End of Year Teacher Gift

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)
  • scissors
  • 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.

Paper Pockets

paper pockets tied

Awhile ago I found This Pin for paper pouches that could be used for party favors or little sirsees. It was an easy sewing project (only required one straight sewn edge) and even had the option to assemble without sewing. The pockets reminded me of May Day baskets, and I knew they were a crafty RoomMom idea waiting to happen, so I saved the pin for a rainy day.

paper pocket w lottery ticketsToday is the rainy day. It turns out the paper pockets are just right for scratch off lottery tickets, which I deemed the 2014 end of year gift idea for all of the teachers and support staff at school who work with my Mr. Star Wars and Miss Priss. I purchased a big stack of $1 scratch off lottery tickets and filled the little envelopes. My kids added Avery 8163 Thank You Gift Labels that I printed and signed their names. We hole punched and tied the end with curly ribbon. The Original Post with the paper pouch directions had a different suggestion for sealing the end closed.

paper pockets materials


  • scrapbook paper pieces (6″ x 7″)
  • double sided adhesive roller (I used Scotch brand)
  • hole punch
  • curly ribbon
  • Avery white shipping labels (#8163– 2″ x 4″)


  • Using a paper cutter (essential), cut scrapbook paper into 6″ x 7″ pieces.
  • Using the double sided adhesive roller, place a sticky strip down two adjacent sides of the paper. There will be tape down a 6″ side and a 7″ side, and they will meet at the corner.

paper pocket adhesive directions

  • Roll the paper up to look like a toilet paper roll with the 6″ sticky side on the outside of the roll. Carefully make sure the edges line up straight. Press the 6″ side, so it sticks to the length of the side of paper beneath it forming the roll.

paper pocket rolled

  • The inside of one end of the roll will have the remaining sticky edge exposed. On a hard surface, press the edge down flat sealing the end closed.

paper pockets pressed end

  • If desired, sew a zig zag stitch along the pressed end leaving a 3/8″ seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end, so the thread does not unravel. The sewn edge adds detail to the pocket but is not necessary.

paper pockets sewing

  • As an additional decorative edge, you can cut with craft scissors to add a scalloped border. My (crappy dull) craft scissors did not cut through two layers of paper well, and I ruined some of my ends.

paper pockets fancy edge

  • Gently press the pocket flat and attach a label to the front.
  • Hole punch the center of the open end.
  • Fill with treats.
  • Tie curly ribbon through the hole and use scissors to curl.

paper pockets pile

Alternate Finish

  • Do not press flat after sewing the one ending closed.
  • Fill with treats.
  • Holding the pocket with the closed end flat on the table, pinch the opening closed the opposite direction (up and down) and press the corners slightly.

paper pocket closed

  • Roll a little adhesive in the center of the open top and press firmly.
  • Sew (or use more adhesive) to finish closing.

paper pockets sewn closed

I know you are probably thinking, “Her teacher gift label should say ‘I am so lucky to have had you as a teacher this year’ since it would go so well with a lottery ticket and that is what everybody on Pinterest would do.” I just don’t do play-on-word notes.

5 more days of school where I work! Bring on summer…

Matchbox Valentines

group matchbox valentines

If you have seen the American Girl or the Bitty Cupcakes post, you may already suspect that I am partial to mini things. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to mini things. Last year, I was visiting Sewing Sister and discovered a mini matchbox Valentine that my nieces made. I have been hanging on to that idea ever since, and I am happy to report that we will be sending mini matchbox Valentines this year. As usual, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby are reporting increased sales.

matchbox valentines with candies


  • small matchboxes (I found bricks of 10 at the grocery store)
  • festive scrapbook paper
  • glue stick(s)
  • paper cutter or scissors
  • craft scissors with the fancy cutting edge
  • baker’s twine
  • decorative brads and mini screwdriver (optional)
  • mini candies (mini M&Ms, candy hearts, chocolate covered sunflower seeds…)

matchbox and scrapbook paper


  • Measure the width of the matchbox and cut strips of scrapbook paper to match width (my matchboxes were 2 1/4″ wide). I own a paper cutter, and if you want these kinds of projects to look good, you should invest in one too.
  • Wrap one cut strip around box to get the length. The paper should overlap across the top about 1/4″ to 1/2″ (my strips were ~4 1/2″ long).

matchbox and fancy scissors

  • Using the fancy craft scissors, cut the end of the paper to the needed length.
  • Smear glue on the back of the scrapbook paper and begin wrapping around the box. Make sure you wrap so the inner box still slides out. Begin gluing the plain end of the scrapbook paper to the top of the box, press the paper around the sides, and glue down the fancy end to the top of the box last, overlapping the starter end, as it comes back around to the top of the box.

matchbox and brad

  • OPTIONAL PART: Remove the inner box. Using the little screwdriver, gently drill a hole in the center of the top of the box. Push the prongs of the brad through the hole and flatten brads to attach to the box. Carefully slide inner box back into the outer part of the matchbox.

matchbox valentine with candy

  • Fill box with mini candies. (This is the part Miss Priss and Mr. Star Wars get to do. After all, the Valentines are for their friends.)

matchbox valentine with bow

  • Cut a piece of baker’s twine. If you do not have the brad, wrap the baker’s twine around the matchbox like a Christmas present. If you opted to use a brad, fold your piece of twine in half and wrap the loop over the top of the brad. Pull both ends of the string around the box covering the sliding ends of the matchbox. Wrap the loose ends around the brad again the way you would close an interoffice mail envelope.

matchbox and string

matchbox valentines with brad

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