Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Crafts for 23 Third Graders and 1 Teacher

One of the most fun artsy-craftsy things we still make time to do in this high stakes testing education system we have right now, is to make gifts for the families of our students.

This year we made something really adorable that I hope my students' families will always treasure.

We painted recycled jars from home with glass paint and put candles in them.

First we had the kids bring in jars from home.  I couldn't wash them at school so they needed to come clean.   Some of them still had that sticky residue so thank goodness for Goo-B-Gone for getting the rest of it off.

I had cut out some sponges with Christmasy shapes, such as holly leaves, gingerbread men, and candy canes for the kids to use to apply the paint.  

I called back about 3 students at a time to my reading table and we just painted and pressed away on these jars.  It was so relaxing for my students.
This is the paint we used!  Great stuff! Can't find it a Hobby Lobby, but it's readily available at Michaels.  Just be sure to get the glass paint and not the porcelain paint - very similar packaging!

After they dried for 24 hours, I brought all the jars home with me for their home oven firing.  Oh my goodness that was a stressful drive home.  The town I teach in is about 12 miles from the town I live in and I drive country roads to get home.  And right now there is a lot of road construction going on.  So every bump and pothole I worried that some poor student was going to have a broken gift for their families.

I failed to mention that I hauled them home in my (dusty) rolly cart with no cushioning.  Here are a few of them waiting for their time in the sauna.
It took two batches to get them all oven fired and boy does it stink.  I forgot to turn on the fan and open the windows some during the first batch.  Don't forget to do this if you make something with this glass paint.

Didn't my kids do a great job?

I'm proud of their work and I'm glad they had so much fun making these.

In fact, they had so much fun I think Baby Bee and I are going to make some of these for our friends and family too.  And I'll remember to turn on that fan and open the windows this time.

Can't you see painting recycled glass jars used for all kinds of holiday decorations?  I've got some plans now for the Singing Bee and the More Creative Bee for their Christmas gifts.  Shhhhh.....don't tell them!

And, by the way, I'm officially on Winter Break now!  Yeah!  Three weeks off!  

Guess where we're going tonight?  Baby Bee and her dance group are dancing at the zoo!  They have an event called Zoo Lights at Christmas and we're going to go for the first time.  Plus free hot chocolate and cookies!  (Do you think it would be okay if I snuck some coffee in with the hot chocolate?)

Thanks so much for buzzing by!  I hope you are finding your creative holiday buzz!



  1. I had no idea that the glass paint needed to be baked on! Those jars are such a great gift that I'm sure every parent will love. Enjoy your break, and the zoo!

  2. These are darling! You did a very selfless job in helping these kids have gifts for their families. Thanks for the instructions!


  3. These jars are adorable and will be treasured by the kids and their families for years. Enjoy your much-earned break from school!


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