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10 Homemade Teacher Appreciation Gifts: Personalized Unique Ideas

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Giving a homemade personalized gift to a teacher is a great way to express your appreciation and gratitude. While mugs and Christmas ornaments are not bad gifts, teachers only need so many of both of them. This year consider some new ideas, particularly gifts that can be used up, such as food and school supplies, and gifts that it is tough to have too many of, such as plants and wall art. The gift will be extra special if you and your child work on it together.

The most popular times of year to give teacher gifts are Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the beginning and end of the school year. Some of the ideas here are specific to one occasion but many can be personalized for any of these occasions.

Unless it is noted otherwise, all tutorials and printables are for personal use only. If you are interested in selling any of your creations, please contact the artists directly to work out agreements. Thanks and happy creating!

1. School Supplies

I have yet to meet a teacher who does not appreciate the gift of extra school supplies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it simple and sending your kid with an extra pack of pencils or set of glue sticks at the beginning of the year. However, if you enjoy making gifts, consider personalizing the school supplies gift a little more. There are lots of options out there with everything from a simple teacher gift tag to constructing a school supply "cake."

2. Creative Card With Its Own Gift

There are some great card ideas out there that include teacher awards and other little teacher gifts. There are also cards that have creatives ways to include gift cards. If you want to give a gift card but still want to make your gift unique, consider making a creative card for it. If you don't want to make a card with an obvious teacher theme, consider something seasonal such as a snowflake motif for Christmas or fabric flowers for a spring end of the year card.

3. Personalized Food Gift

Who doesn't appreciate a food gift? Even if you receive something that doesn't suit your tastes or diet, you will almost always have an opportunity to share it with co-workers, friends, and/or family. For example, if you're trying to cut down on sweets and you receive a box of chocolates before Christmas, take it to the next holiday party that you attend. There are more unique ways to give teacher food gifts than I ever could have imagined. I have included some of my favorites here.

4. Fun Wall Art

I have included some teacher specific wall art options. There is nothing wrong with giving a more traditional wall hanging as well, such as a high quality framed photo or an acrylic painting. Consider a gift that will appeal to the teacher's interests and preferences. For example, if the teacher loves cats, a cat photo or painting would be a great gift.

5. Decorated/Fun Teacher Supplies

While it is great to get school supplies that your students will use, such as glue sticks and pencils, it can also be fun to get supplies that you will use. What teacher doesn't love school supplies after all? One of the most popular options is to decorate commonly used classroom items, such as clip boards and magazine holders, with scrapbook paper. I have linked a few of these tutorials here. There are many others out there, too.

Teachers Gift (Altered Notebook) | XOXO Mary


6. Plants

One reason that plants are a versatile gift is that teachers can keep them in their classrooms or take them home. Unless you know that a teacher is passionate about gardening, consider choosing plants that will not be too high maintenance and don't necessarily need significant amounts of sunlight.

How to make a lovely arrangement of fresh Christmas greenery.

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7. Homemade Set of Cards

If you've been reading my articles for any significant amount of time, I'm sure it's not a secret that I love greeting cards of all kinds. I was also inspired to include this gift option because when I was teaching, I had a parent who gave me sets of cards that she'd made herself for two different Christmases. Whether or not you send a lot of cards, you never know when you'll need a birthday or graduation card at the last minute. It never hurts to have some on hand.

Purchase scored card blanks to decorate.


8. Tote Bag

While many of us do acquire a large number of tote bags through various events over the years, as a teacher, this is rarely a problem. Whether you are simply bringing a lot of items to school (isn't this always the case for teachers?) or are throwing supplies in a bag at the last minute before a field trip, having an extra bag on end is always nice. If teachers do end up with a lot of them, they can keep separate stashes at home, at school, and in the car.

How to Make a T-Shirt Tote Bag | mahalodotcom


9. Personalized Hand Sanitizer

This isn't a gift that I've ever received or have ever seen a teacher receive in person, but it's a popular idea and a great one at that. Teachers will be touched by the personalization of this gift and will appreciate having an extra bottle on hand. As a teacher, if you find that your personal bottle wonders off frequently, having one with your name or a special teacher message will ensure that it at least finds its way back without too much trouble.


10. Fun Gift Set

Sometimes teachers really appreciate a gift that has nothing to do with teaching, such as a basket full of bath and body products or a gift certificate to a local restaurant. When I was teaching, I had a parent who always made gift baskets for holidays and would often include lotions and body washes. Many stores have sales on these items around Christmas so if you're putting together a holiday gift set, this can be a great option.


While I was gathering resources for this article, I found a huge number of free teacher gift printables. I've included some of them within the gift ideas above, but there were a handful that didn't really fit in anywhere. I have included just a few of the best ones here. If you don't find what you're looking for here, search Google and/or Pinterest for more options. There are lots of holiday/occasion specific (i.e. beginning of the school year) and gift specific (i.e. plants) printables out there. Click on the source link under each photo to get the printable download.

Do you and your kids enjoy giving homemade gifts? Check this out!

  • Craft Ideas for Kids: 10 Homemade Gifts Kids Can Make
    This article is about craft ideas that kids can make and give as gifts. It includes 10 ideas for homemade gifts. There are lots of links, pictures, and resources.
  • Spring Crafts for Kids: Easy, Fun Ideas
    This article is filled with spring crafts for kids. It has easy, fun ideas for a wide variety of spring topics including birds, flowers, insects, vases, wreaths, and more. There are lots of photos and resources.
  • DIY Canvas Art Projects for Kids
    Are you looking for simple cheap homemade art projects for your kids? DIY canvas projects are a great option. Kids can use paint, glue, buttons, crayons, and much more to make beautiful creations!


James from Australia on April 20, 2017:

These are awesome!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 30, 2014:

Thanks, Vicki! When I was teaching, I always appreciated the gifts, too. :) It's the thought that counts.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 30, 2014:

Nice ideas. As a high school teacher, I always appreciated gifts from students or their parents. It's a special thing. :-)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 22, 2013:

That's great, Kevin! I'm glad that you were able to get a new idea from this article.

Kevin Peter from Global Citizen on May 22, 2013:

All the gift ideas are wonderful. But I loved the idea of Personalized Hand Sanitizer the most. Never thought of it. Interesting hub!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 06, 2013:

Thanks so much, ytsenoh! I appreciate the feedback.

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on May 06, 2013:

You have the most fabulous creative hubs of ideas! Since my daughter is a teacher, I love all the ideas you presented here. I especially love the giant "P" in crayolas. Very nicely done. Thanks very much and thumbs up.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 06, 2013:

Thanks, Nicole! I don't know any teachers who aren't able to find uses for extra totes.

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on May 06, 2013:

These ideas are awesome! That custom hand sanitizer bottle is SO neat. And of course the totes are too, what teacher couldn't use one of those?!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 11, 2012:

Thanks peachpurple! That's awesome. I'm sure that your daughter's teacher will love it.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 11, 2012:

Wow! So many great ideas and tips. I love handmade gifts. I am sure my daughter's teacher is going to love the tote bag. I am gonna make one soon. Thanks for sharing.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 26, 2012:

Thanks Edi!

Edi on April 26, 2012:

Lots of fun paper crafts...great ideas!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 26, 2012:

SantaCruz, thanks! Sounds good with the hand santizer.

Cara, I agree about the "teachery" products. After a few years of teaching, you have as many as you'll ever need. I'm glad that you enjoyed this!

Kelley, sounds good! I'm sure that his teacher will love that. Thanks for sharing this!

Denise, thanks! I appreciate the link.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on April 26, 2012:

Cute ideas here. I like the 'personalized' hand sanitizer, haha. I'm linking this hub to my Teacher Appreciation hub. :)

kelleyward on April 26, 2012:

I love these ideas! I'm going to do the crayola wall art for my son's 1st grade teacher. You are so creative randomcreative! Voted up and shared on Pinterest! Take care, Kelley

cardelean from Michigan on April 26, 2012:

As a teacher, I can vouch for your comments about the mugs or even the very "teachery" products that are generalized. I definitely don't need any more of those! I LOVE the supply cakes and the crayon wall art and wreath. These are great ideas, thanks so much for sharing all of these amazing crafts!

SantaCruz from Santa Cruz, CA on April 25, 2012:

Thanks for the ideas, randomcreative! I always enjoy seeing your photo collections too :-). I will make a personalized hand sanitizer bottle for a certain MPS teacher tonight.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 25, 2012:

Thanks RTalloni! You're right that these ideas are all easy to personalize. I wanted to get it up with just enough time before the end of the school year that people could use these ideas this year.

Thanks Jenna!

Jenna Pope from Southern California on April 25, 2012:

I loved this!!! I wish that I had been this creative when my kids were in school!

Voted up!

RTalloni on April 25, 2012:

Really nice gift ideas for teachers. A great variety and easy to personalize--timely, too! :)

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