Cheap gifts for Teachers

With the end of term fast approaching there is the expectation that you will give gifts to your children’s teachers. 

Why not save some money and make them this year? 

Get the kids involved!

The teachers will enjoy them far more than yet another box of chocolates too.


Here is a simple idea which I have used for a number of years.  Make a large batch of shortbread which can be stored uncooked in the fridge for several weeks.  This allows you to cook off what you need when you need it… useful  if you have different term ends or want to give them to the leaders of clubs which finish before the end of term.

For primary teachers we have upcycled old coffee jars (you know the ones with a good seal).  If you have glass paints get the kids to decorate them, perhaps with images from the topics covered this year, if you don’t have glass paints use a strip of paper which can be stuck round the outside of the jar.

For high school teachers I have always felt it is nice to thank them too (and as the wife of one I know how much it is appreciated when a parent does so… and you never know they might get the same teacher for exam years so you need to keep them on-side) but you don’t want to have to buy 15 boxes of chocolates!  I have little food presentation bags which cost a couple of pounds for a pack of 100.  They are just the right size to pop 3 pieces of shortbread in to be enjoyed on morning break.  To tie them I ‘upcycle’ the ribbons from clothes… you know the ones sewn into the shoulders to keep the tops on the hangers.  Then we write a little label to stick on each.

Since it is cheap to make why not?

Send a box in for the classroom assistants to share on their break

Give some to teachers who give extra time running after school clubs

Give them to people running your kids after school activities… dance and music teachers

Make sure you include all those volunteers who run your children’s brownie and cub units


Shortbread rounds

I normally make 3 flavours! You can make this recipe three times or make 1 triple batch and split it before adding the flavour variations.


100g butter at room temperature … use ‘real’ block butter here for flavour... margarine just isn’t as good

50g caster sugar

130g plain flour

20g cornflour

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy

Sift in the flour and mix thoroughly (you may need the heat from your hands to bind it)


Make different flavours, choose from:

Plain: leave it as it is or add a teaspoon of vanilla essence while beating the butter and sugar

Chocolate chip:  add 50g grated chocolate (or chocolate chips)

Cherry: add 50g chopped glace cherries

Cinnamon:  add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon with the flour

Lemon:  add the zest of 2 lemons when beating the butter and sugar together

Chocolate: replace the cornflour with cocoa powder, perhaps add white chocolate chips


Roll each flavour into a log about 4-5 cm in diameter, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until you want to give the gifts.


Cut slices from the logs about 4-5mm thick, place on a baking tray and bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 mins until firm but not coloured.  Once cooked sprinkle with caster sugar and cool on the tray to firm up, then move them to a cooling rack.  Package when completely cold.


Just beware… teacher’s spotting my son in other people’s classes have been known to comment ‘lucky you, you’ll get the shortbread this year’ … you may earn a reputation to keep up!!

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