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Simple DIYs for Back-to-School Essentials

Need school supplies? Before you buy, check these DIYs!

Sarah Burns

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Pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks, loose leaf paper — there are some back-to-school essentials you just can’t avoid buying. But some stuff, you totally can and should avoid buying, because crafting is a fantastic way to get pumped for the new year! Here’s a list of cool but practical DIYs you’ll be excited to put to good use.

Pencil Cups

Pencil Cup

Happiness is Homemade

What is it about pens and pencils? They wind up in drawers or under furniture, they’re forgotten about in purses and bags, but they’re absolutely nowhere when you actually need one. These holders are a must for desks and homework stations, but they’re also handy in the kitchen to jot down shopping list notes, or on a bedside table to write out anything you’re afraid of forgetting in the morning. 

Use this tutorial by Happiness is Homemade to make a pencil holder to match any decor in about 15 minutes, so you can make any room your new writing room.

Looking for some cute new pencils for your cute new pencil holders? You can’t go wrong with pencils that never need sharpening! This cheery mechanical set by will fit write in.

Book Covers

Book Covers

Crafts Unleashed

At first glance, there's not much to get excited about when it comes to book covers. But think about it; they give of themselves all semester, protecting battered books from judgment and safeguarding the knowledge within. Point is, they can be as cool as you make them, and the best part is you can make them with very little effort! Crafts Unleashed has three book covering methods that are quick, highly customizable, and sturdy enough to make it through the year. 

Pencil Cases

Pencil Case

Moms and Crafters

The must-have accessory for the scribe or artist on the move. Why tote your tools of the trade in just any old case, when you can make something cool? Grab your favorite tape colors, and head to Moms and Crafters to whip up a pencil case small enough to easily pop into a bag but large enough to hold the essentials like pens and pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, and extra leads that tend to get left behind.

DIY Starbucks-Slime-Pencil-Case DIY-School-Supplies

Kimspired DIY

And for the slime-loving teens (or adults, whateves) who wish they could start every day with a candy colored latté, Kimspired DIY has an absolutely ingenious pencil case design; a squishy pink slime “drink” to hold onto all your writing needs! 

Personalized Notebooks


Mod Podge Rocks Blog

Giving your notebooks some pizazz can actually help you take better notes, because you’ll look forward to using them! Mod Podge Rocks Blog has a tutorial perfect for pretty much any level of crafting; the hardest part will be choosing your favorite scrapbook papers, stickers, and other decorative elements for your totally unique design.

While you’re at it, consider making a matching sketchbook! This sketchbook by Ooly features a blank “Do-It-Yourself” cover that’s designed to be customized according to the artist’s vision.


Origami Bookmarks

It’s Always Autumn

Bookmarks are a true underrated hero. It sounds dramatic, but when bookmarks are forgotten, it leads to dog-eared pages and broken book spines. These little forest critters will help you keep your place in your book while keeping your pages pristine. Check out It’s Always Autumn to find out how to fold up your new book buddies for storytime. 

If you’re looking for more folding fun that goes beyond bookmarks, try Open the Joy’s Creative Colorful Origami Kit. The illustrated, step-by-step guide will help you learn different animals, plants, and objects, as you create your own little world out of paper. 

Pencil Toppers

Pencil Toppers

Sustain My Crafty Habit

Make some writing magic with a menagerie of animals to help you overcome writer’s block. Find the tutorial for these felted friends over at Sustain My Crafty Habit, and create a whole zoo to keep you company.

But If you’re looking for a topper with a little more function, craft some cute erasers! Personalizing your pencils has never been easier with Klutz’s Make Your Own Mini Eraser Set. It comes with everything you need to craft a crew of pals that will definitely set your pencils apart from the pack!