Ask Design Mom Week: Thank you/Welcome Gift

April 2, 2009

Question:
Gabrielle, I have been reading, enjoying and learning from your blog for a little over a year now and was hoping you could help me. I was elected as the new President for my sons preschool and will be taking this adventure with seven other wonderful, amazing women whom I want to greet, encourage and thank for joining together to make our school a better place.

I need gift ideas that are super cool and useful but on the less expensive side as I do not want to spend a ton. If you have any ideas or links you could send my way I would really appreciate it. I am a graphic designer so do it yourself projects would work too. Thank you for any help or direction you may give. — Jennifer



Answer:

I love your question, Jennifer. There are always great suggestions in the comments whenever the topic is gifts — so many thoughtful ideas. Since you’ll be working with these women, my first thought was pretty office supplies. Specifically, I was thinking of the decoupaged clipboards I made for my daughter’s birthday party favors. I made mini ones, but you could make full size ones for the grownups. A great DIY project and very inexpensive. Plus they’re practical and useful. You can find instructions at Martha Stewart.

What about you, Clever Readers? What would you give as practical, super-cool, inexpensive gift?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 robbie April 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Plants gifted in cute little pots are always inexpensive and very appreciated. End-of-year teacher gifts are always plants potted by my girls.

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2 Rachael April 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm

i love to give packs of note cards, initial or monograms are my favorite. you can always find plain ones on sale + personalize them with stamps.

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3 Stephanie April 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Hi,
When it comes to gifts, I always love to bake a fresh loaf of Amish Friendship Bread with a homemade card. It is so yummy and very easy! Find the recipe here:

http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2009/02/amish-friendship-bread.html

Also, http://www.Itsallaboutbeads.com has adorable bracelet band watches you can make. You can just look at their catalog and pick out a design you like. I have one and I absolutely love it!

Hope that helps!

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4 Sandi April 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Personalized Post It Notes from the Stationery Studio.

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5 wide open spaces April 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I think personalized pencils are fun & adorable and something you'd never really buy for yourself.

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6 marymary April 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm

How about an apron? Easy to make a simple one, if you’re the sewing type, or easy to personalize the blank type that are available at craft stores. Or how about a roll of frozen cookie dough with a pretty label you designed?

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7 amberlee April 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I love the clipboards and the personalized notes. Affordable and thoughtful and just right. I write on GiversLog.com strictly about gifts and love such perfect ideas. Here are a few others–

fabric covered mini albums for pics of all your cute kiddos this year

frozen homemade lemon cookie dough and fun cookie cutters from bakeitpretty

clip-in-binder pencil bag with scented highlighters or a fun pen from poketo.com

good luck with your preschool this year!

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8 Neas Nuttiness April 2, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Oh – those clipboard are to die for!!!
I’m going to tell you about a gift that I got recently, because I loved it, and plan to do this myself.

I’ve recently had a proximal and distal open pateller realignment. I’m have to hobble around in a hip to ankle locked leg brace. Pretty hard to carry anything around with me, since I have to use crutches.
I was asked by someone at church, how I managed to deal with meals for myself. I told her that I eat whatever I can put in zip lock bags and carry in the pockets of my house coats.

Was I ever surprised and please when she showed up the next day, with an apron that she had made me, that had three large pockets across the front. Each pocket contained “Goodies” in zip lock bags. A peeled orange. Celery with peanut butter. Pretzels. Candy, etc. etc.

I plan to make a bunch of similar aprons to have on hand, and fill them with appropriate items…for all occasions!

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9 Kelley at My Island Wedding April 2, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Oh, I got the coolest clipboard on Etsy from … ak… I don’t remember

I bet you can go to etsy and just put it in the search field. I use mine for all the flyers that get sent home from my daughter’s Kindergarten class!!!

I used to have them all over the house. doesn’t mean I acually get to read or respond to each daily one, but at least they are contained. Plus it’s gorgeous!

Love this blog. I am usually all about the wedding, but with two kids, this is so much fun!

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10 jilldaisbrenne April 3, 2009 at 11:01 am

Great clip board idea – I’m going to make some for teacher gifts.

Etsy is loaded with fun stuff…. coffee cozys – canvas tote bags – all make great little gifts.

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11 JoAnn April 3, 2009 at 11:55 am

I love the clipboards, too! Definitely a teacher gift this year. When I was president of my sons' preschool, I took black and white photos of board member's children and then framed them as gifts. Many people don't think of black & white photos when getting prints (though it is more common now than before)…

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12 Amy April 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I love the clipboard idea, so cute, if you sew, I think a tote bag would be a fun gift too, they are quick and easy and who can’t use a tote bag?

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13 Dena April 7, 2009 at 11:40 am

I love the idea of personalized stationary. Being a graphic designer, she could whip them up in no time flat :)

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14 Sylvia {+ Mark} April 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm

As a former {and unfortunately finicky} teacher my thumb would be UP for the decoupage clipboard…very cute idea. I also love the apron ideas mentioned by many. Anything that can be used in the classroom is also wonderful.

Just avoid candles, dollar store presents, and other obviously cheap merchandise. It just gets thrown away or left in the breakroom or given to Good Will.

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