20 DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts to Give Your Favorite Educator
Teacher appreciation gifts are some of the best ways to show just how much the educators in your family's lives mean to you. Not only are they crafting fun-filled lesson plans, but they are also prepping the next leaders of the world. What better way to show your appreciation than by creating a heartfelt gift? Here, we're showing a combination of adult- and kid-friendly crafts that double as teacher appreciation gifts. Package any one of these ideas for your child's educator and they're sure to love it.
One way to treat your favorite teacher to something special is by surprising her with a few of the sweet-smelling Floral Wax Sachets, pictured here. They'll look lovely in the classroom or at home, and the fresh fragrance they release will reinvigorate her during a long day of teaching. You could also go a more classic route, pairing a thank-you card with a batch of homemade cookies or a gift certificate to a local coffee shop. Using an apple-shaped craft punch, you can make a card that's guaranteed to stand out from the bunch. Also jot down a few sweet words to make any teacher truly appreciative (and make your student the apple of her eye).
While we think a heartfelt note is a surefire way to make your teacher feel loved and appreciated, another good option is to make a homemade Self-Care Kit. After a long, hard day of shaping minds, your child's teacher will be thrilled to come home to a complete kit comprised of bath salts, candles, and more. They'll be ready to de-stress in a custom oasis inside of their very own home.
Keep the appreciation gifts coming with something they can use in the classroom. Decorated pencils are fun and easy crafts to work on with the kids, but they're also handy tools just about any educator could use more of throughout the year. Another great idea is to make a bag for them to carry their daily supplies to and from school. Simply print their initial onto a tote for a personalized, decorative touch. Earn yourself a A+ by stocking the bag itself with little treats.
Ahead, discover appreciation gifts teachers are sure to cherish for years to come.
Teacher's Clipboard Appreciation
This might be the easiest idea of all—all it takes is a little penmanship, a clipboard, and a gift card. A few handwritten phrases can turn an end-of-the-school-year token into a heartfelt memento. To begin, download and print our template, which gives you and your little one plenty of space to list five reasons why their teacher deserves an A+. Have the student fill it in and place it on a mini clipboard, along with a gift card and a grateful note from the parents.
Give teachers everything they need to create their own at-home retreat. Relaxation will come easily when they have a candle to light by the tub and a DIY headband to keep their hair out of their latest face mask.
This gift is perfect for the classroom or a teacher's home. To create, first cut a heart shape out of the stencil film, then stick the film on an inexpensive wooden cup. Dab the paint on the stencil, then peel the film off. Make as many as you need, then transfer a small plant into each cup. We used succulents, but just about any greenery you like should work.
Teacher Apple Card
As challenging as it can be to teach room full of kids, those students are the collective apple of any teacher's eye. Even sending a few words of gratitude makes a lasting impression. Use an apple craft punch to design a handmade card and have the student include a sincere note of thanks. Cut and fold a piece of paper with red and white dots into a 5-by-7-inch card. Use a bone folder to make the crease crisp. Stick a 5-by-7-inch piece of green paper to the inside right of the card. Punch four apples evenly across the top front of the card. Punch one apple from green and white dotted paper. Back the second apple punched out on the card with a piece of the green paper. Add the green and white dotted apple using a foam dot on top of it. Put a "T" sticker to the left side of a 4-1/4-by-3-inch piece of green paper. Write "teacher!" next to the "T" sticker with a glue pen. Sprinkle Verdelite glitter over the glue and tap off the excess. When it's dry, adhere the green paper to the front of the card. Place a "Hello" sticker using the foam dots.
Showing appreciation for a favorite teacher can be as simple as creating a custom bookmark, and our heart-shaped version is sure to make a statement.
Whip up a tasty treat with your child this school year and give it to their favorite teacher. The recipe is delicious on its own, but you can add extra sweetness and pizzazz with sugar hearts.
Hand Sewn Journals
Give your teacher a gift they can write in throughout the year. To begin, fold a large piece of heavy paper in half with grain to create the cover. Fold a 10-sheet stack of lighter-weight, slightly smaller-size paper in half to form pages. Next, nest the pages in the cover. Use an awl to punch a hole at the midpoint of the fold, then punch two more holes along the fold, halfway between the midpoint and the end of the page. Thread a needle with a 36-inch length of waxed twine. Sew through the center hole, starting from the inside of the book, leaving a 3-inch tail. Return through the top hole, then exit through the bottom hole, from the inside of the book outward. Finish by returning through the center hole, pulling the thread taut against the fold. Knot on top of the thread on the interior seam. Clip the ends, leaving 1-inch tails. Close the book and run a bone folder over just the holes on the spine to smooth. Using a glue stick, attach stamps or other decorative elements to the book cover, pressing with the bone folder to secure.
A well-decorated bag adds the perfect something extra to your teacher appreciation gift, regardless of what goodies you put inside. Whether your teacher likes plants or would prefer an array of treats, you can let the bag be the statement with its shimmery design and fill it with their favorite items.
Afternoon Tea Set
Gift your teacher a spot of tea and cookies. To make the cookies, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl; set it aside. Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until it's pale and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture and mix until it's all combined. Divide the dough in half. Shape both pieces into disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it's firm, at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove one disk from the refrigerator; let it stand at room temperature until it's slightly soft, five to 10 minutes. Roll out the dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment to a 1/8-inch thickness, dusting with flour as needed. Cut out the shapes with a 2-by-1-1/2-inch fluted oval cutter. Lightly press a 1-inch alphabet cutter into the dough, making sure not to cut all the way through. Re-roll the scraps and cut. Repeat with remaining dough. Space 1-1/2-inches apart on baking sheets lined with the parchment paper. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating halfway through, until the edges are golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let it cool completely. Cookies can be stored in the airtight containers at room temperature for up to one week. Then place them in a teacup alongside tea bags for your teacher to appreciate.
You can monogram a canvas tote without sewing a single stitch. Print the teacher's initial as large as possible from a computer, enlarge further on a photocopier, and cut it out to make a pattern. Back the fabric with fusible webbing, following the package directions. Lay the initial face down on the webbing side of the fabric; trace and cut out. Center the letter on the bag, and iron it on.
Give the teacher your own stamp of approval with personalized stamps, ink pads, and blank note cards in warm, vivid colors. Print out the wording and have an office supply store create a name stamp. Bring along a photocopy of the apple icon to make a second stamp and give the pair.
Shop Now: Best Paper Greetings Blank Greeting Cards, $11, amazon.com.
Get an A (for adorable!) with this wrapping idea for an end-of-year teacher's gift. Cover a gift box with ruled handwriting paper, secure it with tape, and top it with a tape-measure-ribbon bow. Then have your child show off her best penmanship by writing the teacher's name directly on the paper. Don't forget to fill this appreciation gift with a thoughtful goodie.
Create a stunning bag for a gift that will keep on giving. To begin, download our clip art, and print it onto transfer paper—images will appear in reverse. Using scissors or a craft knife, cut loosely around the designs, leaving a 1/8-inch border. Lay an ironed pillowcase on a table or other hard, heat-resistant surface (not an ironing board, which has too much padding). Place the ironed bag on the pillowcase. Arrange the cutout designs face-down on the bag, avoiding seams or pockets. With an iron set on high and no steam, slowly iron on the designs, applying firm, even pressure. Let it cool. Remove the paper backings. Before allowing kids to decorate the tote with permanent markers, cover the table with butcher paper. Slip sheets of scrap paper inside the tote to prevent the ink from bleeding.
Create a pretty, handy tool they can use every day while at school. Begin by wrapping tape around the pencil; try a candy-cane design or wrap in individual circles for parallel lines. Paint over the whole pencil generously with acrylic paint. When the paint is dry, remove the tape.
If your teacher loves a good statement earring, they'll appreciate this DIY gift. These stud earring holders with a wooden finish are great for easy organizing. Easily made in a variety of colors, this craft will stand out and serve as a handy jewelry organizer they can use every day.
Scalloped Clay Jewelry Dishes
Put a spin on an ordinary jewelry dish with these scalloped creations. Made of clay and fruit temporary tattoos, these sweet-inspired appreciation gifts are another ideal way for your child's teacher to store their prized pieces of jewelry.
Give the gift of a fun time with this DIY game. Using pinking shears, cut a square of canvas that's about 12-by 12-inches. With a knife, slice a plastic art eraser into a square that's 1-1/2 by 1-1/2-inches; this will be the stamp. Begin by stamping a single square in one corner of the board; stamp a second catty-corner to the first, then add a third square along the border, catty-corner from the second and a full square-space from the first. Continue to fill the board; your finished board will have eight squares (four stamped and four blank) in each row and column.
Watercolor Thank-You Card
A colorful thank-you card will go a long way and creating this thank-you note is easy. On a full watercolor sheet, begin by lightly sketching the outline of a flat card that is 10-inches wide by 7-inches high. Lightly sketch the centerfold at 5-inches wide. Using an alphabet stencil, remove the backing and adhere the letters for "thanks" across the right-hand section of the card. Stencil the letters with a generous coat of watercolor resist. Remove the stencil and let the resist dry completely. To ombré, apply a wash of water to the card. Starting with blue craft paint, brush it onto one end of the page and add water to fade the color toward one direction. Rinse your brush quickly and add green craft paint from the opposite end, and blend until it meets the blue craft paint. With a cotton swab, dab away any paint that may be left on the resist medium; let it dry. Cut out the card along the sketched lines with a craft knife. Score the sketched centerline and fold. Repeat with other combinations of colors and different card orientations to make one for every one of your children's teachers.
Shop Now: Best Paper Greetings Blank Greeting Cards, $11, amazon.com; Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint, $7, amazon.com; Martha Stewart Crafts Watercolor Resist, $12, amazon.com.
Flowers that will stay fresh for a lifetime are the perfect appreciation gift to give your child's teacher. To make this craft, download our templates, print them onto cardstock, and then cut out each pattern with scissors. For each tulip, lightly trace the petals onto pink cover stock or heavy paper. Cut it out with scissors and cut slits as marked. Interlock the two shapes, sliding the bottom slit from one into the top slit of the other. Cut an 18-inch length of 16-gauge green cloth-wrapped floral wire for a stem. Apply glue to one end of the wire, then secure to the bottom of the petals and let it dry. Trace a leaf onto green vellum and cut out with sharp scissors. Attach the leaf to the stem near the bottom with double-sided tape and fold the base of the leaf around the floral wire. Slip the stem into the leaves of the potted tulip bulb and push the tip of it into the bulb to anchor it.