Creative Gift Ideas for Teachers

Personalized Teacher Gift Idea

I like to give unique, meaningful gifts to my kids’ teachers each year, but I also don’t have a whole lot of cash to spare. So I look for inexpensive gift ideas or even fun do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts which can be done easily and can involve my daughter’s help too (but not necessary.)

I don’t have a whole lot of experience giving teacher gifts since my oldest is currently in kindergarten, but she did have a couple of years of preschool so we’ve done a few. My favorite so far is the gift that “we” plan on giving her kindergarten teacher this year as an end-of-year gift. I must say that this idea is not original to me; I came across it on the internet and ran with it and I am so happy that I did. It literally took me just a few minutes to create it and I am loving the final product!!

great creative, fun, inexpensive, and personalized teacher gift (click on image to see larger size)
great creative, fun, inexpensive, and personalized teacher gift (click on image to see larger size)

What You Need

The needed supplies are:

  • Crayons (one 24-count box should do)
  • Shadowbox frame (I used an 8” x 8”, but any size you prefer can be used)
  • Glue (I used regular Elmer’s glue)
  • Exacto knife (a regular kitchen knife or even scissors will probably do)
  • Cardstock

This is what the template will look like when printed out (name and initial may be different, unless your child is in my child's class). I know it's not centered, but when trimmed to 8"x8" it is.
This is what the template will look like when printed out (name and initial may be different, unless your child is in my child's class). I know it's not centered, but when trimmed to 8"x8" it is.

Template

You can create your own design with whatever font you like, or you can use this template. This template is a Microsoft Word 2007 format document - it doesn't look like much when you click on the link, you have to download and save it and then open it up in Word. The font for the teacher’s name is Lucida Handwriting, and the large initial’s font is Batang. Once you download the template and save it, you can easily change the teacher name to whatever you want, and to change the initial just right click on it and then select ‘edit text’ in the box that opens.

close-up of broken crayons (click on image to see it larger)
close-up of broken crayons (click on image to see it larger)
...even closer
...even closer

To Make

First thing I did was to purchase the shadow box frame and crayons. Then, I printed out the document on regular paper to see how it lined up in my frame. The template provided above is formatted to fit nicely in an 8” x 8” frame, but can easily be manipulated for different sized frames.

Next I began breaking a few crayons and found that they break really well and where you want them to if you use your Exacto knife to create a small incision (just a little stab) and then with your two hands simply “snap” the crayon. The paper will have a slightly fuzzy, torn edge which, to me, adds to the appeal. Then I started laying them on my template and playing around with the different colors and lengths until I got a feel of how they looked best. Once I got a feel for that, I started breaking the crayons one at a time depending on the length I needed. I made sure that each crayon piece was long enough to cover the outline of the letter and when done it looked good.

Then I printed the template again but onto cardstock this time. I covered the letter/initial with glue and transferred one crayon piece at a time from the “practice” paper to the cardstock. For the longer pieces of crayon, I added glue to the crayon as well. When done, I took a look at the completed letter and made any adjustments that were needed – the good part of using the white glue as it doesn’t dry too fast. Once it was perfect, I placed a heavy book carefully on top of the glued crayons just to make sure that they dried well and the cardstock stayed flat.

Lastly, once it was dry I placed it into the shadowbox frame and – viola! – a terrific personalized teacher gift! What I plan on doing to go along with it is to attach a picture of my daughter to the back of the frame together with a handwritten note from her to the teacher.

I enjoyed making this project so much that I think I will make one for each of my daughters with their first name and initial, and I may even paint the frame in a color to match their bedrooms.

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Comments 15 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

A great hub with very good tips. Thank you.


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast Author

Thank you, Hello, hello! This was very fun to make and so easy and cheap!!


Bethany Culpepper 5 years ago

Very cute! It's that time of year - thanks for reminding me and giving me a great idea.


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks Bethany, and you're welcome!


livelonger profile image

livelonger 5 years ago from San Francisco

That is a gorgeous gift idea, and, as a former teacher myself, I can say with confidence that it would be well-received by its recipient. :)


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks Jason - that is definitely reassuring!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Neat idea! Love the part about using it in children's rooms.


rorshak sobchak 5 years ago

aww I liked your write up very creative.

rorshak sobchak


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks!!


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

Oh my gosh, this is so cute. I love it! I've been pondering Christmas presents for my twins' teachers and this is such a great idea. Something for the classroom with that personal touch. I am going to do it... will let you know how it goes!


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 4 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks, WS! My only problem with having given this to my daughter's teacher is that every time I was in the classroom and saw it, she had it sideways!! I thought it would be obvious that the written name would be sideways when displayed and the large crayon initial would be upright, but apparently she just doesn't get that =) She did, however, teach my daughter very well last year (kindergarten) - LOL!!


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

Oh how funny, LR! Maybe you can "fix it" when she's otherwise occupied some day. It must be sorely tempting... I will make sure to bring the correct orientation to the attention of the teachers! LOL!

I was just thinking how great this project will be as a way to use up some old, broken crayons. And, trust me... we have a plethora of them. *Sigh*


jamila sahar profile image

jamila sahar 4 years ago

great idea very creative !


kelleyward 4 years ago

I absolutely love this hub. I came across it on randomcreative's hub about teacher appreciation gifts. Voted up! Thanks for the great idea! Take care, Kelley


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 4 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks, kelleyward! I'm glad to hear that!

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