Gift Giving, Home Decor, Homemaking, Motherhood

Cactus Teacher Gift

I Can be Prickly - Teacher Gift

I’m always on the hunt for a good teacher gift.  Also a reasonably priced one since I’m usually buying at least 4.  I feel like I always end up giving lotion or soap or candles and we can only use so much stuff like that, right?  This year, I can’t remember if I saw a version of it someplace or it just creeped into my head but this year, I’m gifting cacti!  Because, wait for it, though my kids may be prickly, I still appreciate all the efforts made by their teachers to help them grow.  Because, I mean, kids can be super hard, right?  So can a cactus.  But also so beautiful.  And economical.  Plus, they are SUPER easy to care for!

photo credit: Alisha Raquel Photography

Supplies Needed:

Step 1

Remove any price tags or other packaging from your pot.  Fill the bottom of the pot with about 1-2″ of your small rocks.  Rocks should be small but they should not be so small that they fall out of your drainage hole.

photo: Alisha Raquel Photography
photo: Alisha Raquel Photography

Step 2

Add a little potting soil, but not too much.  I always get carried away with this for the first one that I do and then I end up with excess soil spilling over the edge every time I water it.  You can always add in more soil at the end, it’s harder and messier to take it away.

Step 3

Gently squeeze your cactus out of its plastic container and place it into your pot.  You may have to dig out a small hole in the soil that you just put in there.  While you’re getting it adjusted, you can also break up the soil that it came in.  Add more soil in on the sides as needed (with a small spoon or your hand – whatever works!) to make sure you end up with a solid and even surface.

I always try to make sure the soil is packed pretty good.  I’ve had more than one wobbly cactus because I was treating it too gingerly. 

Be sure to give it a little water when you’re done.  I always give it enough so that it comes through and drains into the saucer (seriously, is this what it is called? you know what I mean, right??).  Then you can let it hang out until it dries all the way out – usually at least a week or so. (that’s the easy care part!)

photos: Alisha Raquel Photography
photos: Alisha Raquel Photography

Step 4

If you have it, I would print out your free printable (located down below) on cardstock, which is a slightly heavier weight of paper.  Cardstock comes in white as well as a variety of other colors.  You can find it in the paper section almost anywhere.  I got this fun green color from Michaels for another project I was working on.  You should be able to get it standard paper size so you can just feed it through your regular printer.  If your printer is on the fritz, you could always send it someplace like FedEx/Kinkos to get it printed.  When printing, they also have the option to select a heavier weight paper.

If you don’t, regular paper would work just fine, too, it will just be a little more flimsy.

There is space at the bottom of each square where you can write in the name of the teacher and the name of your child.  If your kid is old enough to write their own name, I find that is a nice touch! You can use a regular pen, you can use a marker, you can use some kind of glitter glue pen if you want – totally up to you!

After that you can cut your square out right on the line or you can leave a little border.

Flip it over and stick a craft stick to it.  Be sure to leave it long enough to have room to stick it in the soil.  You can use glue here if you want to but honestly for this small job I think some scotch tape works just as well and you don’t have to worry about your glue drying funny and making your paper curly or anything weird like that.  

Step 5

Post your little sign there in the soil and admire your handiwork.

I love that these can really be personalized with different brightly colored pots as well as brightly colored flowering cacti.

I found my pots at Home Depot – they are about 4″ wide across the largest part and about 4″ tall, including the saucer.  They had them in this lime green, red, grey and aqua.  There might have been another color or two, as well.  You could also get the same color pots but a different color cactus for each one.  You could also get fancier pots but I was going for economical and these were plenty cute, to me!  So many possibilities!

I already had potting soil from a previous project but my pots, cacti and rocks cost me around $55.  I think you could consider another $10 for your soil and some craft sticks (or hey, buy some popsicles and use those sticks when you’re done with them) and you’re still under $20 per teacher.  That’s a win in my book!

That’s easy enough, right?  If you make these for your teachers, I would LOVE to see them – tag me @chaosstyled on Instagram!

photo: Alisha Raquel Photography

Let's Be Friends

Stay up to date with all things Chaos Styled by getting on my email list.  I try to offer a real mom perspective on all things body image, home decor, DIY, motherhood and sweet treats.  I promise I won’t be in your inbox often, only when I have something good to share!  And I double promise not to sell your personal information to anyone, because let’s be real, that’s just rude!

Photo Credit

All photos in this post were done by Alisha of Alisha Raquel Photography.  She is an amazing lifestyle photographer that we had used for our last family session when August turned 1 last year.  If you are in the Winston-Salem, NC area and are needing some photos done, be sure to look her up!

Because sometimes we would just rather have things delivered to our door, Amazon is a great option to make that happen.  Check out some of my favorites to make these planters happen for you by way of item delivery.

Small Pot


Sure, you CAN buy a cactus on Amazon (because of course you can) but I feel like this is one thing you really should go out and put your eyes on if at all possible.  Especially since we are using this as our main decorative element here.

Small Rocks and Potting Soil

I found my rocks at my local Hope Depot but did actually end up ordering succulent soil from Amazon because I had a hard time finding it locally.

Crafting Sticks and Card Stock

Amazon is great when you need a bunch of things and when you have a few days to wait but you can usually find these in smaller quantities and also less expensive at a local craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.


  1. These are so fun! I’m a huge fan of succulents as they’re the only things I can keep alive so I’m sure the teachers will love this creative gift!

  2. I mean… HOW CUTE IS THIS?! I absolutely love this idea! I don’t have kids yet, but I am all about the cute teacher gifts when that time comes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.