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Nest to Impress: The Very Best of Back to School DIY!

For Moms, Kids, Teachers, and Home Schoolers too!

What Exactly is "Nest To Impress"?
I'm starting something new here at Clever Nest! Each season or holiday I'll bring you a showcase of some beautiful DIY projects, party ideas, and recipes that rock my socks. I'd luuuurve to feature YOUR project! If you have a back to school project you'd like to share, link up to it in a comment (sorry not quite up on inlinks yet!). 

I've scoured this here internet for the very best (in meh humble opinon) that Pinterest, Martha, and the world wide web at large has to offer for Back to School DIY. Here's what I've found!

First Day Of School Traditions
Back to School Fairy from Happiness Is... This is so cute! A few days before school starts, the Back to School Fairy visits Hilary's girls. The package contains some school supply essentials, treats, and an encouraging note from the Fairy, wishing them a great year! I love it. Also visiting houses nearby, the Mommy Get's a Break Fairy.

First Day of School Pic Tradition from Happiness Is... This woman is full of good ideas. She has her girls pose for a picture of the first day of school, holding a sign with the date. This will be a great collection of pics, 12 years later!

Another option could be to have them hold a blank sign, and add in words later with a photo editor. Or how about adding comic bubble over their head that says, "Ka-Pow! I'm ready for Kindergarten!" ? :)

First Day Sign Printable from How Does She? If you subscribe via email, you can download these free printable first day signs from How Does She?.

First Day Cookie by Emily at How Does She? How about a GIANT FIRST-DAY-OF-SCHOOL COOKIE? Yes, please. I wish my mom had done this when I was little! Except for me things would have been a little different cause I was home schooled through 12th grade. It would have been a "happy first day sitting down at the dining table with our books and cereal in our pj's" cookie.

Emily is kind enough to share her recipe (from a creepy roommate none the less, haha love it), but you could also smoosh a few Pilsbury cookie dough rolls onto a baking sheet and call it in the bag. Don't forget to make one for yourself to enjoy in your quiet house when the kids get on the bus.

Bombing the Bus by Emily at How Does She? Speaking of bus, I can't believe she did this! Another great tradition Emily shared- bombing the school bus at the end of the day with water balloons. This sounds amazing! Maybe use some soaking wet Nurf balls too? Just be safe and make sure the kiddos don't run into the street!

Teacher Gifts
Funny to think that I've taught in one capacity or another for most of my life. Be it Sunday school, piano lessons, or music teacher at a Montessori school, I love kids and teaching, and having fun and being silly while doing so!

This is an example of all my universes colliding- music, teaching, and a diy cat costume!
I totally understand how teachers feel, wanting to give the best to their students on a limited budget. So let's show our teachers some love!

Classroom Supply Cake by What's Scrapping. A gift goes a long way with teachers, and just might be able to secure your kid an A this year! This "cake" made from Kleenex boxes, glue, glue sticks, and crayons definitely get's an A. 
I would have kissed the mom that made me this for me. On the cheek, obviously!

Candy Pencil from Cafe Mom. If you want your kid's teacher to love you, bring them chocolate. If you want them to be amazed and somewhat intimidated as well, bring them chocolate that looks like a fatty pencil! Or if you want the WHOLE CLASS to love you, make enough for everyone! It's well documented that chocolate buys friends. Teach your kids early.

Teacher Portrait Tote by Rachel at Sun Scholars. Teachers are always in need of more bags, especially ones as stinkin' cute as this. Mark out the lines in pen, then have your child draw their teacher's portrait, and trace over it with permanent marker. 

This is only a good gift if your kid is a decent drawer. You know what I mean. And no anatomically correct teacher features either. If in doubt, abort said tote and head back to the chocolate option.

For the Classroom
Here's some fun ways to personalize your classroom!

Mini Me Pencil Cups  from Family Fun. These are easy to do, inexpensive (a picture and wire) and will make the kids feel like they've got their own personalized space to learn in this year. 
Also, if you wanted to get classroom discipline off on the right foot, you could make these all with your head stuck on it, with a note reading, "I'll be waaatching you, ______ (insert child's name)." And refer to them as your Desk Patrolling Pencil Minions.

Welcome Handprint Wreath by Elizabeth at Twelve Crafts Til Christmas. A less creepy option for classroom decor is this awesome Handprint Wreath. Have the class do some bonding on the first day and create a piece of art you can leave up all year. Elizabeth at Twelve Crafts Til Christmas glued these handprints on a pizza pan so the magnet letters would stick to it! Nice, Elizabeth!

For the Kids
I get to say "kids" because I'm 27, and am, like so mature. Duh.
Chalkboard Lunch Box by Jen at Scissors and Spatulas. OK, chalk just gives me the heebie jeebies. Anyone else?? I don't know why. Whatever reason, this craft is cute enough to overcome my OCD phobia. Jen sprayed the inside of her son's lunchbox with chalkboard paint, and now she can send him off with his lunch with a sweet note inside! Brilliant :).
Contemplating Jason's response if I did this to his briefcase.

Notebook T Shirt from E for Effort. This is so fun and simple to do. Wouldn't it be cute to write something in the lines, a poem, song lyrics? I think mom might want one too. Check out E for Effort's site for notebook shirts, tanks, and stuff for the guys too.

Notebook Stick-On Pocket from Martha Stewart. I've seen these see thru pockets at office supply stores, but never thought to use them on a notebook. This would be a great way to keep track of homework and assignments, right on the cover of your notebook!
Also from Martha, this Rubber Band Note Book Trapper. She keeps it simple, but it's always a good thing.

Geo Book Covers from Suzy at Suzy's Artsy Crafty Sitcom. These look amazing! I'm new to her site, but her tag line cracked me up, "because life is a sitcom, covered in glitter, hot glue strings, and dog hair, isn't it?" :) She has an easy to follow tutorial to create these fabulous geometric 3D shapes.
There's a lot of uses for this craft besides notebook covers. Some eye popping tween bedroom art, birthday cards, paper Christmas ornaments...?

Apple Print Bag by Martha Stewart, using real apples as stamps! Classic and fun. I've never tried this technique yet, but now I might have to give this a try. Love the colors too.

Cereal Box Notebooks by Kristen at Mushki Loves. If I was a high schooler, I would definitely have a set of these in my backpack. Kristen shows how to make all those little holes in the box cover.

And finally, what are you going to do, now that the kids are back in school, you have an empty house, and sooo much more time on your hands? 

You can- spend the time on your hands! That was a good one, admit it. This would only take me 2.5 hours and half a gallon of nail polish remover. But it looks fun!

Don't forget to add a link to your back to school project in the comments. Happy weekend!
<3 Alyssa

More ways to keep up with my shenanigans:

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