Back to School Homework Caddy

Well folks, it’s that time of year again: Polish your apples and sharpen your pencils. It’s time to get ready to go back to school!*

* Whoa. Did you hear the collective sigh of relieved parents all across the internet? Me too!

When I was coming up, the best part of back to school shopping was going to store to pick up school supplies. Pens, pencils, two-pocket folders, maybe even a Trapper Keeper. Remember those? Nowadays kids to everything on their fancy electrogizmos, but let me tell you, a childhood without a Trapper Keeper isn’t a real childhood.

But I digress. School supplies are still in demand and now is the time of year when an influx of papers, notebooks, textbooks and office supplies start parading across kitchen tables. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a spot to coral all that stuff together and out of the way? And wouldn’t it be nice if the kids could make it themselves? And it would look cool? Thought so.

To get inspired for this school year, I’m working with Michaels to help teachers and parents create DIY projects that will keep young students on track.  Michael’s is calling this their #Create2Educate campaign, and you can join in the fun. Details to follow below, but for now let’s take a look at how easy these are to make.

MATERIALS

  • 3-5 Empty cardboard cartons (leftover cereal, pasta, and granola bar boxes seem to work just great)
  • Duck Tape (have you seen the colors and patterns this stuff comes in these days?)
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard tubes (optional)

    Let’s get started…


INSTRUCTIONS

  •  Place your cardboard cartons side by side then tape the bottoms together. For this first step, you may find it helpful to employ a second pair of hands (one person to hold, one person to tape).
  • Trim the tops of the boxes off to the desired heights.
  • Keep wrapping the tape over and around the surface of the boxes and just inside the rim. You may wish to use a credit card or the back of a spoon to make sure the tape gets into every corner.
  • To convert the front pocket into a marker caddy, insert a few empty cardboard tubes trimmed to size. They will keep pens and pencils standing upright and accessible!

TIPS

  • Here I worked in stripes, but you may find it easier to work in an abstract ‘paper-mache’ style.
  • Surface wrinkles are part of the fun, but you will find them easy to disguise by choosing a patterned duck tape.

I just know you crafty peoples (and your kiddos) have a million great ideas up your sleeve. So get out there and show of them skillz. It’s back to school!

Comments

    • says

      CONGRATS on your new job!!! I’m excited for you!!! — Send me an email so I can send you some duck tape. For real. This is a big deal! Congrats!

  1. says

    Super duper WONDERFUL! You just have a way with storage. I predict this goes internet wide, it is one of your best little brilliant hacks!

  2. Deb in Oklahoma says

    Awww…wish I had kids so we could have a craft-around-the-table session to make this specifically for them! There is no end to the usefulness of an empty toilet paper roll, is there?

  3. says

    Omg I not only run that program at Michael’s I 100% support it!!!! Teachers please come in and chat with me I Megan from the Bloomington Michael’s in Minnesota and we would love to have you know you get 15% off every purchase at Michael’s every day now

  4. says

    Time to go back to school yourself, maybe. It’s duct tape. Unless you mean the specific Duck brand of duct tape. :) Which I think is maybe what Michaels sells, so maybe you do. :) This totally looks like something I would have made as a kid, except I would have decoupaged cat and/or flower pictures all over it.

    • says

      Yup. Duck tape. I have purchased or been given several brands — there are some really cool patterns out there, but when comparing adhesive, Duck is the only one I recommended. Good news — I think they make one with cats!

  5. Anonymous says

    It is this kind of crap that you make which makes me glad you didnt completly quit your day job.

      • Michele says

        Pay no attention to those who prefer to stay “anonymous” due to foolishness being said to you! This is a BRILLIANT idea, and we adopted 3 siblings from foster care, and I homeschool them… we are going to make these together this summer :) THANK YOU for the idea!

  6. says

    Not only do I think this is cool (I’m thirty-something), but kids (who may be more with it than me) would love this. Brilliant project-thanks for sharing!

  7. ColineZhane says

    great idea!!!! Wish I had duck tape lol!

  8. Vicky R says

    Thank You for a brilliant project, it was just what my desk needed.

  9. says

    What a great recycling project! Might need to make this for my desk at work! :)

  10. Soncie22 says

    Amazeballs!!!These are the types of diy projects I love! Aunt Peaches, may I call you Aunt Peaches? sista you rock!!

  11. JaneEllen says

    NO small kids to make this with and no small grand kids but think when youngest grand d gets back from her family taking sister to college we’ll take a stab at making this. I made up notebooks for her and sister with organizational forms for masters of forms in cardstock paper and copies of forms in printer paper. They were both so happy to get the notebooks to help them stay organized. A very nice blogger (a girl and her blog) supplied the forms which I am so grateful for. Wanted to do something for both girls and notebooks seemed to be a good choice. Now if I can make this organizer for granddaughter still at home it will help her and her Mom.
    I can remember well with 4 kids how many papers were floating around house during school. Now it’s time for next generation to keep things tidy. Mom works so doesn’t need more mess when she gets home after 6 every evening. Thanks for sharing a great project. I use cereal boxes, etc often for picture frames and whatever else i need them for. Happy weekend and upcoming week.

  12. nadia says

    wow i m definitely doing.this for my.kids

  13. Georgia says

    Not just for kids! You could do an adapted version for organising post. One box for “action”, one for “file” and one for “shred” with pen pots at the back! I have a 4yr old starting school next week so I am going to make 3 with him. One for his homework (yes because even 4yr olds in the UK get homework these days), one letter organiser for the hall and one for his nanny (she’s ALWAYS complaining about my dad’s ability to spread post all over the house!! Thanks so much!

  14. Alesha says

    Thank you so much for this idea. My daughter just got some pretty tapes and wants to make something with me! Imagine her wanting to do something with me! Lol
    So i was looking for a project and when I saw this, u knew its what we should make! Thanks again for a fun idea that my daughter and I can do together!

  15. Sappy says

    Nice! I love the idea. Can’t wait for your next project.

  16. Shelly says

    Looks amazing! and a great solution for me now that I started working at home! Too bad they don’t sell this kind of duck tape where I live (Israel). is there a place I can order some from?

    • aunt peaches says

      Not sure, but you can find anything on amazon. Good luck!

Trackbacks

  1. […] weeks ago I bought a bunch of duck tape to make this desktop organizer using old cereal boxes (FYI: it came out pretty rad) and I have been on a tape kick ever since. You will find all sorts of tapes at Michael’s big […]

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