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Gifting your favorite teacher an apple is so 1712. No worries, you can bring your gift-giving into the 21st century with DIY gifts teachers will love. Whether you’re looking for Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas or DIY teacher Christmas gifts, these ideas are easy to put together and cheap too! (Although they don’t look it.)
For more DIY projects and money-saving tips download the free KCL app and bookmark our Back-to-School deals page.
1. Say “Thanks a Latte” to your favorite teacher with a Starbucks gift card.
- Starbucks gift card
- Empty Starbucks cup with straw
- Paper shreds or gift basket filler
- Cardstock (you can either write or use a printer to create your message)
- Hole punch
I mean, what teacher doesn’t want free coffee during Teacher Appreciation Week or as a teacher Christmas gift?
To recreate this easy gift, ask for an empty Starbucks cup with a straw when you buy the gift card.
Place some filler and the gift card inside the cup. Either create the gift tag or print a pre-made one and punch a hole through the top of it. Pull one end of the ribbon through the tag and tie in a bow around the straw.
2. Brighten your teacher’s desk with a bouquet of pencil flowers.
via My Mommy World
Such a great idea, and you can buy pretty much everything from the dollar store! For full instructions on this homemade teacher gift, visit MyMommyWorld.com.
3. Show your teacher appreciation with a teacher gift basket and poem.
Include the common stockpile items in the poem below, and attach the free printable to your teacher’s gift basket.
- Gift basket
- Tissue paper
- Hole punch
- Shout (stain remover)
- Sharpie marker
- Extra (gum)
- Mounds candy bar
- Joy (candy bar)
- Tide to-go pen
- Band-Aid bandages
- Starburst candy
- Bayer Aspirin
- Burt’s Bees lip balm
- Energizer batteries
- Secret deodorant
- Grab a basket.
- Line with tissue paper.
- Fill with all the items.
- Print out the poem above.
- Cut the poem out.
- Punch a hole in the upper corner of the poem.
- Pull ribbon through the hole and tie to the basket.
4. Buy “Best Teacher” hand sanitizer as a practical gift.
- via Eighteen 25
Now, more than ever, teachers will appreciate hand sanitizer as kids return back to school. Use KCL to find hand sanitizer deals and soap coupons, then add premade printable tags or make your own!
Psst…ever wondered how to make hand sanitizer? Make it yourself and save some cash!
5. Serve up a school-supply cake to your beloved teacher.
Another great reason to stock up on school supplies come late July when back-to-school sales are in full swing!
- Clorox wipes
- 5 packs of pencils
- 5 glue sticks
- 5 packs of crayons
- 5 bottles of glue
- Double-sided tape
- Rubber bands
- Die cuts and skewers (optional)
The folks at HappyGoLuckyBlog.com have step-by-step instructions.
RELATED: 18 Clever Ways to Organize School Supplies
6. Create a framed crayon monogram as a sweet teacher appreciation gift.
- via Workman Family
This gift may be a little more time-consuming compared to the other DIY teacher gifts, but the whole thing will cost you less than $2!
- A piece of paper or cardstock (size depends on the size of your frame)
- Picture frame
- 1-2 boxes of crayons
- Super glue or a glue gun
- Blow dryer
- Serrated knife (like a bread or steak knife)
For detailed directions visit LifeWriteNow.com.
7. Dress up the teacher’s desk with a DIY pencil vase.
- via Catch My Party
This homemade gift is sure to brighten any teacher’s day!
- 1 glass cylindrical vase. I found mine at the local Dollar Store!
- Approximately 35-40 pencils
- Hot glue gun
For step-by-step instructions visit CatchMyParty.com.
8. Transform a terra-cotta pot into a teacher’s candy dish.
This makes an adorable teacher gift, perfect for back to school or Teacher Appreciation Day!
- 4″ terra-cotta pot and saucer
- Red paint
- Sharp knife and scissors
- Green felt
- hot glue gun and glue
And of course, some kind of treat for inside (I used Hershey’s kisses).
- Paint your pot and saucer red.
- While that’s drying, cut the eraser end off your pencil with the knife.
- Cut your felt into a leaf shape with scissors.
- Add a small dot of hot glue to the center at one end of each “leaf” and pinch to make it more three dimensional.
- Use glue to attach the pencil and leaves to the saucer then fill with candy!
- Apply chalkboard paint to a terracotta pot, and you can write a message to your favorite teacher!
9. Tell your teacher they stand out with a chalkboard crayon wreath.
It may look complicated but with a few items, you can easily make this pretty, thoughtful gift!
- Unfinished wood wreath
- Crayons (about 3.5 boxes)
- Chalkboard ribbon
- Stickers & other embellishments
- Hot glue gun and glue
Visit PumpkinAndPrincess.com for complete instructions.
10. Show your teacher appreciation with an apple and caramel sauce.
Giving a teacher a regular apple = boring.
Giving a teacher an apple with caramel sauce wrapped with a bow = an irresistible (and inexpensive) throwback gift! For full instructions and free printables visit GirlCreative.com.
RELATED: The 32 Best Discounts for Teachers (and freebies too!)
11. Create a “thank you” jar with small gifts from Target’s Dollar Spot.
To keep this cute teacher gift idea cheap grab your materials at Target’s Dollar Spot or dollar store.
- A jar ( large enough to hold your items)
- Pencils, erasers and a notepad (or, whatever you want to put in the jar)
- Curling ribbon and tag
- Hole punch if your tag isn’t premade with a hole
- Fill the jar with items.
- Cut the ribbon long enough to go around the jar and pull one end through the hole in the tag.
- Tie around the jar.
- Curl ribbon with the edge of the scissors.
12. Tell your teacher they are Tea-rific with a tea appreciation gift.
- via Everyday Savvy
Hit up Target’s Dollar Spot (the discount-bin area in the front of the store) for cheap double-wall straw cups and add some filler, tea bags, bow, and tag!
13. Say “thank you” to your teacher or teacher’s aide with lemonade cups.
- via Lisa Storms
Here’s another awesome cup idea. Fill it with some lemonade packets and a thank you note. Attach a “thank you” message to the straw for your teacher or teacher’s aide.
RELATED: Back-to-School Hacks to Keep Your Family Organized
14. Remind your teacher how important they are with a DIY succulent garden.
This might be one of the easiest things to make your teacher.
- A mason jar (any size)
- Spray paint (I used flat)
- Rocks or gravel
- Succulents (real or fake)
- Dirt (if you used real succulents)
- Fine sandpaper
- Turn the jar upside and spray paint a couple of coats (follow spray can directions).
- Let dry.
- Sand areas around the jar like the words to give it a distressed look.
- Add rocks or gravel to the bottom of your jar for drainage or filler.
- Plant succulents (or use fake ones).
- Add a gift tag saying, “Thank you for helping me grow.”
15. Create a practical gift with a teacher emergency kit.
via The 36th Avenue
You can put just about anything in a teacher emergency kit. Grab a small box and fill it up.
Materials (suggested) needed:
Or, you can select other various items.
16. Make DIY Bath and Body Works soap.
Need a quick, easy gift? Make your teacher a bottle of Bath & Body Works foaming soap with these easy-to-follow directions.
- Dispenser bottle (one with a pump)
- Liquid soap or facial cleanser
17. Tell your teacher they are “one smart cookie” with your favorite cookie recipe.
Share one of your favorite recipes with a teacher, and include all the dry ingredients in a mason jar. Don’t forget the sweet message!
18. Surprise your teacher with a homemade crayon holder.
Here’s a clever crayon or pencil holder for your teacher’s classroom. Look at hardware stores or craft stores for small decorative log pieces. You may be able to pick them up for free if you live near a wooded area or know someone who does.
- A couple of small logs (tall enough to hold crayons or pencils)
- Crayons or pencils
- Drill and drill bit that’s the width of a crayon or pencil
- Tape measure
- Measure how deep you want your crayons to sit, then mark your drill bit with tape.
- Drill into the log, stopping when you reach the tape.
- Blow out sawdust and fill with crayons.
- Repeat for however many crayons you want in each log.
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