24 DIY Back-to-School Gifts Your Teacher Will Love

Start the year off right and show your new teacher how much you care with one of our extra-special, handmade gift ideas.

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July 29, 2020
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Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

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Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

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Photo By: Cassidy Garcia; Styling by Jill Anderson

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Spa-Worthy Soaps

No more school-issued suds for your one-of-a-kind teacher. Help your favorite educator keep germs at bay with a set of pretty, premium liquid hand soaps. Package with a bubbly tag that reads, "Hands down, you're the best teacher around."


For a Remarkable Teacher

If you ask any teacher what school supply they need the most, they'll usually name dry erase markers. A box of whiteboard markers is not only inexpensive but makes a practical and oh-so-thoughtful gift — a win-win-win in our books. Wrap up markers with a bow and top with our free printable tag to help start the school year on a re-mark-able foot.


Cheese, Please

Who could say no to this mouthwatering goodie basket? Fill an inexpensive or upcycled container with artisan cheese, crackers and spreads from your local co-op, farmers market or specialty grocery store and package it all up with a cheese knife and board. Get extra credit by including a handwritten or printed menu that lets the recipient know exactly what delicacies they'll be enjoying.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Gift Basket of Cheese, Nuts and Crackers

Self-Care Kit

Give your deserving teacher the gift of total relaxation. Pack a bucket (we found ours at the dollar store) with soothing face masks, a delicious scented candle, colorful nail polish and more for a night of much-needed R&R.

Busy Bee

Give a gift that's sweet as can bee! Divide locally sourced honey from the farmer's market or grocery store into small glass jars, then package with a mini honey dipper and our free printable tag for an extra-sweet touch. This gift is a great option if you have multiple teachers to buy for.


Homegrown Harvest

Is your veggie garden still in full production mode come August? Share your bounty by assembling an extra-fresh gift basket full of hand-picked, homegrown veggies. No garden? Peruse the aisles at your local farmer's market for a just-as-thoughtful (and delicious) gift.

When In Doubt

Nothing says "thank you" quite like $20 to spend at your teacher's favorite store. Package a gift card inside a small box filled with crinkle paper, then top with a fun DIY yarn pom-pom for an extra-special touch.

GET THE HOW-TO: Make Picture-Perfect Pom-Poms in Minutes

The Bare Necessities

Breaks are few and far between during busy school days, making it difficult to step out for water or to grab aspirin from the breakroom. Set teachers up for success by helping them stock their desk with often-used (and much-needed) items like hand sanitizer, headache meds, chapstick, reusable cups and more daily necessities.

Personalized Mug

Grab a dollar store coffee cup and a set of porcelain paint pens to craft this customized, notebook paper-themed mug for your new teacher. The best part? The ink is top-shelf dishwasher safe after 24 hours.

GET THE HOW-TO: Back-to-School Teacher's Mug

Wine Down

Tied up with a packet of fizzy bath powder, a bottle of sweet rosé is a simple (yet much appreciated) way to say "thanks for taking care of my kid."

Almost-Free Flower Arrangement

On a budget? Shop your backyard or the grocery store's clearance floral section for almost-free blooms, then transform an old bucket or unused jar into a pretty "new" vessel. Here, a turkey baster and craft paint were used to transform an aluminum paint bucket into a delightful, dripping showstopper. Get the step-by-step instructions and more DIY floral arrangement tips below.

SEE MORE: 11 Creative DIY Centerpieces

Coffee Break

Don't allow your teacher to suffer through another year of bad teacher's lounge coffee. Pack a basket full of buzz-worthy bounty — a portable french press, bag of ground coffee and our free printable cold brew recipe. Feeling extra generous? Throw in a reusable iced coffee cup for a caffeine kick that lasts (and is kind to the environment).


Punny Planters

Send a sweet message to your teacher with this stamped terra-cotta pot planter. Fill with a low-maintenance plant (because teachers have enough to take care of) and wrap it up with care instructions and a small watering can.

GET THE HOW-TO: Punny Stamped Terra Cotta Pots for Mother's Day

Gift for the Gardener

For the teacher who loves to garden, fill a pretty planter with all their favorite things: gardening gloves, a plant mister, seed packets and new gardening tools. Bonus: All of these items can be found at the dollar store!

Basket Full of Happy

Studies have shown that certain colors can lift your mood and increase energy levels — yellow being a top contender. Give your new teacher a boost by filling a basket with bright, cheery things like an encouraging coffee mug, sweet treats, fizzy sips and fresh yellow blooms.

Lavender Salt Scrub

Looking for a meaningful, low-cost DIY gift for multiple teachers? Whip up a batch of this soothing lavender salt scrub. Combine 4 cups coarse sea salt, 1-1/2 cups coconut oil and 20 drops lavender essential oil to a large bowl. Mix completely then fold in 1/4 cup of dried lavender buds. Fill small canning jars with the mixture, add the lid and top with a circle of decorative paper before adding the ring. Package with a ribbon and a sprig of dried lavender for a fresh-from-the-farm look.

SEE MORE: Holiday Big Batch Gifts

An Apple a Day

Yes, you could give your teacher a boring old apple. Or, you could treat them to a DIY apple-shaped storage container, perfect for stashing small school supplies like erasers and paperclips. Fill to the brim with delicious gummy worms or bubble gum for a sweet first-day treat.

GET THE HOW-TO: Back-to-School Teacher Gift: DIY Terra-Cotta Apple

Flower Bulbs

Green up your teacher's thumb with a garden gift that keeps on giving. Following the included instructions, they can plant tubers, root starts or seeds in their yard for an abundance of beautiful blooms later on.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Plantable Party Favors

Cheers to a New Year

Toast to new beginnings with a gift basket that's equal parts fun, fresh and fizzy. Include all the ingredients for a classic Moscow mule cocktail — ginger beer, vodka, limes, copper mugs and a fresh mint plant — all wrapped up in a stylish metal crate.

SEE MORE: 17 Beautifully Unique Gift Baskets for Any Occasion

Sinus-Relief Bath Bombs

What teacher wouldn't appreciate a soothing soak after a long day on their feet? These handmade mentholated bath bombs are infused with the sinus-relieving scents of eucalyptus and peppermint to keep your teacher in tip-top shape. Fill a glass apothecary jar with the finished fizzies for a pretty gift that looks lovely on a bathroom countertop.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make Fizzy Sinus-Relief Bath Bombs

Cute Cross Stitch

A teacher can never have enough notebooks, especially ones as cute as this fruit-themed cross-stitch journal from Camille Ipsen. Hand-stitched and wrapped with a tag and matching pencil, this stylish school supply turns to-do lists into ta-da! lists. Buy one at the link below or DIY your own by following our simple tutorial.

BUY IT: Etsy, $32.00

Measure Success

Let your teacher know they totally rule with this DIY planter made from an empty milk carton and a classic wooden yardstick.

GET THE HOW-TO: Teachers Rule: Make This DIY Planter for the First Day

Tea for Teacher

How cute are these DIY coffee filter tea sachets from HonestlyYUM? Simply cut out a fun shape, sew with food-safe thread, then fill with your choice of loose tea for an inexpensive, unique and yummy gift.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Heart-Shaped Tea Bags

Glitter Stress Jars

Break out the glitter glue and let the little ones help craft this mesmerizing DIY gift. Upcycled glass canning jars are transformed into swirling stress relievers in minutes using craft supplies you likely already have on hand. Make a big batch and keep a few at home to help the kiddos wind down after a hectic day at school.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Glitter Stress Relievers

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