4 easy DIY school supplies to make at home
By Madison Rutherford
The smell of fresh pink erasers and clean white binder paper is in the air, which can only mean one thing – the first day of school is fast approaching. While you may have to hit Staples or Target for standard stuff like highlighters and pencils, there are plenty of supplies you can make at home for cheap. These four personalized DIY ideas will keep the environment and your pocketbook happy – and the kids will love having one-of-a-kind accessories. Now, line the kitchen table with newspaper – it’s time to get crafty!
Paper Bag Textbook Covers
Use brown paper grocery bags (Trader Joe’s has good ones) to protect your textbooks, and add a personal touch by decorating the bag with Sharpie doodles. Prepare your paper bag by cutting it open and removing the bottom and handles. Open your textbook and place it flat on the dissected paper bag (it should look like a giant piece of brown paper) and cut around the book, leaving about two inches of paper bag above the book and three inches on each side. Center the book and create creases along the top and bottom edges (like you are wrapping a gift). Fold and tape any excess paper in place. Then use different colored Sharpies to personalize your cover with doodles, word art or patterns.
Soda Box Pencil Cases
The kids will love this one because it will most likely involve drinking soda; it requires an empty soda box, a pencil, scissors, a ruler, a scoring tool (like a butter knife or bent paper clip), tape and self-adhesive Velcro strips (which can be found at Michaels or Home Depot). You will also need to print out a template, which can be easily found by Googling “soda box pencil case template.” Before you start, make sure the template is long enough for your pencils. Then, open the soda box and flatten it out. Cut out the template and place it on top of the flattened soda box. Use a pencil to trace onto the cardboard around the edges of the template. Mark the score lines on the cardboard where indicated on the template; use a ruler to make a straight line. Then, run your scoring tool along the line and fold to form your pencil case. Use tape to secure the bottom and sides. Finally, fasten the self-adhesive Velcro strips to the inside of the top flap and the front of the case; make sure they are aligned before attaching.
Duct Tape Locker Pockets
Here is another clever storage concept that can be created with common household items. You will need patterned duct tape, fabric, cardboard, an X-Acto knife (parental supervision recommended) and extra-strong adhesive magnetic strips. Begin by cutting your cardboard into the preferred size with your X-Acto knife (make sure to measure the locker ahead of time so you know it will fit) and cover both sides with duct tape. Find a piece of fabric that complements your duct tape and is just big enough to form a pocket and wrap around the back of the cardboard. Fold the excess fabric on the bottom to the back and duct tape it to the base to form the bottom of the pocket. Duct tape the upper sides to the back of the base, making sure your pocket has your desired depth. Attach the magnetic strips to the back of the cardboard (we recommend four large strips so the pocket will stay in place).
Chunky Tassel Bookmarks
Here’s a fun and funky way to ensure your kids won’t ruin their textbooks by dog-earing the pages – make your own bookmark! You’ll need a ball of yarn, scissors, a piece of cardboard, a ruler, a pencil, cardstock, Mod Podge, a foam brush and a hole punch. To create the tassel, wrap a piece of yarn around a small piece of cardboard until you’ve reached the desired thickness (we recommend wrapping it around about 50 times). Slide a small piece of yarn under the yarn bundled around the cardboard, then double-knot it at the top. Cut all the yarn on the opposite side, tightly double-knotting a piece of yarn near the top to make the “head” of the tassel. Tightly double-knot another piece of yarn underneath the previous piece and cut off all uneven ends. To create the bookmark, cut out a 4.5 x 6.5-inch piece of cardstock. Fold the bookmark lengthwise and apply a thin layer of Mod Podge with the foam brush on the inside of the cardstock, fold again and let dry. Use the hole punch to punch a hole about half an inch from the top of the bookmark and double-knot the tassel through the hole.