pile of gifts wrapped with white ribbon

Showing Gratitude on a Budget: 29 Inexpensive Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Teachers and school staff have an incredible impact on students and schools.

In recognition of their tireless efforts, Teacher Appreciation Week offers a perfect opportunity to show your gratitude.

If you don’t want to wait for the end of the school year, then you can use any one of these ideas to shower your teachers with some love and appreciation any day!

And expressing thanks doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune.

In this blog post, we’ll explore a bunch of thoughtful, low-cost teacher appreciation gift ideas that are not only budget-friendly but also meaningful too!

From DIY crafts to personalized notes, these ideas are designed to convey heartfelt appreciation without breaking the bank.

So, whether you’re Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) looking for ways to stretch the Teacher Appreciation budget, a student wanting to express thanks, a parent on a tight budget, or just someone looking to show a teacher how much they’re valued, join us in discovering creative, inexpensive and totally affordable ways to celebrate the teachers in your life.

Teacher Appreciation Letter

1. Handwritten Thank-You Note

A heartfelt note expressing your gratitude can mean a lot to a teacher.

Two options for done for you designs, although any notecard or paper will do.

This printable floral note page features a gorgeous floral design (as show above).

Letter to My Teacher Student Teacher Appreciation Gift

This one features stripes in a gender neutral color palette.

2. Homemade Treats

Bake cookies, brownies, or other treats and package them nicely in a tin or jar.

3. Personalized Artwork

Have your child create a piece of art or a handmade card for their teacher.

4. Classroom Supplies

Teachers often dip into their own pockets for supplies, so items like pens, markers, notepads, or sticky notes can be useful.

Plastic Bookmark Sleeves with Tassels Penta Angel 25Pcs Clear Blank Vinyl Photo Booth Strip Frames Holder Cover with Hole for Christmas Valentine’s Day Wedding Graduation Party Favor Gift Tags (25)


Craft a personalized bookmark with a special and heartfelt message.

6. Hand Sanitizer or Soap

With hygiene in mind, a nice bottle of hand sanitizer or fancy soap will be appreciated.

Thanks a Latte Printable Coffee Themed Gift Tag

7. Tea or Coffee

A box of specialty tea or a bag of gourmet coffee is a nice touch.

Top it off with a Thanks a Latte gift tag!

8. Donation to a Charity

Make a donation to a charity or educational fund in the teacher’s name.

9. Desk Plant

A small potted succulent or cactus will add a touch of greenery to the teacher’s desk.

10. Stress Relief Items

Stress balls, a calming essential oil roller, or a stress-relief coloring book is be appreciated.

11. Inspirational Quote Art

Create or purchase artwork with an inspirational quote for the teacher’s classroom.

12. Classroom Library Book Donation

Contribute a new book to the teacher’s classroom library.

13. Scented Candles

A nicely scented candle can create a cozy atmosphere in the teacher’s home.

14. Music Playlist

Create a playlist of your favorite songs or calming music to help the teacher relax.

15. Customized Rubber Stamp

A personalized rubber stamp with the teacher’s name from The Teachers Lounge Co. for grading papers or marking books is a functional gift they’ll get a lot of use out of.

16. A Thank-You Video

Record a heartfelt thank-you video message for the teacher.

Great class gift idea or something students and parents can do solo too.

17. Personalized Lanyard

Customize a lanyard with the teacher’s name and school mascot or logo for another functional gift.

sidewalk decorated with appreciation message for school staff and teachers

18. Chalk the Walk

Grab a bucket of sidewalk chalk and decorate the pathways in and out of the school with supportive, inspirational and motivational notes for the teachers.

This is a great activity to involve lots of students and parents since you can cover a lot of real estate to surprise staff as they come to work for the day.

19. Car Line Duty

Get some other friends on board and take over car duty line for a day or two.

Bonus points if the weather is less ideal!

The teachers will absolutely love having the day off.

20. Copier Duty

Standing at the copier is so boring, so any teacher would love the break from the monotonous chore.

21. Lunch Duty

Grab those same friends and let the teachers have the day off from supervising students during their lunch periods.

colorful square art cards with teacher and school quotes

22. Inspirational Quote Cards

Teachers absolutely love quotes, so they would love to have one of these little cards that combine quotes and graphics.

23. Bulletin Board Shout Out

Use the PTO Bulletin Board or another available board in the school to decorate it with a shout out to staff and teachers.

24. Daily Announcements

Write a lovely message thanking your teachers and staff for all they do for the school and ask the Principal to include them in the morning announcements.

25. Flowers

Bring a small bouquet of flowers from your own garden or grab one from the grocery store.

Trader Joe’s has great prices on flowers and you can buy a gorgeous bouquet for under $10.

Lemonade Themed Thanks for a Refreshing Year Tag Set

26. Stock the Fridge

Grab a few cases of bubbly water and load up the refrigerator in the Teacher’s Lounge for some refreshing drinks (topped with a tag!) for the teachers and staff to enjoy.

27. Joke in mailbox

Pop a funny joke into their mailbox to bring a smile to their face.

Bonus tip!

Amp up the impact of any of these inexpensive teacher appreciation gifts with a cute gift tag!

Over to you!

Expressing gratitude to teachers doesn’t require a big or extravagant budget on the part of your PTO or family.

It’s the thought, care, and creativity that truly count in making teacher appreciation gifts special.

Whether you choose a handmade gift, a personalized note, or a simple gesture of kindness, these tokens of appreciation speak volumes about your gratitude and respect for the school staff and teachers who play such a pivotal role in shaping the lives of your children.

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