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30 back-to-school craft ideas for kids

Jennifer Eberhart
April 23, 2019
30 back-to-school craft ideas for kids

Summer’s winding down, and the kids are gearing up for school. Teachers are preparing classrooms, and parents are searching for first-day outfits. Add a little fun to your to-do list with some crafts!

Here are 30 easy and enjoyable crafts to help get your kids excited to be heading back to the classroom. They're a great activity for nannies to do with kids, too. Many are also great gifts for teachers — to thank them for all they do.

1. Apple notecards

Remember when mom used to tell you not to play with your food? Well in this case, you'll encourage it! Kids will love playing with sliced apples, dipping them in paint and creating one-of-a-kind greeting cards to give to their new teachers.

2. Chestnut pencil topper

If you have a chestnut tree, your yard will soon be covered with chestnuts that can go to waste because they're so plentiful. Well, here's the solution: Re-use those nuts for a fun back-to-school craft your kids can show off in the classroom.

3. Apple clay jar

What teacher doesn't like receiving an apple on the first day of school? She's sure to get plenty of the real thing, but why not make her one that will last her all year long? This little jar will hold all her knick-knacks and decorate her desk. It’ll look cute on your child's desk at home, too!

4. Star names

Use special, shiny, star stickers to create a name card for each student in your child's class. It's fun and helps young children learn to spell their name.

5. School bus cake, cupcake and cookie

These edible crafts will keep older and younger children entertained and makes for a great teacher gift.

6. Block print burlap pencil bag

This idea is designed for older crafters, but it will definitely be worth the effort in the end.

7. Pipe cleaner notebook

All kids want their notebooks to be extra special. Remember when you covered your own with boy band stickers or scrawled the name of your best friends all over the cover? Well, here's a way to keep a notebook clean and cool. All you need are some colorful pipe cleaners, glue and construction paper!

8. Sand number flashcards

Teaching young children how to count can be a tricky process. Using flashcards is one way to help and these beach-themed cards will be remind them of summer and inspire them to learn how to count down the days until their next vacation.

9. Notebook pocket

This craft will be a hit with older kids who are into sewing or fashion. This little pocket will keep all your students' pens and pencils organized right where they need them.

10. Bottle cap locker magnets

This is a great way to reuse all those old bottle caps that have been lying around the house, and your teen will be ecstatic about these unique locker decorations. They work great for hanging your kids' new A+ homework projects and drawings on the fridge, too.

11. Stamped apple tote

This is one of the most stylish back-to-school crafts you'll make this year! A great gift for teachers, nannies or parents, it is fun, easy to make and useful, too.

12. Marker or crayon caddy

Don't throw away the box your kid's back-to-school shoes came in. Turn it into an easy-to-make crayon box, easily accessible for all your future craft and homework projects.

13. Word art journal

If you're like most families, you probably have a few magazines and newspapers lying around the living room begging to be used. Well, there's no better way to recycle those old magazines than to cut them up and let your child decorate their notebooks.

14. Egg carton school bus

Get kids back in the mood for that ride to school with this cute craft. All you need is an empty egg carton, pictures, glue and paints.

15. Back-to-school picture frame

If you're a snap-happy parent, this craft helps your kids show off their best poses. It can also be a great way for your child to look forward to picture day at school. It’s a simple craft, and even your littlest will be able to join in on the painting and decorating.

16. Pencil vase

This craft is deceptively simple, but it turns out great in the end. All it takes is an empty can of soup, some pencils and glue. Moms and teachers will love this special craft, especially when accompanied by a hand-picked bouquet.

17. Backpack tag

There are so many backpacks in the stores, but somehow your kid always picks the same one as two other kids in the class. How do you tell them apart? Make a backpack tag together!

18. Personalized clipboard organizer

Give your child their very own, unique clipboard for their first day back at school. Younger kids may need a hand with this craft.

19. Felt bookmark

Make these easy and inexpensive bookmarks out of just a few pieces of felt. Kids of all ages can use them for their school books or even give them out to their friends.

20. Monster tabletop garbage bags

This easy, printable craft is perfect for young kids and will look adorable on their school desk. It’s the perfect back-to-school craft for groups.

21. Back-to-school pencil holder

Spark your kids' creativity with this craft that will help them stay organized through the school year.

22. Recycled crayons

Instead of buying new crayons this year, gather all of your old crayons and help your kids make these fun-shaped crayons that will be a hit in the classroom.

23. Painted mosaic styrofoam frame

Perfect for kids of all ages, this easy craft will help you create a great picture frame for class photos or first-day pictures.

24. Phone cozy tutorial

If your kids have cell phones, this craft is an inexpensive way to make an adorable phone cozy that fits perfectly in any backpack and protects the technology.

25. Mini friendship notebooks

The perfect craft for groups, best girl friends will love these cute notebooks they can use to keep in touch throughout the school year.

26. Tie-dye lunch bags

A great craft for boys and girls, these tie-dye lunch bags are inexpensive and easy to make for a personalized tote for lunchtime.

27. DIY keychains

For your older kids, this craft is a perfect and easy way for them to never lose their key to your house. It’s a great tutorial with both his and hers designs.

28. Diva locker mirror

Help your little diva with this adorable Mod Podge mirror that they will love to see each time they open their locker.

29. Drawstring backpack

With help from a sewing machine, your child will love this homemade drawstring backpack that will stand out from the rest.

30. Pom pom pen

If you're a crafty parent with scraps of fabric lying around, these cute pom pom pens will help clean up your craft room while getting your kids excited for back-to-school season.


No matter the craft you decide on, your kids will certainly enjoy the time they spend working with their hands to make a creation all their own. And you'll love the special one-on-one time with the little ones before you bid them adieu for the school year.

Read next: After-school activities and games for every type of child

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