We are not the parents who are going to put together a list of back to school crafts that require 6 kinds of sandpaper and a drawer full of spare x-rays to turn into DIY stencils. (Seriously. We’ve seen this.) Like most of you, we’re looking for the kinds of crafts we can actually do with our kids, that only require some basic supplies. Or okay, maybe a very few not-so-basic supplies if you count Modge Podge. We think all of these cool DIY projects and back to school craft ideas give you the opportunity to spend a fun hour or afternoon with your family, to help get kids of all ages excited about back to school.
So happy making!
Related: 15 of the coolest back to school printables
DIY family necklace craft
We love this back to school craft from Moomah which is so easy, and can definitely make nervous preschoolers and little kids feel more at home on the first day, with everyone they love around them. Including pets and stuffed friends.
DIY Rainbow crayon holder
There are of course tons of tutorials out there for decorating pencil holders with everything from paint to washi tape, but I love the idea of at least starting the school year organized with crayons matching the cans. Key word being starting because this would look this perfect in my home for about 16 seconds after completing it. Still, the full tutorial is at Sugar Bee Crafts and if it works for your kids I bow down to you.
DIY bangle pencil holder
For something a little more sophisticated I love this idea from Make and Tell! It doesn’t have to be as complex as you it seems (though follow her instructions if you want yours to come out like this one). In fact, it’s mostly a matter of gluing together a few wooden bangles from the craft store and letting kids go to town with paint.
Free printable LEGO backpack tags
There are lots of templates for free printable backpack tags so you can make your own, but we know quite a few kids who would point right to these, from Simply Kelly Designs and say emphatically, THOSE, Mom! We want those! So we just skipped the others and gave you these.
DIY kids art apron
If you’ve got crafty kids, maybe you should rewind and start with this adorable craft apron tutorial from Mer Mag that’s perfect for preschoolers and young kids whose “schoolwork” has more to do with painting and molding clay than with workbooks and drill sheets.
Personalized Washi Pencil Case craft
Let your kids pick out some fun washi tape in fun colors or cool patterns online or at the local office supply store. Then, follow the easy how-to at Madigan Made so your back to school craft project comes out as cool as hers did.
DIY duct tape binders
Now that duct tape goes beyond mere Industrial Silver, it’s easy to transform an inexpensive (or even a hand-me-down) binder into something more personal and fun with this DIY from Aunt Peaches.
DIY washi tape journals and composition books
As long as you’re going through washi tape by the carton, you can use it to decorate pencils, hole punches, staplers…you name it. But one of the easiest things is to let your kids go to town on their journals and composition books. At the beginning of each school year, our kids always have the teacher mandate to decorate their marbled composition books and this is a cool way to do it too. They may come out as perfectly as these from Design Love Fest or…hey, just get creative. Your kids will come up with something awesome all their own.
Make your own personalized bookplate labels
We discovered these adorable designs at Orange You Lucky a few years ago, but find ourselves coming back to them for our own kids each September. The illustration style looks something out of a favorite modern children’s book, but even our older kids find them “adorable.”And for something a wee bit sophisticated, Helen also added the duo of French cat and dog free printable bookplates too. We might actually use them for our own books.
DIY picture hanger for children’s artwork
Also at Make and Tell, I think this idea for a DIY picture hanger is so so clever. Make a few, and hang them on your child’s wall for a rotating display of art projects brought home from school throughout the year. It helps knock off that dreaded “what do I do with all that artwork” question parents face every year, and it has the added benefit of freeing up the refrigerator door. Frankly, you can have kids decorate it any way they’d like but the tutorial is a source of great inspiration.
Related: 21 cool ways to display photos + artwork besides just frames
DIY kawaii keychain craft
For slightly more advanced crafting skills — okay so we had to include just one for you sewing mavens with fine motor skills — we totally love this detailed tutorial from user Aiwa-9 on Deviant Art. The smiling felt toast makes a ridiculously cute backpack tag (which our kids are obsessed with) or keychain. (h/t/ pop sugar)
DIY homework door hangers
Because in the end, what’s school about if not actual schoolwork, we like the idea for privacy door hangers that give kids a little more incentive to shut the door. At Write Click Scrapbook, we like how these came out, but if you’re not a master of press type, there are lots of ways to decorate a basic blank door hanger available at a craft store.
Back to School Guide 2015 posts:
– 12 awesome DIY back to school crafts your kids can actually do
– The coolest lunch boxes and bags for kids of all ages
– The coolest backpacks for preschool and little kids
–The coolest backpacks for big kids
–The coolest lunchbox accessories
So fun!! I love the washi tape pencil case, journal and the duct tape binders! What a great way for kids to express themselves and really make their school items theirs!! I also love the art hanger 🙂 so great for young ones!!
The wood bangle bracelet cup is so cool!
Here’s another comment for another very cool and cute post. Love the Kawaii ideas for back to school! #CMPBTS
I like the duct tape binders; my daughter would enjoy doing this for school.
LOVE all of these ideas!! Can’t wait to try these, ESPECIALLY the family necklace craft for my little guy who is going to preschool for his second year now. He had no separation issues last year until the very end, so I’m hoping that doesn’t happen at all this year! If it does, this should help a ton! Thank you!
I love the duct tape binders. We have a bunch that my kids have doodled on that are still in good shape structurally and I hate the idea of tossing them because they look awful. Now why didn’t I think of that?!
Art apron is the cutest ever! My girls would love these.
I love the personalized book plates. We have way too many books and these would look great in our favorites!
My son was transfixed by the crayon organizer! I guess I have a project!
I love the personalized bookplates! As a English and Literature teacher, I have something like this on most of my books, but these are much cuter! 🙂
The family necklace is awesome! I have been considering making (an expensive) family photo book for my baby but I am afraid it will get ruined, if I laminate the tags that will be a perfect solution instead!
The bookplate labels are super cute and my favorite thing on this list. Thanks for the giveaway!
All of this things are awesome! Every child who create something new and his is 100% focused on this thing, which may contribute to the development of many creative planes. In adulthood a child will always know how to get out of sticky situations and even will be a leader in the group.
I love the toast backpack tag because it is so unique and cute !
Love the diy artwork hanger. Always looking for special ways to highlight my little ones’ masterpieces!
Posted and I just love those Kawaii keychains!
Sending my youngest little girl to her first year of preschool has been exciting but nerve racking too. The diy family picture necklace is a great way to send the kiddos to school in comfort knowing that they can “bring” mommy, daddy, and siblings with them.
I love the wooden bangle pencil holder, as well as the homework doorknob hangers! Thank you for showing all of the awesome back to school crafts!
The duct tape binders seem like something we would/could actually do since I’m not all that crafty.
I love those bookplate labels! Printing and sticking seems very do-able!!
The little felt toast is amazing!
Rainbow crayon organizer…it makes my OCD happy.
I love the family necklace craft, it is a wonderful gift to give loved ones from children!
With the school year approaching I am motivated once again to find a way to display artwork. I like the hanger idea and the related suggestions. Fingers crossed this is the year I make it happen!
I love the DIY picture hanger for children’s artwork! What a cute way to hang my childrens’ artwork. Would be cute to create a dedicated wall for this, and change them out each week.
I really love the little crafty kids apron. It’s something fun to make plus it keeps them from getting messy (priceless!)
The tiny toast keychain was adorable !
The Lego backpack tag is cool! I was just looking for something to top last year’s Star Wars tag I made, and this should do the job!
I love any idea on how to use up of some of my washi tape stash. Never thought to add it to the clear pencil cases that we have.
My son would love the Lego backpack tag, but me, I LOVE the felt toast. Too cute!
Great! I feel bad that my kids want their backpacks personalized but I don’t want strangers knowing their names: the printable lego bag tags are perfect to keep inside their bags to prevent taking home the wrong bag mixups!
Washi tape binder craft! Great way to reuse an old binder that’s a little beaten up but still works.
So many good ideas. I’m going to try the ones that utilize tape
Love the washi tape journals and composition books. So easy and cute
I like the rainbow crayon idea – whether it would actually work or no for organization is yet to be determined!
Pencil holder – my kids always leave pens and pencils EVERYWHERE!! I always need a place to keep them and a stylish one is even better 🙂
I like the Personalized Washi Pencil Case craft! It is an easy, inexpensive way to make a boring pencil case your child’s own!
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The tiny felt toast is sooooo adorable!
Love the rainbow crayon organization idea!
My kids would love the rainbow crayon organizer, because it’s so easy to find the right color!
The picture hanger that’s actually a hanger is…actually brilliant.
I really like the homework door hangers and can see my son really getting into making them!
The DIY kawaii keychain craft is so freaking cute! I wish I was that crafty!
The duct tape binders are fun – and would be an incentive to use them on a regular basis!
I love the DIY crayon holder. So much better than a plastic bucket of crayons!
I love the DIY Family necklace! As a preschool teacher, I work diligently to help our kids identify & deal with their feelings. This is such a great tool for separation anxiety.
DIY homework door hangers
my son is getting older and needs this to know when its homework time and when its play time!
I like the door hangers, because I used to make similar signs when I was a kid!
I love the family necklace idea! So creative and anything to help ease anxiety for the little ones going to school for the first time.
i love that pencil cup! It’s modern and fun. Also love the bookplates.
The bookplate labels! They are cute and super useful!
my daughter loves to wear her apron while she’s “cooking,” so i think she’d love the DIY kids art apron!
Love the washi tape pencil pouch — my girl loves crafting with that stuff!
I wish I saw the DIY duct tape binders before I bought new ones this year! What great idea. I never know what to do with binders at the end of the year and feel bad re-using the same one. Now I know what to do next year:)
Ah! The bangle pencil cup! Too cool. My 9-year-old will love to do this.
I’m going to make the DIY family picture necklace asap for my toddler. He starts school for the first time next month, and I’m so nervous. I think this necklace is a great idea!
The Lego backpack tags are so cute!
So fun and easy. My daughter will love these. Thanks!
Shared! Thank you!
Duct tape binders are brilliant. I love that Kawaii toast.
The picture hangers are brilliant. Look good and perfect for ever changing displays.
So many great ideas here. I wish I would have known about the family necklace idea when my twins started pre-school. I am definitely going to share that one with my friends that have younger kids! For us now, I am going to try the wood bangled pencil/marker holder. Thanks for all the ideas!
Love the DIY Picture Hanger!
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Love the artwork hangers! Always looking for fresh ideas on displaying the (piles!) of work that comes home.
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My favorite is the Kids Art Apron. Its so cute and very functional!
I live the necklace with family pics – great idea to help with transition to school
I love the DIY wood pencil holder and of course all of the great washi tape crafts!
I love the DIY Crayon Organizer
THe artwork hanger is my favorite. WE struggle with pile stuff of artwork everywhere!