Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl
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Why I’m NOT going to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week anymore!

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. Every year I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to this week. Is it because I don’t appreciate my sons’ teachers and administrators? Definitely not true! I appreciate them more than I can ever show. It’s a joke in our house that if I homeschooled, we probably wouldn’t have children. We all need that time away. And, my kids are so headstrong, that they learn much better from talented educators that don’t tuck them in bed at night.

So, why you ask do I have a knee jerk reaction? Let me explain.

Two weeks ago I spent less than 20 minutes whipping up some really cute vases using recycled jars painted with Farmhouse Paint. Wait…What is this paint?

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Well, it’s “paint formerly know as chalk paint”  (don’t even get me on the soap box about everyone else not being able to call it chalk paint anymore because a particular company has trademarked the name. I mean, that’s like saying that no one can call it latex paint anymore because Brand X trademarked it. Sorry, I get riled up easily.)

Anyway, back to my story, I made these adorable little vases by saving up a bunch of recycled jars.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Then I painted them with two coats of Farmhouse Paint. I’m in love with this paint. The colors are vibrant and you don’t need to wax after painting. Just a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper and it give you the same soft sheen as waxing would.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried I sand some areas (especially on any writing).

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Finally, I added some fresh cut flowers from my yard and tied a string around the neck with a personal message.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

These little vases were adorable. They were cute and they seriously took me less than half an hour to put together (20 minutes to paint and a few more minutes cutting flowers in the yard.)

When I arrived at school, I began distributing the flowers. First the principal’s office — her desk was filled with more flowers vases than a florist’s counter. And the overflow was on her conference table.

     Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

The assistant principal’s desk had the same overcrowded vase problem.

I made my way around to my sons’ classrooms. Tins of cookies and more vases littered their desks. I was sad. Although I knew they appreciated the kind gifts, it must be overwhelming to get everything on one day or one week of the school year.

After the week is over and the cookies are gone, what is there? Nothing. Desks filled with papers to grade of course. But, no gifts; no notes of appreciation; no flowers…nothing.  That appreciation day is long forgotten.

That’s why I’m doing something different next year. Heck, I might even do some appreciating at the end of this school year!

Where are the gifts and flowers during the first week of school when the kids are scared, tired, disappointed, weepy for their Mom and Dad? Where are the gifts when the principal and other administrators have to deal with outraged parents because the school bus didn’t come on time to pick up their child? Or worse yet, what about the day after a weeknight Halloween? I know the children pour into their seats sleep-deprived and burned out after a high sugar evening. Heaven help me this year when Halloween falls on a Friday night. I might check into a hotel for two nights.

Anyway, I’m vowing to appreciate the staff and teachers at my sons’ school on any old ordinary day from now on. I’m sure that a small recycled jar turned into a sweet little vase of flowers will surely brighten the day of one tired educator. I may even slip a little gift card underneath. I know in our state, teachers are not paid nearly enough and we are facing a crisis as teachers leave schools searching for better paying jobs.

To all the teachers, school staff and administrators out there. I APPRECIATE you more than you will ever realize! Please forgive me if I don’t bring you a gift during Teacher Appreciation Week. I’ll surprise you some other time. 😉

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you say? Why not whip up a little painted vase to appreciate your child’s teacher on Monday. Or the last week of school? Or just on one ordinary not celebration day. Am I crazy? Doesn’t this make sense to you?


P.s. Did you like the chippy paint board backdrop I used? It’s not real wood, it is actually a vinyl backdrop made by my good friend Leen the Graphics Queen. It rolls up and stores neatly away. She should be selling them soon.


Pin for later!

DIY Chalk Paint Mason Jar Flower Vase

43 replies
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  1. KTsmom
    KTsmom says:

    My daughter teaches at a school (in a county south of Wake) where the parents struggle to pay for their children’s lunches (not to mention other things). The only gift she received during Teacher Appreciation week was a drawing from one of her students. She is happy to get hugs and smiles. Unfortunately, she spends way too much of her own money to supply teaching materials and healthy snacks for her students and I have provided laminating sheets, copy paper, etc. I think it is a good idea to spread the “love” around all year long. There are definitely low spots in the year where something like a jar of flowers is needed and appreciated.

  2. Ruth
    Ruth says:

    Reminds me of my elem school days when our principal’s office and our teacher’s desk on special days, lol. Also, when i became a teacher myself, haha. My co-teacher’s car trunk was soooo full of gifts!
    But yes, the gifts come fewer when you teach high school. In my old high school, gifts are forbidden to high school teachers.
    But i do agree with this one, tokens of appreciations i think are more appreciated when given out of the blue and not just on special occasion,s although i do apprec8 theses gifts any time of the year, haha. I’m still using some gifts that my former students gave me.
    I remember one Christmas when a parent gave a friend and me fruits from her farm. She was going to give it to her son’s adviser, but before she could give the fresh fruits, her son’s teacher gave a litany of woes about her son.. So she got embarrassed, as the gifts might be construed as a ‘bribe’ for her son’s grades. So she ended up giving the fruits to me and my friend. We were too happy and willing to accept, of course! Hahahaha.

  3. Heather
    Heather says:

    As a middle school teacher, we appreciate the thought! I think the main reason we are often overlooked is the simply the sheer number of us. Your son will go from having one classroom teacher to having 5 or 6 teachers! If you have more than one child, then the volume of gifts required quickly outdoes one’s pocketbook. It really is the thought that counts, so a note from the heart means more than a Starbuck’s gift card!

  4. jet
    jet says:

    Hi, you’re right about this, my mom allways told the same about mothersday.
    She was a schoolteacher as well, we never had such a day, but sometimes she recieved of a child a thank you card or some picked flowers. She allways appriciated this much better then the only day of mothers day. We were a poor family, so gifts had to be handmade, but she loved all the things we made for her. Because we loved her.
    I have learned that you allways must tell the things of someone else that you appriciating. We mostly forget to say something friendly but are just willing to be crumpy to others by just stuppid rules.
    It helps when you stay calm and friendly and try to compliment the other insteade off blowing and yelling an others head off.;-D
    So this post is a good one, thank you for the reminder and the sharing. Well done!!!

  5. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    First of all, I absolutely love this blog & this post! What a creative idea & so very pretty too. The chalk paint thing is just plain silly & actually seems to have a thinly veiled air of not only arrogance but greediness, imho.

    I’m with you here about the homeschooling thing Brittany & the subject of the chalk paint. To each his own on the home school issue but I know I could never do this & am I glad I never did back in the day. My kids have been adults with kids of their own for quite some time & I’m not old-fashioned by any means. I’m a pretty darn hip grandma with a rock star musician of a husband.
    I volunteered all through their grade school as well as high school years & the teachers loved me, especially since I’m an artist. They were gifted endless times so good for you!!! Even though I didn’t home school, my kids turned out to be “super-stars” in their respective fields of which I’m so proud.
    You also are a teacher among teachers & I value this blog more than you know!

  6. Anastasia Prentiss
    Anastasia Prentiss says:

    Yes!!! I completely agree! I will be checking out Farmhouse paint and making gifts for the last day!

  7. crafty grandma
    crafty grandma says:

    Back in the days when I was in school, there was no such thing as teachers appreciation day. However, at Christmas time mom always knitted a nice pair of mitts or socks for the teacher.
    There are hundreds of smart ideas for teachers on Pinterest. One that caught my eye was a beach bag filled with a beach towel, flip flops, a cup for coffee/drink, sunglasses, sunscreen and as a bonus a gift card!! Now who wouldn’t appreciate something like that!!! After moving out of the city, I was quite surprised when the neighbor told me that there were not enough paints, paper etc for the kindergarden kids because they hadn’t expected so many new 5 year olds!! They were asking for parents to donate any books, games, puzzles educational games etc I had bought finger paints and paper, coloring books all the things that my grands outgrew. Rather than throwing them out – I donated them and received a nice thanks….so teachers can always use extra pencils, paper etc.

  8. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    This was only my second year doing Teacher Appreciation Week for my daughter’s daycare teachers, but I’ve had the same train of thought both years. Instead of overloading them with gifts one week, wouldn’t it be nicer to spread it out? But then, I also don’t want to be the only parent/kid not giving anything. :-/

  9. Susie Lavender
    Susie Lavender says:

    Brittany, she went to Powell Elementary, Centennial Magnet, and Millbrook HS. She excelled at Powell and Millbrook but she wasn’t crazy about Centennial. We were warned about Millbrook but she did so well there she got almost a full scholarship to Wingate where she loves everything.

  10. Kteacher
    Kteacher says:

    Thank you for appreciating teachers the way you do!!! I got a few acknowledgements this year, but when I do receive a gift at a time other than Christmas, it melts my heart!!

  11. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth says:

    Good on you, Brittany! I recall as a young child my Dad would very often give me bunches of flowers for my teacher, which she happily kept on her desk. This would go on throughout the year, and not when someone told me it was THE day to appreciate her. It made her feel good, and made my proud to have something to give, as we weren’t very well off. (My Dad’s flowers were coveted by most of the neighbourhood!). Australia doesn’t have a ‘teacher appreciation day’, but knowing Hallmark, it’s only a matter of time. 🙁

  12. Karen
    Karen says:

    I do love my teacher week…I’m a gifts person…and I love that week for that—but you are right –it ends abruptly. I like your idea. spread it out!


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