Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Quick DIY Retirement Gift

Teachers have LOTs of required paperwork to complete. So does everyone who works. So I came up with a gift idea for colleagues who were retiring that was such a big hit that my supervisor asked me to make them each year for our district's special education retirees.


I was originally inspired by this ornament from Mandy at Little Birdie Secrets back in 2011. Her ornament was featured by blogger Stephanie Lyn from Under the Table & Dreaming. You can see Mandy's original post and tutorial here.
(Yes, I know it's not Christmas yet; bear with me here.)

Photo courtesy of By Stephanie Lynn

I put as many old requisition forms, IEP's, blank report cards, et al as I could find around my office through the shredder and came up with this. (OK, I admit that, being a bit of a type A, I went through my shreds to pick out those that might give the retiree a laugh when he or she looked closely.)
Stock photo

Then I went to Michael's and picked up some of these fillable ornament balls. They're very inexpensive and can be purchased in 6 packs at almost any craft store or online. They come in glass or plastic; I prefer the glass ones.

Photo courtesy of Michael'

You simply pull off the top and fill the ornament with the shredded forms (curling them around a pencil if you want), add a ribbon and you're good to go. I like using school or company logo colors for the ribbon.

photo courtesy of Jess at Practically Functional

Since I gave all of mine away and forgot to keep one to photograph (silly blogger mistake!) I am borrowing this photo from Dr. Karen's blog to give you the idea.

If you have an up-coming graduation instead of a retirement, you'll love this Graduation Tassel Ornament  tutorial from Karen at  Sew Many Ways. (I love her tutorials.) It was seeing this on Karen's blog yesterday that encouraged me to post my "retirement balls" idea. I had almost forgotten all about them!

graduation tassel ornament
Photo from Sew Many Ways

We're all bogged down with so much paperwork today that this simple idea could work in any profession . . . medicine, insurance, retail or office . . . in addition to education. Here's your chance to recycle those old files and create a gift at the same time!

Yours in "not missing the paperwork",

This post is happily linked to:
What's It Wednesday at Ivy & Elephants
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Vintage Inspiration Party at My Salvaged Treasures
Share Your Style at Common Ground
Note: I make every effort to use only original photos in my posts but I made these ornaments before I started this blog and wasn't able to. I credited all photos taken from the Internet with links to the original sources.



  1. Really cool idea and I love the thought of the tassels in one also. Clever!


  2. Thank you so much for linking to my post. Very sweet of you to share it on your blog. I love your paper idea. My husband is a teacher, so this is perfect!!

  3. What a great idea. I've made these with sheet music before, but I love your idea of using shredded paper that really personalizes them. Great idea to use the tassels too. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.


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