Nature Inspired DIY Teacher Gifts

This year for teacher gifts, my Oldest and I made some sparkly stick stars and homemade air freshener, and we got so many compliments as well as requests for directions and how-to’s.  I loved the idea of using natural materials for the teachers at his science and nature based school.  Also, these items were affordable, thoughtful and gave us a few days of projects.


First, to make the stars, we collected sticks in our yard and at the playground.  I hot glued them together in star shapes and then my Oldest chose to paint them with sparkly blue and gold paint.   To finish them off I tied some twine to them so they could be used as ornaments.


Next, we chose some jars to use for the air freshener.  This time we reused some jars that we already had and were washed and the labels peeled off but I’ve used 8oz. Ball jars in the past.  I also found some fun jars available online as well as a variety of sizes.

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I’ve been making this scented water for quite a while to use in our home and a handful of times have given jars of it as gifts.  There are so many options for what to use to make a variety of scents but for this batch I used clippings from our Christmas tree, mandarin oranges, cinnamon sticks and a few drops of tangerine essential oil.


To make these jars, I thinly sliced six very small mandarin oranges and put them in the jar.  Then, I filled the jars almost to the brim with filtered water.  Next, I added the tree clippings and the cinnamon sticks.  By adding these last, you are able to arrange them easily.  Put the top on and add some twine or ribbon.  I also include directions on a piece of card stock.

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Some other ideas for similar scents would be include lemon slices, just the mandarin peels, or other essential oils such as lemon or patchouli.


In the summertime, I like to use lemon slices and rosemary sprigs, or orange slices and sage sprigs.



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