DIY Teacher Thanks {Day 1 of 8 Days of DIY Holiday Gifts}


This weekend, I was working on a list of holiday gifts for people close to us and realized that I have so many people who have made a difference in my children’s lives. There’s my daughter’s preschool teacher, the girls’ Sunday school teachers and helpers, and all the awesome people who hang out with them at their mid-week church program. I’m going to admit my bias right away- I’m a public school teacher- but I think it’s really important to recognize the individuals that shape our kids. These are the ones who, depending on the age of your little ones, change their diapers, grade their papers, and coach their sports. This year, I’m going to try doing a few DIY options for our gifts.

Keep reading for some of the projects that have inspired me and a few hints to make your teacher gifts as meaningful as possible.

This weekend, my girls and I are going to make these (sparkly!) snowflake ornaments from Lisa’s Craft Blog. They’re puzzle pieces glued together and painted- she uses gesso and glitter glue to paint them, but I’ll be using white spray paint, since we’re making a lot of them.

Another ornament I remember making for teacher gift as a kid is the cinnamon ornament. It’s just cinnamon and applesauce rolled out and cut with cookie cutters, but the scent really does last forever. Since it uses so much cinnamon, I’d recommend getting the little bags of it from the the produce section, rather than spending the money on name-brand.

One gift that I’ve received and appreciated was a homemade bean soup mix. I found a pretty exhaustive list of jarred mix instructions here– it would be pretty simple to make a lot of these assembly-line style with bulk dry goods and some mason jars.

You’ll notice one common theme among these ideas: they’re nonperishable! Every year, I have a few students bring in the most adorably wrapped and delicious homemade cookies, but I never finish eating them before they go bad. I feel horrible wasting food, especially when it was such a kind gift from a student. If you’re set on making cookies (or you have a killer fudge recipe), I’d recommend only sending in a few. One year, a parent gave me a few cookies, along with a silicone spatula. The cookies disappeared four years ago, but I use that spatula almost every day when I cook.

Ultimately, whatever you do, your kid’s teachers and coaches will appreciate any reminder that we parents are thankful for the work and love they put into our kids every day. Some of my favorite Christmas gifts (honestly!) are sweet, hand-written cards from kids and families.

Do you have any ideas for teacher gifts this holiday season? Fellow teachers, any other gifts to recommend? (besides that Starbucks card- ha!)


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