Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Super Chic School Supplies on Studio 5

If you are like me, school supplies are kind of like candy!  They come in all sorts of shapes and colors and they just have the smell of a fresh new start!  I've been giving in to my crayon/glue/folder addiction in the best kind of way. Today on Studio 5, I showed how to make your child's school supplies unique and chic using my favorite paper crafting products.
For many of you, I understand that just getting the list of school necessities from the store may be overwhelming. Although it isn't a "required assignment," crafting up your child's supplies may it is a great way to make your kids feel special as they take on another year.  It is also a great opportunity to bring your family together. Consider involving your kids in the personalization process by allowing each child to decorate his or her own folders and notebooks.

Classroom rules for supply crafting:
1. Pull out your supply of crafty bits and pieces and let the kids go to town together.  They will have a blast creating and labeling.  Crafting up supplies is a great way for teenagers to interact with younger children as well.  Although they all have different supplies, they can unite in the fact that they are headed back to the classroom.  While your high school student decorates a binder, your 3rd grader may label his pencil box.
2. Craft your supplies on your level, don't let it become an overwhelming project.  It should be a fun little extra for you and your kids, not a stressful thing to add to the list.
3. Try to cater your decorations and embellishments to your child so that they feel it was made especially for them.
4. Remember that school supplies are consumables.  They are meant to be used and abused, so don't spend too much time or money on any individual item.

Here are some fun ideas for taking your student's supplies to the top of the class:

Backpack tags-
Giving your child's backpack a way home is always an A+ move. My free, downloadable templates make creating custom tags a breeze.
You can start by simply downloading the file, printing and cutting. Then add as much or as little as you want to give these tags your personal touch. 

My WISE OWL TAG comes in three different color waves, while the CHEVRON TAG is printable in 6 colors! I used a clasic name badge holder (available at office supply stores) to hold my completed bag tags. You could also laminate the finished tags for a different look.

You can attach your bag tag to your child's pack with ribbon, binder rings, or a key chain ring. Get creative and make the tag work for your child.

If they are young enough to be influenced by strangers, you may consider not including your child's name and personal information on the tag.  Instead, include the child's school information so the back pack can be returned safely.

Folders and Notebooks- The flat surfaces and covers of notebooks and folders are a blank canvas for your creativity.  The inexpensive supplies make the best crafty surfaces too!

Don't worry about finding the most adorable folder in the stack, instead, buy the $0.25 folders in colors that coordinate with your paper and fancy them up!
You can add paper, stickers, ribbon, buttons, etc. to dress up and individualize these items. Don't forget the inside too.  You can label pockets for work needing to be done or turned in.

Crayons and Colored Pencils-Boxed supplies are so much fun to dress up. They are like little miniature presents! I loved crafting up my crayon boxes and colored pencils.
I simply wrapped each box in paper and added embellishments as desired. My little boxes turned out so cute, I almost pulled out a coloring book and went to work!

Locker Supplies-If you have a new junior high or highschool student, you know how important a cool locker is! Many elementary schools are also using a locker system now, so each child has a small space to call their own. So many locker supplies are customizable.
Just add a few stickers or a bit of paper to a trash can, a magnet board, or a mirror and you take your standard supplies to a whole new level!

Pens and pencils-If your child seems to misplace pens and pencils, decorating them is a great solution.  Consider using ribbon and decorative tape to help pens stay in your student's hand.

Pencil Boxes- These little supply houses are such an fun canvas for adding stickers and paper.  Let your kids go to town making their pencil box their own.  Buy the simplest box possible to give them lots of creative space. To make box decorations a bit more durable, try gluing paper to the inside of a clear box and letting the designs show through.

A Little Extra Credit for Mom:
Even with super chic school supplies, we all know the first weeks of school can be a bit intimidating.  Here are a few fun ideas you can use to encourage your little ones to keep up a great attitude and work hard in class.

Lunch notes- A little love at lunch goes a long way.  Lunch notes are such a fun way to remind your child that you are thinking of them and encourage them to be great throughout the day.  Even if your child doesn't bring lunch from home, you can stick a little note in a folder or pocket for them to find. Notes can also be easily attached to lunch money for older students. Remember not to forget the teenagers, they need the positive encouragement just like the little ones.

With hundreds of free downloadable lunch note options, you can easily have a stack of lunch notes ready to go before school even begins.  To find the perfect notes for your kiddos, simply type "school lunch notes" into your search engine and peruse the darling downloads.  I of course found several options that I just had to print.  Here are a few of the favorites I found:

Happy Monster Lunch Notes
Project Life Little Critters
Super Sweet Lunch Notes
Bright and cheery
Printed lunch bags-By customizing your child's lunch sack, you can bring back the classic brown paper bag in the coolest way possible! Try printing a message, encouraging thought, or even a picture directly on a traditional lunch sack. It is unique, inexpensive and will really make your child feel special. Trimming the top edge of the sack with decorative scissors or cutting it into a shape also makes it a little more special.
To print on a bag from your home printer, adjust your page size in your word processing program to the right size of your bag.  Add text and photos as desired. Then, just feed an unopened bag through your printer like a regular piece of paper. Ta da!  You have the perfect custom sack to hold your child's lunch.

Back to school care packages- If you don't have little ones at home, but have grandchildren or neices and nephews going back to school, consider sending a "Back to school Care Package".
You can easily craft up a few cute supplies and send them in the mail to your little students. It is just one fun way to remind them that Grandma or Auntie is thinking of them.   
I made my care package in a 6X4 foldable box.  I added fun supplies that wouldn't necessarily be purchased by mom.  For a 9th grader, I included gum, highlighters, a mini stapler and fancy clips.  Cater your box to your students and they will love it!

Friday, August 3, 2012

School's back in a Flash!

I can hardly believe we are already in August.  It has been such an amazing Summer.  As much as I am looking forward to Fall, I will be sad to see this sunshine season go.

With the end of summer comes the beginning of a new school year, which means starting in on lessons and homework.  I have always loved flashcards as a study technique.  I especially love adorable flashcards!  In my web travels today, I found a few fabulously free flashcard downloads that I just had to share.  Enjoy!

Deliciously Vintage by Sweetly Scrapped
Cutesy Animal Cards
Simple Color Cards
Pre-School Decorative.  Unfortunately, you have to load each of these letters individually, but they are truly adorable, so it is worth it!
Counting and numbers