Celebrating Teachers

I had a couple other things I wanted to post about before the holidays, but last Friday’s school tragedy has thrown me for a complete loop and I want to acknowledge that somehow first before posting again about other things.


Finding out that 6-year old victim Benjamin Wheeler and his family were members of our small neighborhood park (before moving up to Newtown) makes it all the more painfully horrific and confounding. I was at the park yesterday and seeing my boys run around carefree (see Mister Baby Pants sorting out some tennis equipment above) and knowing that Ben had once done the same just makes my heart hurt even more.

So I thought I’d attempt to redirect that anguish into something more positive.

Because you see, for me last Friday was a parent/teacher conference day. My first ever! Woohoo!

It went swimmingly and The Bub is doing very well in his pre-kindergarten class. Up until now, I had been pondering what to get his teacher for the holidays –– his very first teacher of what I hope will be a good long career of thirsty knowledge consumption –  and wanted to give her something personal that would really show our appreciation and gratitude for the work she does.

I was still trying to crack this mystery as I walked into the classroom to wait for my appointment and as luck would have it, I got my exact answer during our meeting. As an aside, The Bub’s teacher jokingly mentioned how she should wear an apron with stickers in the pockets so she’d remember to dole them out to the children more often each day (you know, because stickers are L-I-Q-U-I-D  G-O-L-D to kids this age).

So there I had it. Eureka! I was going to make her an apron. Or as I thought of it, a Teacher’s Tool Belt. Score!


I spent the weekend pondering what it would look like and then on Monday, dragged out my massive box of fabric scraps to see if I had bits and pieces that would fit the bill. After making a giant mess all over the floor, I shoved everything I didn’t need back into the closet and collected up the pile of chosen material and went to work. I got The Bub’s approval on the final selection, as he had wanted flowers included and I happened to have some perfect floral fabrics that worked with the color scheme.


I wasn’t *exactly* sure how I was going to assemble everything, but as I’ve said before, I’m the queen of winging it. Eyeballing each piece, I cut out wonky rectangles from each fabric. I was also happy to come across this scrap of black and white fabric because it was going to perfectly make what I wasn’t up for piecing together by hand.

Wait for it…you’ll see everything fall into place…


Can you tell what’s going on here yet? 

I opted to sew all the wonky rectangles together first and then attach all the little black and white triangles to the rectangles. Then I appliquéd the entire finished piece onto the front of my striped fabric using a tight zig-zag stitch.

Wait for it…the big reveal is coming…


I finished it off with a little dedication tag in red thread on the reverse side. I’m not in absolute love with my machine’s lettering embroidery, but hey, I’ll take it for efficiency if I’m spelling out a fair amount.  And it’s a nice washable reminder of who gave it to her (btw, I digitally added the white label and lettering over the *real* lettering in the picture above; in case you couldn’t tell, that’s not part of the actual tool belt. Just sayin’.) 

Annnnnd, drum roll, please…


…a three-pocketed teacher’s tool belt with a rainbow of imperfectly perfect pencils!!!! Good for sticker-carrying or anything else. 

The Bub will be giving it to his teacher tomorrow and I really hope she likes it.


After an incredibly difficult bunch of days in the wake of the Sandy Hook school murders, it was comforting to make something that, at least to me, represents a personal appreciation for teachers and specifically The Bub’s teacher.

Teachers are often unsung heroes and for me to have the opportunity to show gratitude for what they do and acknowledge how pivotal they are in the lives of our children, was truly a gift to me.

So, to the teachers, thank you and to everyone else, go hug your children some more and celebrate your teachers! xoxo


Edited 01-15-13:

His teacher LOVES the new apron! She told me she just about cried when she opened it! Best part: she’s worn it every day at school since receiving it. I’m so thrilled by all that! Yay!