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Profit from personalised products

Selling products printed with children's artwork or a school logo is easy to set up and manage. Here are some popular options.

Printed personalised products make a fantastic festive fundraiser, producing special Christmas presents for family and friends. Run it alongside a Christmas card project, or instead

of a gift room. For designs involving children's artwork you'll need to enlist the help of teachers or parents to create the artwork, but otherwise it's relatively quick and easy to run - and, unlike many events, complies with social distancing measures.

Recipe books

Home cooks and bakers have thrived in lockdown. Ask your community to submit their favourite new or perfected recipes. Compile them into your school's own lockdown recipe book, splitting up recipes into starters mains and puddings, and sub-categories such as meat, fish and veggie. Get pupils to create colourful illustrations for each recipe. Try asking a local printer to quote for the job, taking payments in advance to avoid any losses. Depending on how much you pay, you may be able to sell them for double the cost price. Get a recommendation for a local printer on our county Facebook groups at facebook.com/PTAgroupsUK.

Calendars 

It may be tricky to take the conventional class photos for your school calendar, so why not run a competition instead? Ask children to submit pictures of things they've seen and done over the past few months. It may be a piece of artwork they're proud of, a meal they've cooked, or even a photo of their cat. Make it interactive by posting the entries on social media and ask followers to 'like' their favourites.

Use the 12 top images or make a composite picture of them all and get the calendars produced by a local printer. Winners can receive a voucher, a book or a copy of the calendar as a prize. Alternatively, send artwork to Countryside Art (countrysideart.co.uk) and it will produce a calendar with up to 30 drawings per page, ideal for a self-portrait of each class member.

Aprons 

Perfect on their own, or alongside a recipe book fundraiser, personalised aprons make a great gift. Print the school logo, a compilation of self-portraits, or create a unique funky design. Class Fundraising (classfundraising.co.uk), Stuart Morris (stuartmorris.co.uk) and Countryside Art all print aprons in both child and adult sizes, so all family members can have one.

Reusable bags

Reusable bags are a practical way to encourage eco-awareness through your PTA. The Natural Bag Company (naturalbagcompany.co.uk) offers jute bags in different sizes that can be printed in any colour. Stuart Morris's cotton or canvas bags can be produced with up to 80 portraits on each side or tailormade to each child's individual design. Class Fundraising doesn't charge extra to print both sides of its eco-bags. For a twist on a classic, Countryside Art offers peg bags and carrier-bag tidies too, which might be a good option if you've sold reusable bags in recent years.

Mugs

A personalised mug makes a great gift for family members. Stuart Morris and Class Fundraising both offer a variety of styles, including mugs unique to each child's design, group mugs that combine multiple pupils' self-portraits, or a simpler option printed with your school's logo. Offer coasters at the same time for more creativity and variety.

Bears

Who can say no to a cuddly mascot to cheer them through this tricky time? School Bears (school-bears.co.uk) has a huge variety of customisable teddies on offer. You can personalise tops, jumpers or even the bear directly with a graphic of your choice to make the perfect companion. From keyrings to fully-jointed bears, there's an option for every price range. 

Tea towels

The humble tea towel is a charming way to bring a class together again. Collect a self-portrait from each pupil who will feature on the tea towel - this could be a single class, year group, key stage or the whole school, depending on pupil numbers. Encourage teachers to join in too. The drawings are then combined and printed on tea towels. Class Fundraising and Countryside Art are able to print in multiple colours per towel. Class Fundraising is also offering three glittery colours, which make a good option for Christmas. Stuart Morris's tea towels are available in a choice of three eco-friendly fabrics. 

Practical pieces

Coasters, keyrings and magnets are a more attractive way to display artwork than creased paper stuck to the fridge door. These small items make ideal Christmas gifts and are a cheaper option if you're looking to make the fundraiser more inclusive. Countryside Art offers keyrings and fridge magnets suitable for logo designs, while Class Fundraising's coasters can be personalised to each child's drawing.

Hanging decorations

Hanging decorations are the perfect item to sell around Christmas, as families can adorn their trees with their children's artwork. Offer these every year so pupils can build up their own unique collection as they progress through the school. All My Own Work (allmyownwork.co.uk) offers both square and circular hanging decorations.

Water bottles

Encourage pupils to drink more water with their own personalised bottle. Class Fundraising offers bottles personalised with individual drawings (ideal for avoiding mix-ups), or all printed with the same design or school logo. 

Choosing the design

Most printed products involve submitting a design or artwork. What are the options?

  • Original designs - pupils will often be able to draw their design. Artwork may be printed individually for a unique item, or put together in a compilation, such as several self-portraits for a tea towel design. 
  • School logo - a popular choice, buyers will be drawn to items sporting the logo of the school they love. 
  • PTA logo - if you have a memorable PTA logo, it will act as free advertising when buyers are using the object. 
  • A design competition - ask pupils to enter designs and use the winning entry on your products. Bear in mind the design will need to have broad appeal. You might ask entrants to create drawings around a theme; if you're raising money for a minibus, how about 'wheels' or 'travel'?
  • Local artist  - approach an artist and ask if they will create something for you. Is there anyone with links to the school already? An original piece of artwork has the potential to appeal far beyond the school gates.

Safe collections

Safety is paramount at the moment, so how can you get goods to buyers' homes?

  • Send items home with the kids:  If pupils are at school and the objects fit into book bags, ask teachers to distribute them.
  • Offer contactless drop-offs on doorsteps: Bear in mind the practicalities - if you're going by car, you may want to go in pairs (within your own household/bubble) so you don't have to worry about parking. Another option is to divide orders among a team of reliable volunteers who can each cover a set area. This way, they can deliver products on foot or by bike, and it's not too much for one person to handle.
  • Ask buyers to pick up from a collection point: A committee member might offer their front garden or garage. Sort orders first and bag them up for a quick collection. As a precautionary measure, make sure there's someone keeping watch and available to help with any issues.

For more information

Have you created printed products in your school? We'd love to hear about it! Drop us an email at editorial@pta.co.uk and you could help support and advise other PTAs.


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