School Supply Salvage: Ways to Re-use Last Year’s Materials

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As school time nears, the time is now to be preparing supplies for the school year. Last week, we took a look at ways to make the back-to-school budget stretch. One of the easiest ways to save money on supplies is to not actually have to purchase new ones but to re-use them.

Although this might be cause for some grumbling among the kids, you can easily turn those frowns upside down! All you’ll need to do is pull out the craft supplies and make an afternoon of fun out of re-decorating and re-vamping the supplies that are reusable. The transformed look will make the kids feel like the supplies are new again, and the creative touches will mean that they are unique and easy to identify as to who they belong to.

Here are some ways to salvage the old supplies and make them feel like new:

-Decorate with Washi Tape

If your kids are hooked on all of the super fun design varieties available of washi tape or duct tape, use the extra tape on the rolls that are laying around to create fun designs on school supplies. Is a three-ring binder in need of some extra support along the binding but is easily reusable? Add fun tape to achieve an exciting new look and create a practical fix at the same time. Create a new look on an old pencil box or bag. Wrap strips of tape around pens or mechanical pencils to make them new again. Most markers will look the same as everyone else so create a fun way to individualize them by decorating them with tape. Just be sure to not put tape on things that will go into a sharpener such as regular or colored pencils.

-Jazz up Backpacks with Patches and Fabric Paint

With some care, backpacks should be able to be used for more than one year. Because the kids won’t want to be the only ones with an “old” backpack, they can now be the ones with the cool and creative bag. Search through fabric scraps or clothing patches to decide what would add a cool look. Help your child sew these onto the backpack. Have the kids use fabric paint to label the backpack with their name and to add extra designs of flare. Consider a finishing touch of letting them buy a new keychain to go on the bag. It is sure to be a less expensive treat than a whole new backpack.

-Use a Variety of Craft Supplies

Don’t limit yourself to the ideas above. Let the kids be creative and inventive with whatever you have on hand whether it is glitter glue, stickers, pipe cleaners, or something else.

Happy crafting!


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