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5 Fun & Thrifty Back-to-School DIY Projects

It's back to school and it's time to get your school routine all set. We know that juggling kids, activities, work, etc can be very challenging, so anything you can do as a parent or student to help streamline your life is welcomed.  

We have five great DIY projects for you that you can do utilizing inexpensive and recycled goods from VOA Thrift Stores, a little time and creative flare.


After School Routine Clock + Frame

We know that after school routine can be tricky.  Set up a schedule so that your kids, or even yourself, have a reminder on when to do what. 

What you need:

  • Analog Clock
  • Frame 
  • Paint or markers
  • After school schedule


Homework Station

This is so perfect. Have all your homework supplies in one spot. That way no one can say, "But I can't find me eraser!" as an excuse to postpone homework. It's all ready for you! Customize it to your specific homework needs.  We've showed this with a tray, but you could also do a rolling cart or a DIY tiered piece.

What you need:

  • Tray
  • Miscellaneous glass jars & containers
  • School supplies (Pens, pencils, erasers, post-it notes, rulers, etc)
  • Paint (Not essential, but  you could use it to jazz up your tray and supply holders)

DIY Drawstring Bag

Drawstring Backpack

This one does take a bit more skill, but I am sure there are also no-sew options to find.  We think this is perfect for your kids stinky gym shoes and clothes! Or maybe even a little sleepover bag.

What you need:

  • Fabric (old pillowcases, sheets, tshirts)
  • Sewing Machine & sewing skills
  • Ribbon
  • Ruler
  • Scissors


DIY Message Board & Calendar


Message Board & Calendar

Get your schedule up so it's visible to you and your kids.  It's a great way to get them involved in knowing their own schedule and being responsible for their activities and time. You could use a thrifted frame, mirror, dry erase board or chalkboard!  You can do the whole month or a weekly basis.  Whatever works for you!

What you need:

  • Chalkboard, mirror, large frame w/ glass or whiteboard
  • Washi Tape
  • Writing Utensil (chalk, chalk markers or dry erase markers)
  • Ruler
DIY Library Book Cart



Library Book Basket

We are loving this idea. We know that you're all running around on library day looking for the books that are due back to the library. It creates frustration and havoc to an already hectic life. Why not have one central location for your library books with this very easy DIY. A thrifted basket and you can even put it on wheels if you're feeling ambitious.  

What you need:

  • Basket (plastic, metal, rattan, etc)
  • Label
  • Wheels (optional)

DIY ideas & pictures referenced from:

Routine Clock + Frame  |  Homework Station Drawstring Backpack  |  Message Board & Calendar  |  Library Book Basket