DIY School Supply “Cake” (Back to School Gift Idea)

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More Teacher Appreciation

school supply DIY Cake

Are you looking for a creative way to donate school supplies to a deserving teacher and/or school? Check out this fun and easy to make tiered “cake” using school supplies!

The best part is you can use the supplies as I did in my example, or you can use what you have in your stockpile. What a great way to take advantage of all the amazing back to school deals here on!

school supplies for teacher gifts

back to school supply gifts

How to Make a School Supply “Cake”:

Supplies Needed:

DIY teachers gift idea

cute teacher appreciation gift idea


  1. Paint the boxes if desired and let dry.
  2. Place two rubber bands around the middle of the largest bottom box and then place desired school supplies around the edges – under the rubber bands.
  3. Stack and attach the middle box using heavy-duty mounting tape, and repeat the steps of using rubber bands to hold school supplies.
  4. Do the same with the top box. Note: I decided to not use the lid for the top tier so it can hold the wipes and hand sanitizer inside instead.
  5. Lastly, cover rubber bands with decorative tape or ribbon.

School Supplies Tower Gift

This craft turned out so cute! I hope you’ll give it a shot, too!

Check out more cool back to school crafts and DIYs!

Join The Discussion

Comments 63

  1. Brooke

    I was given a back to school cake as a welcome gift from my principal when I started teaching at a new school. It was such a wonderfully thoughtful and useful gift! Any teacher would love to have one. Thanks for keeping us teachers in mind, Collin! πŸ˜ƒ

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That’s so great! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. SarahEES

    Super cute! I love this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Sure! Thanks Sarah πŸ˜€πŸ‘

  3. Dawn C.

    Love this idea. Thanks for all your ideas. I made the Candy Bouquet and the birthday boy loved it. Please keep sharing these wonderful DYI’s.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I’m so glad!! Thanks Dawn for sharing. πŸ˜€

  4. Nicole

    This is great! Thanks for all your ideas Lina!

  5. cgillis012

    My daughter and I made one similar to this for her teacher last year. She loved it so much that my daughter wants to make one for all of her teachers from now on!

  6. AE

    I would love this as a teacher!!!

  7. Lisa

    I made one for the daycare my son attends. I work at a school and have the summer off and I don’t have to pay to reserve his spot.

  8. Deb

    Wow! Such a clever idea!

  9. Susan

    Do you put anything inside the boxes, other than just the top box? I’d feel like I was wasting all that space if it’s not filled up

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Well the top box is filled and has no lid. The boxes are just to make it looked tiered. You could fill them? πŸ˜€

  10. Dawn

    That’s a lot of sharpies and expensive–I would use something else like glue sticks and then trade the top glued for something else. Also I would definitely fill up the boxes with “something” useful–is have to think–or use something different in the first place because the boxes themselves would be more expensive and no purpose afterwards. I’d probably use a rectangle plastic lidded box from Dollar Tree and make a rectangle cake with tiers instead of circles as I think there is more out there for cheap. Thx for the initial idea!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Excellent! Yes customize it for your budget for sure. πŸ˜€πŸ‘

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Also I think Crayola markers would be a less expensive route because they are thicker.

    • Lexi

      I saw a post on pinterest where they used kleenex boxes in the middle. That would be a good option too.

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        Great idea! Thanks Lexi πŸ‘

  11. Jenny

    OMG so cute where’s Collin/Mrs. Hip???

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Hi Jenny – I post the recipe and craft content, while Collin still shares deals and more πŸ‘
      Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€

  12. Meredith

    Would anyone know the measurements of the boxes ? Just curious

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      8, 9, and 10 inch is the set I used in example. Craft stores may have more of a selection πŸ˜€

  13. Jean

    Love this idea!! Too cute!! 😊

    Must say though that I’m hesitant to try and gift these individually to a new teacher.. Last thing I want is for it to seem like I’m trying to gain their favor/goodwill for my child.. 😬

    • mary

      Really? Teachers don’t think like that, we appreciate things like this. We only work 10 months so coming back on August is a hard time on most teachers when we haven’t had a paycheck in 2 months. Treats like this are awesome when we can’t afford it for our classes

  14. Gindy

    Thanks for the great idea!:-) As a teacher, I would love to receive this from a student., especially the sharpies!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Gindy! Yes my older child’s teacher was asking for Sharpie donations last year so I think they’ll appreciate πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ»

  15. Cindy

    I wonder if there is a way to use tissue boxes as the bases. Maybe 3 rectangle ones for the base, a set of 4 square for the second layer, and 1 square for the top. I will have to try this since our teachers are always asking for more tissues half way through the year. It will probably be larger, but I am thinking of putting a few of these in the teacher’s lounge on the first day of school for kids who do not have supplies. I would like to keep the markers in the boxes which would help fill up space.

  16. Angie

    How well do you think the crayons stay in place? I could see them falling out/sliding all over if I atempt this!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      If you use a purple rubber bands it’s pretty secure! Thanks!

  17. Tina

    Awesome Lina! Love this idea, I want to make one for each of my kids teachers! How many each of the crayons, glue and markers. I’d like to have an idea when I’m out seeing all the great school Supply desks. πŸ™‚

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      The last item listed in the Supplies needed had exactly what I used πŸ˜€ – This is so fun – enjoy!

      • Tina

        Thanks I guess I didn’t see it. When I’m looking on my phone it’s hard to get the whole post sometimes.

        • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

          It’s ok! πŸ˜€

  18. Emily

    If you didnt want to use the smaller boxes, you can substitute for a square box of tissues. You could also use take-home plastic containers from the dollar tree. Teachers store all sorts of stuff in those tupperware knock-offs in their rooms, and they come in multiple sizes and stack, so you can give them the whole set or just one.

  19. Jane

    WOW! That’s just gorgeous, Lina! Well done for sure.

  20. Jessica

    You can be creative and use anything for the center. Be creative. It’s very fun.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes and actually I was thinking of painting the boxes with chalkboard paint so the teacher can use them and label. They are actually very sturdy πŸ˜€ and reusable

  21. Jenny

    Ohh thank you Lina sorry for the misunderstanding!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  22. Deanna

    I’m always trying to get the perfect teacher gift. This idea is great. I wish I did this when my kids were in elementary. Very nice!!!!!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Deanna!

  23. Gloria Dorsey

    I was looking for an idea that our church could do in the community instead of a fun day with free backpacks! I LOVE this idea and am sending the proposal that we make a “cake” like this one for every classroom at our local school. LOVE it!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh my goodness- how wonderful πŸ˜€ thanks Gloria!

  24. Bonnie Bryan

    As a retired kindergarten teacher, I know how this gift would be appreciated! Make it even more special, and stick a Starbucks or Hobby Lobby gift card in one of the boxes!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great idea! Thanks Bonnie πŸ˜€

  25. Vivian Anderson

    I like the idea but I would gather square boxes that is a much cheaper way. Just get three boxes that are staggered in size and do a square cake. those round boxes can be pricy

  26. Mishelle

    My staples had sharpies 13 pack on clearance for 2.00

  27. Helen in Meridian

    You could use a giant roll of paper towels, like the Costco Kirkland size, and then glue womething for the top on the top of the plastic covering of paper towels.

    • Lynn

      I love Helen’s idea of paper towels. Even if it’s just one big roll, it’s smaller around so it would be less pricey for supplies to go around a large roll of paper towels instead the bigger boxes. Cute idea!

  28. Dawn

    Just an fyi, Walmart has thicker/better 97 cent plastic storage boxes that are much better than the ones at dollar tree! And even pennies less!

  29. TwinMom74

    This is a great idea!!! I’m going back to teaching full time this year 😁 after staying home with my twins for a few years and I would LOVE to receive this! Actually, any donations for classroom use, (made to look cute like this or just in a bag from the store) are SO appreciated.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aw good luck and thanks for sharing!

  30. KNM

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing such a good gift idea.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aw thanks for stopping by today!

  31. Iluvh2s

    This is a fantastic idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much

  32. hrosana

    Great idea

  33. lovespring

    Keep the creative ideas coming! I like to send things in that are useful and fun! thanks

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for stopping by! I agree ❀️

  34. Dana

    Any teacher appreciates stuff like this! Don’t forget your friendly music and art teachers! We go through that stuff too. Another idea is to put pencils and erasers inside the boxes.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great idea!

  35. Claire

    Does anyone know where you can get boxes like this

  36. Kathi

    I am a Nana to 5 grandkids and am also former teacher. Every year get a gift bag and fill it with markers, dry erase markers, crayons, glue sticks, blue tacky stuff, emergen C, skittles,starburst, ticonderaga pencils, lysol wipes, sharpies, post it notes, index cards, etc for each teacher. They are sooo grateful for the bag!!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That is so wonderful that you do that Kathi!

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