Teacher Appreciation: 20+ Sustainable and Upcycled Gifts They’ll LOVE

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Gifts for Teachers: 20+ Sustainable and Upcycled Gifts that They Will LOVE

20+ sustainable and upcycled gifts for teachers that they will LOVE. These projects are so much fun and easy to make. Check out these meaningful ideas and let your teachers know how much you appreciate all they do for you and your children! 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using those links, I may receive a commission. This does not impact your price for the product. Some of my projects use power tools or other items that can be dangerous. Please DIY carefully or hire someone who can. You can review my full legal disclosures here.

This year, I wanted to put together a round up of easy sustainable, eco friendly, and upcycled gift ideas for teachers- that they will LOVE.

What does it mean to give an eco friendly and sustainable gift?

It means that you give others gifts that:

  • Are make from upcycled or recycled materials.
  • Are useful.
  • Will not end up in a landfill. 

Ecofriendly Teacher Gifts

Gifts to make or buy for teachers are are ecofriendly.

Know your teacher loves wine? Blueberries? Mac and cheese? Those make great gifts. You could also help supply them for the next school year by giving them items they can use: hand sanitizer, Advil/Tylenol, facial tissue, dry erase markers, etc.

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I am not a teacher, but I’m a social worker and have worked with kids, adolescents, and adults. There is absolutely no better gift than a meaningful thank you note. Now if you’re going to write “Thank you, signed Sue” then that isn’t what I mean. I’m talking about truly expressing your thanks and what you thought the teacher contributed to your child’s education this year.

Gosh, no gift could ever be as wonderful as the gift that reminds you why you got into a helping profession to begin with.

Pro tip: If you ever write a thank to a social worker or other medical professional, don’t put your last name or identifying information (ie. your address, phone number, etc) on the note due to HIPAA rules.

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Rather than the teacher getting thirty different gifts, you could opt to coordinate a class gift for the teacher. My friend Jaime made these adorable flower baskets as a group gift for the two teachers. They asked each parent to ask their child these 3 questions (per teacher):
Why do you love your teacher?
What is your teacher really good at?
What does your teacher always tell you?

I think the teachers will LOVE receiving this gift.

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These berry baskets from Our Family of Seven were used to hold other items. They came out super cute, but I bet you could also just give a basket full of strawberries. Tis the season and there’s nothing quite as amazing as fresh strawberries.

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Cloth wipes are a great option for drying little hands or for giving each child to erase their writing on a dry erase board. I have instructions on how to make them in my book, How to Sew Cloth Diapers. But really, they’re just two squares of flannel serged together.

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Mismatched mugs from the thrift store would be great for this project. Make a succulent planter inside a pretty mug for your teacher- don’t get to grab the free printable from Honey and Lime Co.!

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Soap is a frequently used item in the home and I’m guessing teachers love to have it on hand at school too!

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What teacher doesn’t need more books for their classroom? Kiwi in the Clouds has a cute printable to go with the book.

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I love to give gift cards for things people need or may use frequently. Gift cards won’t be just another gift that gets tossed- they also are easy. Check out this “Thanks a Latte” free printable from Thrifty Northwest Mom.

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Vanilla Extract is a very simple item to DIY and it is useful! Check out this Vanilla Extract tutorial from Trial and Eater.

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Lemon extract would also be a great option!

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Our Family of Seven used mason jars to make vases for their teachers.

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Consider using plants from your garden to create a very pretty planter and twig trellis.

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You can find a recipe for DIY Lemon Sugar Scrub on Thrifty Jinxy. Make it in a mason jar!

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Learn how to cut wine bottles to make these super cute planters. You can use a Silhouette machine to decorate them or leave them as is. Attach a chalk marker so they can fill in the number of days until school break!

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Personally, I have a ton of nail polish that has NOT gotten used since I had kids. I hate to just toss it so I love this idea for using nail polish to decorate items like mugs. Check out these Nail Polish Mugs by Strength and Sunshine.

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Mason jars are perfect for DIY cookie mixes!

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You can use a brand new can or you could also upcycle a paint can for this project. This is SUCH a cute idea for a gift “bag” that can be reused for storing school supplies or other items. Check out the tutorial from The Magic Brush Inc.

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Pencils can’t exactly be upcycled (unless you just have a ton sitting around wasting space!), but they’re a fairly eco friendly choice as a gift for a teacher. I worked in schools for a while and gosh… the kids are ALWAYS running out of pencils! Teachers spend too much each year on their own supplies. Get them the gift they really need and make them this adorable Pencil Vase from Cincy Shopper.

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Learn how to make some easy sun dried tomatoes in your dehydrator. This is a great use of your garden produce!

Get the Recipe

Wrap whatever you give in a reusable gift bag,

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Candles are a wonderful option for a consumable gift.

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Here are 17+ Green gifts that you can buy for the ecofriendly.

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Got produce? Get some gift ideas that you make from your garden.

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Teacher Appreciation: 20+ Sustainable and Upcycled Gifts They'll LOVE
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