Turn School Supplies Into Christmas Gifts

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colored pencils school supplies


From: Kimber

Since we are talking about back to school items and stocking up I wanted to share this idea. Start gathering craft items to put together in a Christmas box or stocking to replenish kids’ craft boxes at home and/or to load their stockings with fillers of creative stuff rather than just candy. They have way more fun stretching their imaginations.

Also, be on the lookout for the sale items for dorm rooms. Get a few items now and stash some items for Christmas, too! Then your students can have a mid year makeover or add to their collections. Maybe they’ll want to see what the other roommates contribute first. Then they can fill in the blanks at Christmas.

I saw something on the web the other day that stated that some retailers are looking at things from a thrifty trend standpoint. It also said that they are possibly looking at keeping school supplies and stuff out on the shelves longer and just putting them out a little bit at a time so they can keep their inventories down, so if there is a particular item you fall in love with you might consider buying it now. If it is something that would be nice but not necessarily a must have item, you might consider waiting them out.

Also, I think I have shared this tip before, but those extra backpacks that go on sale or lunch boxes are great packages to stuff full of little gifts. You could fill them with a few clothes or craft supplies when your child has a birthday party to go to. I hate spending more on the packaging than on the actual gift and it is nice to have the whole gift be something that is usable.

Have a great day! God Bless! Kimber

Note from Jill:

Don’t forget other people besides kids and students on your gift list. People who sew can use the plastic boxes or pencil holders to put all kinds of different things in and for projects. Quilters can use colored pencils to draft their designs. They also use many things like post-it notes, alligator clips and even inexpensive little scissors for snipping.

Think outside of the box. For example, my teenage grandson got a new drafting table for his room to do his drawings on. A great gift for him would be pencils, pencil holders, rulers, erasers, etc.

Anyone would love the cute dry erase boards and calendars that are now available for lockers. They would be great stocking stuffers for almost anyone.

Photo By: Rilind Hoxha


  1. says

    We have a savings account that we add to all year- even if it is just $10 a payday from both of us. By the time Christmas rolls around it’s liek money in the bank and doesn’t feel like we are effected by the holiday spendign as much when we have the money saved ahead of time.

  2. says

    This is a great idea! School supplies, arts & crafts supplies, and office supplies seem to be things that are always needed and will always get used. I think it’s all about the presentation of the gift. You can easily make a nice gift basket or, even better, get a small garbage pail, from the office supply store, in the receiver’s favorite color and use that instead of a basket. Don’t worry if you can’t find any besides black or metallic gray. Just spray paint it. Voila! Every part of your gift will be used and this also cuts down on all the packaging that usually just gets thrown out on Christmas afternoon. I would feel much better about spending my money on a trash pail that will be used rather than spending it on packaging that will just be thrown out (money in the trash).

    • says

      The trash pail is a good idea. I have been seeing them in different colors every where. One of the best places I like to go is the clearance after school sales at Jo Ann fabric. They can have things for 70% off and there are tons of colors of things like trash cans, fold up laundry hampers, things to hang on the wall to put stuff in, canvas shelving for closets almost anything you would need for a dorm room and they would make great gifts for everyone.

  3. Bea says

    I use pencil boxes to store beads for when I’m making rosaries so they don’t roll all around. The boxes can be used for many things.

  4. says

    the pencil case idea just gave me a great gift idea for my granddaughter for Christmas.
    She loves nail polish for her toes and hands. If I got a small manicure set and a few colours of nail polish she wouldn’t have to use her mom’s colours and equipment.
    The pencil case would be all her own. I might find out which place they go to for pedicures and give her 2 visits so she can treat her mom to the day out.
    While camping she told me 3 times that she and her mom were going for a pedicure when they got home. Probably just before labour day so she would have nice nails for the start of school.
    My husband was on holidays for 2 weeks so 1 week was camping the next was doing building projects in the garage. I told him to keep all the end bits of wood and I cut them into building blocks. All I have to do now is sand them and colour them and I have a great gift for my 2 year old granddaughter. No cost except the koolaide packages to colour them.
    Gift giving doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg if you think a little outside the box.
    My son and his family are moving back to Canada so their gift this year will be stuff for the house. And filling the medicine cabinet.
    My other son has asked for gas cards instead of a bunch of small gifts. And his wife likes Tim Hortons coffee cards.
    Now 2 children left to buy for. a 12 year old and a 5 year old both boys.
    so thanks for the school supply post. it gave me a bunch of new ideas.

  5. Maggie says

    What a great idea. I do buy crafty things for stocking stuffers but nearer to the holidays. This time of year is perfect for picking up these items. Why did I never think of this.

  6. RitaJo says

    When I was a kid, I ALWAYS received a small box of crayons in my stocking and in my Easter basket to replinish my big box of crayons at school. The red, blue, yellow, etc., are in the small box and took the place of the nubs in the big box. The nubs went home to the shoebox where all of the pieces went to use for coloring or projects where you melted them. I loved receiving those new, sharp crayons! Another use for all the pencil cases that are available now is to make first aid kits for home, vehicles and even tents or RV’s! They would work for gifts, too! Love the site and read every word!!!

    • says

      Isn’t there just something about getting a new box of crayons. I love them so much and even when I was in my 40’s my grown son bought me a box of 96 count for Christmas because I had always wanted a”big” box of crayons and had never had one. I must confess I still love to color – with or without the grand kids. : ) I have started embroidering quilt blocks and coloring them in.
      Great idea on using the boxes for a first aid kit. I bought a school box the other day that was half size of the usual ones and it works perfect for me to put my scissors, rotary cutter, pin cushion etc. in for me to take my sewing stuff in when I need to.

  7. getforfree says

    I plan to buy new backpacks for each of my kids when they will go on clearance after back to school sale. A few years ago I bought some really nice ones for 90% off. They are still holding off, but might need to be replaced sometime after Christmas. I do not give my kids the new stuff unless it’s time to replace the old ones, because they will just start using the new ones right away while the old ones still have some use left in them. The later they start using the new staff, the later you will have to replace it again. My middle daughter’s shoes, she wore in the spring, still fit her, so I will let her use it until she will wear it out, even though I bought a new pair one size bigger.
    Here in California, you only need 2 types of shoes, sandals and snickers. Or you can do with just snickers. So much better than where I used to live as a child, where you needed a ton of different clothes to just get through the seasons of a year.

  8. Julie says

    It’s funny you said that Jill because last Christmas my husband gave me a 96 count box of crayons and a couple of coloring books as a gift. I always wanted the big box as a child too, but my mom thought they were too expensive. I love to color and since I teach early childhood I get to color and play with play-doh to my hearts content!

  9. Kathy McCully says

    Hi folks: One year for Christmas I got a huge box and all year I put in broken electronic things and anything that had to be plugged in. My young nephew loved to take things apart. It kept him busy for a long time. He loved it. I did give him a real present as well.

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