Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Make a Personalized and Inexpensive Gift for Teacher Appreciation, Graduation, Father's Day, Birthdays, Any Occasion!

It's such a busy time of year with school ending, graduation activities, Father's Day, and summer fun just around the corner! It's also a time for gift-giving, and I've got an easy, meaningful, and inexpensive gift idea for any time of the year.

Perhaps you've seen the fun that can be created with Wordle at It's a creative way to display an array of words, thoughts, ideas, or phrases. I was introduced to Wordle last year, and have had such fun creating some personalized and inexpensive gifts with it. When you go to the website, just play around with it---you can change the fonts, the colors, and the layouts until you are happy with how it looks. And it's free to use! (I've provided a few "Wordle Tips" near the end of this post to help you out!)

For each of these gifts shown, I simply created my "Wordle Cloud" at the website, then after I was happy with how it looked, printed it onto an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of vellum. I then placed the vellum over the top of an image I had downloaded and printed off of the internet. You can see that for my daughter's kindergarten teacher, I printed a simple apple; for my cutie friend who was graduating, I printed a graduation cap and changed the colors to match her school colors using Photoshop.

I then trimmed both sheets to measure 8" x 10" then inserted them together into an 8" x 10" frame with the vellum sheet over the top of the printed image. (The frame only cost me $3 from Wal-Mart.) I added a little ribbon around it, and voila! Gift complete!

I've also made these gifts for the group of Young Women I work with in my church. We gave each of them a questionnaire to fill out at one of our activities. At a special recognition meeting sometime later, the other leaders and I presented each girl with her own personalized and framed "Wordle" to take home with her unique and special qualities highlighted. They were a hit!

You are welcome to use my questionnaire if you are interested. Simply click on the image to enlarge it, then print as many as you'd like.

Some "Wordle" tips:

-The best way to begin your list of items to put into a "Wordle" document is to first create the list in a word processing document, save it, then copy and paste to the website. That way, if you need or want to start over or change anything, you don't have to re-type all of the words in the space provided at the website. You simply make changes in your word document, then paste it again.

-The more times you type a word on your list, the larger that word will appear in the image. I usually type the person's name at least 4 times, then vary other important words by typing them 2 or 3 times. This creates a more visually interesting appearance by varying the sizes of different words.

-If you have a phrase that contains 2 or more words, such as "football player", do not type it like we normally would with a space between the words. Instead, insert a tilde(with no space) which is the little squiggly line at the far left and top of the keyboard that looks like this: ~ between the words. So "football player" would be typed like this: football~player. Otherwise, the Wordle program shuffles those two words around and separates them.

-There is a FAQs section at the Wordle site that can offer more advanced tips as well!

I hope you have a great time exploring the world of Wordle, and creating one-of-a-kind gifts! I'd love for you to send me photos of what you've created to my email listed on the sidebar!


  1. Love this idea! I'm in charge of Faith in God for the boys and girls in our ward and I'm going to make this for them! Thanks so much!

  2. Hello!! This is darling! I am totally featuring it on my friday favorites!

  3. I'm totally stealing this idea.

  4. I've been having a little too much fun with this today. Started working on a Father's Day gift: Made Dad big, added the kid's names and then other words to describe him. An idea for grandparents: Family name (9 times) their names (7) kids & their spouses (5) grandkids (3) Since I have both a brother and brother-in-law named Mark I ended up putting all spouse together, separated by a slash (Julie/Erik). Otherwise Mark was as big as the family name. Thanks so much for the idea.

  5. I can't believe these are so simple and look so amazing! I'm definitely "stealing" your idea sometime! :) Stopping by from Favorite Things Friday. :)


I love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Designed By Aqua Poppy Designs for Needle in a Haystack Designs.
© Copyright. All Rights Reserved.