Stitched Teacher Gifts

June 03, 2010, 06:59 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Embroidered napkin detail

Ah, the annual scramble to come up with the perfect way to thank those superheroes among us who arrive at work at the crack of dawn, develop lesson plans and respond to fretful emails from parents until late into the night, and in between manage to guide, inspire, encourage, impart wisdom, and perform some of the most amazing feats of conflict resolution and crowd control I have ever witnessed.

Yes, it’s Teacher Gift Season. Late in Teacher Gift Season! Still in need of some thoughtful, tasteful, useful, and—ideally—one-of-a-kind tokens of major appreciation? Here are a few of the sweetest ideas I’ve seen for creating customized teacher gifts by hand.

Coffee cozy

Click on over to the Pink Milk and Fairycakes flickr site for a tutorial on making this personalized coffee-cup cozy—perfect for pairing with a gift card from a local coffee shop.

oilcloth lunch sacks

Cindy at Skip to My Lou has posted a how-to for these cheerful and nostalgic oilcloth lunch sacks. Make one for every teacher on your list, and tuck a sandwich-shop certificate inside.

knitted & wrapped vases

Crafty mama Vickie Howell suggested this fresh idea for dressing up jars full of flowers or plants with twine (she’s posted step-by-steps for a knitted version and a super-simple wrap-and-glue style). Check out other ideas from Vickie—one for crocheted washcloths and another for teacher treat jars—posted on her PBS Parents CraftApparent column.

And for a great round-up of more teacher gift ideas, from bookmarks and journals to candy bar covers, head back to Skip to My Lou.

embroidered napkins

Finally, if you’re pressed for both ideas and time, do what I do best: Shop! Local and handmade, of course. My daughter’s teachers are all getting sets of these adorable hand-embroidered napkins. We worked with Asheville crafter Carrie Turner to come up with the design based on a vintage illustration she found of a little girl offering an apple. Love the keepsake appeal—hope the teachers will, too.

Have any other great last-minute ideas? Don’t keep ‘em to yourself!


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The Craft Your Life team covers traditional general craft topics, from ceramics and paper ...

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