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!!
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)
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.
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.