I get so excited when school lets out for the summer! I love having my kids at home with me, doing crafts and traveling. This year, they brought home loads of unused and slightly used school supplies, which made me wonder if there is a better way to use those supplies rather than save them for next school year. Most of the time, they get lost in the shuffle and I end up buying all new supplies again anyway.
So, I started looking for some creative ways to repurpose those school supplies and maybe give the kids an extra project or two this summer. I found 20 wonderful ideas and I’m so excited to share them with you! You know how much I love to repurpose. Honestly, if there is a new use for something I’m sure to try it rather than just throw that something out. Repurposing has changed my life! Just look at these amazing ways to repurpose empty cereal boxes. If I can find a way to reuse it, that’s what I’ll do!
Whether your kids have come home with loads and loads of graded papers, boxes of crayons or any other school supply, I’m going to show you a great way to repurpose them. From pencil jewelry to iPad cases made from composition books and even a great lamp shade that you can make from those old papers, there literally is something that you can make with everything they bring home from school. And if you’re a teacher, you’re really going to love these ideas. You should also definitely check out these 37 parenting hacks that are sure to make your life easier.
So, if your kids bring home half the school when summer finally gets here, I’ll show you some great ways to repurpose those supplies and turn them into fun summer crafts. I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I have and as always, I hope you’ll share your favorite.
11. DIY Paperclip Earrings
12. DIY Paper Mache
Kids will adore making their own paper mache and they can do it from those leftover graded school papers and workbooks. This is a great project for younger kids, too. It will keep them busy inside where it’s cool and they can make some pretty amazing things from their paper mache, too.
13. Repurposed Pencil Desk Accessories
Take those number two pencils and turn them into anything from a clock to a picture frame and so much more for your desk. If you have a pack of pencils, you can create so many things for your desk, including a great pencil holder – that’s made of pencils! I love the idea of turning pencils into desk accessories – it just seems fitting.
14. Short Pencil Dish Rack
Those sharpened pencils that aren’t really long enough for other projects can be used to make this great dish rack. This is made by attaching pencils to a wooden cutting board and it is the most unique dish rack I have ever seen. You’ll need to drill holes into the board to add the pencils, but if you have a drill then that’s no problem.
15. Pencil Eraser Earring Backs
Take those broken or otherwise unusable pencils and remove the erasers. The eraser makes the perfect back for your earrings! I’ve used this trick in the past and it really does work well. The eraser keeps those earrings snug, too. You won’t have to worry about the back falling off and losing your earring. This is the perfect solution if you’re in a pinch, too.
16. Colored Pencil Jewelry
Cut those leftover colored pencils – or the ones that are too short to sharpen any more – and turn them into beautiful jewelry. You’ll need to drill a tiny hole into them to string them up on jewelry wire and when they’re finished, these make the most beautiful jewelry ever. They are colorful and have such a nice rustic look to them.
17. Cute Post It Pinwheels
Kids may not have Post Its at the end of the school year, but teachers normally do. I actually keep them on my desk to jot down notes pertaining to the school year. If you have a few Post Its left over after the school year, you can turn them into colorful pinwheels that you can affix to the erasers on your leftover pencils.
18. DIY Rubber Band Bouncy Balls
Turn rubber bands that you don’t need any longer into great bouncy balls for the kids. These things really have some bounce to them and kids are going to love playing with them. If your kids bring home loads of rubber bands, you can make loads of bouncy balls and they’ll have a great new toy to keep them busy when it rains or when it’s just too hot to get outside and play.
19. Colored Pencil Accessories
Here’s another great way to use up those colored pencils. You can turn them into all sorts of colored pencil jewelry and accessories. You don’t even need to cut them. Just drill tiny holes in them and then use them as beads to create any number of beautiful things like necklaces, earrings or even a great belt.
20. Upcycled Binder Ring Clips
Those binder rings can be used for organization! I love a good organization hack and this one is one of my favorites. Just take the ring part off the binder and then use those rings to hang and organize any number of things. Screw it onto the wall and use it to hold kitchen utensils or aprons or you could even hang it in the closet and use it to keep belts or scarves organized.