Monday, June 27, 2011

A Personal Teacher Gift

Every year at this time I try to think of what to give my children's teaches to say 'thank you" for all their hard work. Now in grade 1, my daughter now spends more time each day with her teacher than she does with me, a hard realisation for both of us. We are fortunate, both my kids have amazing teachers and I want them to know how much we apprceiate them.

I really wanted to involve my children in this gift to make it more personal. So, I decided to try my hand at creating a unique and useful gift for my kids' teachers based on a blog posting I had seen about a month ago.

Following the directions from Sun Scholars on Come Together Kids my kids and I made personalized book bags for their teachers. I bought 2 plain white tote bags and transformed them using permanent markers, my kids' artwork and some embroidery thread. It was easy to create the notebook look for the bag using a ruler and sharpies. My kids wrote their teacher's name and drew a picture of them with pencil and I then went over their drawings with embroidery thread.

Personal Teacher Gift - Hand-drawn/Embroidered Tote Bags

I think they turned out great! The embroidery took a while and I had to beg my daughter not to draw eyelashes, earrings, etc. because I'm a bit rusty in the embroidery department and let's face it, there are only so many hours in day. We baked some cookies and the kids drew personal cards to enclose in their bags. They are so excited to take them to school tomorrow. I hope their teachers can really feel the love that has gone into making this gift!


How I Made Them:

I bought 2 plain white tote bags and transformed them using permanent markers. The plain bags were bought in a 3 pack at Michaels but I've seen them at Walmart too!

* If you aren't an embroiderer, no problem! Go over the drawing in permanent marker or have the kids draw them in marker from the get-go (only problem with this method, no room for error).*

Tools Needed:

  • Plain Tote Bags
  • Blue Sharpie
  • Red Sharpie
  • Black Sharpie
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Embroidery Floss & Needle or multi-coloured Sharpies if you choose not to embroider.

  1. I took a ruler and drew blue lines horizontally every 1/2 inch or so, leaving a 2 inch space before my first line.
  2. Then I took a red marker and drew a vertical line about 2 inches from the left of the bag.
  3. I then took a black marker and drew the three circles that represent the holes in the paper.
  4. I had my kids draw a picture of their teacher and the teacher's name on the tote bag using a pencil.
  5. I went over my kids' artwork with embroidery thread.


  1. did you make the bag look like paper on both sides or just one. I am in the process of making 3 for my little guys teachers tomorrow.. they are so super cute!

    1. I only did the front. Because the back of the bag would touch their clothes, I didn't want to risk any colour transfer on their clothing. Also, it was easier this way because you don't have to match up the lines. Please send a photo afterwards. I'd love to post them on Facebook.


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