DIY Gift Ideas for Teachers/Neighbors/Family


Is there someone in your life that seems to have everything, and you’re struggling for a gift idea? Or are funds limited this year, and you need a little creativity to make the dollars stretch? This is the post for you!

gifts I love to incorporate DIY gifts for the special ones in our lives. Do-it-yourself gifts are also the perfect option to include your little ones in gift-making, and then they are so excited to give their handmade gifts to loved ones.

Here are a few of our favorite DIY Gift Ideas:

Top 5 DIY Gifts1. Seashell Picture Frame

If you need an inexpensive, easy gift idea that is super cute, this is it! I love engaging my boys in making their grandparents’ gifts, and this one was perfect. Last year we collected seashells over a month’s worth of visits to the beach. Then I bought wooden 5 x 7 frames on Amazon plus some wood glue. We printed a picture of both of our boys, glued on the shells, and delivered the adorable gifts for Christmas. An easy win!

2. Annual Family Calendar

Each year I gather photographs from both sides of the family and create Shutterfly calendars for family members (grandparents, our siblings, and even a great-grandma). It can quite an undertaking to sort through twelve months of pictures and collect pictures from all siblings, but it is one of my favorite activities. I love seeing how our families have grown over the year and the memories we’ve made together. It is always a family favorite.


3. Personalized Tote Bag

Let’s be honest. You can never have enough totes/recyclable bags. It’s something you always need and can reuse a million times. This year we are making personalized tote bags for my son’s preschool teachers and filling them with goodies. We also made one for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day last year so it is a versatile gift idea for neighbors and family members too. The image options are endless, but here are a few that appealed to me:

Handprint Flowers


Stencil with the first letter of the teacher’s name


Notebook paper tote with teacher’s name


You can buy blank canvas bags and fabric paints.on Amazon or at a craft store to create your look. If your children are older and you own a sewing machine, you could enlist them to help you sew tote bags themselves with fabric they select. Once the bag is complete, you can fill it with a mug, candy, hot chocolate tin, and a smelly candle to create the perfect holiday gift.

4. Christmas Handprint Tree

Another great gift idea that involves your little ones is an item featuring a Christmas tree made of your children’s handprints. This idea has flexibility– you can use a canvas, tea towels, or even a plain white plate for painting. We made a Christmas handprint tree for my parents a couple years ago, and they loved it! Combine it with gift idea #5 and you have a winner!

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5. Christmas cookies

It goes without saying that homemade Christmas cookies are always appreciated. We have an Advent calendar for our kids that includes Acts of Service for each day, and two of the days call on the kids to deliver cookies to people in our lives (their dad’s coworkers at the hospital and a neighbor). The boys love baking the cookies and helping to decorate them. Testing the fresh cookies and frosting is always an added bonus. Fresh decorated Christmas cookies with a handmade card from your children is a wonderful gift for neighbors, coworkers, and teachers. Plus you can enlist help from grandparents to bake and decorate creating memories for years to come.

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What are your favorite DIY holiday gifts? How do you involve your children in making gifts for the special people in their lives?

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Stephanie recently moved to North Padre Island from Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, two sons, Wilder (1) and Bouldin (4), and beloved golden retriever, Bodhi. Stephanie grew up in Amarillo, but spent most of her adulthood in Austin where she met her husband. They moved quite a bit as her husband started medical school and then attended ER residency. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, Stephanie received a masters in social work, worked for several years in fundraising, and ran a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the needs of breast cancer patients in El Paso. She began blogging as they started moving around with her husband’s medical training- it started with a focus on thrifting, and as life transitioned, the blog also shifted into travel and motherhood. With her husband’s crazy ER schedule, she tries to keep her boys active hiking, biking, and heading to the beach. Stephanie is learning to slow down and soak up every moment with her young boys.