cutting of cardboard and possibly the wrapping of the cellophane, the kids should be able to do the majority of this project themselves and what a fantastic gift to give! Better than a box of chocolates, don’t you think?
Make sure you send me photos of your pen candy canes either on social media or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org