Sometimes all you need is one good idea.
Handmade gifts add a touch of touch of heart because of the thought and love that goes into them. Children can express their affection to their teachers in their own creative way with homemade presents. Before you set out to make a teacher gift, do a little exploring because great gifts start with good conversations. Over the year, explore the teacher’s favorite colour, flower, or foods and make a note of it. Sometimes that’s a mental note but by the time you’ve had children, you may want to write it down. Memories sometimes get compromised from having children…
Plant gifts can be practical, fun, creative & inexpensive. Being organized and having materials ready ahead of time always decreases the stress of creative projects.
So let’s explore 3 plant ideas:
- Consumables – this can be a really simple pot with just one plant. Find out what the teacher’s favorite flower, herb or vegetable is and off you go to the land of creativity!
- Herbs are loved because they add amazing flavor to any dish or salad and they are easy to care for – just make sure that they pot is large enough for the herb. Small herbs like oregano, thyme, or chives can easily be grown in a 4-6” wide pot, but larger ones like basil or lavender need a larger pot width, like 8-10”.
- Tomatoes – there is nothing like a fresh tomato! And there are so many options! One of our favorites is the ‘Tumbler’ tomato, which has been bred for growing in a container with a plant structure that hangs (tumbles) over the pot. It grows well in a 12-14’ pot.
- With tomatoes, you can go a couple of directions here – you could plant a small tomato in a 4-6” pot that will need to be transplanted (so include instructions), or you could plant it in a larger container so it can grow all summer long without the fuss of transplanting. One thing to remember is that tomatoes are large consumers of water and fertilizer, so the bigger the pot, the better.
- Looking for more information on tomatoes? Check out our blog called Let’s Talk Tomatoes
- Strawberries are a big favorite, too. Pick a day neutral or ever bearing strawberry so they can be enjoyed all summer long. There are a couple of options here – a strawberry pot with multiple openings, or a 6-8” wide pot with 3 strawberry plants for long lasting strawberry joy!
- Flowers – the advantage to flower containers is that they can be super easy to care for. Think of the teacher’s favorite colour and plant accordingly. You can plant a pot with one kind of flower and it can be enjoyed for the entire summer. Consider planting in a pot that is at least 6 or 8” wide so it can hold enough water and can allow the plant thrive. Using really small pots, like 2 or 4” pots make plants difficult to care for because of the demand for constant watering and will stifle the plant’s growth and drive anyone taking care of it crazy.
- Easy Care Flowers: geraniums, grasses, marigolds, osteospermum, petunias, portulaca
- Theme gardens: Theme gardens would be a little more involved, but yet still fairly simple. Just be sure to have a large enough pot for this; most of the theme garden ideas would do well in a pot with a 10-12” width
- Pizza herb container with parsley, oregano, and basil – use a 12” pot
- A Scarborough Fair container (does anyone remember the song anymore?) with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme – use a 12” pot
- A mosquito repelling container with lemon grass, citronella and marigolds – use a 12” pot
- A shade garden with a begonia, a euphorbia or short lobelia – use a 10” pot
- A sun garden with a geranium, a euphorbia, and a lamiastrum trailing vine – use a 10” pot
- An easy care succulent garden with 3 different succulents – use a shallow 8-10” pot
Let’s explore 3 container / pot ideas:
The pot or container that you put the plants in does make a difference in presentation. We have some ideas for you below. No matter the container, always consider the size of pot needed to allow the plant to thrive and always check for drainage holes. Drainage holes are a must for all plants. You can always put a drip tray underneath to catch the water.
- Clay pots are versatile and come in a plethora of sizes & designs and are generally very reasonably priced.
- Paint them up:
- with solid colours, patterns, designs, scenes. Acrylic paint works well or other child friendly water based paints work well. Finish it up with a water based varnish and you will have a master piece.
- with chalkboard paint & draw your message and your picture with chalk or chalk markers
- Paint them up:
- Brightly coloured pots – pick a pot to match or complement the flower colour or the teacher’s favorite colour
- Unique containers: The sky is the limit for containers! To get your imagination going here are a few ideas: Mason jars for succulents (succulents don’t always need drainage holes if you are very careful with how much you water them), little pails, rubber boots, metal containers, small children’s watering cans, wooden boxes ….
The bow always makes it better … how you finish your gift gives it that one last pop of thoughtfulness. We’ve listed some ideas below to springboard your own creativity.
- Paper – butcher paper, newsprint, and cardstock that has been decorated will create a unique finish to any container. It can be coloured, stamped, or painted.
- Fabric – Use fabric to wrap the pot. Almost any fabric would work from rustic burlap, printed cottons, to fancy organza to create the theme or finish you would like to create and finish it off with a ribbon or jute.
Sayings & Quotes: Drawing a blank for what to write on the pot, the tag, or the sticker? Here are a few ideas:
- “Thank you for helping me grow”
- “Thank you for helping me grow & blossom”
- “Thanks a bunch”
- With berry plants – “It’s been berry good to be your student”, “Thank you berry much”
- “Thank you for being you”
- “Thank you for inspiring me”
- “Thank you for being my teacher”
– by Sharon Wallish Murphy