DIY: Teachers Gift ~ Personalized Hand Sanitizer

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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  1. Amy says

    This is a great idea! My son’s teacher does not care for sweets, this would make a nice “different” gift. Can’t wait to try it. :)

  2. Kimberly says

    I love this idea! But one thing… keep the back label on – the one with the ingredents and warnings on it. As a person who makes and sells personal care products, the FDA can get involved. Granted this isnt being sold, but if I were giving out lotion samples, I would have to put all that stuff on it. So be safe, and just leave back label. 😀

    • says

      Kimberly-I hadn’t thought of that! I’ll go ahead and make a note in the blog post. Another idea if someone felt that the back label “compromised the artistic integrity” of the gift would be to somehow attach that back label sticker onto a hanging tag that could be looped around the neck of the bottle so that the recipient could see what the ingredients are but then remove it if they like.

  3. says

    Very cute idea! I recently bought Avery clear labels too to put on a glass jar and was also frustrated to find out they weren’t really clear, although if you put it on paper they do look clear. As far as I could tell if you want something totally clear, especially for glass, you have to use decal paper also called waterslide paper which works like old fashioned decals.

    • says

      Goodness, I can’t remember! I know I used the clear shipping label for the bigger bottle–I’d try the address labels and see if they look to be the right size. Sorry I’m not more helpful, I looked through all the various printable items I have and can’t find the ones I used for this.

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