Back to School: Savings and DIY Projects for Craft Capable Cheapskates
Everyone knows that back to school time can reek havoc on the pocketbooks of all parents. Two of the biggest culprits are gear and school supplies. Here are ways you can make the most of seasonal sales on supplies and ideas for DIY backpacks, pencil cases and lunch bags.
Make your own backpacks.
If your teen is showing signs of wanting to branch out with individuality as they head back to school, consider letting them attempt making their own backpack this school year. The following projects are suitable for boys and girls alike, from intermediate grades through high school.
- This video from Threadbanger shows you how to make your own backpack from a men's suit jacket.
- Duct tape is apparently a DIY fashion item when it comes to backpacks. Who knew? Check out this pink and green duct tape school bag from Thrifty Fun.
- Sew your own simple drawstring backpack.
DIY pencil cases.
Personalized pencil cases are fun and provide tons of room for individuality. They are also a necessary item for student organization. Loose pencils, pens and erasers floating around the desk, locker and backpack can cause a number of problems with student productivity. Try working with the kids at home to make their own as a fun activity to wind up the summer and get ready for school.
- Here's a cute felt pencil case with instructions, courtesy of Martha Stewart.
- For the more craft capable who have fabric scraps to use up, here's a pencil case you can make out of leftovers from other projects.
- Personally, I love this vintage style pencil case made from a recycled mailing tube
Make your own lunch bag.
Going eco is so chic these days, why not ditch the plastic lunch boxes and try making your own washable, reusable lunch bags?
- You could try these instructions on how to make your own designer lunch bag, courtesy of Tip Nut.
- If you loved used denim, try making a drawstring lunch bag out of a cut off leg from an old pair of jeans. There's a link in this article listing things to do with old jeans.
- For those who ride their bike to school, this DIY option shows you how to make a lunch bag that will hang from your bicycle.
Maximize the savings at the office supply stores.
Use these supply sales as a time to get prepared for needs throughout the coming year. You'll be surprised how much money you can save if you use these sales for more than just back to school.
- Stock up in advance for December holiday teacher gifts and children's stocking stuffers.
- Art supplies are a great present any time of the year.
- Pencils and erasers make great Halloween handouts that skip the sugar.
- Have a good idea what your consumption rate is for your standardly used office supplies? Stock up on those too.
- Are Private Schools Worth the Money?
- Back to School Ideas for Teachers
- How to Stock Your Office with Back to School Sales
- Save Big on Dorm Sales
- Take Advantage of State Tax Holidays on School Products
- Back to School Saving Tips for Parents (Don't forget price matching policies!)
Got another great idea for back to school savings? Share your tips below.
This post was included in the Carnival of pen, paper, and pencil.