An Apple (Stamp) For the Teacher
The Crafty Mom By Mary Lyon

This craft lets you turn a plain piece of paper into a clever card, or even gift-wrapping. The project takes mere minutes to complete, and is affordable, easy and fun for anyone of any age. It\'s a whole new and very original way to give the traditional apple to a teacher.

What You Need

  • 2 (or 3) small apples
  • 4 (or 6) ink pads in different bright colors
  • Several sheets of plain paper - your choice of color
  • cutting surface
  • knife
  • tweezers or a toothpick
  • Several pieces of newspaper or scrap paper
  • Marking pens in favorite colors
What You Do

1. Cut the apples in half, across the middle, not from top to bottom. Make sure the cuts are clean and flat. You will see a star pattern in the middle of each half, where the seeds are. Using the tweezers or toothpick, pick out and discard any loose seeds or husks that might give you ragged edges.

2. Open the ink pads and set out the newspaper or scrap paper on which you\'ll be working. Use the extra sheets of scrap paper to practice.

3. Gently but firmly press the cut-side of one apple into one stamp pad. Then press the inked-up apple onto the scrap paper. This way, you can experiment with the right pressure and color, patterns and composition, even overlapping to see what happens when the colors mix on the paper. This is how to perfect your stamping without smearing. Repeat with the other cut apples on the other ink pads. Note: Only one apple per ink pad. Keep using the same apple on the same pad. Don\'t mix them up! Then set the used practice paper aside and spread out a new sheet of scrap paper so you\'re left with a clean surface. 

4. Now, select the paper you want to stamp and spread that on the clean surface. Then ink-up those apples again and start stamping. When you\'re finished, set the paper aside for a few minutes to dry.

5. When your paper is dry, fold it into a card and write your message. Or use it as custom wrapping paper for a special teacher gift.

The Crafty Mom, Mary Lyon, is the author and illustrator of The Frazzled Working Woman\'s Practical Guide to Motherhood and former host of DIY Crafts TV show. For previous Crafty Mom projects, check out the Crafty Mom Archives.