When you think of the first day of school, several iconic symbols come to mind: school buses, shiny lunch boxes, freshly sharpened pencils and bright red apples. Lots of apples! Giving teacher an apple has been a first-day tradition for a long time. If you’re looking for a twist on this gift, put your students to work turning half an apple into a DIY stamp and creating a tote bag their new teacher will be proud to show off in the teacher’s lounge.
- White cotton tote bag (your choice of size)
- Red fabric paint
- Brown and green fine-tip fabric paint markers
- Foam paintbrush
- Paper plate
- Paper towels
- Scrap paper
- Cotton swabs
- Knife and cutting board
- Paper grocery bag
- Cut the apple in half for your child and trim away any pieces that didn’t cut evenly. Be sure part of the core is cut out in the center to create a heart-like look. Blot the apple on several pieces of paper towel to remove as much moisture as you can.
- Pour some red fabric paint onto the paper plate. Apply a layer of paint to the half with your paintbrush. Test the stamp on a piece of scrap paper. Take a look at the results – do you need more paint or less? If the center of the apple is filled in with paint in the stamped image, use a cotton swab to remove the excess and try again.
- Place an empty paper grocery bag into your tote bag. This will help make sure the fabric paint doesn’t accidentally bleed through to the other side of the bag.
- Re-ink your apple stamp and get ready to start decorating. Add as many stamps as your child sees fit to one side of the tote. Let dry completely.
- Now, it’s time for finishing touches. With the brown maker, have your child add a stem to each apple – and, with the green marker, have them add a small leaf. If your paint brand recommends heat-setting the finished work, do that per the manufacturer’s instructions.