Teacher gift idea that ensures a passing grade

Every year I make my elementary school teachers a “paint pail”.  We also refer to it in our house as a “brown nosing bucket”.  I’ve made a back-to-school teacher gift every year since my friend Lynne first showed me how 8 years ago.  And all my kids and her kids have passed every year.  Coincidence?  I think not. Lol.

DIY teacher gift

These teacher gifts are super easy to make.

teacher gift

To Make a Teacher Gift You need:

  • an empty paint can (Lowe’s, Home Depot and paint stores sell them, you can also get clear buckets with lids here.)
  • 2 pieces of scrapbook paper for the body of the can
  • 1 piece of coordinating paper for the lid (try to get a paper that has a different scale of pattern than the body paper but the same colors)
  • glue or adhesive
  • embellishments (ribbon, a knob for the top, etc)
    teacher gift paper


First, cut out your 2 pieces of paper and stick them to the can with a glue gun or paper adhesive.  These are tricky to cut out the first time so if you have any plans to do these again another year….. make yourself a paper template so you’ll have it for later.  You’ll thank me for it next year.


teacher gift lid decoration

Drill a hole thru the paint lid for the knob to attach.


teacher gift beach theme

And start decorating your pail.  I did this one in a beach theme.


teacher gift embellishments

I added a burlap knob from Hobby Lobby to the top. I hot glued jute around the bottom of the can and glued some sea shells on it.  And, I made sure to have a little gift tag on it so that the teacher will know EXACTLY who the brown nosing is coming from. =)



teacher gift paint pail

This is the teacher gift that Ava is actually giving her teacher (God bless her) this year.  Ava picked the psychedelic paper herself.  I did my best to make it cute.

teacher gift decorating

We added a gift tag with a little crystal on it.  A cute flower to the middle (hot glued on) and a crystal knob from Hobby Lobby to the top.


teacher gift goodies

Here is a little peek into the top!  It’s full of goodies!



teacher gift fillers

This is what I have shoved in the bucket this year. But I forgot what could very well be the MOST important thing in the bucket…… HERSHEY’S KISSES.  I scatter a ton of them in.



Making paint pail gifts for the kid’s… – Jennifer Allwood

Making paint pail gifts for the kid’s teachers. “My kids have not failed yet!”. Lol


Here is a quick video from my Facebook page if you’d rather watch me talk about making them (or if you just want to see my new StitchFix outfit … I’m obsessed with my skinny jeans from them!)

I’m telling you…..this project means “A’s” for sure my friends.

Get to making your teacher gift.

This project will be on my Pinterest for you to repin soon! xoxo

Much love,



If you liked this post, you will love to learn how to repurpose an art frame into a chalkboard – it makes a great gift! I also have more of my teacher gift paint pails here.

If you are interested in getting my future projects sent right to your inbox, go to www.themagicbrushinc.com/favoritecolors to sign up for my emails and I will send you a FREE video of my top 50 paint colors for your walls.


How to make a DIY Teacher Gift using a paint can




  1. Judith Garner
    Judith Garner
    August 4, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Just let be these! Everything I’d need to start the year! Lucky teacher!

  2. Jen
    August 14, 2015 at 3:19 am


  3. Cathy
    September 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    So sorry I wasn’t able to sign up for your emails. The site wouldn’t take my email?

  4. linda murphy
    linda murphy
    September 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Just found your website. Absolutely love it.
    Looking forward to following your brilliant ideas.

  5. Brenda
    February 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Your site would not let me sign up for your emails. ?

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    December 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    […] years ago here and I’ve since updated my blog with more diy teacher bucket gifts here.  And make sure you let me know if you make one of these, will you?  Remember, it […]

  8. Leanna
    July 24, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    These are really fun. I no longer have children in school but these decorated pails would be great for all kinds of storage.

  9. Teacher Appreciation: 20+ Sustainable and Upcycled Gifts They'll LOVE
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    […] You can use a brand new can or you could also upcycle a paint can for this project. This is SUCH a cute idea for a gift “bag” that can be reused for storing school supplies or other items. Check out the tutorial from The Magic Brush Inc. […]

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