If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to collect gift ideas and pretty wrapping ideas from talented friends and bloggers (plus I throw in a few ideas of my own). I hope the next time you’re stumped about a gift for a teacher, grandparent, hostess, or anyone else that you’ll pop in and I can provide some inspiration.


I saw this DIY project sitting next to my sis-in-law’s sink and instantly knew I wanted to make a version with my kids to give as gifts. So we got to work and made one as a Mother’s Day gift for grandma and several as end-of-year gifts for teachers. The project is pretty basic, just a photocopy on a transparency inserted into a hand-soap pump. But we met with a couple disasters along the way, so I’ll run through the process for you.

diy-teachers-gift1. Start with a bottle of hand soap that has a clear blank area. I picked up these bottles of Lavata at Target (the Brazilian Citrus smells so yummy). DO NOT use foaming soap or hand sanitizer. When we tried each of these and the ink dissolved off the transparency.

personalized-teachers-gift2. I then gave my kids one note card for each grandma or teacher we’d be giving a bottle to. I had them draw a picture using just a pen. If you already have a piece of art your kids have created, that works too. And homespun poems can be just as great. I wanted my kids’ pics to fit into a set of hand-drawn frames. Here for download are the frames I drew for the project:

download from DropBox by clicking here: Handsoap Frame Art

or download here: Printable Hand Drawn Frames (4282)

personalized-teachers-gift23. For older kids you should be able to skip a step: just print the frames page and put your kids to work drawing directly on the paper. But I found the small drawing space was a little tough for my 4-year-old especially. So instead I reduced my kids’ art to fit in the frame and taped it in place (use a scanner, photocopier, or just your camera to take a picture and reduce your kids’ artwork size). Double check the frame size against the soap container you’ll be using, so you can have it reduced or enlarged if necessary.

4. I took my page of artwork to FedEx Kinkos and had it photocopied onto a page of transparency paper. (We tried using our inkjet printer and laserjet printer to print the transparencies at home, and the results were a mess. Both times the drawing separated from the transparency and dissolved into the soap.) I let my kids add a little color to the transparencies with some permanent markers. UPDATE: The yellows and reds have run, but the blues and greens held fast. You may want to stick with those safer colors if you add color.

free-printable-mothers-day-gift5. Finally came the easy part. I just trimmed each frame to fit the bottle, rolled it up to fit through the neck of the bottle, and slid it in. It unrolled in the bottle and I replaced the pump behind the art work. And that was it. They turned out great. In fact, I think I’m headed back to Target to pick up one more bottle for the music teacher.

handmade-mothers-day-giftThanks for stopping by. If you’re new here, don’t go without taking a peep at my gift guide index and pretty wrapping index. Hope to see you again soon.

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