16 easy DIY school supplies to make tonight
From easy-sew school supplies to me-made pencil cases and gym bags, get ready for the new school year with our favourite Back to School craft ideas to make in just an evening or two.
Reach for your craft kit and get sewing, papercrafting and stitching these quick and easy ideas for DIY school supplies – we've got everything from gym bags to pencil cases and lunch box makes to keep you busy. We'll show you how to decorate your book covers, sew a bag to store your PE kit and whip up some easy desk decor in just an hour or two to keep your stationery organised. If you like this, browse our full set of Back to School craft projects here or try our Handmade Thank You Teacher gift ideas.
Sew an easy drawstring bag
All you need is 1 fat quarter of fabric and a couple of basic sewing supplies to make this quick and easy bag by Jennie Jones. It's perfect for carrying your gym kit or PE kit in a unique bag that's easy to find in the cloak room.
Cross stitch happy vibes for the new school year
We've gathered up a collection of cute cross stitch patterns to welcome in the new school year. Use them to stitch your name on notes and pencil cases or cross stitch a positive vibes banner to start the new school year the way you mean to go on. Find our free school kids cross stitch patterns here.
Crochet a journal cover
This lovely beginner crochet pattern, designed by Samantha Osmond for Simply Crochet, is a great way to dress up your notes with a hand crafted touch. Try our free journal cover crochet pattern – all you need is a crochet hook and a couple of your favourite colour yarns to give it a go.
How to make a pencil case
Raid your fabric stash for a pretty fat quarter and whip up this handy zip case with neat box corners by Jennie Jones in just one evening.
Make monster pencil toppers
Add a dose of happy to the Autumn term with these merry monster pencil toppers from The Craftaholic Witch – all you need is some felt and basic craft supplies (like a pencil and pair of scissors) to brighten up pens and pencils and give your schoolwork a rainbow makeover.
Keep your school supplies or swimming kit safe and dry whatever the weather with our guide to How to make a backpack. You'll need a few sewing skills for this project but we've included step-by-step guides, a free pattern and tips for sewing with laminate fabrics to get you started.
Make your notes the cutest ever
Never forget your new term diary dates – from homework deadlines to class timetables or new swimming lesson details with these super cute animal notebook covers. Find the free templates and step by step instructions in our Cat and dog DIY notebook project.
Learn to weave bookmarks
We're smitten with this introduction to weaving from Mollie Makes magazine. Find out how to make your own simple loom and weave easy bookmarks to add homespun style to your school books this term. Make your own weaving bookmarks.
Store your stationery in style
This super cute DIY school supplies idea means you get to enjoy some soothing cross stitch and store your stationary in style. Heather Nugent shows you how out How to stitch a caravan pencil case (we've even included the free cross stitch charts).
Refashion jeans into a denim lunch bag
You don't need to go out and buy lots of expensive craft supplies to make sustainable school supplies. Try our easy DIY by Jessica Entwistle and Simply Sewing magazine for how to make a denim lunch bag .
And if you like sustainable crafts, head to our video guide to how to make beeswax wraps for your lunch box too.
How to knit book covers
If you prefer knitting needles to crochet hooks, we've got a great beginner-friendly knitting pattern to show you how to knit book covers to customise your school notes!
Make your own page markers
Add a personal touch to your notes with DIY page markers made from paperclips, yarn and washi tape – find out how with this video tutorial for 7 Easy DIY School Supplies by Vanessa Palomino on YouTube.
Crochet pen pot cosies
No guide to DIY school supplies would be complete without a bit of crafty TLC for your desk! Spruce up your pen storage with a set of Sara Huntington’s colourful crochet pen pot cosies! Free pen pot cosies crochet pattern
Knit cute keyrings
Keep your keys easy to find in your school bag with this super cute and quick with our free knitted heart pattern by Jane Burns and Simply Knitting magazine. Or if you're liking the keyring idea, we've also got this free pom pom bear pattern for you to try too!
Dress up your desk with easy papercrafts
If you're on the hunt for DIY desk storage ideas, check out these colour-popping ideas to whip up in just an hour or two from Ventuno Art on YouTube. Check out their video for 6 Easy Desk Decor Ideas.
Sew a handmade cosy to protect your laptop or tablet with our guide to How to sew a patchwork gadget case.
Zoe is Senior Editor of Gathered.how, with over a decade of craft publishing experience under her belt. She's a quilter and sewist who works with the UK’s best-selling craft magazines including Today’s Quilter, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Simply Sewing and The World of Cross Stitching. Zoe loves being immersed in Gathered’s quilting content, tweaking our tutorials and publishing new patterns. Zoe has previously written for radiotimes.com, Simply Knitting and The World of Cross Stitching and was previously Deputy Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine. She has guest-lectured at Bath Spa University. She’s a keen quilter with 5 projects in progress at any one time and another 12 or so planned.