Between new clothes and backpacks, supplies and shoes, back to school time can really put a dent in your budget. Fortunately, with a little forethought and creativity, you can save money on your back to school supplies and still start the school year off right.
School supplies are often at their cheapest in mid summer. Call your child's school and find out if you can get the supply list a little early and take advantage of those sales. Find out when your state has its tax-free days and plan your shopping around it for extra savings.
When you do hit the stores, keep an eye out for the simpler alternatives. Instead of glossy, photo covered folders and binders buy plain white and then let kids decorate them with magazine photos, fabric and paper scraps. Cover blank notebooks and journals with fun fabric and make your own book covers out of wallpaper or contact paper. Decorating their own school supplies isn't just a cost cutting measure; it will also boost confidence when they can show off their own creations to their friends.
Take advantage of all the online tutorials out there and make your own pencil cases, gym bags and even back packs. Look around the house, at thrift stores or even in the recycling bin for items you can reuse for interesting projects like this fun pencil bag - http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/08/13/a-recycled-pencil-bag-for-the-first-day-of-school/
Clothing Face Lift
- Allow the glue to dry completely before wearing. Wash according to the instructions on the glue.
Plan No-Waste Lunches
A reusable lunch bag is a great first sewing project that children can feel proud of every day when they sit down in the cafeteria to eat. But before you rush out to the fabric store, look through your sewing bin and check outgrown clothing. An old cotton shirt and a fleece sweater can give you all the fabric you need for this fun project.
- (2) 12x24 inch pieces of cotton fabric
- (1) 12 x 24 inch piece of polar fleece
- Velcro dots
- 10 inches of ribbon
- On your work surface, layer first the fleece, then a cotton rectangle, right side up, and finally the last rectangle, right side down. Pin across one of the long sides and sew using a straight stitch.
- Fold the top layer of cotton up and press the seam open with your fingers.
- Now fold this new, larger rectangle in half the other way. Pin and sew along the edge.
- Fold the cotton only side down over the fleece to create a shorter tube. Trim the raw edges of the fabric to be even and sew across the bottom of the bag.
- Turn the whole thing right side out. Fold the corners of the bottom in and stitch into place. Add a handle to the top using the ribbon and attach the Velcro dots along the top edge of the bag to hold it closed.
For more creative ideas, visit http://www.c4k555.org/ to download free projects at Crafters 4 Kids.
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