Have Fun Repurposing School Supplies

class-suppliesForget about packing lunches; unpacking my kid’s backpack on the last day of school has got to me the worst mom job ever.

The sheer volume of crud that is shoved into that Scooby bag is mind-boggling.  While I’d love to dump the contents of the entire bag into the trash, I am far too frugal to let even the smallest pencil stub enter the garbage if it can serve a purpose somewhere in our home.

If you are looking to save money this summer, don’t give into the temptation to dump your child’s old school supplies.  Rather, sort through the used items and see if they can be repurposed.  Then, have fun making these crafts:

Decorative Journal


  • Used notebook
  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • ModgePodge
  • Paintbrush


Have your kids flip through old magazines and cut-out photos of interest to them.  Next, spread an even layer of ModgePodge on the cover of the notebook.  Then, arrange the pictures in a pattern or randomly place them so that the entire cover is plastered with images.  When you are done filling the cover, apply another coat of ModgePodge. Allow the first layer to dry completely, then apply two more and let stand for 24 hours before using.

Pencils with Personality


  • Foam stickers in a variety of shapes
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes
  • Pom-poms
  • Pencils


  1. Find two foam stickers that are the same shape.
  2. Place one sticker on a table, put the eraser end of a pencil on top of it, and then place the second sticker over it, so the pencil is sandwiched between the two stickers.
  3. Press the stickers together.  If they don’t adhere well, place glue around the edges and let dry overnight.
  4. In the morning have your kids decorate the outside of the foam stickers using pom-poms, eyes, glitter glue, sequins or small buttons.  They can make animal-shaped pencil topper by using pom-poms for ears and a nose and a couple of eyes.  Another idea is to draw their initials with glitter glue or make a pretty flower using pom-poms and sequins.
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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.