Customised Notebook Teacher Gift

True to form, I really wanted to give great teacher gifts this year but was horribly last minute getting it sorted. Two things became ridiculously apparent: when a deadline approaches I hunker down and get things done and that I really ought to work on just buying and wrapping things instead of making things when deadlines are gonna hit at crazy busy times. You know, just to give myself half a chance 😉

Still, lessons to learn and all that!

I’d decided to customise some notebooks and went and found some hardback ones in Wilko. I also found the mini soft covered ones… didn’t quite find a use for them this time, but am sure their day will come!

I had a look around for some ideas, and had planned on some appliqué animals along with teacher names but the truth is, it was too late for that level of involvement. When I finally got done to this project it was around 10pm the night before the last day of term.

I decided to sew a band that could slide into the front cover and put each teacher or teaching assistant’s name on them. I started off with some fabric that was starry, and the found an alphabet print perfect for the job. The two didn’t work together well though, and even the addition of a bright plain couldn’t remedy the design.

So I started again, with the alphabet print as the band, with a patch of denim that had freehand machine embroidery for the names. It was SO much better looking. It’s definitely true that you often don’t find a good design until you’ve gone through a few less than stellar ones!

For this kind of appliqué I mostly use bondaweb, which is like a fine glue layer activated by heat (ironing) as it seals the fabric, preventing fraying and means i don’t have to use so many pins.

For this final version, I got out some denim and hand-wrote the teacher names in a chalk pencil.

I roughly cut around the shape of the writing and then ironed the denim into place on the letter fabric band.

To finish, I freehand machine embroidered the names, using the chalk lines as a guide.

I was SO much more pleased with this version over my first attempt! It’s far easier to read and looks far more stylish.

If I was doing something similar again, I might have my daughters do the writing and then embroider it. I also think getting the kids to draw a portrait to embroider would be great. Oh to have thought far enough in advance to plan! 😂

Still, I was really happy with them, and thankfully so were the teachers I met a pick-up time.

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