Any time of the year is a fun opportunity to get crafty. We love personalizing our home and life with creative ideas that are also budget friendly! My kids get excited about back to school because they get to pick out a few new school supplies. It’s always fun to personalize books and notebooks with colorful tape, stickers and school-inspired doodles. These ideas for making re-purposed pencil cans and custom book covers will brighten up any desk.
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All kids need some basic essentials to start the school year. Our family homeschools, so it’s up to me to make sure we are ready to start the school year. The last few years we’ve headed to Target for our back to school shopping. My kids love choosing their own colorful notebooks, pens, pencils and binders. We picked up these bright G2 Fashion White Collection 5pk and erasable FriXion Fineliner 12pk assorted pen sets, which are new at Target. These colorful pens are perfect for grading, making labels, marking lunches and even using during art class! Shop for these G2® Pens by Pilot Pen at Target in the pen aisle.
We usually start off the first week of school with some fun activities such as decorating our notebooks and making a crafty pencil holder. Kids can help with these crafts and customize their own school supplies. See our creative back to school ideas below!
Get Organized for Back to School
As a homeschool mom, I kind of have to do it all. I teach subjects, make lunch, grade workbooks and enforce our daily routine. Being organized with new school supplies helps our family alot! G2® Pens by Pilot Pen are a great back to school essential for kids and parents. G2 is the ultimate pen for the everyday overachiever. You can find G2 pens in four point sizes and multiple barrel styles. The extra comfortable grip makes them easy to use and the smooth gliding ink comes in 27 bright and vibrant colors! It’s no wonder G2 is the #1 selling gel ink brand/pen brand in America (NPD, 2018).
The FriXion assorted pens are another great basic for kids, with erasable ink! FriXion writes smoothly with writing gel ink but also allows you to erase at any time. This is perfect for kids! I typically don’t allow my kids to do their schoolwork with pens, but the erasable ink changes everything! Of course my kids will love doing their math problems with a colorful FriXion pen.
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Crafty Recycled Pencil Can
This recycled tin can project is a great container to organize your pens and pencils. For this project, you’ll need the following materials:
- 1 tin can
- craft paint
- washi tape
Easily make a washi tape tin can pencil holder! First, thoroughly wash out the tin can and fully dry it off. If you need to remove the label and any leftover adhesive, you can do so using lighter fluid. Next, apply a thin layer of paint to the outside of the tin can. Allow the paint to fully dry.
Slowly peel off a long length of washi tape in the color of your choice. Pulling too fast can cause washi tape to break. Once you have a piece of tape that’s long enough to wrap around the can, begin on one side of the can, firmly pressing the strip of washi tape down as you rotate the can.
Repeat with additional strips of colored washi tape. I found it helpful to follow the lines on the can to evenly place the washi tape.
You can put pencils, pens and even rulers or scissors in a pencil can to keep them close at hand. These washi tape pencil cans are a super cute way to organize a desk or workspace.
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Brown Paper Bag Book Cover
A paper bag book cover is a great way to cover your textbooks, and you can customize it any way you’d like. Paper grocery bags are sturdy and pretty much free. Furthermore, if you use a brown paper bag to cover your school book, you are creatively recycling! Use pens, tape and stickers to decorate the front of your text book and protect the book’s cover.
Washi Tape Notebooks
Washi tape notebooks are another crafty idea to customize your school supplies. I could only find a few styles of notebooks at the store and we wanted to be a little more creative. Each of my kids picked a notebook for themselves and we decorated the covers with strips of washi tape. We’ll use these notebooks for homeschool assignments and daily schedules.
To make a washi tape notebook, you’ll need the following materials:
- Plain notebook
- Rolls of washi tape
Decorate your notebook with strips of colorful washi tape. Carefully peel off long pieces and use scissors to cut the washi tape into smaller pieces. You can even make shapes and letters using washi tape.
My daughter embellished the zebra print on her notebook using colored pens from the G2 Fashion White Collection 5pk set.
Going back to school can be creative and fun with a little imagination! Once you get your creativity flowing, you never know what you will learn next.
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!