Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Make Back To School Fun - Idea #3

Create the Coolest Bookcover Ever

Transform an ordinary school binder into an extraordinary one!

Get your child their own designer book cover for school, by choosing this tie-dye fabric book cover or pick out a patterned cloth of your kid's choice to suit their own individual tastes.

What you'll need:
  • Large brown paper grocery bag or brown craft paper
  • Fabric scraps
  • White craft glue
  • Small bowl
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Textbook

How to make it:

  1. First you will need to make the shell of the book cover. Afterward, you will remove the book cover and decoupage it. Begin by cutting the brown paper bag open: Using scissors, cut from the top of the bag to the bottom at one of the corner creases.
  2. Cut the bottom off the bag completely. You should have a long rectangle when finished.
  3. Lay your text book in the center of the rectangle.
  4. Fold the top and bottom of the rectangle up so that the height of the rectangle is equal to the height of the text book. Crease the folds by pressing with your fingers.
  5. Bring the left side of the paper cover over the book and line up the ends with the right side of the paper cover.
  6. Open the book and fold the left side of the paper around the cover of the book.
  7. Repeat this on the other side of the book as well.
  8. Open the cover of the book. You need to trim the paper to about half the width of the actual book’s cover. Use a pencil to mark the paper inside the cover where you will trim it.
  9. Repeat this on the other side of the book as well. Remove the cover from the book and trim off the excess paper with scissors.
  10. Carefully slide the front and back cover of the text book into the temporary paper cover to make sure it fits. Adjust the height accordingly if the cover feels too snug or too loose. When you are happy, remove the cover and set the textbook aside.
  11. Line work surface with wax paper.
  12. Mix together 2/3 glue and 1/3 water in a bowl with your paintbrush. Use a soup or cereal sized bowl filled about halfway. Make more if you run low.
  13. Cut fabric into pieces, any size is fine. Approximately 2” x 2” is a nice workable size.
  14. Open paper book cover and place the "good" side face up onto the wax paper.
  15. Begin by painting a 2” section in a top corner of the paper with the glue mixture. Place a piece of fabric on to the glue mixture. Add more glue mixture to your paintbrush and paint over the top of the fabric scrap, smoothing with your paintbrush as you go. Scrap should be saturated and plat but not dripping. Repeat this process, covering the paper completely, overlapping fabric pieces as you go.
  16. When paper is covered with fabric, open the book cover up and carefully place the textbook back inside it as you did before you applied the fabric.
  17. Carefully close the book; place a piece of wax paper in between the front cover and the front page and the back cover and the back page. This will keep the wet decoupage cover from sticking to the actual textbook as it dries.
  18. Allow to dry overnight then remove the wax paper from the book.


  • Recycle old fabric by saving the scraps in a zipper plastic bag or plastic container to use for a future project.
  • Personalize this project by cutting letters out of a contrasting fabric color and decoupage child’s name on front of cover.
  • If any of the fabric scraps are sticking up after drying, use white glue to stick them down.

Make Back To School Fun - Idea #2

Personalize Your Own Lunch Bag

Be enviro-friendly and trendy when you bring your lunch to school!

Do your part to keep trash out of landfills by making your child their very own personalized lunch bag that they can use over and over again. When school is out, use this cute bag to carry toys, snacks, or coloring supplies.

What you'll need:
  • Small canvas bag (11"x9"x3")
  • Foam stamps (smiley face, bugs and letters for name)
  • Fabric paint (yellow, green, pink, purple, orange, light blue, black)
  • 3-D fabric paint
  • Paintbrushes (thin and medium)
  • Fabric hook-and-loop fasteners (recommended: Velcro)
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread to match canvas bag
  • Wax paper

How to make it:

  1. Line inside of canvas bag with wax paper.
  2. Line up alphabet foam stamps on top of bag to decide where you want the child’s name to be. Once you are happy with the placement, paint the foam letter stamps purple, one at a time, and carefully press down on to the canvas bag. Lift stamp straight up to remove. Repeat for entire name.
  3. Paint a smiley face stamp with yellow paint. Apply to the bottom right corner of the bag in the same manner as described in step 1.
  4. Paint bug stamps with different colors (pink and purple for a butterfly, yellow and purple for ladybug, and so on) and decorate the rest of the bag.
  5. Use a paintbrush to touch up any areas that the stamps may have missed.
  6. Use paintbrush to add any details to bugs, such as dots on backs, antennas, or decorations on wings.
  7. When paint has dried, use 3-D fabric paint tubes to pipe a border around the smiley face and the child’s name.
  8. Place bag in a safe place to dry overnight.
  9. Sew fabric hook-and-loop fasteners to the inside lip of the bag to keep it closed.


  • You can easily adapt this project for a boy by using primary colors, bugs, cars, or sport stamps.
  • If you don’t have fabric paint, you can use acrylic craft paint mixed with textile medium.
  • You can fix textile medium at your local craft store, simply follow the mixing instructions on the bottle.
  • You can wash your lunch bag on gentle in the washing machine, lay flat to dry.

Make Back To School Fun - Idea #1

Decorate Your Own Desk Supply Box

Keep your school supplies organized and looking cool with this school box craft!

Make this adorable supply box to hold all your supplies and have a handy organizer while you are using them! Cubbies on top hold glue, erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, and whatever you are using at the time.

What you'll need:
  • Child size shoe box
  • 3 sheets yellow construction paper
  • 2 sheet green construction paper
  • Acrylic paint (blue, red, green, brown, orange, yellow, black)
  • 3” square box with lid
  • Plastic water bottle (12-16 oz)
  • School-themed foam stamps (school bus, apple, star, crayons)
  • 1” x 7” strip of orange felt
  • Paintbrush
  • White craft glue
  • Glue stick
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • Black marker
How to make it:
  1. Check corners of shoe box and use tape to close any gaps, rips, or tears.
  2. Cover shoe box with yellow construction paper using a glue stick to attach to sides, and tape to close at ends and corners.
  3. Cover lid with green construction paper using glue stick and tape as in step 2.
  4. Paint the sides and inside of small box blue and the lid red. Set aside to dry.
  5. Cut bottom off of plastic bottle about 3” up.
  6. Glue orange felt strip around the top of the opening of the plastic bottle. Felt should overlap on inside and outside of bottle opening to cover cut edges.
  7. Cut a piece of green construction paper in a circle to fit the bottom of the bottle and glue in place. Set aside to dry.
  8. Decorate the outside of the box with school-themed stamps. Paint each foam stamp and press firmly on to the construction paper. Lift directly up to remove. Let dry.
  9. Use white craft glue to attach the red lid, blue box and bottle bottom to the lid of your school supply box. Allow to dry completely.
  10. Use black marker to add a simple math equation to the side of the box.
  11. Use black marker to write “school” on the side of the bus.
  12. When everything is dry, fill box with supplies. When you are using the supplies, fill the bottle with crayons, lids with glue, scissors, eraser, and pencil sharpener--whatever you need to have on hand.


  • Use clear tape to secure any edges that won’t stick down with glue.
  • Careful not to overload the top of your box by piling too many items inside.
  • If any of your organizers come loose, simply secure with glue.