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Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea — Make Personalized Tote Bags!!

teacher appreciation face bag ella
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!! 
I’d love to share what we are giving our wonderful teachers this year.
I recently saw some cute pillows on Freshly Picked and thought they were so funny and whimsical.
freshly picked his and hers pillows
I thought I would take that concept and make some tote bags for my kids’ teachers this year.
teacher appreciation totes two

I designed the face on my Silhouette machine and printed it off using heat transfer material.
{If you do this, remember to mirror your image before you print it out}
before ironing on the heat transfer
We added the teacher’s name and a little apple popping up for a whimsical touch!!

Once the image was printed out, I took off the excess heat transfer tape, leaving only the images I wanted to use. Then I ironed the image onto plain tote bags. I found a four pack of tote bags at Hobby Lobby for $6.99. So each tote bag is less than $2. Such a good deal!!

hobby lobby bags
My kids had a great time designing the tote bags with me. They think the bags are so fun! We thought it was cute to have the apples popping up from the bottom of the bag.
teacher appreciation tote blue
teacher appreciation totes on an angle
The last thing I did was make some cute little bows with each teacher’s favorite colors.

I made a 6 inch wide by 8 inch long piece of material. I sewed it inside out on three sides and then turned it right side out and sewed the last side shut.

Then I took a button cover and covered it with some coordinating fabric and glued it in the middle of the fabric with fabric glue. 

So now I have a fun bag that their teachers can use as a beach bag or to carry things in. 

Plus, I am going to fill the bag with some goodies, depending on what the teacher likes. 
Some ideas that would be fun are a beach towel and some flip flops. Or even a  
gift certificateto their favorite store or restaurant.
girls with teacher appreciation totes
Now if you want to make this and don’t have a craft cutter like Silhouette, there are two other ways you can make these totes.

  • The first is use heat transfer material and trace the image on with a pencil and cut it out. 
  • The second is you can paint the face and name on your bag —  use some paint medium along with regular craft paint.
deco art painting medium
Be sure to check out all of the great Teacher Appreciation Ideas at Skip to My Lou!! 

I also had a reader who saw this post and made her own version of teacher appreciation tote bags:

Check them out at 36th Avenue!!



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  2. Miracle says:

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  3. Those are the sweetest!!

  4. Amy {The Idea Room} says:

    These are absolutely darling! What a fun and clever idea. Sharing with my FB fans!

  5. FemminaDaVinci says:

    I wish I had a student in my class with a mom as crafty as you. I would have loved for one of them to come in with one of these adorable totes for me 😀 Great project!

  6. Man, these are FABULOUS !!!!Wish we had Teacher Appreciation in the UK ( instead most days seem to be teacher bashing – sometimes literally… :( )

    Would it be too sad to make one of these for myself ???!

    Thansk Jen !!

  7. Sue (Someone's Mom) says:

    Those are going to be very happy teachers! How cute and so unique…I love these!

  8. Jennifer says:

    These are so cute Jen! Totally creative – I would never have looked at that bag and had that idea!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    – Jenn @ Social Salutations

  9. Jen those are just adorable! I would love to receive such a great gift from my students! 😉

  10. Prudently Painted Vintage says:

    So adorable! Love this!

    I keep trying to copy and paste your Weekend party button and it's not working for some reason. The button I have now on my blog is broken. Could you email me the code so I can fix it on my party links. Thank you so much :)

  11. So cute Jen! Love this idea!

  12. CUTE!!!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I love these!!!
    I will be featuring them on my blog on Wed.

  14. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    You are a teacher's dream come true. Every once in a while, my mom will have a really great class that will recognize her hard work, but it is rare. You must be a treat!

    I would love it if you could bottle up some of your creativity and send it my way via FedEx. I will pay for shipping. 😉 😉

  15. As a former teacher I loved getting a tote for teacher appreciation, and this one is super cute. I had plenty of school supplies but a tote is a gift I could really use.

  16. Liz @ Sugarplum Creations says:

    Those are so cute!!! Such a great idea for a special teacher :)

  17. Connie the crafterbug says:

    These are fabulous!

  18. Lindsay says:

    Ahh those pillows are SO great!! Love those! I have a ton of teacher clients and I love hearing all the fun unique gifts they have received :)

    Delighted momma

  19. these are super cute, I've never saw anything like this,,(kids are cute too!)

  20. These are darling!! Thanks for the idea.

  21. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I would have loved to have received one of these.

  22. Oh My Goodness! Those are ADORABLE!! Those teachers are going to love them! What a great idea. :)

  23. What a fun way to show the teacher's how appreciated they are. Very thoughtful, functional and cute! :)

  24. Very cute!

  25. Great flower lady says:

    I would love to have a couple of theses what would you charge me??

  26. I would be tickled pink if I got a cute gift like this from a student. The teachers who receive these are going to be thrilled!