Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

#SecretSanta or #SillySanta #Gift for #Teachers @

secret pal teacher gift ideas

Image: iClipart

What do teachers spend their weekends, evenings, and vacations doing? Grading papers.

The most useful gift you can give a teacher is TIME, because we never seem to have enough of it. But how can you help a teacher grade all those papers without letting the cat out of the bag?

Give your secret teacher pal rubber stamps. Let’s face it, sometimes those papers pile up, and you can’t find enough time to grade all of them. When that end-of-your-rope moment occurs, what you need is a quick easy way to say, “CHECK!”–I graded it.

  • Here’s a set of Good Job! stamps, selling for $4.00 for four wood-based stamps, on Amazon.
  • Here’s a set for English teachers, with messages like, “Check Grammar” and “Rough Draft”.
  • Here’s one that shows the insect life cycle, for your science teacher friends. It’s $4.55 and eligible for super saver shipping.
  • These are healthy foods stamps for the health teacher, but they’re a little pricey at $15.47.
  • For teachers of math, they’ve got giant number stamps (3 inches in diameter ea.), a blank clock stamp (for learning to tell time), and an X-Y axis grid stamp that looks like graph paper.
  • Once you’ve bought the rubber stamps, you’ll also want to buy your teacher pal some ink. Here’s a set with three different colors for $5.85.

There are lots of ways to divvy out your stamps. Give them, one at a time, in a gift bag with other things like candy and pencils. Or wrap each one in a  little box with a ribbon and give the stamps as individual gifts. If you buy a set of 10 stamps, you could divide them up and give your secret pal one stamp per gift day, spreading out a $20.00 set so that they become ten, $2.00 gifts.

One last thing: although it’s a little more spendy, here’s a website that offers educational self-inking stamps, youth-group-themed stamps, business stamps, and more. You can have a self-inking stamp customized with your teacher friend’s name on it (great for marking his/her classroom library’s books and other stuff) for $13.95. Imagine giving your secret pal teacher friend a self-inking stamp that says, “This book belongs to Mr. Garcia”. How cool is that? 🙂

Leave a comment »

#SecretSanta Sign-Up Sheet for #Teachers

I get lots and lots of visitors to this blog for my Secret Pal/Secret Santa sign-up sheet form.  So I didn’t think it would hurt to re-post it as we approach the holiday season:

Secret Pal Sign-up Sheet 2

I always appreciate when someone shows their appreciation for my creations by passing this on through social networking. 🙂 Please feel free to tweet it, pin it, re-blog it, or link to it in any way.

Leave a comment »

List of 10 #Giftideas for #TeacherAppreciationDay on #Education

Tuesday, May 3rd, is Teacher Appreciation Day. Since you may need a little time to find or make your gift, I thought I’d post my Teacher Appreciation Day gift ideas a little early, in April.

Here’s a smattering of great ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day gifts:


IMG_0052 IMG_0053 IMG_0054 IMG_0055 IMG_0056 IMG_0057 IMG_0058 IMG_0059 IMG_0060

Leave a comment »

#SecretPal or #AmigoSecreto gifts for #PresidentsDay from

44_us_presidents_with_names_n_mugIt’s an election year, so we’ve got to take advantage of President’s Day this year! Need some President’s Day gift ideas for your Secret Pal/Office Friend/Amigo Secreto? There are some great gift ideas on Cafe Press! But get your order in early!

By the way, this would be the perfect gift idea for a history teacher, any time of the year, wouldn’t it? Check out that coffee mug with all the presidents on it!



Leave a comment »

#Dinosaur DIY masks make a great gift for your favorite #science #teacher! @TetraVariations

Image of man wearing 3-dimensional mask of a Tyrannosaurus Rex made entirely of paper

T-rex mask is $7.50, which is very reasonable, but some masks are even less expensive!

If your secret pal or secret Santa buddy happens to teach science, boy are you in luck! While browsing Etsy, I ran across Tetra Variations, a shop where you can purchase a DIY origami-like mask that comes in a number of different dinosaur designs. When I saw this product, I immediately thought of the science teachers I work with. I’m sure you’re doing the same: thinking of the person you know who would walk around school all day wearing one of these dinosaudorable masks!

If you want to see what else Tetra Variations offers, visit the creator’s website. In addition to the dinosaur masks, the company also offers a Cleopatra headdress, a Trojan helmet, hand puppets, and more–all made with scissors, glue (or tape), and paper. They’re DIY kits. What an amazing gift for your secret pal!

Before posting this article, I contacted Matthew, who runs Tetra Variations, and found he was a school teacher, like you and me, who has founded a fun side-business, creating these wonderful masks. He maintains a Tumblr account in addition to his website and Etsy store. He was super friendly and professional to chat with.

So why not jump on the Jurassic bandwagon? Grab up your T-Rex or Pterodactyl mask and flaunt it proudly. We can’t have just the science teacher wearing these! How silly would that be? Heck, buy one for every member of your staff to wear on International Archaeology Day (October 17). Can you just imagine how much fun the kids and the teachers at your school will have, with everyone wearing a dinosaur mask for an event like that?

Leave a comment »

Merry Christmas to All You #SecretSantas Out There!

Xmas tree words_composition. Vintage styled illustration, EPS10.I always get lots of followers on my Secret Pal Teachers website during the holidays, but once Secret Santa season is over, my stats go down quite a bit. So as has been my habit in the past, I’ll only be posting once a month after the holiday season comes to a close. That way my faithful Secret Santa followers aren’t inundated with unwanted e-mails from their subscriptions to my blog.

No need to unsubscribe. I’ll keep posts fairly limited until next Christmas. Then, when your office or school starts another Secret Santa program next year, you’ll still be able to easily find this blog and all its great seasonal ideas.

Meanwhile, if you like to sew, my website offers great sewing tutorials. If you teach English or love to write, my English Emporium website offers free writerly tips and English-teacher worksheets. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out those venues. You can google my name, Chelly Wood, to find all the great stuff I offer for free online.

For those of you who do year-long “Secret Pal” gift exchanges at your office, this website will continue to offer you great gift ideas once a month. And of course, you can always search my archives for gifts, cards, poems, and more.

Here’s wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy 2015!

Leave a comment »

Hot Cocoa #Poem for #Christmas for Your #SecretSanta

Image of man in Santa hat drinking a warm beverage from a ceramic coffee mug

Image: iClipart

Hot cocoa is an inexpensive gift to give your secret Santa, and you can have a lot of fun with it. Just check out the links I’ve offered below to various hot cocoa gift ideas on Pinterest:

And here’s a little poem to add to your gift:


When winter takes its toll

And staying warm is your goal

They say cocoa warms the soul

Place your hands on a mug

And chug-a-lug-lug

It’s like getting a nice warm hug!


Free Printable Teacher Appreciation Card

Teacher Appreciation Day isn’t until May 6, 2014, but why wait until May to show your appreciation for a teacher? Why not give your secret pal teacher friend a card that tells you he’s/she’s awesome right at the very beginning of the year?

Here’s a card I designed for that very purpose. Just set a chunk of chocolate on top or tape it to a scented candle. The images on this card are my own creation:

Poem to Show How Much You Appreciate Your Teacher

Images: Chelly Wood

Leave a comment »

A Little Poem for the End of the School Year, for Your Secret Pal (Reveal Poem?)

Okay, so you might want to use this as a “reveal” poem, but that’s not really what it says. Still, it’s the end of the year, and this is all I could come up with:

Your organization

And friendly smile

Makes my day at work

Worth while

(sign name here)

I suggest you attach this cute poem to the following “Rolo Pencil” (wrap a roll of Rolo candies in yellow construction paper; glue a Hershey’s Kiss on the end, and string your poem to it):

Just like last month, I like to give credit to anyone whose great ideas I use on this website; however, this image comes from Whimsical Inklings, and there must be a glitch on that website, because I wasn’t able to contact the site’s author. Still, I’m giving credit right here!

If you use my ideas (even when they’re borrowed), I’d also appreciate it if you’d give me credit and/or like my pages on FB. Thanks!


Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Secret Pal Teacher Friend

Secret Friend Valentine's Day Poem

Image: Pinterest

Just as with last month’s post, I ran across this clever gift-giving idea on Pineterest, so I thought I’d share. Valentine’s Day gifts for the secret pal need to be clever but not-so-romantic. Here’s just the “tool” for you.

A person could choose teacher-y stuff to put in the cellophane instead, of course: erasers, pencils, Oriental Trade prizes, colorful paper clips, or sticky notes. I’m assuming you just make these gifts with the following:

  • cellophane wrap (12 inches x 12 inches, approx. depending on the size of your shovel)
  • curling ribbon
  • candy or prizes
  • I Dig Your Style Valentine Labels (click to download)
  • plastic shovel


  1. Lay the cellophane on a flat surface.
  2. Place the shovel over the top of the cellophane with its scoop in the center.
  3. Fill the scoop with the gift of choice (candy or prizes).
  4. Gather the cellophane around the handle and tie it off with curling ribbon.
  5. Glue or tape the label to the front.

I’ve included a Valentine’s Day label that you can easily download and print right here. (See link above.) On that document, I made two possible labels, so you can choose which one suits your secret pal best.

Happy Valentine’s Day! And remember, please show your appreciation for my freebies by “liking” this page, sharing it with others, and/or posting links from your blog to mine. Thanks!

Leave a comment »