ONE OF THE GREATEST Americans in modern-day history, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, understood the importance teachers play in our lives.

"None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots," he said.

Each year we celebrate teachers by recognizing their efforts to educate young minds. Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5 to 9, is a great time to show your gratitude. This apple decoration is a cute twist on an "apple for the teacher."

Supplies you will need

* Brown grocery bag

* A pattern of an apple

* Acrylic paint in brown, red and cream

* Paintbrush

* Toothbrush

* Pinking shears (or other decorative scissors)

* Gingham material scrap

* Button

* Cotton batting (Fiberfil)

* White craft glue

* Craft wire

* Pencil

* Raffia

How to make it

Cut out two large sections from the paper bag. Stack those sections, one on top of the other, then trace and cut out the apple pattern onto the paper using pinking shears.

Glue the pieces together starting at the bottom of the apple, stuffing the apple as you go with cotton batting. Work your way around the edges, carefully gluing and stuffing until apple is completely closed.

When the glue is dry, paint the edges and the stem with brown and the apple with red. When the paint is dry, dip the bristle tips of a toothbrush into the cream paint. Hold toothbrush horizontally and drag your thumb across the bristles, causing the paint to splatter spots on your apple. When dry, glue some gingham fabric squares to the apple.

Cut a piece of craft wire long enough to wrap completely around your apple and wrap it around a pencil. Curve the wire into a hanger shape and poke each end carefully through the sides of the apple. Use a drop of glue to hold.

Tie a piece of raffia into a bow around the craft wire. Glue the button to the center of the raffia bow.