Altered Tins and Teacher Appreciation Gifts
The end of the school year is approaching at lightening speed. This is a time of year when I give my child’s teachers a special card or gift to say ‘thank you’ for all they’ve invested throughout the school year. My son has had incredibly dedicated teachers since he was in preschool and this year is no exception. We are about to end another successful school year thanks to Mr. Taylor, Mrs. Jacques, Mrs. Blatt and Mrs. Bridge.
I spoke to a number of teachers this year who were willing to give me feedback about teacher appreciation gifts. I have listed the ideas below. Many of these gifts are small in size and therefore perfect for giving in altered tins (such as altered Altoids tins). The tins are a functional and reusable container to put your thank you note or gift in.
Materials Needed To Make An Altered Tin
- Altoids tin, tea tin or other small tin that has a smooth surface
- Mod Podge
- Decorative Paper
- Embellishments or decorations (such as buttons)
- Strong adhesive glue such as E6000 or Super Glue
- Small Magnets (can be purchased at hardware or craft stores)
Directions To Make An Altered Tin
- Wash and dry the tins thoroughly
- Trace your tins onto patterned decorative paper and then cut out the shapes (you will want to cut them to size, depending on how much you need for coverage or design)
- Lightly sand the areas where you will be applying paper – be careful to only sand where the area will be covered. The sandpaper will scratch the finish of the tin, so only sand where paper will be applied.
- Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the paper and then place the paper on the tin where desired.
- Smooth the paper and remove excess glue.
- You can apply paper to the sides of the tin if wanted.
- When the Mod Podge has dried, apply a new layer of it over the papered areas.
- When the outside of the tin is dry, apply paper to the inside of the tin using the same methods as above.
To Make Your Own Magnets
You can make your own magnets to be used as embellishments for the tin. Almost any small object can be transformed into a magnet but for the purposes of this project, choose small objects that will fit in your tins. Antique buttons work well, as do laser cut wood images/ wood cuts, and bottle caps.
- Apply a small drop of your strong adhesive glue to the object and then place a small magnet on top.
- Press firmly in place and allow to dry.
Assemble your magnets, notes, cards, or gift certificates in the tins.
No to low cost ideas for teacher appreciation gifts:
- A thank you note highlighting moments during the school year when the child had an “aha” moment or the child matured in learning or character.
- Book plates—these can be handmade or bought. Book plates are especially useful for teachers who lend their books frequently. Make sure the teacher’s name is already included on the book plate to make this gift especially appreciated!
Gift Cards and Gift Certificates
If you know the teacher well, you may have a good idea of what s/he would appreciate for a gift certificate. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Ice cream from a local venue
- Local coffee shop
- Movie tickets
- Gardening store
- Local book store
- Local restaurant
Last, feel free to let the teacher know that a thank you note in return is not necessary. Teachers, in my experience, have been meticulous about writing thank you notes for gifts that my son or myself have given them. Although thank you notes are nice, I cringe to think of adding more work to their busy schedules. Let them know they are off the hook and to go relax instead.