Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Special Teacher Gift (that's not a candle!)

Hello! I am squeezing in a few moments to post on my blog!  My life has been a bit busy lately and while I have be making things, there hasn't been much time to blog.  But it is almost Christmas and I thought I would share a special little gift idea.

I have been a preschool teacher for over 15 years.  In that time I have accumulated more than a few mugs, ornaments, apple decor, candles, and bottles of hand lotion. Don't get me wrong, I am ever so grateful that my families choose to add me to their gift giving lists and I really appreciate their kindness.  But after a while, I started cleaning house on all of the 'teacher gifts'.  They were either regifted or donated to a charity thrift store.  So when my girls entered school, I tried to make the gifts for their teachers a little more personal and practical.  The girls always make a card thanking their teacher and we usually make a tin full of goodies and store bought chocolates for the teachers to share with their families.  I often include a little hand made gift like post it note holders, or bookmarks.

This year, there were two people that really spent a lot of time working with my daughter and I wanted to make them something extra special.  DD#1 is in her second year of choir and was chosen for Circle the State with Song last year.  She also tried out for the state's Honor Choir, but didn't make it.  This year, her choir director and assistant (who also worked with me for a short while at the preschool) worked with her quite a bit to get her ready for her audition.  All of the extra work paid off and she was accepted to both the Honor Choir and Circle the State this year.  To show our appreciation, I made some personalized wall hangings for them. It's a little hard to see the paper, but when I tried for an overhead shot, the glare from the glass was horrid!

Vintage looking sheet music dp and the director's name

A gorgeous vintage piano was on the flip side of the sheet
music dp, perfect since Lauren is also their accompanist 
for concerts and contests 

I bought the frames at Wal-Mart and I LOVE this size! The opening is 5x12 when you remove the matting that is included, and I loved the antiqued look.  The music paper was purchased at our LSS and I thought it was perfect for this project. I managed to make both frames using the one page! BONUS!  I used my cricut to cut the letter for the names and these literally came together in minutes!  I think I spent more time wrapping them than I did making them! I am hoping they will really like these and if all else fails, I know they won't be regifting them to just anyone! :)

I hope this inspires you to bypass the mega-stores for all of your holiday shopping and create some hand crafted goodness instead! Have a terrific rest of the week and be sure to take a break from the madness and do some craft therapy! It's good for the soul!!  Happy crafting!

**PS-If you are looking for other teacher approved gift ideas, here are a few suggestions...
--gift certificate to a teacher's store, discount store, or book store (We often spend a lot of personal $ on our classrooms and this helps a lot!)
--gift certificates to restaurants
--a card with a heartfelt note. I don't always keep all of the cards I receive, but I do save the ones with special notes written inside. It's a great 'pick me up' and reminder of why I love what I do.
--a gift hand made by your child.  Again, a wonderful reminder of the joys of teaching! Plus it teaches your child that you can spread love without spending money! I have to admit to saving every hand-made ornament with the child's name recorded on it somewhere.  I even have a special little tree for them!
--a favorite treat. Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, candies or chocolates, etc. are very practical, and a family specialty can be a wonderful surprise. You might want to check for food allergies first!
--ask the teacher if you can purchase something for the classroom.  This is actually my preferred gift! I post a 'wish list' of new and gently used items we can use in the classroom to give the parents some ideas.
--Unless you know the teacher loves a particular scent, you may want to stay away from candles, lotions, and other scented gifts.  This can be particularly bad if there is an allergy or sensitivity.  I have a sensitivity to most floral scented items and had to immediately pass on many bottles of lotion and candles to prevent a migraine from occurring.
--Of course, if you know that your child's teacher loves candles, or lotion, etc., then by all means this can be a wonderful gift!

Project Recipe: basic black and cherry cobbler cardstock, dp from LSS, frames from Wally World


  1. Love the framed pieces and great ideas for teacher gifts Margaret! Sorry I haven't visited for a while. I have some bugs which just won't leave me but I'm feeling a little better again! Very annoying to be ill at christmas!

  2. Your post resonated with me this morning Margaret. In my 30 plus years of teaching the memorable gifts are the ones you describe. Your gifts are perfect and will be I am sure greatly appreciated.
    One that I have still is a simple square box, artfully splodged by the student filled with pencils - all of which had a little slice removed from the end with my name printed there. I still have it in the studio and still use it.
    I too loved the small treasures that often arrived unannounced - the art and craft materials. Odds and ends in sufficient quantity to play with. One memorable gift was a parent who arrived on a searing hot day with a frozen water ice for all of us. I guess what I am describing and you are celebrating most definitely fits - the thought that counts gift. Hugs to you. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  3. What a wonderful gift for your daughters teachers. Most of my friends are teachers and they have given me that list of things to buy and not to buy a teacher and I pass it on whenever I can.

  4. oohh great post and ideas! Love your presents- those frames are sooo neat! Perfect size!

  5. Margaret, these are just totally awesome!!!!! They're beautiful and just perfect for those teachers! WOW! I know they're going to love getting these for sure!

    I had to laugh when you were talking about some of the gifts you've received over the years. My daughter was a teacher (she's now a Coordinator of Language Arts for the Lubbock ISD) and I remember some of the gifts that she got. You gave some really great hints for gifts for a teacher!

  6. Oh my this is just lovely, I am sure she will love it--very personal, and yes, something that's not a candle!!!

  7. These frames are a wonderful way to say thank you to the teachers who have played such an important role in guiding your daughter... personal, hand-crafted and I'm sure they will be treasured!
    Alison x

  8. Wonderful, personalized gifts in those beautiful frames you've made for the teachers. Congratualtions to your daughter, too !

  9. Not an apple in sigh on these projects...awesome!!! ;) I think these couldn't be more personalized and thoughtful. The craftiness behind them and the uniqueness of what they love and the name... sheer brilliance. You should make some of these to give to your school kids to give to you..Ha!!

    Moving through the posts, slowly but surely.
    TOS (The other sis)


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