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DIY Teacher Appreciation Gift – Canvas Wall Art

This DIY teacher gift was a bit of a last-minute project. In fact, it was the second last day of school last year that we pulled it together. We had a few little bits and pieces to gift her and the teaching assistants in the class but wanted to do something extra special.

Diy teacher gift quote canvas

Thankfully it was a DIY teacher appreciation gift my daughter’s teacher loved and it hangs proudly on her classroom wall now. 

The best part – we had everything we used to create the teacher canvas at home already. This is always a nice bonus.

However, each of these items is easily found in your local craft store as well. 


If you are looking for unique teacher gifts, handmade is the way to go!

A DIY gift like this is great because you can as creative as you like, or keep it really simple.

See my teaching assistant idea below if you are really short on time and supplies.

Otherwise, a hand-decorated teacher canvas is such a fantastic inexpensive gift idea for teachers. Not only are you gifting something made with love and appreciation.

It also gives your child’s teacher a gift to display on the wall, in their classroom or at home.

And it’s pretty special to see it there long after your child has moved through grades and classrooms.



If you do not have these exact supplies, you can improvise with a lot of what you already have at home.

The canvas I used was one that I had previously painted black in preparation for an unfinished project, so I covered it in white paint first.

Same with embellishments. Check your craft and sewing supplies, beads, feathers, ribbons and buttons. You will likely have plenty of options! Or get the kids to make some paper flowers to decorate instead.

What you will need:

Diy teacher canvas detail
Close up detail of embellishments

DIY Teacher Canvas Tutorial

STEP ONE – Create a printable quote using a program such as Canva or Microsoft Word. We added free owl images from the Canva library for ours, which is the favourite animal for my daughter’s teacher. Print your quote using a home printer or local printing service. 

STEP TWO – Adhere your quote printable page to the centre of your canvas using glue or Mod Podge. Use a thin layer of glue so your paper does not ripple from being too damp.

STEP THREE – Create texture around the edge of the paper using texture paste. This can also be done with thick paint although it will take quite a while to dry. This will help blend your printed page with your canvas background. 

Diy teacher canvas tutorial
Texture paste will give your canvas a shabby chic look

STEP FOUR – Once completely dry, use a cloth with a small amount of paint and rub this into the textured areas. You can do this with an ink pad, which is what we did. Try using 1 or 2 different colours to give it a rustic, shabby appearance. Allow drying time.

STEP FIVE – Add embellishments and fabric flowers around the edges of your canvas to decorate. For large embellishments, a hot glue gun will ensure they stay firmly stuck.

Diy teacher gift canvas
Personalise with your child’s name & the teacher’s name

This is truly how simple creating your own DIY handmade teacher gift canvas is. Y

ou can find plenty of wonderful teacher appreciation quotes online or add your own words or those of your child instead. 

There is a good chance your child’s teacher won’t have dry eyes by the time they are finished reading it. Ours certainly didn’t which made it all the more worth adding that handmade touch.

Teaching Assistant Gift Idea

For the teacher aides and assistants that help in the classroom, we created a simple option for them.

Once again using Canva we created quotes that could be printed out. You could just as easily use Microsoft Word or another word processing program.

We created them in A5 size, which meant we fit 2 to a page for printing. My daughter’s class has more than one regular teaching assistant. 

Teaching assistant frame gift diy
Print out and add to a cute frame for a simple DIY teaching assistant gift

We added these to small wooden photo frames and gifted them to the teaching assistants that had worked with our daughter’s class for the year, along with some chocolates… because everyone loves chocolate, right? 

This is once again a really inexpensive, yet thoughtful, DIY gift for teaching assistants and teachers that they will appreciate due to the kind sentiment. 

Thank You Teacher Quotes

Get the teacher appreciation sentiments we used in our teacher gifts below:


A great teacher builds character

Inspires dreams

Encourages Creativity

Grows confidence

Makes learning fun

Touches our hearts

And changes our lives forever

Teaching Assistant Wording

Teaching Assistant, because badass miracle worker is not an official job title!

If you want to keep your DIY teacher gift extra simple, you could skip the canvas and just place your personalised printable quote into a standard photo frame instead too.

Teaching assistant frame gift diy
If you are short on time, you can put your printable teacher quote in a frame instead of a making a canvas too

You can find a list of global teacher day events and teacher appreciation celebration dates.

If you want even more gift ideas, check out these creative teacher gifts, including tips from actual teachers to help you gift something they will appreciate!

Diy teacher gift quote canvas

Check out these ideas for back to school: