DIY projects
11 Creative Teacher Appreciation Gifts DIY Ideas

11 Creative Teacher Appreciation Gifts DIY Ideas

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It is the classic concept – that gift for the teacher. Are you the kind of person who likes to have that thoughtful gift sitting on the teacher’s desk that first day of school? Are you the one that likes clever DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts? Or are you the end of the year school teacher gift giver?

With teacher appreciation just around the corner, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed with all of your options. You don’t want to buy something that will be forgotten in a few days for your child’s favorite teacher, but you also want to get them something that they will really enjoy and use! That’s why we have compiled this list of teacher appreciation gift DIY ideas.

There are so many great DIY teacher gifts on this list–you can’t go wrong with any one of these homemade gifts.

Seriously – how many teachers want another coffee mug or apple logo items do you think they have collected over their career?

Creative Teacher Appreciation Day Gifts DIY Ideas

A teacher’s job is one of the most important and undervalued jobs out there. It’s hard work, they often spend a lot of their own money on school supplies, and the sweet teacher your child loves will never complain about any of it. Show your teacher appreciation with one of these amazing DIY gifts!

Link to purchase 100 Things WI book

Berry Special Teacher Gifts

Instead of the normal apple route, we did strawberries and will package them up with a note that says “to a berry great teacher”. These were pretty easy to make, only cost me some paper out of my stash and a bag of clearance Hershey Kisses.

Berry Special Teacher Gift

I got the idea from a blog where I found a cut file online after a quick search – We cut them, scored and embossed them, then stuffed them with kisses!

Enjoy the video of Sarah working the Cuttlebug and embossing them all – she is a true crafter at heart 🙂

How to make Berry Special Teacher Gifts

A few glue dots or adhesive on the tab.

Stick it together.

Put a few Kisses inside. Fold the flaps down a little. Thread the hemp or ribbon through the holes. tie it closed.

Thread the cord through the hole in the center of the strawberry top and then tie it closed.

Berry Special Teacher Gifts

And now, you have a strawberry!

Add it to the pile until you are ready to package them! Miss Lori and Miss Jodi thought they were WAAAAYYY cool! 🙂

Teacher appreciation gifts DIY: Be My Bud-Dy

I was just outside of Walmart and saw that they had Mum plants for just $1 and I was hit by some inspiration for fun DIY Teacher Appreciation gifts for teachers for that first day.

Pencil vase flower pot DIY teacher appreciation gift

I had seen a neat project where someone used colored pencils to dress up a vase for a floral bouquet. It was all pastel-ly and cute.


I tweaked it a bit and came up with this easy DIY.

-Instead of a vase, I used an empty Quaker oatmeal container.

-Instead of colored pencils, I used yellow #2 pencils that I got from the Dollar Tree

All I needed to do was glue the pencils around the container – right? This turned out to be a little trickier than I thought it would be. The container wouldn’t lay correctly because the pencil weighted side kept making it roll over. If I stood it up, the pencils fell off. You can benefit from my simple errors, LOL! Once I figured out this little trick, things went MUCH smoother.

Rubber bands.

That’s right, I put several rubber bands around the container. I glued the container around them and simply slid the pencils in place, under them. Easy-Peasy!

I did run some glue around the inside rim of the container to make it a bit sturdier and then, after the pencils dried, I tied on the ribbon, tucked some tissue in, and then added the plant. Here is the finished product..

Cost break down:

  • Oatmeal bucket – FREE (I did have to make Granola so I would have two…)
  • Glue – $.10
  • Pencils – $2
  • Ribbon – $1
  • Plant – $1

So there you have it – a homemade teacher gift that looks great on the teacher’s desk and gives a new meaning to the words pencil holder.

Thanks For Puddin’ Up With Me

Everyone LOVES Banana Pudding…at least, everyone I have come across. That is what made this seem like such a great idea for the perfect Teacher Appreciation Gift!

Thanks for puddin up with me teacher gift

This is a simple thing to make, that can easily accommodate a larger group – like we made 18. It is a cute way to give them a sweet treat as well as being an easy teacher gift.

The ingredients are simple:

  • Nilla Wafers
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Instant vanilla pudding
  • Instant banana pudding

Simply put 3 Nilla wafers in each clear plastic punch cup. Top with 1/3 sliced banana. Add 3 more wafers. Mix the puddings and milk together as the box directions request. Pour pudding mix over bananas and wafers until they are covered. Let it sit a bit and then place it into a clear treat bag. Tie it shut with a piece of curling ribbon and add a spoon. The more glittery the spoon the better!

Maybe that is because I live in the world of rainbows, confetti, and glitter… so glitter spoons?

Definitely a must-have!

We added a simple tag: “Thanks for puddin’ up with me this year”

Get your Puddin’ Tags here:

Then passed them out to every teacher, lunch attendant, even the principal…it may be for a teacher appreciation gift but it takes a village, and all of that, right? That means we are thankful for more than just her teachers – it’s the entire staff at school.

Stay in the Loop: A Teacher appreciation gifts DIY

Paper Loop Wreath, that is. This is another great idea for your favorite teacher and can be a great way to deliver that Target gift card – or whatever treat you want to offer for National Teacher’s Appreciation Week.

teacher appreciation gifts DIY paper loop wreath

With a few pieces of teacher-themed double-sided papers and I was ready to rock! This is one of those awesome ideas that certainly makes for a unique gift.

First, you need a form. I found these at the local dollar store for (surprise) $1.

THEN, you need to have some doubled sided paper -this can run up to $1.50 a sheet, depending on where you go and what you pick…if you want to do it like I did and go all the way around the wreath, you will need 160 loops or 7 sheets of paper. You can just do the front 2/3 of the form and get away with 5.5 sheets of paper…using that last half-page to make a coordinating card.

Now, take that paper and cut it into 1 inch by 6-inch strips…then staple the ends together to form a loop…do this with all of your paper as shown:

Now comes the tricky part. The instructions said to pin the loops to the form, one row at a time, 4 for a partial, and 5 for a full wreath.

Yeah, that didn’t work for me, they kept popping off and I used pretty decent pins. Then I tried to staple them one…same thing. SO, I stapled a row on and then use packing tape right over those quickly to make a tight band that held them in.

THAT seemed to do the trick and I made it all the way around, no fallout!

Once you have a full wreath, you can add those cute holiday picks to it, or – in my case, I will glue some gift cards onto floral picks and insert them.

You see, I am the class mom and just put a letter out to the other parents…if they all chipped in $5, we could put $50 in assorted gift cards for each teacher…that is a great and frugal way to recognize someone for their work!

I’m a Sucker For You

The school sent home a suggestion for the teacher gifts – they said to bring a flower for your teacher.

Sucker DIY teacher appreciation gifts

Being our crafty selves, we choose to make them! It was pretty simple for these small gifts, we cut out “petals” and used a sucker as the center. On one petal of each flower, we wrote the teacher’s name, as we had more than one teacher to treat. This was one of those adorable ideas that the kiddo was super excited to share at school. Ms. Sarah was proud of her handy work!

One Smart Cookie

This is pretty simple – bake cookies and let them cool. Put one or two into a fun bag and add a note that says:
“WIth You as my teacher, I will be one smart cookie”

One smart cookie

Attach the tag, add curling ribbon to make it pretty and you are ready to go!

Let them Eat Cake

OK, this might be the best gift for that elementary school teacher – we know they all dip into their own pockets to help supply their classrooms with things. This “cake” is a fun gift for your DIY gift ideas and is easy to assemble when you shop the back-to-school supply sales well! It is totally a useful gift.

School supply cake as a DIY teacher appreaciation gift

Think Diaper Cake, but with school supplies! I picked up a bunch of extra items when they were practically FREE over the month of July when all the back-to-school supply sales are rocking the stores.

First of all – Rubber Bands are your friends for this! You don’t want to glue anything as you want this to be easy to take apart and use.

In the middle is an upside-down Cool Whip container. I used rubber bands to keep the crayons and glue around it, as you can see.

Now, for the top-tiered layer! A can of Clorox Wipes in the center, colored pencils and granola bars around it, again with those rubber bands!

 Now, set that top layer on top of the Cool Whip Container.

 See? Even the pencils are rubber banded – all three boxes worth!

Now, to cover the rubber bands up – A quick yard of white tulle from Walmart – for $.97, cut into strips and used as a ribbon around the three layers. I tied it off in bows and alternated them for looks.

In the middle of the bows is a silk poppy from a bouquet of them that I got at the Dollar Tree. Just for the record, I wanted the burgundy Mum plant…but this was Miss Sarah’s teacher and her pick.



A cake that has:

  • 4 glue bottles
  • 4 boxes crayons
  • 2 boxes granola bars
  • 3 boxes colored pencils
  • 1 can of Clorox Wipes

14 items that are sure to delight any First Grade teacher and it’s on a cake board so it will be easier to present.

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You Popped Above my expectations: Teacher appreciation gifts DIY

It all started with these cute buckets we found at the Dollar Spot at Target…they were read little buckets with little cut-outs around the rim that were apple-shaped. So, we HAD to do something very teacher-y with them! I had seen apple pops on Room Mom 101 (in their header) But didn’t want to do cake pops.

Apple Oreo Pop gift basket for teachers

I knew chocolate was the hit after we read up about Miss Sarah’s current teacher. Yes, we could do Cake Pops, but The holiday Oreos had just come out and they had RED centers! Dipped Oreos it was to be for a fairly easy gift and one of the fun ways we could gift chocolate!

First, we stick them. Carefully — or they pop apart!

Then we melted the red candy chips

I also stir in 1-2 tsp veggie oil, to make a smoother dipping sauce

After dipping them, I put them in my pop holder: an upside down egg tray, with slits.

Guess who ate the ones that I over stuck and split?

Now, for the apple leaves… some green sour candy that I had from another project:

Rip and snip it — and you have leaves!

I dipped and stuck, Miss Sarah added the leaves.

Beautiful – right?

Laid out so you can see them better…

Now, at the bottom of that little bucket, we put some egg carton pieces. This was to help hold the pops in place, for packaging and transport. The pop sticks were easy to stick in it and then we used a little brown crinkle paper to make it prettier.

Add a shrink wrap bag – but make sure to be careful to NOT put the hairdryer on the pops so you don’t melt them. Then some curling ribbon and you are all set!

Other Quick Ideas

Give a traditional, good old standby gift card but in creative and fun packaging. Place a Starbucks gift card in the bottom of a clean, new Starbucks see-through cup-stuff 2/3 of the way full with brown tissue (coffee), and the rest of the way with white tissue paper (whipped cream).

If you want a sweet little gift that will come in handy and be appreciated- hand sanitizer is a great idea. Send in a yummy scented one with a little tag that says “ Thanks for spreading love and knowledge instead of germs!”

Homemade baked goods are always welcome! How about a little container of brownies with a homemade card that resembles a target and reads “ Shooting for Brownie Points!”

What have you done?

That wraps up a few of the fun ideas we have done over the years. Yes, we worked apples in there – but they were edible. No mugs – no apple plaques – just a little creative thinking.

Have you done something fun for your child’s teacher? What are your teacher appreciation gifts DIY ideas? Please share your creative ideas!

Check out some fun apple recipes we have shared that might work also: