I can't believe the end of the school year is already here. I still have Christmas wrap I need to put away. Sigh. Anyhow, being a photographer, I feel the need to incorporate photography into everything I do. That includes the little things, like thank you gifts for the boys' teachers.

And even though I did this last year, I wasn't able to one, take photos of it (hanging my head in shame right now) and two, blog about it. So here's my chance to redeem myself.

I started off purchasing liquid pump soap from the dollar store and used Goo Gone to remove the labels. And really, this is the toughest part since it seems as if industrial strength glue is used for these labels. I found that soaking the side of the soap with the label on it in a shallow pool of Goo Gone and leaving it for a couple of hours was the best way to remove these.

After I got the labels off, I measured one side of the soap and created a template that was a wee bit smaller than the actual dimensions (I wanted to be able to stick the shape into the bottle of soap.) I made as many trapezoid shapes on a piece of paper that will fit.

Next, I had my son draw a picture (well, it's a smiley face...he IS only 4) on all four trapezoids with a black Sharpee (you want to make sure that the drawing/writing is bold and dark.) I also had him write his name on another piece of paper. And because he would rather play Mario Kart than write his name four times in a row, I scanned his name and placed it on each trapezoid.

I also had my older son write a thank-you message to his 2nd grade teacher on another template.

Then I went to Staples and made copies of the templates on a transparency. You can do this at home, but you want to make sure you use a laser printer and not an ink jet printer. Using an ink jet printer will cause the picture/words to flake off in the soap, and you definitely don't want to use soap with black flakes swimming around in it.

Afterwards, I cut out each shape, rolled it up lengthwise and inserted it into the soap, using the pump as a tool to push and guide the transparency in.

Lastly, I replaced the pump and voila!

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