8 Great Teacher Appreciation Gifts for $3 or Less

Not only do I buy teacher gifts each year for Christmas, but I also teach in the high school department at our local homeschool coop. So, I’ve compiled a list of Yuletide gifts that I have both given and received over the years.

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The best way I know to accomplish this task on a tight budget is to buy supplies and them put together each gift – assembly line style.

Think in terms of:

  • Practicality – You want them to use it.
  • Aesthetics – You want it to look pretty.
  • Personalization – Get your student involved and add their personal touch.
  • Price – You need to do it for under $3.00 per gift.

Let’s get started!

1. A Journal and a Red Pen

A red pen is something that instructors use nearly every day. Whether I’m making notes in my lesson plans or marking a student’s paper, I love a good red pen! Here are some ideas for notebooks for under $3.00 each.

I love these journals with happy thoughts! They seem just made to thank your favorite educators! You can also look for journals or notebooks at Dollar Tree for just $1.00 each!

2. A Bar of Premium Soap Wrapped in a Christmas Towel

I gave my children’s instructors this gift last year. When you tie the ends with pretty ribbon, the finished package resembles a large piece of Christmas candy! Trust me! You can assemble these for less than $3.00 each!

Here’s how to do it!

I adore Yardley Soap! It’s made in England and is a rather inexpensive produce with a premium feel. I’m partial to the oatmeal and almond bar, but some of my children prefer the lavender scent. This assorted 10 pack, comes in at under $2.00 per bar of soap.

This set of 13 red and white tea towels is extremely reasonably priced and would allow you to put together your teacher gift for less than $3.00. These towels have good ratings and the subtle red stripe can be used for Christmas when you add coordinating holiday ribbon at the ends – enhancing that “striped peppermint candy” look!

You can also find holiday themed towels at after Christmas sales for 50% off or Dollar Tree has them for just $1.00.

3. Herbal Tea and a Personalized Wooden Spoon

Once again, this is an example of the gifts I gave to teachers. Two years ago, I found simple wooden spoons for a bargain price and paired them with a pack of herbal tea and a Christmassy ribbon. Voila!

Start with this 12-pack of plain wooden spoons.

Then, you can have your student add his or her own, personalized “thank you” or design, using a thin-line, black, permanent marker.

Wrap the spoon up with a pack of premium herbal tea and you’re done!

4. Fuzzy Christmas Socks

A festive pair of fuzzy socks is, seriously, one of my very favorite holiday gifts that I have ever received from a student! I love how soft and decadent they feel on my feet. They are super warm. Best of all, they last a long time and will go through multiple washings.

5. Magnetic Notepad

You can find these handy notepads at Dollar Tree. Pair it with a red or black pen and it’s the perfect gift. Have your student hand write a note to the teacher on the first page of the notebook. You can always order on-line from Dollar Tree and they will deliver your order free to you local location.

6. Votive Candle Holder and a Candle

These mercury glass candle holders have a classy, vintage vibe. Pair them with a simple, scented, red candle. Pick a Christmas scent, like pine, apple pie, or cinnamon. Every time they light it, they will remember your kindness at Christmas.

7. Wooden Clipboard Hand-Decorated by Your Student with a Personal Note Attached

One year I received a small version of this wooden clipboard from a student. I still use it in my kitchen!

I love the idea of making a personalized, standard sized paper holder. When I am teaching, I am constantly juggling my notes and papers, hoping that I won’t drop them all over the floor. This gift is the perfect solution!

Like the wooden spoons, this gift can be personalized by your student with colorful permanent markers. Note: I generally have my kiddos sketch a design lightly in pencil before going over it with permanent markers. Buy a couple of extra clipboards in case you hear some cries of “oops!”

8. Sticky Notes

Teachers love sticky notes! It’s true! There is not much that thrills us more than new pads of sticky notes for Christmas! Have your child hand write “Thank you, teacher” on the first sticky note and sign it.

Bulk order both smaller size and standard size sticky notes and give each instructor a variety of sizes and colors. Tie the stack together with a pretty ribbon and you are done!

What are your thoughts?

What are the best gifts you’ve given to teachers or received yourself if you teach Sunday school, scouts, or in a school setting? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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