Ruff Draft: The Perfect Back to School Teacher Gift

This week, here in Fort Mill, is BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK.  We wanted to show you how to make the Perfect (Start of the Year) Teacher Gift – something everyone can do, cost efficient, and Teachers will LOVE.
I  asked my mom & step dad last week (who are both Teachers) to see what would be the most useful Teacher Gift a student could bring.
Both my mom and step dad said that they are in constant need of pencils, labeled with their name on them.  (Dry erase markers being the second most needed item)
My mom told me that most teachers provide a pencil when a student forgets or loses his/hers.  She then preceded to tell me that, while almost all teachers lend pencils…. the students fail to return them.
My mom said that it has gotten so bad (in some higher level grades), that she makes students give her collateral for the pencil (a shoe, lunch money, etc) so that they will indeed return the pencil.
Here is how you make the Perfect Teacher Gift  (if anyone is a Teacher reading this blog,  make them for your own classroom or give to your other Teacher friends).

Supplies Needed:

1.  Teacher Label Paper – (download your 2 FREE Label Papers at the bottom of this post) or use your own

2.  Ruler

3.  Scissors/paper trimmer

3.  A Pack of Pencils

4.  Double-Sided Tape

5.  Recycled Tomatoes/Beans Cans (or larger size cans)


We LOVE to recycle – pull out your old tomato or bean cans for this fun project!

Measure Can and Label Paper
Measure Can and Label Paper

1.  First, peel labels off of recycled Tomato or Bean size cans.  (You go up in size, but I wouldn’t go any smaller)

2. Wash & dry cans

3. Measure can – I like to measure inside the “lips”, where the old labels were.

4. Print your Can Label page from free printable (we made it a full 8.5 x 11″, so you can trim to any can size, also we print on photopaper so it has a nice professional look)

5.  Measure your Can Label, and trim off excess.

Taping on Can Label
Taping on Can Label

6. Next use your double-sided tape and put it on various spots along metal can.

7. Adhere your Can Label paper.

8. Use double-sided tape along outer edge of Can Label paper

9. Seal shut

Finished Can
Finished Can


1. Print and cut the TEACHER labels, from your free printable  (don’t worry how close you are on cutting along the lines… these are so tiny, that once they are stuck on, you really can’t see the lines) – we use 8.5 x 11 label paper (it is a full sticker paper, found at our favorite or your local office store).

"Teacher" Pencil Labels
"Teacher" Pencil Labels

2. Peel Label backing and wrap around metal part of pencil (this is the most time-consuming part – have your kids do it) 🙂

3. Tie ribbon around pencils

Perfect Teacher Gift -  Finished
Perfect Teacher Gift - Finished

4. Add shred, and you are finished!

Extra Credit: If you really want to please your child’s Teacher, sharpen the pencils as well or give them a sheet of “TEACHER” labels so they can stick on any other items in the classroom! 🙂

You can also use these “PLEASE RETURN ME” cans for: dry erase markers, rulers, erasers…. anything you think your teacher would lend out to students.

If you LOVE these colors and graphics, check out our matching SCHOOL DAY Printable Design Collection – you get 33 pages of designs ON SALE for only $12  – what a great way to decorate your child’s new school supplies or classroom!

We hope EVERYONE has a FABULOUS first week of school!!!!

*Download Free Printable files here:  Teacher Printable Labels

Please share the love and leave us a comment and share this post with your friends!


  1. JEAN!!!

    Pure Genius!!

    I LOVE THIS!!!
    Sooooo cute! Oh my word, I love this!

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK!!! Adding to my PINTEREST 🙂 Adria, this is AWESOME!

  2. Oh Adria, these are perfect! Tomorrow is my daughter’s first day of kindergarten and I was trying to think of something to send to her teacher. These are super cute as well as useful! I am headed to the office store to get label paper=)
    Thanks much!

  3. I am so excited I found you. Just bought some sticky labels and will be getting to work on this. Perfect idea for back to school gift for my son’s Kindergarden teacher… THANK YOU!

  4. So adorable! Going to keep this is my mental file, for when my daughter starts school next year! Or maybe I will make one for my husband, who is a professor. He’s always complaining the students are taking his pencils.

  5. Wish I had seen this sooner! Love this idea, and as a former teacher would have loved to receive this! It’s never too late, and meet the teacher is just around the corner. Brilliant!

  6. I checked out the page for the printable Teacher Gift. Now how do I download or print it off. I know it may seem like a silly question. But I have never done this before.

    1. If you click the link to download you can open in adobe reader. From there you can just print to your home printer on label paper or you could email the file to a local printer to print for you (Office Max, etc).

      NO problem! You will get the hang of it and then be addicted to printables! 😉

  7. Thank u so much for your share. This is so dare neat. I’m always looking for something to make for my favorite Teachers. And this is just another great item I know they’ll love.
    Keep up the good work.

  8. This is really adorable! I know teachers appreciate getting pencils back. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome idea & printable tag. 🙂

  9. très mignon : merci pour le partage !… je cherche des freebies sur le web et je partage mes liens sur Pinterest : je viens d’y ajouter celui-ci !… (j’ai déjà plus de 13000 liens vers des téléchargements gratuits !)

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