great gifts for teachers

12 Days of Shopping – Kids Make the Gifts – Crafts on Day 2

I really do love homemade gifts the most – especially from my children. I have every gift they ever gave me and now I understand why my mom kept that macaroni necklace I made for her (thanks, Mom). I also love the messiness of Mod Podge and the only reason there isn’t more of it in my house is because I tend to go on sprees…yes, there have been Mod Podge sprees.  One weekend my oldest and I reclaimed a table (then proceeded to Mod Podge the inside of an old medicine cabinet). No, I am not suggesting you do a table for a gift. Just showing that you can.  We used a calendar with gorgeous prints that I picked up in the Anthropologie sale bin last year. This year’s version is shown below from Paper Source (love this store, too!). Don’t be silly, I spent under $10 not $20. Paper Source also has a great sale section, too.

capability mom roskd mod podge

Gather any paper you that like – wrapping or old books or cards. Tip: I like to put them in a folder in the basement so my very tidy spouse doesn’t mistakenly throw them away (invariably I forget where I put them, though so it’s the same as if they had been thrown out). So on to the craft! Here is a site I have mentioned before, Mod Podge Rocks. It has tons of great projects and this is one is particularly easy and fun!

Just using an old Altoids tin or small box you can make a gift card holder – make the gift cards, too! Plain cards and stickers are sweet. The finished project shown is from Mod Podge Rocks.

Here are the raw materials capability mom uses mod podge to make holiday fiftsthat I pulled out of the craft drawer (oh-so-different than the present drawer!). You can also put a handle on the tin and style it as an adorable mini-purse.

If you aren’t excited about this project, here is an easy Mod Podge Pencil Holder from Family Eduction –  you can fill it with baked goods, Lindt truffles, candy canes or candy kisses for a teacher or hostess gift. All you really need is an empty can, Mod Podge and some paper. Now don’t get all Martha and perfect about it. Break out the Mod Podge and go. Plain glass vases, cans, bottles, jars …everything is fair game. You can decorate the container with your children then fill with flowers (made out of the sweet paper or real) or baked goods that you make together.

I personally like to see tree shaped styrofoam either painted or Mod Podged or plain with Hershey candy kisses all over, probably because my mom has them every year. makes it a counting activity for little ones and uses a glue gun to make their tree. Wow, was that what my mother was doing, too? No, I am pretty sure we just randomly stuck most of the kisses on the tree (which is all good, too). Speaking of education moms – head on over to Pragmatic Mom – her craft is adorable and super easy and not messy at all –  Clove Fruit which I like to do even after the children become tired of it. Put down some paper (newspaper is fine) and when they are finished wrap them in tissue (this is a good gift to start now).

capability mom finds a counting activity project from

Great Gifts for Teachers – Day 5 of Shopping with Pragmatic Mom

Some school districts (ours is one) have an outright ban on gifts for teachers. While I understand the reasoning (“Here’s a Birkin bag, Mrs. Smith, Thanks for the letter of recommendation for Jimmy”), and that the idea is to make all things equal – it is not my favorite rule (but I am a first born and a great rule follower so that makes it tough). Teachers are one of the most underpaid and overworked of all professions (Disclosure,  there are teachers in my family), and they should get some semi-decent swag for the hard work that they do. I also know that more often than not, teachers go out of pocket for special school supplies. So is handwritten card w/cookies enough or do you slip a gift card inside? If you do, and I won’t tell, try Sephora, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts or iTunes.  Sometimes a group gift gets around the rule, so pony up and be the one that collects the money and buys the gift, assign someone else the task of getting the card signed by all of the students. More work for you but you will help out a helpless rule follower and make a teacher’s day.
Maybe you can give gifts with impunity, gift cards are still nice or you can give books or a gift card to a local store that carries supplies for school,  something related to their work (Art teacher – art supplies). What is always welcome: cashmere scarves, sweaters, gloves, socks – pretty impersonal and nice, too (include the gift receipt to be extra nice). Holiday decorations (Hanukah or Christmas) and candles, lotion sets, anything homemade (see Friday’s post),  notecards from Paper Source or journal from chronicle books

capability mom loves the flour cookbookPictured is a kid’s journal but I would love it – I would also welcome the new Flour Bakery cookbook (add some sweet wooden spoons or a whisk and stick them both in a mixing bowl). Works for me!

If you know the teacher is a baker, don’t shy away from spices – I love Penzey’s penzey's spices– the catalog is great but the store is better (in Arlington, MA) – I went there a really long time ago with the writer of Verbatim. It was deliciously aromatic and on the way home we passed Lakota Bakery (which I had read about but not tried) and we had to go in – as in I screamed, “Pull over the car!” We purchased many wonderful treats and I was actually swaying back and forth in joy while eating a particularly lovely butter and chocolate cookie that a couple ventured into the store because of my ‘happy cookie dance”.  I really like cookies. You can even order these delicious cookies -or a cake –  from Lakota Bakery and cut down on your baking list.

One last idea, a plant. Sure, you can do a poinsettia or a white amaryllis or some sweet paper whites. Sounds boring? Not this time of year in New England! Go get a nice orchid (Trader Joe’s has them as does Whole Foods) or a big gorgeous flowering tropical house plant (just be sure to cover it well when you run it outside). Nearby Garden centers will have a nice selection and you will get a dose of green while you shop.capability mom loves winstons flowers The amaryllis shown is from a favorite flower shop – Winston Flowers where they make the most gorgeous arrangements and have the best flowers (delivery and in store).

The 12 Days of Shopping

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom. Each day, please visit her blog to see the other half of each post. Thanks!

Friday, Dec 10: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

Sat, Dec 11: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

Sun, Dec 12: Personalized Gifts: Fancy Return Address Stampers and Personalized Stationery from Pixie Chicago

Mon, Dec 13: Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Tue, Dec 14: Tutors/Teachers

Wed, Dec 15: High Tech/Low Tech

Thu, Dec 16: Hostess/Doing Good and Getting Something

Fri, Dec 17: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer

Sat, Dec 18: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List)

Sun, Dec 19: Dog/Cat

Mon, Dec 20: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Tue, Dec 21: ’Cause I Am So Together, Last Minute Home Made Gifts

%d bloggers like this: