This is the list of materials I used for this project:
1 - faux styrofoam apple from Dollar Tree - $1.00
8 - small paperclips on hand - FREE (if you don't have any, Dollar Tree sells a box of them and you can use the rest for your office)
2 - popsicle sticks saved from treats - FREE (if you don't have any, Dollar Tree sells a bag of them and you can use the rest on later crafts)
1 - empty plastic Coke bottle, 20 oz size
glue - on hand - FREE
cling wrap - on hand - FREE
pretty ribbon - on hand - FREE
green construction paper to make 2 apple leaves or print them out like I did using clipart for FREE
1 - can of glossy red spray paint - $1.50
2 - Photos of your choice
1. Stick the 2 popsicle sticks back to back in the apple, with just a hair of space between them to allow you to stick 2 photos in between.
2. Use a knife to cut the Coke bottle in half. Trim any cracked edges you may have and then make another cut about 1/4" all the way around from the edge to get a round piece of plastic to hold the apple (it doesn't have to be perfect since it will get painted).
3. Glue the plastic to the bottom of the apple. After the glue dries, cover the popsicle sticks with a napkin to prevent overspray on the sticks. Spray paint the apple and plastic and let dry.
4. Use clipart to find images of apple leaves, or make homemade ones out of construction paper. Write the child's name and "1st Day" on one leaf. Make a mirror image of the same leaf and put the child's name and "Last Day" on the 2nd leaf. After printing your leaves (or making your own from construction paper), cut out the leaves and glue to them back to back with the popsicle stick sandwiched between them (see last photos).
5. Tear out a piece of cling wrap to gift wrap your "candied apple". Tie it in pretty bow with your ribbon.
6. Take your paperclips and use pliers to help you bend them to form the numbers "2012" and "2013". When you bend the numbers, make sure you have about 1/4" of the paperclip tucked down at the beginning and end of the number so that you can punch the numbers through the styrofoam. When you have finished forming your numbers, stick the "2012" numbers on the "1st day" side and the "2013" numbers on the "last day" side.
7. Insert your pictures and voila! You're done!
Let me know what you think!