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Teacher Appreciation Gifts with Mason Jars

'Chaperone the field trip', they said. 'It will be fun', the said. Suuuuurrreee it was. Five hours with those kids and I definitely appreciate teachers so much more! I love my kids, and I even like their friends, but seriously eight hours five times a week, with 20 of them? No thanks, you teachers are saints.

So I put together a few Teacher Appreciation Gifts, with the theme 'thanks for helping me grow'. I think any of these are great alone, or feel free to make a couple and stick them together in a basket:) I especially love that the kiddos can help with these!

 MASON JAR SUCCULENTS

So the longer I live in Texas, the more I am convinced mason jars really do work for anything! I picked these up at Hobby Lobby for a couple dollars and 'aged' them a little. All you do is use this amazing chalk paint and cover the whole jar. I did two to three coats depending on the color.

Let them dry completely and then seal with a matte finish sealant. I used a spray, mostly because I'm lazy:) From there, grab some sand paper and rough them up a little. I like to focus on the raised design, the rings around the top and the bottom edges. The sand paper is also great for any areas where you can see brush strokes.

Once your jars are looking lovely, fill with soil and add the succulent to the top. I finished them off with a little twine around the top, voila!

 CHOCOLATE TISSUE PAPER BOUQUET IN A MASON JAR

Running with the whole mason jar theme, I saw this cute little version with the pattern and couldn't resist it. This was 'aged' in the same process as above. The 'flowers' are made with tissue paper on lollipop stick stems, with a chocolate center.

You can buy chocolates that are already wrapped (if you can find them in good colors!), or you can wrap your own with gold foil candy wraps from the baking section.

While wrapping try to leave a little 'stem' with the foil, so you can attach to your lollipop sticks. I used washi tape for some fun pattern.

Now set your stems aside and we can make the 'petals'. Take 2 sheets of tissue paper and fold them in quarters. In the center corner you will cut a curved edge (like a quarter of a circle), and also snip the very corner just a bit to create a hole in the center when you open the circle up. Slide the 'stem' through the center of one circle and bunch the paper around the chocolate, creating a 'petal' effect. Do this with the second circle as well, washi tape around the stem when you are happy with the way it looks.

Use florist foam inside the jar to stick the flowers in, so cute!

CHOCOLATE TISSUE PAPER BOUQUET

We used this little variation for the teacher's aide, I'm pretty sure Jackson has a crush on her:) We made the flowers the same as above, just wrapped them up in tissue paper and tied with a twine bow, same as you would with a real bouquet of flowers!

CACTUS GARDEN COOKIES IN MUG WITH BROWNIES

Last but not least, are these adorable cactus cookies which we laid on top of mashed up brownies in this beautiful personalized coffee mug.

Sorry, not much of a tutorial for this one. I used my go-to sugar cookie recipe, you can find HERE. After rolling it out, I just used a knife to shape some 'cactus-y' looking shapes (I did use a cutter for the flower). That's the beauty of nature, it doesn't have to be exact:) After baking, let them cool completely and then outline and fill with royal icing. Before it hardens, sprinkle with white sprinkles and that's it for the cookies!

Next I made a pan of brownies, you could easily use store bought if needed, and I think chocolate cake would work as well. Crumble it up until it resembles soil and then fill the cup to the top, insert the cactus cookies to complete the look!

Now whenever your kids are driving you crazy, just remember teachers do this nine months of the year, with a lot more kids!

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