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Well before you're ready to say goodbye to summer, school supplies find their way into stores and advertisements. Soon your kids will have a long list of things they need (and want) for the school year ahead. Bigger ticket items like tablets can set you back. But even the costs of smaller items like pencils and notebooks can quickly add up. Looking for ways to save? Have fun with your kids and try these DIY school supplies.

Play With Personalization

Adding personalization is a fun DIY project that kids will love. If your school requires labels on clothing and supplies, let your kids design and create them themselves. Buy blank mailing labels or find a template online rather than purchasing custom ones. Then give your kids free rein to craft their own labels with art supplies.

Customize Basic Items

Every kid wants their favorite superhero or cartoon character on pencil cases, notebooks, sneakers and everything else to show their friends on the first day of school. Help your kids customize basic notebooks and folders by adding stickers, pictures of their favorite characters or other fancy designs. Blogs like Momtastic offer cute DIY notebook design ideas to help spark your creativity.

Pencil grips can be a surprisingly big expense. The bestselling set on Amazon breaks down to $1.52 per grip. Considering how often kids tend to lose them, that can add up. Instead, help your child to create a DIY pencil grip using vibrant duct tape. With a variety of fun patterns and an entire 10-yard roll costing under $4, you'll save money and enjoy a no-mess craft.

Build Book Covers

Book covers are a staple on many school supply lists. Rather than purchase cover materials, you can use paper bags, newspaper cartoons or magazines to create a DIY version. Create a fabric cover with scraps of material and pull it together using fabric tape or a hot glue gun, as seen on Geek Dad.

Create Your Own Forms

Need to remind your child's teacher about doctor's appointments or last-minute changes in the carpool plan? A free printable school note form is a stylish way to send a reminder on a hectic morning. Rather than starting from scratch every time, create a preprinted form or checklist you can customize with a few words. For this project, Name Bubbles offers free printables to get you started. Keep these on hand to reduce the morning madness.

Opt for Organization

Start the year off right by helping your kids organize their schedules using DIY planners and calendars. These fun craft projects also teach valuable planning and time management skills. For at-home school and art supplies, build an organizer to store excess supplies using whatever you have at home, from plastic cases to baskets or storage boxes. Designate one area in your home to store backpacks, water bottles and lunch kits when they're not in use. Before school starts, you may also want to set up a homework station in a quiet corner, which promotes concentration when kids are completing projects and other assignments.

In addition to helping manage your family budget, DIY school supplies can provide a fun summer project for you and your kids. DIY items also let you personalize and customize items to meet your child's individual needs at school. This summer, spend time getting a jump on the upcoming academic year to help make the back-to-school transition easier and more fun for your family.


This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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