teacher appreciation gifts

Dollar Store

Teacher Appreciation Giftsteacher appreciation gifts

I used to teach Jr. High.  Loved it, but struggled smiling sincerely during teacher appreciation week after opening up my 32nd ‘#1 teacher mug’.   Okay maybe not 32 of them, but I got my fair share of them.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because I know it’s the thought that counts and getting a kind gift from a teenager is pretty impressive.

Anyways, I was trying to think of something that for my daughter’s teacher that could be found at the dollar store and wouldn’t be taken to the teacher’s lounge and ‘accidentally’ left there.

So how about a teacher appreciation organizer…a cute classy organizer that would be fun and functional to have on a desk.

teacher appreciation gifts

I started out with 4 square glass ‘pots’ or vases.  They were in the vase section not the mugs and glass section of the dollar store…BTW

teacher appreciation gifts

Have you ever used the reverse of vinyl?  It works as a pretty snazzy stencil.  No exact- o knife needed!  Choose your font and…perfection!Cut out your vinyl and pull the back part off (as shown).  Place it where you want the letters to be etched.

teacher appreciation gifts

I used the etchall etching cream.   Say that 5 times fast.  You only use a little bit, so grab a few friends and do it together!  The instructions say to use gloves…I am showing you the gloves…they weren’t on my hands apparently.

teacher appreciation giftsGlob some in the vinyl letter openings.  Don’t get it on any other part of the glass.

teacher appreciation gifts

Wait for 15 minutes.  Run the glass under water removing all of the glob and then pull off the vinyl.  It will look really clear and I thought I did it wrong until it dried.  Do you see the letter ‘e’ ?  That one is dry.  The other letters are still wet and harder to see…until they dry.

teacher appreciation gifts


teacher appreciation gifts

Add ribbon and pencils

teacher appreciation giftsand pens…

The middle one says clips and I did one that says candy.  So…Pens, paper, clips and candy, but the pictures looked cuter with just the three.

These teacher appreciation gifts would be fast and thrifty to make for your kids teachers.  My daughter is excited to give hers to her teacher!

teacher appreciation gifts

teacher appreciation gifts

We’re linking up to these parties!

    1. March 26th, 2010 at 7:48 am
      Kim says:
      Great idea! I love making something cheap look so expensive! Clever!

      Kim @ frostmeblog.blogspot.com
      party inspiration
    2. March 26th, 2010 at 8:42 am
      Tiffany says:
      I like it!
    3. March 26th, 2010 at 8:58 am
      Emily Dixon says:
      seriously!! how do you come up with these things!! I just got done making my chore charts... they turned out cute. Thanks for the awesome inspirations! My daughter did the 12 days of Christmas this year with all of the penny deals we found at Staples and office max. It was so much fun!
      • March 26th, 2010 at 10:55 am
        Kat says:
        Yes, that is plural. Emily and Gina made one for me, too! They turned out fabulous!
    4. March 26th, 2010 at 9:07 am
      Jennifer says:
      This is a great idea! We know lots of teachers, so this idea will totally come in handy - and can so easily be adapted for friends birthdays, holidays, etc! Thanks!
    5. March 26th, 2010 at 9:27 am
      Julie says:
      I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get them as a gift! But... since we rarely get gifts at the HS level, I guess I might have to do it myself! :)
    6. March 26th, 2010 at 9:43 am
      Stephanie Lynn says:
      These are fabulous - looks like such a classy gift.
    7. March 26th, 2010 at 9:44 am
      Tina S. says:
      I have done glass etching before and it's fun! Practically instant gratification. The only bad part of the process is the etching compound smells really yucky!
      • March 26th, 2010 at 10:48 am
        Alison says:
        Tina...it really is instant gratification! The kind that I used I didn't notice any bad smell. I didn't 'sniff' it, but I didn't notice a smell. Do you remember which kind you used?
    8. March 26th, 2010 at 10:36 am
      Terri says:
      LOVE this idea!! Thanks for sharing!
    9. March 26th, 2010 at 11:37 am
      Lindsey says:
      I used to teach 4th grade and know exactly what you are talking about. I would have loved getting this gift from a student. Thanks for the idea!
    10. March 26th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
      Lacie E says:
      super cute i love this idea
    11. March 26th, 2010 at 3:03 pm
      Beckie says:
      That is really cute. I need to get a Silhouette or a Cricut or something to do all this snazzy stuff. Does the Silhouette cut fabric too?
    12. March 26th, 2010 at 3:16 pm
      kelley clayton says:
      so cute... I just bought some of that etching cream. Now Im not so 'scared' to give it a try.
    13. March 26th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
      annie says:
      So all I need now is a Silhouette machine, right? >:(
      Christmas isn't soon enough. . .
    14. March 26th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
      Amy says:
      What a cute idea! (I used to teach kindergarten so I know exactly what you are talking about) By the way, bless your heart for having taught Jr. High...seriously.
    15. March 26th, 2010 at 6:08 pm
      jenjen says:
      That is just so cute. Love it girls!

    16. March 26th, 2010 at 7:06 pm
      Ben says:
      There are also some great gift ideas for teachers at Singapore Math Tutor Amazon store.
    17. March 26th, 2010 at 7:42 pm
      jules p says:
      I love this idea. And it is amazing. And what a great inexpensive gift for the teachers!
    18. March 26th, 2010 at 8:17 pm
      Ellen says:
      mmmm silhouette crush increasing!
    19. March 26th, 2010 at 8:18 pm
      Carol says:
      As a teacher I would be tickled pink to get a gift like this! Thanks for passing along the idea.
    20. March 27th, 2010 at 5:04 am
      Hani says:
      TOOOO CUTE TO BE TRUE :D their teachers are totally lucky! ;)
    21. March 28th, 2010 at 2:04 pm
      Lavonne says:
      Such a clever idea, I love it!! You can use this idea for several different purposes.
    22. March 29th, 2010 at 9:04 am
      Liz@HoosierHomemade says:
      Those are just adorable! I might just have to make a set for myself. My boys are in High School and Middle School, they probably wouldn't appreciate me sending in Teacher Gifts! :-)
      Thanks for sharing!
      • August 3rd, 2011 at 6:40 am
        camsnan says:
        You know, my son is in high school and I send gifts on the first and last day and every holiday in between. High school teachers deserve just as many "thanks" as elementary teachers. My son is never embarrassed. If he were, I'd take them in myself. As a former elementary and high school teacher, I know that parent involvement decreases significantly the higher the grade level and this is a way to let those high school teachers know you appreciate the job they do.
    23. March 29th, 2010 at 9:52 am
      Jen says:
      I love this one. I'm a teacher too and we do get a ton of mugs :) I can't wait to help my kiddos make these for their teachers. Thanks for the great idea!
    24. March 29th, 2010 at 1:56 pm
      Beverly Pennington says:
      I need these for me...but how cute for our teachers (and when you have 4 kids, thats a lot of teacher appreciation)!
    25. March 29th, 2010 at 5:02 pm
      Rachel says:
      Great idea!! Since I don't have a machine that cuts vinyl would the etching cream work on a stencil not made from vinyl?
      • March 29th, 2010 at 5:27 pm
        Alison says:
        Ya it would. The vinyl is sticky so it helps it from sliding around. Make sure your stencil is secured securely and it will work just the same:)
        Thanks for asking BTW!
      • October 4th, 2011 at 8:33 pm
        Savannah says:
        I made personalized name cups for everyone last Christmas, and I used contact paper, and the kind from the dollar store works perfectly fine. It is hard to get clean lines with just a stencil, but if you use your exacto and cut it out first, it comes out beautifully!
    26. March 31st, 2010 at 8:44 am
      Suzanne says:
      The teachers at the high school will love it! Such a great idea!!
    27. March 31st, 2010 at 9:28 pm
      Maren says:
      Great idea! Love dollar store gifts that don't look like you paid a dollar for them!
    28. April 8th, 2010 at 12:12 pm
      Jaime says:
      These are so cute and i am so glad to find out about the reverse vinyl and the etching cream, so cool, i am going to have to try it soon.
    29. April 8th, 2010 at 4:43 pm
      Heather says:
      Cute but what can the rest of us use as a stencil if we don't have $300+ to spend on a Sihouette?
      • April 8th, 2010 at 10:16 pm
        Alison says:
        You could use paking tape and exact-o the letters out or I've heard of people using contact paper. I'm not too familiar with other ways of doing it that is why I did it this way. There are a lot of vinyl companies out there that will cut out the vinyl for you. These strips would probably cost only few dollars. We recommend http://www.mytalkingwalls.com for vinyl, but there are others out there too! Hope this helps!
    30. April 10th, 2010 at 11:07 am
      Melissa says:
      These are SO cute. I think I may use this idea to make little organizers for my daughter's hair accessories! I'm glad to hear this will work with a stencil too.
    31. April 14th, 2010 at 11:58 pm
      Kathryn says:
      Great tutorial! I've been wanting to try the etching with the negative image from the vinyl cuts- so helpful to know what etching product you used too. I can't wait to check out the rest of your site with all your fun and crafty ideas! :)
      .-= Kathryn´s last blog ..Making more card kits - this time for the Women's Retreat =-.
    32. April 29th, 2010 at 8:34 am
      Christina says:
      This was so easy. Mine are drying right now. Very cute.
    33. April 29th, 2010 at 10:07 am
      Molly Gadd says:
      I think it could also turn out cute with some funky alphabet stickers. Thanks the awesomely cheap and cute idea!
    34. April 30th, 2010 at 12:28 am
      Rose says:
      Just to note that many schools ban glass for safety reasons. I guess the teacher could use the organiser at home, but just worth bearing in mind.
    35. April 30th, 2010 at 7:17 am
      merideth says:
      i was too lazy (umm, i mean frugal with my time) to read all the comments, but i just wanted to let everyone know NOT to wash the goop down the drain. SCOOP THE GOOP BACK INTO THE JAR and use it again! it can be used again and again and again . . .
    36. April 30th, 2010 at 12:34 pm
      Tammy Moore says:
      This is TOO CUTE! Makes me wish I had a Silhouette even more!
      .-= Tammy Moore´s last blog ..Four Days Left! =-.
    37. August 22nd, 2010 at 5:03 pm
      Jenn says:
      Thanks so much for this awesome idea that looks like a million bucks. WIsh I would have received something this awesome when I was teaching. I've featured it today:
    38. March 20th, 2011 at 7:23 pm
      Katy says:
      Can you tell me what font you used and the size? Thanks
      • March 21st, 2011 at 8:02 pm
        Alison says:
        Shoot I wish I could remember. This was posted too long ago. For the size I just used measured the size of the glass and took off an inch.
    39. April 20th, 2011 at 2:42 pm
      Shannon says:
      I am so making these for my kids' teachers! May even offer some for my etsy site too! Thanks Allison!
    40. April 29th, 2011 at 8:48 am
      kimbowest says:
      love this...linked it up at my facebook!
    41. April 29th, 2011 at 9:13 am
      MJ says:
      Very cute!! As a teacher I'd love to get these as a gift :)
    42. April 29th, 2011 at 7:32 pm
      Hilani says:
      Super cute!
      Facebook: Handmade by Hilani
    43. April 30th, 2011 at 12:40 pm
      Karen says:
      These are so cute and I would love to do this project for my son't teacher. I am not sure I understand what she means by reverse vinyl. Is this something you can purchase at a craft store? Any info,is most appreciated.
    44. May 3rd, 2011 at 9:54 am
      Kayla says:
      These are so cute!! You did an awesome job!
    45. May 3rd, 2011 at 11:25 am
      Krafty Kat says:
      Very snazzy dollar store gifts! No one would ever suspect that! I'll have to try that etching technique! Thanks for sharing this week!
    46. May 10th, 2011 at 10:40 am
      Jaime says:
      I'm trying to find the link for that picture frame for a class picture that has crayons out the top and looks like a chalk board...also has a ruler...and I've searched the site over and over again. Where did it go?!?!
      • May 10th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
        Shelley says:
        Oh no! I don't think that is us? That doesn't sound familiar to me. Could it be another site?
        • May 13th, 2011 at 6:35 pm
          Jaime says:
          Oh, I feel silly...I found it on sugardoodle.net. I spend so much time on howdoesshe, I just assumed!
    47. May 18th, 2011 at 12:37 am
      dannie says:
      I really like this idea. It is so neat and clever. I have an idea of my own I am going to try.
    48. May 19th, 2011 at 12:48 pm
      Hannah says:
      Where can I buy Etchall? I currently use Armour Etch, but it doesn't etch evenly. Thanks!
    49. September 23rd, 2011 at 1:54 am
      Ruslan says:
      is this etching cream safe for health, it may include hydrofluoric acid?
    50. October 23rd, 2011 at 9:10 pm
      Alison says:
      one question....I have done glass etching before and had to use the exact-o knife. How exactly do you get out of using it here? I would love to find an easier way to etch.
    51. November 28th, 2011 at 6:49 pm
      Linda says:
      What a great idea. Will be doing these for my DGK's teachers for Christmas this year. Fantastic THANKYOU... Something different.
    52. February 24th, 2012 at 8:20 am
      Lisa @ A Little Slice of Life says:
      As a former teacher I can tell you that these would make awesome gifts. What an easy idea!
    53. April 26th, 2012 at 9:41 pm
      Nikki says:
      Perfect! I'm going to pin this. I did an etched casserole dish for my hubby's parents for Christmas and I too thought I did it wrong until it dried. haha I love how it looked.

      These are just so perfect and practical. Thanks!
    54. May 19th, 2012 at 6:04 pm
      Alison says:
      can you walk me through the part about the vinyl and how you did the lettering?
    55. August 21st, 2012 at 5:07 pm
      corissa says:
      where did you get the etching cream and the vinyl?
    56. January 1st, 2013 at 4:08 pm
      Annie says:
      I love this idea, and while I myself use etching cream often, you do have an obligation to your readers (and yourself!) to stress the importance of safety here. Etching cream is very very toxic and nitrile gloves should always be worn. As well as safety goggles and protective clothing. Working outside is a good idea, too. This stuff can KILL you! Hydrofluoric acid!
    57. May 19th, 2014 at 11:56 pm
      kj says:
      This was a great craft. I am in the midst of organizing my 'office'

      Can you give us a tutorial on "the reverse of vinyl?" I don't understand how you achieved the vinyl stencil without cutting it out.

      Thank you so much!
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