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School has started and I'm trying to get a jump start on teacher/school personnel gifts for Christmas, end of year, etc. We try to hand make as many as possible. I'm looking for new & creative ideas that go beyond candles and lotion. Frugality is also a plus!! :)
Things we have made in the past:
Gumball machine Candy Dishes-- we took 4 inch clay pots and saucers, painted and varnished them, turned the pot upside down, glued an ivy bowl to it , glued matching ribbon around where the two joined. The saucer was the lid, glued a large painted wooden bead about 1 1/2" to the top. It looks like an old gumball machine. We themed them for each teacher (paint & ribbon) and filled with Hershey's kisses. Total cost maybe $5. These were a huge hit!! Had to print out detailed instructions after giving them.
Magic gloves with funfur crocheted around the top.
An afghan- only had one teacher that year.
Fudge (wasn't feeling real creative)
Flip-flops decorated/crocheted in school colors-these were requested, so I knew the size.
This year, I'm thinking maybe tote bags, don't know yet. Have lot's of teachers. Sorry this is so long, I tend to ramble when I talk crafting.
As a retired teacher:
Boxes of Tissue or tissue box holder
Desk supplies - Red pens, other color pens, pretty paper clips, memo pads, pencils, rubberbands
Peppermint candy and other flavors also
bookmarks - especially handmade
Gift certificates are really nice - bought and those made by the students for cleaning boards, helping to straighten the room after school, carrying the tote bag to car, and other daily tasks that take so much of the teacher's time.
These are a few of the things I enjoyed.
I always get a very good response when I give my "Movie Night" baskets. In a popcorn tub (the kind that already has mircowavable popcorn at the bottom) put in a couple of coke cans, some candy bars and a gift card for a movie rental. Tie it all up in some clear wrap with a nice bow. This is something that the teacher's whole family can enjoy.
I always give gift cards, and a note saying how Very ,Very much I appreciate them. I try to get cards they can use, or give themselves as gifts (helps to know an awful lot about your teacher!). My sister-in-law was still using her gift cards 2 years after she quit, she loved them for end-of-month blues.
Last year my son made a felt reindeer head that the card slipped into. He sewed all the way around them, added a pipecleaner for antlers & sewed on button eyes & noses. All in all it took 3 days, spaced out. He was so proud he made something, and I was happy because he'd done a craft.
I can't find the blog I found it on, but if you PM me I can look on the other computer for the pattern in the morning. I'd look now, but there is a sleeping man in there who doesn't want to be woken up!
The absolute winner of all the gifts from last year, that got talked about by the Whole School, was the really fancy electric pencil sharpener 2 of the parents got for her. It opened envelopes also. Both the teacher and the kids were thrilled with it. And the parents were happy because it was cheaper because they shared. I know that's not a hand-made thing, but sharing a big thing can be very frugal.
One of my friends does amyrillus & paperwhites for all the teachers each year. It takes a lot of planning, she buys the bulbs bulk & repots them. They might have to be frozen, it always seems complicated. That is probably more along the lines of what you were looking for.
Or if you can knit, how about knitted dish clothes with maybe some nice soap? There are tons of patterns out there, including one brave soul who has charted out the partride in a pear tree song.
Or you could make homemade bath salts and put them in pretty little jars. There's some great really easy and cheap recipes out there. Add a pretty handknit washcloth and you've got a great homemade spa basket.
Last Edited on: 9/12/08 4:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
I received a 6" x 6" quilted wall hanging with all the kids names on the back. Not sure how she did it, but the kids "signed" it with permanent marker. Another gift I enjoyed, was a class cookbook. The kids brought receipes in and a book was made, with the pictures of all the kids on the front. Just a couple more ideas.