DIY: Teachers Gift ~ Personalized Hand Sanitizer

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on April 28, 2012

Sometimes coming up with an end of the year teacher gift can be hard.  I want to thank the teachers who have been there to help my kiddos learn all year, but I want whatever I give them to be useful and not just another piece of apple themed junk.

Trust me, I know lots of teachers.  They have enough apple mugs.

So when Walmart challenged me for my April DIY Craft to come up with a teacher’s appreciation gift I sat down and had a good think.  What was both useful, personal and (frugal gal here!) inexpensive?

Then it came to me-Personalized Hand Sanitizer! Kids are germ factories-what teacher couldn’t use some more hand sanitizer?  And by personalizing it I could help make sure it didn’t accidentally “walk off” to another classroom ;)  Not that I’d accuse any of the other teachers of stealing. . . more like, uh, borrowing.

Anyway-on to the tutorial.  I wasn’t sure exactly what method I wanted to use to personalize the sanitizer when I headed off to Walmart.  I have seen tons of cute ideas online (curse you Pinterest!).  I figured a good place to start was the soap & sanitizer aisle.  I picked up a few of each with a vague idea that I might personalize some pump soap with vinyl using my new Silhouette craft cutter.

Then I realized that most of you probably don’t have an electric craft cutter (Thank You Yankee Bill! Awesome Bday gift!) and that it would be better to highlight a project that almost anyone could do.  But what?

Wandering through the office supply aisle inspiration hit!  Avery had clear shipping labels that looked to be about the same size and shape as the rectangle on the front of the Purell bottle. . .I held it up to check and SCORE! Perfect fit!

Teacher’s Personalized Hand Sanitizer


Avery Clear Shipping Labels (no 38863)
Purell Hand Sanitizer
Decorative Ribbon
A Printer
optional: Goo Gone

(note: the Equate handsoap & craft vinyl are for a future version of the hand soap, coming soon!)

Step 1:  Remove the labels from your soaps.  If you have a sticky residue left behind use Goo Gone or a similar product to completely remove.

Step 2: Decide on how you will decorate your bottle.

I chose two designs.  The first was a word cloud I created at with school/teaching related words I collected from fans on the Frugal Upstate Facebook page. I took a screenshot of the wordle, pasted it into “paint” and then cropped and saved it.

(note: in wordle the words you repeat more times are larger-so I made sure the teachers names were repeated 4 times to make the name biggest. )

I knew for the second design I wanted something simpler-just a name and some sort of iconic “teaching design”, but I didn’t have anything specific in mind.

Step 3: Create your labels.

Luckily Avery has a nice little online design program.  You go to their website, punch in the number for the particular label you have purchased (in this case 38863) and you can get right into an online designer that is set up specifically for that exact label!  I just inserted in my wordle, rotated & stretched it to fit into the label.  I then used the editor to insert one of their graphics (the books and apple) and the text.  Easy Peasy.

Step 4: Print. The only thing “difficult” here is to make sure you have your labels right side up!  Yeah-I messed it up the first time.

Step 5: Apply labels

I just carefully lined up and applied the label.  I was a little disappointed that they were slightly frosted rather than crystal clear (note to self-see if there is a clearer version of the label) but I think they came out great!  To give it a little extra umph I tied a cute gingham bow around the neck of the bottle!

I also made a smaller purse size bottle (I just put two small graphics on each label for those) for each teacher-again helpfully personalized.

This was a quick and easy teacher’s gift that is sure to be appreciated!

NOTE:  Kimberly pointed out in the comments that you may want to leave the back label-the one with the ingredients and warnings-on the bottle so that the recipient has all that info.  There is an off chance that if they had a reaction or there was a future issue that you could be at fault for not allowing them to know what was in the product. 

****This is a sponsored post****
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.
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