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This would make such a fabulous teacher gift!Ok, I know I kind of missed the boat on this one since school is out already, at least here in the states, but now you can be super prepared for next year because this planter is such a great teacher gift!   It’s also great for grandparents and play dates too though so let’s just go with it.

A mom approached me towards the end of the year  at the preschool I am the atelierista at and said she wanted to give the class teachers a memorable gift for the end of the year.  Something to say thank you for all their amazing work.  She wanted all the kids in the graduating class to participate.  Our conversation went something like this. Mom – “I have a big planter and want all the kids to do something special on it.  What should we do?  Me – “Umm, ok. (Pause) How about you have the kids draw a self portrait in sharpie and then they can paint it super bright neon colors.  Mom – “Ok! Let’s do it. I’ll see you tomorrow.”  So that’s what we did and it came out awesome! You can do this big or small, collaboratively or individually.  I just love that it’s a living keepsake of the wonderful children that made it.

This would make such a fabulous teacher gift!*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!

Here’s what we did and everything you ll need. (almost)


a ceramic pot/planter (we used a white one but the red terra-cotta ones unpainted would work just as well.  They would just have a different look.)

black sharpies

masking tape

neon craft paints

some sort of finishing varnish to protect your pot in the elements (see below) if you plan to take it outside

a beautiful plant to plant in it afterwards

The best teacher gift!Steps

1.  If a lot of kids are participating you might want to use masking tape to divide the planter into different sections like you see above.  This way everyone has their own designated area.  It may make things a bit easier.

2.  Invite each child to draw themselves with black sharpie in their section and write their name.

3. Paint over the self portraits and name with neon craft paints.

4.  Paint or spray a coat of varnish or something that will protect your plant.  I’m sorry I don’t know exactly what was used because the amazing mom I was working with took care of this part.  I remember she said the salesperson at Home Depot recommended this spray that was better than a modge podge, so maybe ask at the hardware store.  Ahh, sorry not to be more helpful.  If you know, please leave info in the comments below.

This would make such a fabulous teacher gift!I just love the way this came out, don’t you?  The kids kept oohing and aching over it and the teachers absolutely loved it.  We had a bunch of small terra-cotta planters in the art studio laying around.  After some of the younger kids saw this big super cool painted planter, they immediately got to work on their own individual ones.  They are still working on them using oil pastels and paint.  I can’t wait to share some pics when we are done.

This would make such a fabulous teacher gift!This would make such a fabulous teacher gift!So make sure you pin this for next year’s teacher gifts.  They’ll love it.  And if you like this idea you  might want to check out my backyard art studio space and try these great family portraits.

Happy summer everyone! xo Meri

This would make such a fabulous teacher gift!