It’s no secret: teachers love school supplies! They also love hacks to help save them time and money. That’s why these school supply hacks are going to make your day. These awesome tips will maximize your supplies for the year ahead and will give you crafty ideas you have to try!
(Note: WeAreTeachers may collect a small portion of the profit from links within this article. We only showcase items we love!)
1. Caps that need a home
During clean up time, save lonely caps to be used the next time a cap goes missing! This way less glue sticks and markers will go dry next time you lose the top.
2. Turn dried markers into paint
Save money on supplies by making paint out of dried up markers! Find out how on our DIY markers to paint article.
3. Personalize your own pencils and pens
There are lots of cool pens and pencils available out there. Unfortunately, kids like to borrow them, and they can get lost in the shuffle. Save money by adding your own personal stamp to good-quality pencils and pens instead. You can wrap them in washi tape, dip them in paint, or use tissue and decoupage glue. This is a great time to use a Cricut! Or try one of our favorite school supply hacks and use clear tape to add personal messages to pencils and pens. Learn how it’s done here.
4. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the easiest school supply hacks around. Teachers spend a lot of time and care assembling their school supply lists, but there are always at least a few kids who show up with the wrong supplies (or none at all). This year, buy the supplies you need in bulk, then ask parents to simply pay their share of the cost. It will save them time and money, and you’ll be sure your students are all equally prepared for the year ahead. Pick up the essentials like Fiskars scissors and Expo dry erase markers .
5. Print on Post-Its
We’re not lying when we say this post-it school supply hack made our jaws drop the first time we saw it. Printing on Post-It notes is unbelievably easy! Imagine all the ways you can use this. Grab our free Post-It templates , which include thank you notes, reminders, rubrics, writing checklists, and more. This is the hack you’re going to want to share with every teacher you know.
6. Make the most of mechanical pencils
Mechanical pencils can be a real blessing since they never need sharpening. Kids do tend to wear down the erasers, though. Before they toss the pencil, have them open it up and remove any remaining lead still inside. Then, add the lead to a new mechanical pencil to give it a longer life!
7. Save the hand sanitizer
Place a rubber band around the dispenser for a more appropriate pump.
Source: Sunny Days in Second Grade
8. Add pom pom erasers to dry erase markers
Dry erase markers have replaced chalk in most classrooms these days. But one thing remains the same … where do all those erasers wander off to? Fortunately, we found a school supply hack to solve that pesky problem! Pick up a bag of pom poms and hot glue one to the end of each marker. Now you’ll always have an eraser when you need it! This is especially handy when kids use individual dry erase boards.
9. Buy pre-cut half-size composition books
One of the more popular recent school supply hacks involves cutting standard composition books in half to make mini notebooks. This is clever but requires power tools many people don’t have at home. Save yourself a trip to the hardware store and just buy these pre-cut notebooks instead.
10. Cut erasers in half
Who has ever finished a full eraser anyway? Cut them in half and you’ll have double the amount.
Source: The Primary Peach
11. Swap glue sticks for a glue sponge
Glue sticks are terrific for low-mess crafts, but boy, do kids go through them quickly! That’s why you need this glue sponge hack. Place a kitchen sponge into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, then pour liquid school glue over the sponge until it’s saturated. Kids press items lightly onto the sponge to pick up just enough glue. Put the lid back on when you’re done to keep it fresh, and refill as needed. This idea saves money, plus it’s good for the environment by eliminating waste.
12. Use a shoe organizer for miscellaneous supplies
Perfect for the back of a classroom closet door, store your supplies in these convenient shoe holder pouches.
Source: Cool Mom Picks
13. Turn desks into a dry erase surface
Find yourself running out of whiteboard space? Not enough personal whiteboards to go around? Use dry erase contact paper to turn any surface into a while board, even tables or desks.
14. Use microfiber towels as board erasers
Pick up some inexpensive microfiber cloths, and either fold or use a quick sew to create these erasers that are perfect for any whiteboard surface.
15. Put glitter in salt and pepper shakers
Love glitter, but hate the mess? Try storing different colors of glitter in salt and pepper shakers to control spills.
16. Never lose a glue stick cap again
Color code glue sticks to their caps with stickers to make sure the lids always find their way back.
17. Clean paint brushes with conditioner
You heard that right. Just like your hair, paint brushes could use a little conditioning. Put a small amount in your palm and swirl the brush around to give them a longer life span.
Source: Pop Up Painting
18. Don’t let markers go dry
Stop throwing away dry markers that have gone dry because the lid got lost along the way! Instead, duct tape them together in sets for students to use.
19. Save those bottle caps
20. Keep pencils sharpened
Keep pencils rotating in these buckets to keep them sharp and in use.
21. Organized boarders with a binder clip
Keep unused boarders organized with a binder clip to be reused for future projects.
22. Pick up pool noodles to teach fractions
Snag pool noodles this summer at the dollar store to use in the classroom. Check out these many different ways to utilize them!
23. Try clear spray instead of laminating
24. Organize with a silverware holder
Put school supplies in silverware organizers in desks or on top of tables to keep everything in its place. This is a super inexpensive option to lose less supplies all over the classroom.
25. Reuse papers with dry erase pockets
Insert papers in these dry erase pockets for students to write over with markers. This way activities can easily be erased and redone, saving paper and money!
26. Use plastic table clothes to decorate bulletin boards.
Save money on bulletin paper and boarders by using plastic table covers that come in tons of colors and patterns for only a few bucks.
27. Always remember to close glue correctly
Avoid a sticky mess or dried out glue by easily putting these smiles on glue bottles. Make sure students line up the smiley face after use and you’re good to go!
28. Fill empty soap containers with paint
Help student make less of a mess and save paint with this game-changing hack!
29. Start a book hospital
Create a place for students to put books with ripped pages so they can be fixed up before they have to be tossed out.
30. Try out magnet paper
Do you have dry erase boards in your room? Pick up convenient magnet paper to make items to stick on your white boards. Create arrows and callouts for teaching instruction or make cute decorations.
31. Get a teacher stamp
Save time on grading, but still provide personal messages by using teacher stamps. Pick up this pack on amazon, or check out this roundup of other fun stamp options. This is a must have on your personal supply list this year.
32. Velcro dry erase markers
Pick up a velcro roll and keep students from grabbing your markers by storing them at the top of your board. This also allows you to use ledge space for other items. (Hint- keeping markers upside down will make them last longer, too!)
Source: Lucky Little Learners
33. Binder rings to the rescue
Use a hole punch and add a binder ring to keep sticker sheets or other papers in one place. You can even store it on hook in your classroom for easy access.
34. Plates as dry erase boards
Don’t have enough dry erase boards for the whole class? Try using disposable plastic plates or dollar store plates that work with expo markers!
35. Cleverly store Play-Doh
Keep track of playdoh with this handy holder. You might even have k-cup storage you no longer use to repurpose in this way.
36. Repurpose drink holders
No longer worry about spilling with this useful setup.
37. Collect staples with a magnetic wand
Instead of picking them up one by one, try a magnetic wand to capture pesky staples that fall during classroom setup.
38. Clear nail polish will seal marker
Put clear nail polish over anything you label with marker to make sure it lasts.
Source: The Learning Tree
39. Binder clips can label shelves
Easily glue a label to a binder clip and attach it to your shelf to make student cubbies or organizational labels.
Source: The Organized Classroom
40. Make your own book holders
Make your own magazine or book holders from used mailing boxes.
Source: Lyssa Beth
41. Attach ribbon to notebooks
Make it easier for students to remember where they left off and hear less shuffling of pages with this hack.
Source: Mrs. Giraffe
42. DIY a supply organizer
This colorful organizer is too easy and inexpensive to make with some cans and paint.
Source: Sandy Toes and Popsicles
43. Grab free paint chips
Grab some colorful paint sample chips. Use them to store information as shown, as bookmarks, or even for a classroom art project.
Source: Little Treasures
44. No-spill paint cups from Starbucks
Save the paint from spilling! Start saving your Starbucks cups, you’ll thank us later.
Source: Be Brave Keep Going
45. Turn pencils into motivation
Write on your students pencils to surprise them with a positive message or to give them encouragement on test day.
46. Put PopSockets on everything
PopSockets can make carrying handheld whiteboards, clip boards, or tablets so much easier as you move around the classroom.
47. Clean up glitter with Play-Doh
Use play-doh or silly putty you may already have in your classroom to clean up stubborn glitter messes.
48. Expo markers last longer if stored upside down
Try a test tube holder to store dry erase markers upside down to keep them fresh.
49. Repurposed water bottle holders
Can’t use the water fountains? Repurpose liter bottles of soda to make water bottle holders for student desks. They’ll be happy to have more space. Even spray paint or decorate them to your liking.
50. Use a pencil borrowing system
Have students write their name when they need to borrow a pencil to save your pencil stash from going dry.