I am so excited to share this simple art project just in time for the end of the school year because these handmade thank you gifts are the perfect gift for teachers, Father’s Day, nannies, grandparents, moms and anyone else you love and want to say thank you to. We made our handmade vases and flower bouquet’s for Mother’s Day in art class and they were such a great hit.
This is a two part project. The first part was creating our flower vases and the second part was working as florists to create flower bouquets our mother’s would love. It was really fun to talk about different kinds of artists, like chefs, bakers, florists and fashion designers first, as we got excited to experiment with our bouquets. The girls in art class all had stories about seeing their mom’s create floral arrangements. It was a great extension to the jars we created and a great way to say I love you to our moms.
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milk jars – you can buy one or just save one from your next fancy beverage
tissue paper– we used one of my favorite art supply sources called Kid Made Modern, available at Target
glue – regular white glue, we also mixed in a bit of water.
paint brushes – for glue I always use brushes with plastic bristles so they clean easily, like these
beads- letter beads were a big hit!
watercolor paper– this is my favorite paper that we use for EVERYTHING and it’s on sale on amazon! just ordered two pads. it’s great! we used small hold punched cuts of water color paper for the tags.
baker’s twine or any string you have around the house
a bouquet of assorted flowers – maybe even from your garden if you’re so lucky to have one in your backyard.
1. Cut your tissue paper into squares or circles. With a paintbrush, apply a layer of glue mixed with a little water directly on the jar. Add tissue paper shapes over the glue. You’re going to repeat this step with each section you place the tissue paper. Glue, tissue paper, glue tissue paper. Repeat two or three layers and add glue as your top layer. The glue and water will act like modge podge and hold it all together with a little sheen.
2. Set aside the jars to begin drying. Cut a long piece of wire and add lots of beads. This is sort of like a fancy little necklace for your jars. You can wrap it around the neck of the jar.
3. Cut a small piece of watercolor paper to use as a tag and hole punch the top. Use sharpie and washi tape to decorate and you can write a note on the back. We also added washi tape to the dried jars as an extra layer of awesomeness one the tissue paper was dry. Lastly, cut a piece of bakers twine and tie the tag at the neck of the jar. You could also attach it to the wire but it tends to lay a little nicer if you string it up like you would a luggage tag and tie it to the jar.
I loved writing the thank you note quotes for these handmade thank you gifts. It was such a pleasure to listen to the special reasons why each child loves their mom so much. Writing quotes as part of any art work is one of my favorite things to do. The words of our children are often the best treasure of the project.
4. It’s finally time to take out those beautiful flowers and start arranging. This was my very favorite part. There is something magical about children creating flower bouquets. The concentration was intense.
It’s important to talk about how to trim the flowers so they are balanced in the jar. Remind your young florists to cut the leaves off the stem so they don’t make the water smelly or dirty.
I really could have watched these girls create their flower bouquets all day. They were so engaged in the process and each bouquet looked so unique and beautiful.
When our handmade thank you gifts were finished we all sat around a circle and talked about our moms and why we love them so. We even made a little video that I sent to all the moms. It was pretty special. All of these ideas would be great for a teacher or special friend or dad for Father’s Day.
The amazing Meri Cherry art teacher, Olivia (follow her great instagram feed here) took all these pics. I am so grateful to have a partner to create and teach with and also, so grateful to be in some of these pics. There are so many wonderful moments in any given art class. It’s so nice to have this online diary of some of these special memories.
These girls in particular, I’ve known since they were toddlers. Many of them came to our toddler play groups and once they turned three it’s been almost two years doing art class together.
So there you have it. These handmade thank you gift flower bouquets are a wonderful way to say thank you and I love you. If you are looking for another handmade thank you gift, try these gratitude boxes. They are an all time favorite of ours.
Thanks so much for reading along and please send me a pic if you try these handmade thank you gifts at home. I would love to hear about your experience. Thanks so much! Meri
This is just the sweetest, Mer. It makes me happy looking at all of these photos!!! I love the idea for teacher gifts, too. xo
ohhh! So nice to see your comment pop up. Thanks buddy. This was a really fun one. I was gushing watching all those kids cut the flowers. So so pretty.
I love this idea…thanks for the photos and directions. I have a question about the paint brushes you use for glue because they are easier to clean. The link you provide shows natural bristle, plastic-handled brushes. I am searching around the web and can’t find anything that has plastic bristles – or – did I misunderstand?
Thanks for your guidance,
Hi Becky, So sorry about that. I updated the link. That was an oversight. Unfortunately it looks like Amazon doesn’t have any, so I linked to Discount School Supply. I bet if you go to your local craft store though you can find some. Thanks for catching this! http://www6.discountschoolsupply.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=15444&v5sid=tadpkf55adbyipfbrstmktzd1.8783E+&v56zipl=0&v56keycodel=0
In making the cute vases in the photos, the children seem to be using printed tissue paper but I can’t find any. Please share your source with us. Thanks!
Are the milk bottles plastic or glass?