If you have kids, chances are you have teachers, teacher assistants, coaches, tutors, or daycare providers on your Christmas list. And if you are reading this post, chances are that you are a bit like me and want to have some meaning behind the present and not just purchase a gift card (although, all of those people do appreciate gift cards) or another Christmas mug.
I want to share some inexpensive gift ideas for teachers and coaches. Some of these gifts would even be great gifts from the kids to godparents and grandparents. Check out all my ideas below. I spent $15.50 to make 19 gifts for various people. That is an average 82-cents per gift and if you decide to give the Sprite and popcorn as separate gifts you would have 25 gifts that cost an average of 62-cents a gift.
Cleverly Decorated Sprite and Popcorn: To the left is the starting picture with a 6-pack of Sprite bottles and a 6-pack of microwave popcorn, some ribbon/yarn, construction paper, glitter glue & scissors, not pictured are buttons, googly eyes and markers.
Both the bottles and popcorn are the perfect width around, so you only have to make one cut on the paper. I used white printer paper and construction paper that measured 8 1/2″ x 11.” The width of 8 1/2″ wraps around both objects wonderfully. For the popcorn I only needed to cut the paper half (so you need 3 sheets for a 6-pack). For the Sprite, I needed to cut them about 2″ wide to cover up the glue area where the original label attaches at the back, so you will get 5 strips from one sheet of construction paper and you will need to cut one more strip from a second sheet.
I needed one piece of black construction paper to make all of the buckles and hats on the 12 items. It is pretty easy to see how they are assembled. I used tape to adhere the white & red construction paper pieces, but I just used a glue stick for everything else. These can easily be customized to use whatever items you have in your household.
On the back of the popcorn you can write “Just Popping In To Say Marry Christmas!” and on a tag on the Sprite you can write “May Your Christmas Be Merry and Sprite”.
I only needed to purchase the popcorn and Sprite to make this project, which cost roughly $5 and we plan to give them as a gift together (pop & popcorn), so for 83-cents we have a cleverly fun gift that will be appreciated. My daughter will be giving one of these to her bus driver and three of them to her gymnastics coaches. The other two might be neighbor gifts when we go caroling to their homes.
Take some dollar store candles (in this instance I used a 3-pack for $2 from Family Dollar), double stick tape, and some glitter and transform some plain candles into something special. This is very easy for kids to do. Just be sure to put something under them to catch the glitter so that you can pour it back in the container to use what was leftover. My 3-year-old helped make these. Since I had leftover glitter, double stick tape, and ribbon, it only cost me $2 to glam up 3 candles. We bought some clear holiday decorated gift bags from the dollar store and we will put one in each for my son to give to the ladies who watch him at the gym.
DIY Stone Trivets: In addition to a pair of scissor, you need to purchase just 3 supplies unless you already have them (or can go gather some) and that is hot glue, pebbles and a piece of felt.
I used the lid from a whipped topping container as my template to cut out my felt circles (you can cut out 2 pieces from a 25-cent piece of felt) and with the help of my son we hot glued a bunch of rocks on top (a bag for $1 at Dollar Tree) and for $1.25 we have 2 stone trivets to give as gifts.
My son gave the one he helped make to one of our ECFE teachers and I made another one for a friend.
Stamped Stationary (using celery or lettuce): You could use either a stem from some celery or romaine lettuce to stamp out. I recommend using acrylic paint to do your stamping because it will dry brighter than tempura paint, but it will be fine to use that if you need your children to use washable paint. I bought the cut-to-size cardstock at a local printing and stamping store for about 40 sheets for $1 and you can pick up a tube of acrylic paint for as low as 75-cents at any craft store or Wal-Mart. You can also use a stamp pad instead of paint. I had my son make these for his ECFE teachers and my daughter make these for her library and art teachers. Since we were using leftover paint and we made 20 cards, it only cost us 50 cents to make four sets of 5-cards.
Rosemary Salts: This one cost the most per gift to make, at $1.31 each. My daughter made these for some of her teachers at school (there are a lot more teachers this year now that she has a different teacher art, technology, music & phy ed in addition to her 1st grade teacher.)
The recipe is simple: 1 C rosemary & 2 1/4 C sea salt mixed together
Use a funnel to pour in to containers (I bought these from IKEA for $3.99 for 4 cute glass jars with metal lids) and then attach a tag says: Rosemary Salts – use as you would salt on meats, potatoes and veggies.
Need a few more ideas of Homemade Gifts?
Then check out my post on the 12 Homemade Gifts of Christmas when I am introducing the launch of my daily feature (for 12 days) with different homemade gift ideas that we have made this year. The post will actually feature 12 Gifts of Christmas Future, 12 Gifts of Christmas Past, and 7 Gift of Christmas Future (sorry, the time of publication I had only made 7 gifts already, wish I could have said 12 there too!)