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Best DIY Teacher Gift - Pura Vida Moms

Best DIY Teacher Gift

It’s that time of the year when we are all scrambling to find the perfect teacher gift.  I spent 15 years in the classroom, and I am still at a loss about what to get my kid’s teachers. They spend so much time educating our kids, and it seems like no teacher gift can ever really show the right amount of gratitude to them. This year, I wanted to give the teachers something that they would use, and I thought back to the best (and worst!) teacher gifts I have ever received from students. (The best was a $150 gift card to Cherry Creek Mall- but wowza!- we don’t have the economic resources to give the teachers something that extravagant!)

What I always remember about teaching was needing/wanting to write something down so that I wouldn’t forget it, and never being able to find paper other than crappy scrap paper or (worse!) a kid’s homework. My favorite teacher gifts involved paper that could sit on my desk and no one else was allowed to touch. So, inspired by these adorable Fingerprint pendants from Etsy– I decided to make thumbprint notebooks for each of the girls’ teachers- and they turned out great! Here’s how we did it.



  1. Decide how many thumbprint animals you want to put in each notebook, and where. I had purchased some small notebooks with 10 pages each in the dollar bin at Target during Back To School Time and so I decided to do one animal in the corner of each page. You could easily do one every other page, or every 5th page, or just decorate the whole first page with various animals.
  2. Decide which animals you want to make. It was helpful for us to sketch them out ahead of time (I did that during nap) and then I was able to say yo
  3. Get your child ready- I made sure to use washable ink pads because I knew that the ink could potentially be everywhere (and it was!) I also put a little smock on her.
  4. Have fun! We made making the stamp animals a game, and she got to choose which animal she wanted on each page. Then I told her the colors she would need, and after she had stamped I drew in the features while narrating what they were. We made the activity into a language input opportunity by having her (she’s 18 months) repeat the name of the animal and/or the sound that animal makes. It was a hoot!
  5. Personalize the notebook- we decided to put the teacher’s first name on the cover of the notebook. I then added a personalized note on the inside of the front cover, and my daughter signed her name. I added a Target Gift Card in the cover too, and we wrapped everything in pretty holiday paper.

And that’s it! Super simple and functional personalized teacher gift! What are your favorite teacher gifts to give or receive?

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