Crafty Teacher Gifts on a Budget

Scratching your head for teacher gifts? Check out these two DIY projects that don't require a lot of time—or a lot of money. And your child can help make them!

I know the school year is about over. But if you’re still scratching your head for teacher gifts, maybe I can lend some inspiration. These two projects don’t require a lot of time—or a lot money.

The first idea is a monogrammed tote bag that I found on I made this as a Christmas gift. It was pretty easy to make and didn’t involve any sewing. The letter was cut out of fabric and it was ironed on with fusible webbing. All the supplies were inexpensive, too. The red tote bag was about $6 from Hobby Lobby. The fabric for the “J” I found in a scrap bin for 50 cents. And I used iron-on letters for the “Miss,” which was around $4 for a pack. Get directions to make the “Handy Bag” here.

Another gift idea is handmade note cards. We just made these last week as a thank you gift for his teacher. The project was done in one night. I had my son create his own little works of art on plain white cards using paint. Luckily, I had all the supplies at home, so this didn’t cost me anything. But, you could find inexpensive note cards at any craft store.

After the painting was finished we let them dry overnight. The next morning he signed his initials in the corner. An artist always signs his work!

Lastly, I used ribbon to tie the cards together with some red envelopes. They turned out great!


Scratching your head for teacher gifts? Check out these two DIY projects that don't require a lot of time—or a lot of money. And your child can help make them!

More ideas for teacher gifts

  • Choosing Holiday Gifts Teachers Will Really Love: Want to give your child’s teacher a gift she’ll really appreciate? These teacher gift ideas are the perfect way to make every educator’s holidays merrier.
  • Purse Perfector®. Made in America, the unique design of this purse organizer allows for simplified organization with no more digging at the bottom of a purse for keys or lipstick. Perfect to help teachers stay organized as they go!
  • 24 Awesomely Thoughtful Gifts For Teachers: A little appreciation goes a long way.
  • Personal Design Necklaces: Handmade, personalized jewelry designs that are super reasonably priced. You can choose the style, name, chain length and size for any item.
  • Gift cards: They might seem impersonal, but remember that teachers don’t get paid nearly what they’re worth—so a gift card allows them to treat themselves to something extra. Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and Nordstrom are just a few gift card ideas to consider.

6 thoughts on “Crafty Teacher Gifts on a Budget

  1. You are so dang crafty, girl, I love it! What fun, inexpensive ideas. And how great that the kids get to participate too!

  2. I love these! I seriously am going to try these. Thanks!

  3. I LOVE this idea! One Day we will all be reading ‘cara’ magaizne instead of ‘martha!’ you are the queen of crafts.

  4. just4ofus says:

    You are very crafty.. kudos to you!
    Both gifts are great. The cards I could do, not the tote bag.
    Being new to school this year, I wasn’t aware of the end of the year gift..
    I now know, and there is always next year.

  5. amaras_mom says:

    Cara, I’m a stationery buff (homemade or sent in from England!) so I have to ask — I thought maybe those were your son’s thumbprints but I don’t think the pattern is. How did your artist create his print?

  6. Amaras mom… He used a paint brush. The pattern does kinda look like thumb prints, but really they’re dots he made with the brush. I thought about him using his hands to make handprints. But he just wanted to stick with painting with the brush.

    I also had him apply one color at a time to each card. That way the color could dry a little before the next color was applied and there was little smearing.

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