If you are new to TheRoomMom, you may not know about a fixation I have for teacher gift giving. I love putting together small appreciation gifts for my children’s teachers throughout the year. For our end of year teacher gifts, I don’t even pretend to think about new ideas any more. We repeat the scratch off lottery ticket gift that we have been giving to the teachers and staff at our school for the past three years.
The part we do change is the receptacle we use to deliver the lottery ticket. This year we made mini pocket folders with cardstock weight scrapbook paper. They are easy to make, and it was fun choosing the paper and coordinating washi tape.
Mini Pocket Folder Materials
- stiff scrapbook paper (5 1/2″ x 12″)
- tool to score paper (I have THIS ONE)
- double sided tape in an E-Z dispenser, .27″ width (like THIS)
- labels (~2″ x 2″)
- Set the paper in a landscape direction. Using the tool to make score lines on your paper, press a line at 2 3/4″, a line at 6″, and a line at 9 1/4″. Fold the paper in half along the 6″ score line. Open the paper and fold the two outer edges towards the middle. The decorative side of the paper should be on the outside.
- Near the top of one flap, trim the corner. Start about one inch from the outer fold at the top of the paper and cut down at an angle to cut a triangle. Take your triangle scrap and flip it over to use as a guide to cut the triangle on the other side of the folder.
- Run an adhesive strip at the bottom of the paper on the outer flaps.
- Press the flaps down to attach the bottom of the paper together to form the pocket.
- Stuff the pocket folder with your materials. We filled with three $1 scratch off lottery tickets, but the pocket folders are a good size for gift cards or even a thoughtful note.
- Attach a label on the front cover. I printed Avery 2″ x 4″ labels and cut the sides down to make the labels ~2″ x 2″. You could also print on plain paper, cut apart, and glue to the front of the pocket folder.
- Seal the folders closed with a piece of washi tape or a sticker.
To see my other ideas for making lottery ticket– or gift card– holders, CLICK HERE or HERE or HERE.
New craft tool + end of the school year = excessive amounts of time designing an end of year teacher gift for the faculty members and staff at our school who work with my children all year. I found THIS VIDEO on YouTube to make small gift boxes using cardstock paper and got busy. First, I needed a new paper cutter tool that also had the option for scoring paper (highly recommend!). Next, I fiddled with the box proportions to come up with a size that would hold a giftcard, or in our case, scratch off lottery tickets. Finally, I spent many hours cutting and folding boxes with coordinating colors and patterns. Time well spent in my opinion– not so much for the rest of my family.
To see more DIY envelope type crafts to hold gift cards for teacher gifts (or any person) click HERE and HERE.
- paper cutter with paper scoring tool as well (I have THIS ONE)
- cardstock paper in various colors
- double sided tape in an E-Z dispenser, .27″ width (like THIS)
- Elmer’s glue
- Washi tape or stickers to close flap
- Watch THIS VIDEO to get the hang of folding the boxes and attaching the sides and flap.
- Each box with flap needs two pieces of paper. The box paper is 4″ x 8 1/4″. The flap paper is 8 1/2″ x 3 1/4″.
- Place the box paper (4″ x 8 1/4″) landscape direction on the paper cutter and score lines at 4″ and 4 3/8″. Turn the paper portrait direction and score at 3/8″ and 3 5/8″.
- Place the flap paper (8 1/2″ x 3 1/4″) landscape direction and score lines at 4 1/2″ and 4 7/8″.
- Fold along all of the scored lines and using the scoring tool or a dull edge, press the folds to make them crisp.
- On the paper that will become the box, cut 3/8″ into the center on the folds that are near the middle of the paper. Then cut a small triangle out of the paper, so you have center flaps that can tuck into the box when you fold up the sides.
- Place the box paper flat on your work surface. The side of the paper that will become the outside of the box should be facing up. Run a strip of double sided tape along the edge flap of the bottom half of the box.
- Fold the little triangle notches into the center and then fold the box together. Carefully press the non-taped side strip onto the taped side strip to form the box. Put the attached sides of the box on a flat surface and press/rub the scoring tool inside the box along the taped edges to stick the sides together firmly.
- Line up the flap along the back of the box. The shorter edge of the flap should come over the top of the box. With a light bead of Elmer’s glue, run a little across the back of the box and attach the flap making sure the edges line up evenly.
- Let the glue dry. Fill the box and then close flap with a piece of Washi tape or a sticker.
- The finished box is ~3 1/4″ wide x 4 1/2″ tall x 1/2″ deep. You can make the boxes bigger or smaller by playing with the original paper sizes.
- We added a square of cardstock (2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″) to the front of our flap to be able to write a note.
I love teacher gift ideas. I won’t lie. It consumes quite a bit of my time around back to school, holidays, Teacher Appreciation Day, and end of the school year. Since I am both a teacher and a parent, I am conscious of both sides of the gift giving process. My goal when choosing teacher gifts are to think of small items that are cost efficient, practical, thoughtful, simple, useful, and I like the gifts to be attractive.
Here is what works:
- a thoughtful aspect– there is a personal touch to the gift like a handwritten note (and a handwritten note of thanks is always enough!)
- a useful aspect– the gift can be used in the teacher’s daily life
- generic– if you do not know the teacher personally, stick with items that most people like (do not get too specific like Red Hot candies because you think your child had a “red hot” year)
Here is what does NOT work:
- cute for cute’s sake– a gift that has great packaging but has no purpose
- teacher stereotypes– things that fall in the apple or school supply motif arena
Below are links to 10 ideas that have a range of cost and crafty levels. All have been tested and received well by teachers, coaches, school support staff, helpful neighbors, party hosts, friends… Click on the name or image to learn how to make the gift.
- Teacher Emergency Kit (I have a few versions of the kit. Click HERE, HERE, or HERE to see different options.)
- Teacher Lunch (You could also make a bento style lunch like THIS ONE.)
- Freezable Meal
- Mason Jar Soup Mixes
- Flavored Sugar or Dip Mixes
- Manicure Kit
- Lottery Tickets (To see a different type of scrapbook paper envelope, CLICK HERE.)
- Ribbon Bookmarks
- Insulated Drink Cups
- Monogrammed Umbrellas
I have lots of posts with teacher appreciation gift suggestions. Search Teacher Gifts in the search box on my blog, click on the Teacher Gifts link in the side margin of the blog, or click on the Sirsees tab near my blog header.
One Lucky Winner will receive TWO ribbon bookmarks and journal books plus a $25 Amazon giftcard!
Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Day on May 3, 2016, I am giving away two (2) ribbon bookmarks with coordinating journal books and a $25 Amazon giftcard to one (1) lucky winner! You can keep one journal book set and give one to a teacher friend (or make two teachers, friends, co-workers, neighbors… super happy and give both as gifts). Giveaway ends this Wednesday, April 13 at midnight (EST). Shipping addresses must be within the USA or Canada.
Winner will receive 2 ribbon bookmarks with a matching journal book and $25 to spend at Amazon. See this BLOG POST for more details about the ribbon bookmarks.
How to Enter:
- Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
- Leave a comment below with a way you show teacher appreciation.
- Share the giveaway on Facebook or Instagram and tag TheRoomMom.
- Complete the Rafflecopter Entry Form after completing any/all of the steps above.
Honestly, I need an Etsy store for all of my craft project overages (or I need craft counseling). Currently, I am over-producing ribbon bookmarks to wrap around journal books. I was testing an idea to make some riboon bookmarks to give to my children’s teachers for Teacher’s Appreciation Day on May 3. Come to find out, the ribbon bookmarks are easy to make; the color combinations look super cute, and I like making things in large batches.
I thought these would make nice teacher gifts because, as a teacher, I always need something to mark my page in all of my teacher materials. Teachers use bookmarks for class novels, textbooks, manuals, planning books, grade books… I currently have about 8 Post-it notes, 3 notecards, and 11 scraps of paper peeking out of the stack of teacher books near my school computer. A few ribbon bookmarks would definitely come in handy for me. Plus, they have the added benefit of not dropping out of the book when I pick it up, and I can slide my scraps of papers with notes under the edge of the bookmark where it will hold.
- durable ribbon, at least 1/2″ wide (like grosgrain ribbon)
- buttons in coordinating colors
- Fray Check (a little like clear fingernail polish to keep ribbon ends from unraveling)
- covered hair bands in coordinating colors
- thread in coordinating colors
- Cut strips of ribbon to match the size of the book you will use with your bookmark. I used 5″ x 8″ journals, which are a similar size to a basic paperback book. I cut my ribbons to 15″. This allowed for the length of the attached rubberband not stretched too much and a little end piece to fold around the rubberband when sewing. Your finished bookmark stretches a little because of the rubberband, so the bookmark will fit a book that is a little bigger and smaller than the book you use as a guide for measuring.
- Drop Fray Check onto each end of the ribbon to prevent the ribbon ends from fraying. Let dry.
- Place the rubberband near one end of the ribbon and fold the ribbon end over. Stitch across the width of the ribbon with the rubberband held in place. You can hand sew or use a sewing machine.
- Loop the ribbon over and let the ends meet to see which side of the ribbon will need the button attached. Sew the button to the non-rubberband end of the ribbon. The button should be attached with only a little ribbon showing beyond the edge of the button.