Hooray For Teachers – Three Fun Teacher Gift Ideas

Hooray For Teachers – Three Fun Teacher Gift Ideas main article image
Posted on May 7, 2021 by Naomi Garcia
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“I teach; what’s your superpower?”  Most of us have seen this phrase on a shirt, a mug, or somewhere else.  Although most of the teachers I know would not really categorize themselves with “superheroes,” we all know that they have something special to offer.  

I have been an educator for over 25 years (yes, I’m older than many people realize). When I look back over the years, I can genuinely say that I LOVED TEACHING. Yes, it was work. No, I wasn’t always prepared. But without a doubt, I do not regret giving my all to help children and families find the learning style and path that worked best for them.  

Near the end of the school year, parents and students often show their appreciation and support in the form of small gifts and cards. These small gifts are always so special because they come from the heart. My favorites were always the hand made gifts. I knew that a lot of thought and work went into making something meaningful for me. So as this school year draws to a close, I’d like to share three fun gift ideas that I will be making for several of my friends and colleagues who are educators. I’ll be using the Mega Craft Bundle Volume 2 from Creative Fabrica.

For these three project ideas, I’ll be focusing on using sublimation techniques.  Sublimation is basically a process by which the ink becomes one with the fabric or other surface being used as a base.  This process uses high heat to transfer the image.  Most recently, Cricut has introduced Infusible Ink transfer sheets, markers, and pens, as well as a new Mug Press.  These items use the same process as traditional sublimation.  The main thing with sublimation is that you have to have a compatible base for the ink to transfer successfully.  Some items such as mugs, coasters, and keychains, will be prepared with a special coating.  When it comes to fabric, the best blanks are those with a high polyester count.  But I also have a special trick for using sublimation and/or Cricut Infusible Ink if you don’t have polyester fabric blanks.  So let’s get started.

Sublimated Mug

Materials and Supplies

  • “Teacher Fuel” SVG file
  • Blank sublimation mug
  • Cricut Infusible Ink marker (your choice of color)
  • Laser copier paper
  • Cutting machine design software 
  • Heat transfer tape
  • Mug press or other high heat source
  • Alcohol
  • Paper towel

The Process

File Download

  1. Purchase and download the design Mega Craft Bundle Volume 2, part 1 from Creative Fabrica.
  2. Unzip the file and locate the file labeled “Teacher Bundle.”
  3. Open the folder to find the file “Teacher Fuel” SVG.
  4. Upload the file to your design software.

Decal Design

  1. Open the file in your design software (I’ll be using Cricut Design Space).
  2. Size your design to fit your mug.  I sized mine to about 3”.
  3. Make any adjustments.  I added an offset to my design.
  4. Change your line type to “draw”.
  5. If adding an offset or other elements, be sure to “attach”.
  6. Select “make it.”
  7. IMPORTANT: “Mirror” your design.
  8. Prepare your by placing a sheet of laser copier paper as your drawing base.
  9. Select “continue” and follow the instructions to draw your design.
  10. OPTIONAL: You may wish to color in your design using Infusible Ink markers.
  11. Cut out your design using scissors.
  12. Use alcohol and a paper towel to wipe down your mug.
  13. Position your design on your mug with the heat tape.
     Sublimation Mug Supplies NDG

Sublimation Cup Prep (Naomi D. Garcia)

  1. Follow the manufacturer instructions for your heat press to transfer your design to your mug.  Cricut has an interactive heat guide you can use.  
  2. CAUTION:  Your mug will be EXTREMELY HOT after transfer.  Take necessary precautions to avoid burns.
  3. Let your mug cool and remove the transfer paper.

Teacher Fuel Mug (Naomi D. Garcia)

That was so fun!  Let’s move on to the next item.

Sublimated Tote Bag

Materials and Supplies

  • Born to Teach SVG file
  • Canvas tote bag
  • White glitter HTV
  • Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheet (your choice of color or pattern)
  • Cutting machine 
  • Cutting mat
  • Parchment paper or teflon sheet
  • Blank sheet of white cardstock
  • Heat press or iron

The Process

File Download

  1. Purchase and download the design Mega Craft Bundle Volume 2, part 1 from Creative Fabrica.
  2. Unzip the file and locate the file labeled “Teacher Bundle.”
  3. Open the folder to find the file named “Born to Teach Forced to Grade” SVG.
  4. Upload the file to your design software.

Tote Bag Design

  1. Open the file in your design software. (I am using Cricut Design Space).
  2. Add an offset to your design.
  3. Clean up your offset by using the “contour” function to delete any unwanted small holes or gaps.
  4. “Group” your design and offset. 
  5. Size your design to fit your bag.  My bag is 14” wide so I sized my design to 9 inches.
  6. Select “Make It.”
  7. MIRROR both mats.
  8. Cut the offset using glitter HTV, and cut the original design using Infusible Ink sheet.
  9. Weed both designs.

Pressing Tote Bag

  1. Set your heat press to the necessary temperature.
  2. Lightly press the tote bag to smooth out wrinkles and remove moisture.
  3. Place the cardstock inside the bag to protect the other side from any ink.
  4. Place the glitter HTV on the bag and press for a few seconds, not the entire time.Glitter HTV on Tote (Naomi D. Garcia)
  5. TIP: Avoid seams to ensure a good press.  Add your infusible ink design on top of the glitter HTV. 
  6. Cover the infusible ink sheet using parchment or butcher paper.
  7. Press for the entire recommended time.

Born To Teach Tote (Naomi D. Garcia)

That is all there is to it.  Feel free to add any other embellishments to personalize your bag.

The most classic sublimation gift is a t-shirt.  So let’s finish off our teacher gift lift with an Infusible Ink t-shirt.

Sublimated T-Shirt

Materials and Supplies

  • Teacher Off Duty SVG file
  • Infusible Ink Shirt or polyester shirt
  • Infusible Ink Transfer sheet (your choice of color or pattern)
  • Cutting machine 
  • Cutting mat
  • Parchment paper or teflon sheet
  • Blank sheet of white cardstock
  • Heat press or iron

The Process

File Download

  1. Purchase and download the design Mega Craft Bundle Volume 2, part 1 from Creative Fabrica.
  2. Unzip the file and locate the file labeled “Teacher Bundle.”
  3. Open the folder to find the file named “Teacher Off Duty” SVG.
  4. Upload the file to your design software.

Design

  1. Open the file in your design software. (I am using Cricut Design Space).
  2. OPTIONAL: To add contrast, you can “slice” the design below the “Teacher” text.  This will give you two separate graphics.  I used a patterned sheet for the text and a solid sheet for the sunglasses and “off duty” part. 
  3. Size your design to fit your shirt.  I usually size my shirt designs to 8.5-9 inches.
  4. Select “Make It.”
  5. MIRROR your designs.
  6. Place the Infusible Ink sheets on your mat PATTERN SIDE UP”.
  7. Cut and weed your design.

Pressing T-Shirt

  1. Set your heat press to the necessary temperature.
  2. Lightly press the shirt to smooth out wrinkles and remove moisture.
  3. Place the cardstock inside the shirt to protect the other side from any ink.
  4. TIP: Avoid seams to ensure a good press. 
  5. Place your design on your shirt.  I like to place my designs 2” below a v-neck and 3” below a crew neck.
  6. Cover your design with butcher or parchment paper.
  7. Press at the recommended time and temperature.

Teacher off Duty Shirt (Naomi D. Garcia)

Just like that, you have 3 easy gifts to make and give to those special educators in your family’s life. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little and use different materials or files. The concept remains the same. Make it special. There is no wrong way to craft.

I’d love to see your creations. If you make this, please tag Creative Fabrica, and me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.  I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms.


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