Every Teacher Needs To Know These 50 School Supply Hacks

These ideas are absolutely genius.

Every Teacher Needs To Know These 50 School Supply Hacks

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

Caps that need a home basket

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.

Source: @sweetfirstiefun

2. Turn dried markers into paint

Make paint out of dried markers

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


Pencils with personalized student messages written on them.

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

Bulk orders of expo markers, glue, and scissors. width=

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

Putting post-its on a sheet of paper to put through the printer.

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

Bic mechanical pencils laying on a table.

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

Rubber band on hand sanitizer to dispense less

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 eraser markers with a pompom glued to the back to be used as an eraser.

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

Composition note books cut in half to make mini-notebooks.

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

Cut pink 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

Liquid glue sponge hack, pouring glue on a 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

School supplied organized in over the door shoe organizer

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

Dry erase desks

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.

Source: @ksclassroomkreations

14. Use microfiber towels as board erasers

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.

Source: @beingmissausten

15. Put glitter in salt and pepper shakers

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.

Source: @tinymindsdaycare

16. Never lose a glue stick cap again

Color coded glue stick caps

Color code glue sticks to their caps with stickers to make sure the lids always find their way back.

Source: @teachingwithmisspeney

17. Clean paint brushes with conditioner

Dirty and clean paint brushes

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

Duct tape marker caps together

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.

Source: @planthappysmiles

19. Save those bottle caps

Use bottle caps and sticker as classroom tool

Do you or your students use disposable water bottles? Keep the bottle caps and add stickers of letters, numbers, or math symbols to use during your lessons.

Source: @kinderkhronicles

20. Keep pencils sharpened

Sharpened and unsharpened pencils in buckets

Keep pencils rotating in these buckets to keep them sharp and in use.

Source: @doubledoseoflearning

21. Organized boarders with a binder clip

Organized boarders with a binder clip

Keep unused boarders organized with a binder clip to be reused for future projects.

Source: @mrscowmansclassroom

22. Pick up pool noodles to teach fractions

Teach fractions with pool noodles

Snag pool noodles this summer at the dollar store to use in the classroom. Check out these many different ways to utilize them!

Source: @teachingonthegc

23. Try clear spray instead of laminating

Clear spray on papers instead of laminating

Laminating can become expensive. Get a glossy or matte can of clear spray to make your papers classroom ready for a smaller price tag.

Source: @thatmamateacherlife

24. Organize with a silverware holder

Blue silverware organizer

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

Dry erase paper 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.

Pink plastic table cover

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

Smiley face on elmer's glue to make sure it is always closed 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!

Source: Friendly Neighborhood Art Teacher

28. Fill empty soap containers with paint

Paint in soap dispensers

Help student make less of a mess and save paint with this game-changing hack!

Source: @twinkl_ireland

29. Start a book hospital

Book hospital bin

Create a place for students to put books with ripped pages so they can be fixed up before they have to be tossed out.

Source: @kristensullinsteaching

30. Try out magnet paper

Magnet paper on white board

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.

Source: @taleof2teachers

31. Get a teacher stamp

Wooden teacher stamps

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

Velcro dry erase markers to the white board

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

Binder rings on sticker papers

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.

Source: @mskohlskids

34. Plates as dry erase boards

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!

Source: @mrsrichardsonsclass

35. Cleverly store Play-Doh

Store playdoh in k-cup holder

Keep track of playdoh with this handy holder. You might even have k-cup storage you no longer use to repurpose in this way.

Source: @aperfectblendteaching

36. Repurpose drink holders

Use cup holders for watercolor stations

No longer worry about spilling with this useful setup.

Source: @teachloveandicedcoffee

37. Collect staples with a magnetic wand

Magnetic wand to pick up staples

Instead of picking them up one by one, try a magnetic wand to capture pesky staples that fall during classroom setup.

Source: @sublimelittlescholars

38. Clear nail polish will seal marker

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

binder clips to 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

DIY magazine or book holder from post office boxes

Make your own magazine or book holders from used mailing boxes.

Source: Lyssa Beth

41. Attach ribbon to notebooks

Attach ribbon to the back of a notebook for students to remember where they left off

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

DIY school 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

Paint sample chips colorful

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

Starbucks cups with paint and paint brushes.

Save the paint from spilling! Start saving your Starbucks cups, you’ll thank us later.

Source: Lifehacker

45. Turn pencils into motivation

write motivational messages on pencils

Write on your students pencils to surprise them with a positive message or to give them encouragement on test day.

Source: @jackson_echs

46. Put PopSockets on everything

Teach, love, inspire pop socket

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

Clean glitter with play-doh out of the carpet

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

Keep expo markers upside down in test tube holder

Try a test tube holder to store dry erase markers upside down to keep them fresh.

Source: @dragan38

49. Repurposed water bottle holders

Student desk water bottle holders with liter soda bottles

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.

Source: @mmelong709

50. Use a pencil borrowing system

Pencil borrowing system

Have students write their name when they need to borrow a pencil to save your pencil stash from going dry.

Source: @TheAlexNieves

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Every Teacher Needs To Know These 50 School Supply Hacks