D.I.Y. Samurai: Back to School

Sep 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

Back-to-schooltime is always bittersweet. Lazy summer days give way to lectures and tests. All-night drinking binges are replaced by all-night textbook read-a-thons. However, there is always a glimmer of hope in the form of back-to-school shopping. Why purchasing binders and fresh pens in the month of September excites me remains a mystery. It’s fun to get new stuff, but the element of crafting can certainly be incorporated during this time. So if you’re chomping at the bit to hit up Target’s One Spot for some cheap school supplies, check out some fun and practical projects you can make instead of buying.

Pencil Bags

Sure, this is a supply mostly younger students go for, but anyone could use a cute tote for pens, pencils and doo-dads. One great D.I.Y. idea involves an old-school pastime: candy wrapper chains. If you’ve never made one before, it’s super easy. Here’s a quick how-to video on wrapper chain bags:

Book Bag

Next up, you’re gonna need a bag to carry all those pesky books.

One idea for a do-it-yourself tote involves just an old T-shirt , a stapler and some glorious duct tape. The hardest part is finding the perfect shirt to recycle! Just follow this video and voila! A new tote:

For a more challenging task, try rigging up this awesome laptop case from old school floppy disks:

Laptop Bag

Personalized Notepads

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even make your own notebooks from scrap paper, cereal box cardboard and a few other materials.

Back-to-school can also mean time to get organized at home, as well. There are tons of projects for the home office, but here are a few I love:

License Plate Message Board

You can find ‘em in your garage, at a junk yard and on the side of the road — license plates are everywhere. Since most are magnetic, all you have to do is attach string, hang in on your wall and add magnets! It’s a funky way to display To-Do lists and photos.

Suitcase Shelf

I first saw the concept of hanging an old suitcase on a wall as a shelf on the cover of an issue of ReadyMade, which is every D.I.Y.-er’s dream magazine. Unfortunately, there weren’t the clearest instructions on how to achieve the look. The video above explains the how to create a new space for books, paperwork, or any other lighter-weight items. I love this idea because not only looks wild to have a suitcase sticking out of your wall, but it utilizes space in a unique way. If you can handle the over-enthusiastic woman in the video, check it out!

I know these ideas are only scratching the surface when it comes to what you can make for the school year. So if you’ve MacGuiver-ed up some awesome school supplies, write in to D.I.Y. Samurai.