Inexpensive teacher gift ideas

HOUSTON -- It's the end of the school year and teacher gifts are on a lot of parents' shopping lists. But there's no need to splurge.

We found that you can create cute gifts in five minutes for under $5.

There are no shortage of ideas on Pinterest. Some of the most popular are printouts that you can attach to gift cards. One example is one that you pair with a Starbucks gift card that says "I'll miss you a latte."

Kingwood resident Bobbie Byrd writes a blog called the Clumsy Crafter that shares simple ideas that anyone can create.

"There are some great ideas on Pinterest that you can print off and that's such a huge cost savings," Byrd said. "I asked some of my teacher friends what were the most meaningful gifts they have gotten over the years and they were the ones made from home, the ones made by the families."

She came up with a few simple crafts that teachers are sure to love.

Use acrylic paint to paint two coats around the top portion of a flower pot. Then, use chalkboard paint to finish off the rest of the pot.

"It's in the Target craft area for $8.99 or if you love doing chalkboard paint crafts, you can get a half gallon at Lowes for $12 to $13," Byrd said.

Once the paint dries, use a Sharpie and notebook paper as a guide to create a ruler along the top of the pot. Add a plant and attach a free printable to show your teacher how much you care.

The personalized totebag looks like a sheet of notebook paper. Pick up a canvas bag at an arts and crafts store. We found ours in a pack of two for $5. You will also need fabric pens, a ruler, and a sheet of paper with your teacher's name printed on it in the font of your choice.

Using a fabric pen and a ruler, create lines that look like notebook paper. Then, you can personalize it.

"We are going to use a pencil and rub on the back of the paper, pretty thick, just takes a minute," Byrd said.

Transfer that to the tote by outlining the name and then go over it with marker. In less than five minutes, the project is complete.

Another simple project for those who don't want to paint, draw, or outline is a framed white board for a teacher's desk.

Take a photo frame and add notebook paper as the photo. Then use letters and accessories to attach to your frame. We picked up cork board letters in the $1 section at Target. Then, tie a dry erase marker to the frame.