Last updated on June 11th, 2021
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Back to school time is here. Which can only mean one thing in the studio. Crafting afternoons.
Crafting together is one of the fun back to school traditions our family enjoys together. It gives us a chance to create things, spend time together and get messy. Okay, only sometimes.
In the past we have made these gumball rulers as a sweet way to celebrate and these colorful paper mache letters to decorate our room. This year I wanted to add a back to school decoration to the chalkboard in our kitchen, so I turned to apples.
Apples are a traditional back to school symbol that always make me think about September. We give them to the teachers on the first day of school and pack them in our children’s lunch boxes to help nourish them all afternoon. They are one of the first things I think of when the kids scream “Back to School”!
And this chalkboard is amazing because it has become our family information hub. It is the central location for all of the to dos that help our busy days run smoothly. From displaying the date (since we still forget what day of the week it is sometimes) to scheduling/pick up notices, everyone knows exactly where to go to figure out important information for the day.
As much as I love the dark wooden frame, the chalkboard needed a festive addition for back to school season this year. And since I also wanted to make something with an apple theme, this apple garland craft was the perfect idea.
So for this year’s back to school craft, I created an apple garland craft. I hung it from the blackboard in our kitchen and now we are all in the back to school spirit. It’s amazing how one decoration can completely change one’s mindset of the season.
One note about this apple craft is that I used a pre-made red honeycomb ball garland (affiliate). When I added the paper stems and leaves, the balls became heavier than expected. So if you decide to hang your apple garland horizontally, you will need to add a counterweight to the bottom of each honeycomb ball. To do this, I slipped a paperclip into the bottom of each apple. The paperclip is hidden, but it prevents the honeycomb ball from swinging every which way.
If this doesn’t work perfectly, you can also roll a piece of painter’s tape and attach to the back of the honeycomb ball. I pressed each ball against the chalkboard to make sure the apple stayed in place.
This apple garland craft is perfect to decorate your kitchen, home school classroom or even as a back to school project. It also makes a fun surprise in a school’s teacher lounge or to decorate a Back to School PTA event.
If you want to use this apple garland craft as a first day of school project, have students each make one of the apples. They can cut out a stem and leaf and then glue it to create the apple. They can write their name on the apple leaf or you can add a rectangle with their name on the front of the apple. Then, you have all your “apples” represented in your classroom.
You Will Need
7 Foot Red Honeycomb Ball Garland (affiliate)
Free Printable Apple Stem Template
Free Printable Apple Leaf Template
Medium Weight Brown Cardstock (for apple stems) (affiliate)
Medium Weight Green Cardstock (for apple leaves) (affiliate)
Tacky Glue (affiliate)
Painter’s Tape (optional)
1. Unwrap the honeycomb garland (affiliate). Assemble each honeycomb ball by sticking the edges together.
2. Download the free printable apple stem and apple leaf templates. Print one sheet of apple stems on brown cardstock. Then, print one sheet of apple leaves on green cardstock.
3. Cut out the apple stems and leaves. You will need one pair for each apple you plan to make. The 7 foot honeycomb garland made 11 apples. If you plan to use this back to school craft in your classroom and have more students, you can use additional garlands to make more apples. Or you can find a honeycomb garland that is longer and has more honeycomb balls.
4. To make the apple, glue the stem in the center of the honeycomb ball.
Add the leaf tilted to the right or left side. Although it doesn’t matter where you place the leaf, try to keep them consistent.
5. Once the glue dries, it is time to hang your apple garland craft. You can hang vertically down a wall or chalkboard edge. Or you can hang horizontally across a wall, shelf or a dessert table for a back to school party.
When you are hanging your apple garland, you might find that the apples like to flip over (see explanation above). If this happens, slip a paper clip on the bottom of each apple. The paper clip becomes a counter weight to the stem and leaf. This should help keep them upright.
You can also secure the apples in place with a rolled piece of painter’s tape on the back. This makes sure that the apples don’t go anywhere when displayed.
This apple garland craft makes a beautiful back to school decoration. You can also use it to spruce up a teacher’s lounge, use at a back to school breakfast or add to a teacher appreciation event. There are so many possibilities.
Looking for other ways to make back to school time special? You can make your teacher a special treat with these DIY washi tape pencils or recycle old school supplies into thank you notes. Or fill a chalkboard doodle box with back to school supplies and other fun treats to surprise your kids on the first day of school. They would also make fun treat boxes to give to your favorite teachers on the first day.