Holiday Gift Guide: Teacher Gifts

Teacher Gifts I always leave teacher gifts to the last minute. But this year I’m sharing my top picks for easy teacher gifts with my friends at the Land of Nod. You can read all about it here. So guess who’s done with her teacher gifts early this year? This girl! Hip, Hip, Hooray! 

Printable tags for Teacher GiftsFor this post, I actually did some scientific research on what teachers actually like to receive for gifts. And by “scientific,” I mean I texted a handful of teacher friends to learn inside scoop on the best teacher gifts ever. 

Simple ideas for teacher giftsI was surprised when the results of my field study came back with a resounding answer. Teachers want practical gifts. I always knew teachers were awesome because they put up with our kids each and every day. But the fact that they like the same type of gifts I do makes my job that much easier! 

free printable tags for teacher giftsPractical Teacher Gifts are BEST!

My adorable sister-in-law is a 7th grade science teacher. First of all, let’s just give her a big standing ovation for that. But she gave me such a great tip for teacher gifts. She said that she loves cute, fun things she wouldn’t normally buy for herself. She suggested personalized note cards, stamps, stickers, fancy pens, etc. that come in handy for grading papers or writing notes to students and parents. I love this! Speaking of stamps, I found this awesome Facebook Like stamp (pictured below) online. You can get one here. But I think it would be an especially great gift for Middle and High School teachers.

teacher giftsOne of these darling teachers told me that teachers get so many soaps, lotions, treats and candies during the holidays. While they really love these things, they can really only use so many. My daughter’s  super cute first grade teacher mentioned that gift cards (even as small as $5) are really appreciated, as well as anything that can be used in the classroom. New books for the classroom library are always welcome; and the holidays hit about halfway through the year. So dry-erase markers, treasure box prizes and hand sanitizer are running low at this point in the year. 

Holiday Gift Guide: TeachersPrintable Gift Tags

Now that we know what types of items make great teacher gifts, let’s talk about presentation. This is the best part! I’ve created a set of cheerful Printable Teacher Gift Tags for you. Just download, print and cut. Then attach them to the gift(s) of your choice and you’re all set! 

Teacher GiftsGive a single item; or make a cute grouping of several items with the corresponding tags attached. Above, I’ve got a cute mint green tape dispenser, some assorted clips and a new set of grading pens. They look adorable together; and they’re USEFUL! You can’t go wrong here!

In addition to using these tags for teacher gifts, I think most of them could be used for co-workers, too! Have a great day!

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Here’s my final installation in my series of Easy DIY Halloween Costumes. I shared these costumes today on Fox 13’s The Place. You can see the segment here. In the meantime, here’s a little extra info about how we made these costumes.

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

DIY Operation Game Costume
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Total Cost: $10

I love using sweats for Halloween costumes (obviously). But you can easily throw some warm layers under the sweats and let the kiddos still show off their costume even on the chilliest of Halloween nights. My preschooler wants to be a clown for his “official” Halloween costume, so we all ready had the nose for this one. We grabbed some inexpensive sweats, two sheets of red felt and one large white craft foam sheet. I sketched out the shapes on the white foam, cut them out and then layed them out on the clothing to make sure they’d fit. After I was happy with the layout, I hot-glued them to red felt and cut around them, leaving a margin of red around the outside. Next, simply hot-glue the shapes to the sweats and write in the names with a black sharpie. 

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Little Red Riding Hood
  • Total Time: 5 minutes (or less!)
  • Cost: $5

This is the ultimate last-minute Halloween costume. And it’s a really minimal DIY, so even if you hate crafting you can totally pull this off. Grab a dress and some boots, a large piece of red fabric and a picnic basket and you’re on your way! I scored this red felt square at the craft store for about $3.50 with a coupon. But you could also use a red tablecloth or any other red fabric you have handy. Simply safety pin it around the neck and tie a ribbon to the safety pin. My daughter didn’t love it with the hood up, so she wore it cape-style and it works great. The picnic basket also doubles as a trick-or-treat basket so you can stay in character all night! 

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Birthday Gift Costume:
  • Total Cost: $8
  • Time: 10 minutes

As I dashed through Target the other day in search of a last-minute birthday gift, I noticed how big some of the gift bags are. They’re human-size! And a human-sized gift bag equals one of the easiest DIY Halloween costumes ever! All you need to do for this costume is cut off the bottom of the bag, punch some extra holes and make “straps” out of ribbon. Then hot-glue some tissue paper tufts to the inside of the bag. Bonus points for wearing a party hat or a gift bow on your head! 

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

I originally made the birthday gift costume as a grownup costume; but my daughter quickly adopted it. Her birthday is actually on Halloween, so it’s a great way to celebrate her special day with a birthday-themed costume! Plus, you can see from these photos how this costume works for both kids and adults. 

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Artist Costume: 
  • Total Cost: $8
  • Time: 10 min + drying time

This is a costume and a kid-friendly craft project in one! Just get one of those cheap disposable paint palettes from the craft store and a kid-sized apron and then turn your kid loose on making this costume! No need to clean up the palette when you’re done…just use it as a costume accessory. You can also re-use this after Halloween as an actual art smock for projects around the house. 

I hope you enjoyed this series of Easy DIY Halloween costumes as much as we did! Catch my other Halloween costume posts here, here and here. Hope you all have the happiest of  Halloweens! 

There’s Still Time to Make a Last-Minute Costume

Apparently I was hungry when I decided on “Last-Minute Costume” as the topic of my latest Fox 13 segment. As for the costumes, they’re so easy you don’t even need a tutorial. I especially love that these costumes take 15-30 minutes to make; and they’re all well under $20 each. Plus, they’re great for both kids and adults! You may even find one here that your picky tween or teen will like. Let’s take a closer look! 

Cute Last-Minute Costume

Last-Minute Costume: Frosted Animal Cookies
  • Total Time: 30 min.
  • Cost: $15

This idea is straight from the genius Kelly at Studio DIY. The minute I saw her Frosted Animal Cookie Costumes on instagram, I knew this was what I wanted to be for Halloween. But our Halloween weather is a little chillier than Kelly’s weather in LA, so I opted for sweats instead of a cute dress. Because: any excuse to wear sweats is a good one. Also, I like how sweats mimic the amorphous look that some of the cookies have. I found this perfect shade of pink at wal-mart, and spent just $10 for the sweats. I all ready had plenty of pom poms left over from this project; and I spent about $3 on a pack of headbands.

Charlotte’s costume consists of a skirt from Target that she all ready had, and a white shirt. Just hot-glue some pom poms on as sprinkles, glue some felt or paper ears to a headband and you’re good to go! 

Last-Minute Costume: Pop Tart

Last-Minute Costume: Pop Tart
  • Total Time: 10 min + drying time
  • Cost: Free – $10

This Pop Tart costume is perfect for the reluctant costume wearer. You still get to have the comfort of wearing normal clothes, and you can take the “costume” off from around your neck whenever you’ve had enough. I actually spent nothing on this, because I have a bunch of foam board that I used for another project. This one has something painted on the back, but I re-used the blank side for this costume. Use some brown/tan paint around the edges of the foam board. Then spread a thin layer of adhesive (like mod podge) and toss on some sprinkles. 

Your drying time for this project will vary depending on the paint and adhesive you used. After it’s dry, just punch a couple holes at the top and attach a ribbon to hang around your neck. 

Last-Minute Costume: Movie Theater Floor Last-Minute Costume: Movie Theater Floor
  • Total Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cost: $5

This is kind of a funny one for teens/tweens who are maybe a little “too cool” to dress up for Halloween but still secretly want to participate in the fun. Simply grab a black shirt, rummage around in the recycle bin for some bits and pieces to glue onto your shirt. Or grab some Red Vines and snack on them while you work on this project. Pop a bag of popcorn and get to work. 

I had everything for this project, except the Red Vines; and those only cost a dollar. So this is a quick, easy last-minute costume you can throw together in no time at all! Helpful hint: don’t leave this one where your dog can get to it. My naughty puppy got ahold of the first version of this. She got all the popcorn and tore the Jr. Mints box (not pictured, for reasons mentioned above) to shreds. 😉 

And there you have it! Here’s my first round of easy Last-Minute costumes. I’ll be back later today with one more set. 

DIY Gum Ball Machine Costume

I’ve seen different variations on this gum ball machine costume around the web lately and I’ve been dying to give it a whirl. This costume is so much cuter than what you find at the Halloween stores. Plus, it’s less expensive and higher quality, too! DIY Gum Ball Machine Costume

Gum Ball Machine Costume Supplies: 

Gum Ball Machine Costume TutorialPlug in your hot glue gun. While you’re waiting for it to heat up, separate your pom poms. I bought two different color combinations: classics and brights so I could have a good variety of colors. I picked out the colors I wanted and put the rest aside for another project. 

Make a Gum Ball Machine CostumeLayer a piece of cardboard or a few sheets of scrap paper inside the shirt. The cardboard will ensure the hot glue doesn’t seep through the layers of fabric, glueing the shirt together. Start by gluing pom poms around the collar of the shirt/tank top. 

DIY Gum Ball Machine CostumeContinue adding pom poms until the front of the shirt is covered. Make sure to leave room at the bottom of the shirt so it can be tucked into the skirt/pants. I grabbed this cute red skirt at for about $5 the other day when it was on sale; and I think it’s the perfect silhouette for a gum ball machine costume. But any red bottoms you have handy will work! 

Easy Gum Ball Machine CostumeWait for the hot glue to cool, and then try on your new gum ball machine costume! Print out the quarters only sign and attach it to the costume–glue dots, safety pins or velcro work great!

Gum Ball Machine Headband Grab a simple headband and add some of the extra gum balls to it. As a variation, you could get some jumbo-sized puffballs to make it more of a statement piece. 

Gum Ball Machine Costume

This costume takes about 15 minutes to make after you’ve rounded up all the supplies. So you’ll have plenty of time to think of witty one-liners to use when people compliment you on your adorable costume. “Let’s STICK together.” or “I’m having a BALL at this party!” would be appropriate. I especially love that this gum ball machine costume works great for any age. My first grader loves it; and I kind of want to make one in my size, too! 

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