Craft Ideas for Teacher Gifts

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Natasha Lawrence

    About the Author

    For over 25 years, Natasha Lawrence has written for publications from "Alaska Business Monthly" to "Savannah Magazine" and provided destination content as Florida city editor for Wcities. Her expertise in arts and crafts includes calligraphy, painting, mosaics, jewelry making, paper crafts and home decor, often offering workshops in museums and art centers.

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    Show your appreciation for your child's teacher this year by having your youngster make inexpensive handmade gifts. Teachers -- and other support staff at schools -- will smile when they receive something thoughtful made by a student, especially a gift that includes a child's name, class year or photos for keepsake.

    Materials

    Collect supplies related to the specific handmade gift you want to help your children make. Craft shops, dollar stores, garage sales and thrift shops are excellent sources for inexpensive materials. Even decorator and home supply stores often offer free expired wallpaper sample books for the asking. These contain pretty textured papers in different themes. You can collect clear plastic hand dispenser bottles to decorate for lotion or soap and use acrylic paint or attach decorations with hot glue. Assorted card stock, decorative paper and embellishments can enhance greeting cards or a personal thank you note from a student.

    Teacher Gift Crafts

    Gift ideas for a teacher can include a personalized and decorated tote bag or a small tray with decoupaged photos taken during the school year. Alternatively, you can help your child prepare a pack of personalized note cards and envelopes with school-themed rubber stamps tied in a ribbon, or let him make a handmade teacher appreciation certificate instead. Help your child's teacher relax with an aromatic gift; a fabric heart on a ribbon filled with lavender or potpourri with a gift tag made by your child. If you're feeling exceptionally crafty, present the teacher with a creative teacher supply cake, made from tiers of school supplies, such as crayons, markers, miniature notepads and glue sticks, stacked and wrapped with ribbon.

    Crafty Goodies

    Help your child say thank you to his teacher with some tasty apple treats, but make these treats extra sweet. You can make carmelized apples for your child's teacher or crisped rice treats, colored with red food coloring and depressed in the center with a pretzel stem or chocolate stick. If you're in a hurry, pick up a store bought sugar cookie mix, roll it out and cut into apple shapes with cookie cutters. Let your child show off his artistic side by decorative the cookies with icing, sprinkles and candies when they've cooled. Instead of baking, you can help your child decorate clear glass or plastic jars with ribbon and fill the container with sweet treats, such as candy-coated chocolates or jelly candies.

    A Few Tips

    Prepare well in advance for making teacher gift projects. Purchase themed supplies on sale or clearance whenever possible, or use discount coupons when you're gift-making on a budget. Some are seasonal. For example, make a note of certain subjects studied in class that might be used as a theme for your teacher gifts, and collect related materials in a craft box. Art frame shops are also useful for mat board pieces (sometimes free) for stamping and enhancing cards, boxes or small journals.