8 Simple Teacher Gifts to Make

Teachers work hard in a highly rewarding but often thankless profession. I know.  I’ve been teaching English for the last 21 years.  Especially at this time of year when things are so hectic and teachers are under serious time constraints and stress, it’s a nice idea to give a small remembrance to your child’s teachers.  I may not still have every gift I’ve received from students, but I do have most of them–mugs, candles, Christmas tree ornaments, the scarf Marin knit, the drawing from Sarah.  I am so thankful for every gift I receive from my students or their parents.

I especially love the thank you notes.  Those I have kept–each and every one.  The first was from Erik F. who penned a short but heartfelt thank you note on the bottom of his final exam.  At the end of eighth grade Cody S. wrote me one of the nicest cards I’ve ever gotten–especially meaningful since Cody was a struggling writer who made tremendous strides that year.  This weekend he’s graduating from high school.

There are just a few days of school left, but there is still time to make a small gift for your child’s teacher.  These crafts are inexpensive, cute, and easy enough for your child to help.

You're One Smart Cookie!
You’re One Smart Cookie!


1. Cookies: Everyone loves cookies.  Make your favorite kind of cookie extra big for this gift.  Package CD-sized cookies in inexpensive paper CD envelopes.  I cut parchment paper squares the same size as the envelope to put behind the cookies so that the oil from the cookies wouldn’t soak into the paper. Seal the envelope with “You’re One Smart Cookie!” labels. I made these stickers using Avery address labels.  Give each of your child’s teachers one or stack 3 or 4 and tie with a colorful ribbon.  If you’re child’s teacher was especially wonderful, fill a basket.  I guarantee this will be appreciated.


Personalized Travel Cup
Personalized Travel Cup


2.  Cups:  I used to get a lot of mugs and since I’m a tea drinker, they were always appreciated.  Recently, though, there’s been a trend toward travel cups.  Use your die cut or Cricut machine to cut out the school mascot or school letters or the teacher’s initials using Cricut iron on transfer paper.  If you don’t have a die cut machine, many craft stores may give you access to one for a small price (or free if you’re taking a class).  Add granola bars or candy bars and drink powder and you’ve got an easy, yet thoughtful, gift. I got this one from Ben and Jake.  My initial is on the other side.  It really is one of my favorite cups and you can often see me sitting on my front porch on weekends sipping lemonade.


Travel Cup
Travel Cup



3.  More cups: Yes, it’s another travel cup, but you really can’t go wrong with this simple idea.  Add a gift card for summer reading and you’ve got a sure hit.




4. Take Out:  If you don’t have time to make something, don’t despair.  You could order in lunch for your child’s teacher.  Obviously you should make arrangements ahead of time, but this would be a much appreciated, thoughtful gift.  The mother of one of my current students brings lunch to all of Kathryn’s teachers twice a year.  It’s always a special treat.


Popcorn Treats!



5.  Theme Baskets: Gift baskets or theme gifts are always a great idea.  Here’s one with a movie theme.  I got the paper popcorn box at Target in the dollar section–can’t beat that.  I filled it with a bottle of flavored carbonated water, microwave popcorn, a bit of chocolate and a gift card for a movie.  The obvious message here is that the teacher deserves a little mindless relaxation!



Paper, Paper, Paper
Paper, Paper, Paper

6, 7, 8. Paper:  Here are three ideas that are similar.  Paper, paper, and paper.  Make a personalized clipboard.  Here’s one with a vacation theme made with scrapbook paper.  A great thing about this project is that it can be personalized for anyone–male, female, math, science, English. To see full directions click here.  The second idea is a Post-it holder.  I made this one using a cheap plastic picture frame I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I used scrapbook paper and other embellishments, attaching the Post-its with glue.  The last paper idea is also using Post-its. Use a cork coaster, cover it with scrapbook paper.  I attached it using spray adhesive.  Lastly, attach the Post-its with a big clip.  All of these ideas are inexpensive, cute, and so easy to make.


Whatever you decide to do, I know that it will be appreciated.  Take the time to thank a teacher as the school year winds down to a close.

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