10 Back-to-School DIY Crafts for the Whole Family to Enjoy

Back to School Crafts for Kids

Photo: CREISINGER/Depositphotos
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Even when it seems like the height of summer, back-to-school time is just around the corner. Soon, teens will be picking out their first-day outfits, and elementary school kids will be collecting countless crayons from their school supplies list. Preparing your whole family for going back to school is important, but it should also be fun. With ideas that will appeal to all ages—from tots to teens to parents—these DIY crafts will be useful and fun as the new school year swiftly starts up again.

We've rounded up a host of school craft ideas to help your favorite student ease into September. Luckily, a lot of these projects don't require specialty items, so moms won't have to go scrambling to gather materials. Just grab a popsicle stick, some glue, and a marker, and you'll be surprised at what you can work together to create.

These back-to-school crafts are DIY fun for the whole family as you prepare for fall.

DIY Crafts for Family and back to School

Photo: BELCHONOCK/Depositphotos


Sew an adorable monster pencil case

Does your little tyke love dinosaurs or googly-eyed monsters? This little pencil case is fun and friendly. They will love unzipping it to find their favorite colored pencils and pens. With a simple pattern from Shiny Happy World, sending your kid off to school in style is a cinch.


Giant ruler chart to track their growth

Crafting a stylish, rustic giant ruler lets you track your kids' growth without having to mark up your doorframes. You can also take it with you if you move, and pass it down for generations. To make your own, check out instructions from Samantha Vargo on Trading Phases.


Funky beaded mirror to dress up their locker

Teens can be picky, but a mirror surrounded by wooden beads will appeal to even the most stylish high schooler. Created by Flax & Twine, the end result can be beach-chic or modern, depending on your beads. You can find supplies like beads from online retailers like Michaels, Etsy, and Amazon.



Frame their smiling face with a back-to-school picture frame

Your elementary school student or preschooler might be stepping onto the school bus for the first time this year. Immortalize that milestone moment with a cute popsicle-stick frame that your young one can help you glue and paint. iHeartCraftyThings has the perfect instructions to get you started.


Easy stress balls for kids and parents

Let's face it, school is stressful. That's why some easy-to-make DIY stress balls can really help alleviate at least some of the pressure to get good grades. Natural Beach Living makes the process simple with these handy instructions. Take one along for anxious parents on the soccer match sidelines, pop one in your kid's bag for test day, or even leave one on the teacher's desk for those extra-tough times.


DIY bookmarks to make reading fun

Even though lots of things are digital these days, school still means picking up a book and so why not make reading more fun with a cute DIY bookmark? There are plenty of different options, whether you want a simple craft for your preschooler or something chic for your teenager. DIY Candy has tons of ideas for making bookmarks for all ages.


Glass magnets for lockers and refrigerators

Glass pebble magnets are cute, easy, and (if you get decent magnets) strong enough to hold those A-plus assignments on the fridge. They are also perfect for use hanging pictures and notes inside lockers. You can find clear glass pebbles and magnets at your local craft store or online. The rest of the design is up to you! Let your creativity run wild.


Back to School Crafts and DIY for the Whole Family



DIY wall locker for organizing your mudroom or foyer

Any parent or grandparent knows that keeping track of everyone's rain boots, backpacks, jackets, etc., is a huge hassle. To avoid the last-minute scramble for lost items, craft your own custom, DIY wooden lockers in your mudroom or foyer. Everyone will know where to tuck their things when they arrive home—and where to find them again in the morning. While this project requires a bit of carpentry, it is worth the time. Follow these clear instructions from Shanty-2-Chic.


Easy tissue paper apple for preschoolers

Get your youngest excited to go to school by creating a fun and easy tissue paper apple. All you need to complete this easy craft is a few different colors of tissue paper and some glue. And, if you really want to make things simple, you can print out the template that KidsActivities.com has prepared. Toddlers will have lots of fun making this craft, and scrunching up the paper will help develop fine motor skills, so it's a win-win.


Apple glitter jars for a fun decoration

Get in the school spirit with some glitter jars. Expert crafter Fireflies + Mud Pies guides you through the simple process to make your own sparkly apples. You can choose traditional red and green, or mix it up with your school colors. Shaking these little “snow globes” can be rather meditative, and they look great on your desk. A glitter apple to shake before the first day of school has to be good luck, right?


This article has been edited and updated.

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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