20 Shops & DIY Gifts for Jersey City Teachers


While most parents this year had to work from home with their kids still in the house, teachers had the daunting task of making the school year effective and engaging for students. To many, our educators are the closest to a superhero that we’ve encountered. Sometimes they simply teach you a subject, other times they open you up to a whole new perspective and can radically change your life. I’m sure everyone has had at least one teacher in their past that has left a significant impression on their lives. 

When the year starts to come to a close it can be hard to find the right gift to express your yearlong gratitude but Everything Jersey City is here to help. Below we’ve listed local shops and boutiques that offer a great selection for gifts, DIY projects, and last-minute gifts so there’s something for everyone, no matter the time or budget. 

Let’s quickly touch on some do’s, don’t, and maybe’s in teacher gift-giving. While every class needs supplies, supplies as a gift are a no-no. Save those for the start of the new year when teachers send out a list of classroom needs. I know everyone thinks “Let’s get them a mug! They’ll love a mug!” and yeah they’ll love it, but they’re sure to already have amassed a collection of mugs they’ll never use and don’t have room for. While mugs are great, what goes in them is even better, so a gift like a tea box or specialty coffee or a gift card to a coffee shop would go a long way and would definitely be welcomed. Buying alcohol for a teacher often seems like a no-go but after a long day of watching 25 to 30 kindergartens or grading dozens of middle school papers, teachers deserve the gift of alcohol the most. Maybe just don’t send your kid to school with the bottle. If you feel uncomfortable giving a bottle, a gift card to somewhere like CoolVines is a superb gift and would surely be appreciated. 


Shop Local


Embroidered Panda 

From pillows to pins to banners, this Jersey City online boutique offers a range of embroidered and customizable products for an affordable price. Treat your child’s teacher to a specially embroidered pillow of their favorite pet or maybe a banner of their favorite vacation spot from Embroided Panda!


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PRAY Apparel 

Looking to give a gift to your students’ PE instructor or the teacher that keeps with the times and always has drip or maybe the educator who just needs a comfy set of lounge clothes? Check out PRAY Apparel, a local Black-owned online streetwear brand that sells everything from hoodies, sweatsuits, vests, socks, and hats. 


WORD Bookstore 

While large bookstores like Barnes & Nobles seem to be struggling, local bookstore WORD has a solid footing in both Jersey City and Brooklyn. Treat that favorite teacher to a great summer read or maybe pick a few books to add to the classroom collection. Don’t know what to buy? WORD’s employees are always a great help with suggestions if you don’t know what to get.


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The Lucky Honeybee 

Treat your child’s teacher to an assortment of candles, soaps, lotions, masks, and oils. Whether you buy just one or build your own gift basket, we’re sure any teacher would appreciate a gift from The Lucky Honeybee, a local organic apothecary. Visit them online or at their store at 487 Palisade Avenue in Jersey City. 


Ripplelation 4:11

Your kid has a music buff teacher or maybe a music teacher they haven’t been able to practice with this year? Bless them with a gift from Ripplelation 4:11, a Jersey City-based Etsy shop that specializes in all things vinyl. Vinyl t-shirts, cassette earrings, record cufflinks, vinyl pins, record wine racks, even a vinyl record hanging planter. This shop has some seriously cool merch that any music-loving teacher would absolutely adore. 


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Adorn that special educator with some beautiful jewelry and accessories from Noellery. Affordable, fashionable, and eye-catching, you’ll be sure to find a great pair of earrings or a fancy bracelet, or a stunning necklace for your child’s teacher. Visit Noellery at one of their three locations in North Jersey or online to find the perfect gift.


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Arts & Dots

Offering a variety of handpainted items, Arts & Dots, a Jersey City-based, immigrant-run Etsy shop, is a great place to shop if you are looking for something that is really beautiful and stands out. Something that’ll surely wow your child’s teacher the way they wow them. Arts & Dots offers a variety of items from vases, jars, candle holders, jewelry boxed canvas, and even ordained rocks painted in a dot style that is both unique and beautiful. 


Paper & Stuff Co.

Maybe a traditional gift isn’t your sort of thing or you’re unsure what to get? A gift card is always a great gift, it’s useful, practical, affordable, and easy to obtain. Match that much-needed Starbucks gift card with a card from Paper & Stuff Co., a Jersey City-based card company. Sure you could get a card at Walgreens but none that’ll match the unique styles and designs of Paper & Stuff. Plus you’re shopping local! All local shopping always helps the local community, the communities in which our children grow up in. Paper & Stuff also sells other items such as graphic pins, stickers, & wrapping paper. 


Fifth Street Printing Co.

Fifth Street Printing Co., a Jersey City-based Etsy shop, is a great spot to find a charming present. This local boutique sells hand-painted denim jackets, hats, graphic prints, wine bags, pouches, and tote bags. Bless your favorite Jersey City teacher with a Jersey City tote bag or hand embroidered JC hat!


Kanibal & Co. 

Kanibal & Co is a local shop that specializes in curated finds and locally-made products, selling everything from apparel and accessories to home furnishings and fine jewelry. Located at 197 Montgomery Street and available to buy online, this local business offers a wide selection of goods including Jersey City merch like their denim JC tote bag, apothecary gift baskets, DIY kits like their sourdough bread kit or IP beer brewing kit, and much more. You will not leave their store empty-handed and whatever you get for your child’s teacher they’ll love (fingers crossed). 


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Do-It-Yourself Projects


Looking to get the kids involved with the gift-giving? Below you’ll find links to DIY guides for some incredibly creative and easy projects that’ll be fun for the kids to make!


(1) Check out this corny but cute “Nacho Average Teacher Gift Basket” (Guide available thru See Vanessa Craft)

nacho average teacher gift basket

(2) Try this quick and creative guide of a pencil flower vase (Guide available thru Eighteen 25)

(3) Show your teacher some appreciation with this DIY custom vinyl clipboard tutorial (Guide available thru See Vanessa Craft)

(4) This clever and adorable “thanks a latte” teacher appreciation gift (Guide available thru Just Add Confetti)

(5) This easy and thoughtful gift basket to ensure they have all they need to rest & relax during the summer (Guide available thru See Vanessa Craft)

(6) Pair their favorite donut with a sweet message “I donut know what I would learn without you”. Try pairing this with an Apple Cider Donuts Baking Kit from Kanibal & Co. for a mix of locally sourced goods and DIY fun. (Guide available thru Smart School House)

(7) This super useful and charming potted herb guide. Choose between “Thanks for making Thyme for me!” or “You’re a big Dill” for a gift your child’s teacher will love and use! (Guide available thru Oh My Creative)

(8) Help your teacher get into the summer mood with an “orange you glad it’s almost summer” gift basket. (Guide available thru PTO Today)

(9) Show how much you appreciate your teachers by putting together this super simple and sweet sunshine gift jar! (Guide available thru Happy Go Lucky Blog)


(10) Fill up a popcorn box with some snacks and treats and a gift card to a movie theater or a Netflix for some good old rest & relaxation! (Guide available thru Skip To My Lou)

If you put together a gift for a teacher this year with help from us be sure to post and tag us! Have a recommedation? Be sure to leave a comment below!

Jordan Mikhail
Author: Jordan Mikhail