Gift for Teachers or Paras – DIY Emergency Snack Kit

A teacher gift or para gift, a unique one, not just the standard mug or flowers (which are and always will be appreciated, don’t get me wrong!), but something that was really thought provoking for the giver… truly means so much as the receiver.

There is an entire week in May to celebrate Teacher Appreciation and support staff has a day of appreciation as well, but sometimes it’s nice to be appreciated as a surprise.

teacher gift and para gift steps for DIY header

In the teaching world, there are some people who just get you. And I don’t mean they just get you as a teacher, I mean as a person too. It’s like the ultimate connector of two worlds.

It could be a parent, another teacher, a para, a friend outside of school… anyone.

But this person just gets you, connects with you, and you’re forever a part of each other.

I will say that I had the privilege of working with one person at my last school who equally shared my love of Cherry Coke and Reese’s. I didn’t find out about her intense love until after winter break the first year I was at the school, so over the following summer I decided I wanted to do something really fun for her.

I appreciated her friendship, and we would often bring each other pick me up snacks. I always had a stash of Reese’s in my classroom, and sometimes an extra Cherry Coke in the fridge. Or if I knew she had a rough week, I would bring her a 20oz. and a king-size Reese’s pack on a Friday.

And that was our friendship. We supported each other in that way and in all honesty, I really do miss her.

So the gift that I made for her was something I thought of over summer. It was a personalized gift that gave her a little chuckle whenever she looked at it. Here’s what it was:

teacher gift and para gift steps for DIY

I had a lot of requests two years ago to do a how to blog post on how to make one yourself, but never got around to it… until now!

I’ve tried my best to give you every single step of the process, with a supply list as well. If you have questions about how to use Microsoft PowerPoint, please Google your questions first before asking. Not that I do not want to help, but many times Google will be faster to respond than I… and when you teach yourself how to do something, you remember it for longer 🙂

Let’s get started.


Before you go through the steps, you will first need to purchase a shadowbox. You can do so using the links in the Supply List above, or at any local craft store.

I prefer the 6″x6″ or 8″x8″ size.

Once you have your shadowbox, you can get started.

teacher gift and para gift steps for DIY

Step 1: Open up a blank PowerPoint file.

Step 2: Create a shape, a square. It will need to be the exact size of the frame you purchased.

Step 3: Add text boxes to create the text you’d like the gift to say.

teacher gift and para gift steps for DIY

Step 3.5: Change the fonts. I recommend a thin font and a thick, script font, as shown above. Fonts used in the above pictures are the brooklyn and August Boy.

Step 4a: Select all of the text boxes you created.

Step 4b: Right click and select “Save as Picture…”.

teacher gift and para gift steps for DIY

Step 4c: Save the text boxes as a picture, a PNG file. Save it to a place on your computer where you will easily be able to find it. I prefer desktop.

Step 5: Add a new, blank slide to your presentation. Add the PNG file you just created and saved to the slide.

Step 6a: Select the PNG on the slide. Now it’s time to “Flip Horizontal”.

teacher gift and para gift steps for DIY

Step 6b: This is what it should look like after you “Flip Horizontal”.

Step 7: Now save the PowerPoint file as a PDF file. Save it to a place on your computer where you will easily be able to find it. I prefer desktop.

Step 8: Open the PDF file and print.

Quick Explanation: We are flipping the image because we want the Sharpie Paint on the inside of the glass so it doesn’t scratch off. That way all of the paint is on the inside of the shadowbox.

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Step 9: Cut out the image. You’ll want it to be no bigger than the shadowbox you chose.

Time to get out the shadowbox you purchased. I prefer the 8″x8″ size. It’s not too small or too big. The one in the pictures is 6″x6″ in size.

Step 10: Place the image face down on top of the shadowbox glass. Use washi tape or painters tape (some sort of tape that won’t leave a mark on the glass) to adhere the image on top of the glass so it doesn’t move.

TIP: You can either cut it as a square, like in Step 9 picture… or cut it apart like in Step 10 picture. You want to make sure the words are not only center, but that there is enough room in-between the top and bottom set of words for your candy to fit in the middle.

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Step 11a: Using a Sharpie Paint Marker trace the image onto the glass.

Step 11b: You can use any color of paint pen you’d like. Try to use a color that will contrast with the background of the shadowbox. Let the paint dry.

Step 12: Remove the washi/painters tape and image from the top of the glass.

TIP: After removing the washi tape and image, I like to fill in any gaps I missed with the Sharpie Paint Marker. This is also when I will smooth out any lines that look shaky or uneven.

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Step 13: Add your friend or teacher’s favorite candy inside of the box. You can use double-sided tape or pins to make sure it stays in place. Before using the pins or tape to adhere the candy, make sure it is positioned in the middle of the worlds.

Now add your pins or use the double-sided tape. You’ll want to adhere all 4 corners of the candy to the shadowbox mat.

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Step 14: Put the shadowbox back together. Voila!

How great does your teacher gift or para gift look?! 

Please… I would love to see pictures of your creations. Share them in the comments below or tag me on social media @mrsdscorner.

A simple, inexpensive teacher gift or para gift that you can make for your child's teacher to show appreciation. Step by step how to at Mrs. D's Corner.


I'm a special education teacher, presenter, curriculum writer, and educational blogger behind Mrs. D's Corner.