Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea- Interchangeable Classroom Sign
It’s teacher appreciation this week! Teachers are amazing! Whenever I go into the school to volunteer, whether it be to help with a field trip or help in the classroom, I leave the school feeling exhausted! I couldn’t imagine doing that day in and day out. Teachers deserve so much. I am very grateful for all of the teachers that my kids have had through out the years. Every year I try to make something for the teachers, to show them that I appreciate all of their hard work. You can see all of my teacher gifts ideas here. Since I have a sweet xTool laser cutter, I thought that I would be fun to make a teacher gift using it. I have been wanting to make an interchangeable sign with all of the holidays, so I decided that it would make a perfect teacher gift!
Here is a quick video to show the process of how to make this fun interchangeable classroom sign.
If you are new to laser cutters, check out my xTool beginner’s guide.
This is how I made the teacher classroom sign.
The first thing I did was designed the holiday circles. I used several designs that I have bought from a design store and then converted the files to SVG. I then uploaded those into xTool Creative Space using the image button. For each circle, there is a solid circle and then a circle with a design that will go on top of it. Some of the designs have lots of details, so for those I scored the design and cut it out at the same time. For example, outline of the cat and the hat hat will be scored and then the rest of it will be cut out. The circles are 3.75×3.75 inches. I had them be that size so I could fit 8 circles onto one sheet of 12×12 piece of plywood.
The xTool M1 machine does a GREAT job cutting out al the intricate details of the designs. I love how they turned out! I used my air assist attachment to help with the cutting and to prevent the burn marks around the cuts. I used the 3mm basswood plywood for this interchangeable classroom sign because it’s the perfect thickness for layering.
Here are all of the fun designs. I didn’t make one for the 4th of July but you easily could. I made several generic circles, when there isn’t a holiday near by. The actually classroom sign is 11.25×11.25 inches, the lines are engraved into the wood and there are 3 holes on the side. I added the wood that was cut out of the hole back into it but in the end I decided that I like the hole without the wood inside.
As you can see, all of the holiday circles have lots of details. Some of them are scored, like the cat and the hat and some are engraved, like the book wood. The majority of them are cut.
Now the interchangeable teacher classroom sign looks amazing with the wood finish and you could totally just leave it like that, but I wanted it to be colorful, so I painted al the pieces.
Here is the interchangeable sign with all the pieces painted, isn’t it amazing? I love it so much!
Once I got all of the pieces painted, it was time to glue it altogether. I love the E6000 glue with the precision tip for gluing the wood pieces together. It has a great bond but it doesn’t stick instantly, so you can rearrange it a little bit before the glue sets.
Now to put on some Velcro so the holiday circles so they stay on. I found these sticky circle Velcro dots and they worked perfectly. I used two for the classroom sign and then put two on each of the circles.
Here it is with all of the interchangeable holiday signs, all ready to go.
And that’s it! You can easily change out the center sign, just gently pull it off and add another one in it’s place.
I just love all the details in the wood, especially the Dr. Seuss one, the hat looks awesome, scoring the design into the wood worked great, I was able to use a Sharpie and trace the outline of it and make it look great.
The interchangeable classroom sign can be put onto an easel or you can add some string and hang it up. Either way, it looks awesome!
I love that you can easily change out the center design. This classroom sign is perfect for a teacher, but it could also be made into a generic sign for your own home. I plan on making one for myself, I just loved it so much!
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