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One-of-a-kind gifts


I always thought a great teacher gift would be a bottle of wine with a note saying, “Not to be drunk when my son’s in his 40th DT of the year” but I’ve since been informed otherwise…

As a wise person once said, “A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything.” I don’t know about you but I have one I’ll never ever forget and I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without Mr Cox, my design tech teacher. 

As someone with dyslexia, school wasn’t always my favourite place to be but when you meet somebody kind and generous of spirit, who takes the time and patience with you as a child, and helps turn your greatest fear into your biggest superpower, doesn’t that mean something? As dear Fearne Cotton said when I talked to her about this as part of a conversation around happiness on my podcast, we put so much pressure on children sometimes to excel in all areas and it just feels counter productive — but a good tutor will know this.

Fearne Cotton Quote

These days, transferring money into a collection is becoming as par-for-the-norm with teacher gifting as it is with weddings — but is that really the most thoughtful way to reward, thank or celebrate those changing the lives of our most precious souls every day? The class leaders who, not too long ago, worked so hard for our families through lockdown? Or had the patience of 50 saints, just for surviving our children’s ‘finer moments’?

It doesn’t have to be expensive or take a long time to create something meaningful. It just needs a little imagination and a touch of inspiration from the UK’s creative small businesses. 

What’s your child’s/niece’s/godchild’s teacher really helped them with? Is it a particular topic or skill? Have they grown their confidence? Or even just survived their antics?! Here are some ways to show just how much you appreciate it — and them.

Card with a pencil badge

Write on with cards pencil, by Petra Boase

I love this card with the little detachable, iron-on patch pencil. As well as being beautifully embroidered, it can be used afterwards to customise a special notepad or favourite jumper of theirs — just the ticket for any teacher who’s worked tirelessly on improving ‘angry spider’ handwriting over the past school year.

Pencil chocolate by Present & Correct

Pencil chocolate, by Present & Correct

This is another great addition to the stationery theme (well, I am a Papyrophiliac after all… not bad for a dyslexic, eh? Lol). This beautifully designed dark chocolate is available from one of my favourite stationers, Present & Correct, who describe it as being, “…Infused with Cedar and Pine, two woods most commonly used to make pencils. The bar is scattered with roasted nibs. Of the cocoa variety!” How clever is that? Gold stars all round, that’s what I say.

Officially the best teacher pin badge

‘Officially the best teacher’ enamel pin, by Alphabet Bags

Or how about this pin from the brilliant Alphabet Bags? I mean, if anyone could make it official, you could. Why should the head girls and boys get all the badges?! I warn you though. If you venture onto this website, it’s highly likely you’ll come away with more than one thing as everything they create is lovely (good job it’s a small business you’re supporting).

Sketchy mumm print

Signed, original, teacher print, by Sketchy Muma

If you are going to send something from all of you, what a gift this is. You can pick what the teacher looks like and whether or not the kids are in uniform, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Interestingly, Sketchy Muma herself (Anna) started her own studio sitting at an old school desk that somebody was chucking out, and still remembers the excitement of seeing her very first picture in print. She also did teacher training once upon a time, though thankfully for us, ended up realising her true calling was in her drawing or we’d never have seen lovely work like hers. I was lucky enough to have Anna on my podcast after she wrote her book and I highly recommend a listen to her rather remarkable story.

Wooden apples for hidden messages

Personalised, secret message wooden apple for teach, by Bread & Jam

Next up, look at these beauties. Each one is painted by hand and hollow inside, so you can tuck in a heartfelt message (to the little gold envelope provided) or a mini treat. The best bit? Well aside from being reusable making it a real keepsake, each one comes with a note saying, “Thank you for all your hard work, it’s bearing fruit!” I mean…

Best teacher badge

‘Best teacher’ badge and gift card, by Sparkle Child

If it’s more of a token you’re after, this handcrafted badge is as bright and brilliant as the class of ‘22 themselves. It also gets full marks for sustainability as Sparkle Child endeavour to only create accessories and art that are built to last and don’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Grow flower pot

‘Grow in full bloom’ terracotta pot, by Curly Kale Design

This would make a lovely teacher gift accompanied by a ‘Thank you for helping me grow’ type message from your little sunflower. It’s the kind of thing I think a teacher would actually keep and use, and will raise a smile whenever they walk past.

Ruler print

Signed, Giclée print of ‘Runners running’, by Lindsay Madden

Ok so they’d have to have really pulled out all the stops to be given this as an original piece of artwork but trust me, if Mrs D can get my Harry through his A-levels, I’d practically give her the moon on a stick if I could. These stunning signed prints are also available though and they really are just so special. Lindsay paints directly onto vintage rulers to create these nostalgia-evoking, bittersweet scenes from childhoods gone by that I can imagine any teacher person would be thrilled to receive. 

You deserve a medal broach

‘You deserve a medal’ brooch, by Rock Cakes

Finally, excuse my French but I love the shit out of these. I’ve bought them for so many people over the years but just think of the weary smile this would bring to a teacher’s face especially. They’re lazer cut out of sustainable birchwood and you can choose the ribbon colour you like, too. Sarah — the brainchild and maker behind Rock Cakes — graduated with a first class jewellery design degree and worked for a prestigious jewellery house in both Paris and London before founding her own brand. She’s taken everything she has learned, mixed in some fun and magic, and now creates wonderfully original pieces like these — bound to get you top marks from any teacher you know. 

Need a birthday gift, something to surprise the little people or just want to treat the women in your life? Browse my Inspiration Hub for more of my curated collections

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