This Reader Upcycled Household Items for Back-to-School

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More Happy Friday

home made white board

Looking to repurpose some items?

If you have extra items laying around the house, don’t throw them away! You can upcycle much more than you think. With the help of this week’s Happy Friday reader Emily, find out how you can upcycle some common household products and turn them into handy items for back-to-school!

diy white board

I am always looking for ways to repurpose items around the house, not only to save money but to also save the environment. With school around the corner, I decided to see what I could create to make this year the best yet!

First, I removed an old picture from a large photo frame, printed out a blank calendar template, and created an easy dry-erase calendar. Not only can you design it how you want, but you even save money and paper by not having to buy a new calendar each year!

home made dcp white board

Then, I used smaller photo frames to create mini dry-erase boards for the kids. You can put some colored paper in them for a cute design. For the younger kids, it can be used for spelling practice, math problems, or just drawing fun. For the older kids, the frame is a perfect way to jot down notes while studying.

minions marker holder

Now that I had these lovely dry-erase boards, I needed somewhere to store the markers. So, I made an adorable pencil cup representing a character from one of my family’s favorite movies, Minions! I took a clean, emptied soup can and hot glued felt onto it to make the design.

The design possibilities are endless: create a whole army of minions, or change it up and make superheroes, princesses, animals, or colorful patterns. If little ones help with the crafts, some double-sided tape also works instead of the hot glue; hot glue is just more durable.

decorative magnets

Finally, my family always has papers and notes lying around the house. I took an old metal baking sheet and glued scrapbook paper to the back inside the rim. I made some magnets by gluing magazine photos onto glass decorative people and added a magnet to the back. I duct-taped some ribbon on the back of the baking sheet and hung it up. Now I organize my family’s notes in a cute way!

baking sheet board

I love that I was able to reuse old household items and make cuter solutions to my organization’s woes. An added plus is that crafting these was stress relieving, creative, and primes the kids’ motor skills for the year ahead. It may even lead to those kids looking for homework to do because they want to use their new homemade supplies

P.S. if you don’t have these supplies at home, although it’s not eco-friendly, most items can be purchased at a Dollar Store, which is still more economical than purchasing pre-made items, such as a memo board, from a mass merchandiser.

wrapping storage boxes - upcycling ideas

Emily has blown us away with all the different upcycling hacks she’s thought of for back-to-school season! My favorite is definitely the Minions-themed dry eraser holder – too cute! 😍

We’re big fans of upcycling household items and have an entire post about it! Above, you’ll see how Lina transformed a shoe box into an adorable storage box. Let us know any other upcycling hacks you have.


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?! 🎙 Fill out our Happy Friday form! Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. For the best odds of having your submission picked, check out our Happy Friday tips post!

If yours is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon eGift card! 🛍

Find out when it’s time to replace your household items!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 5

  1. Eka

    Love your ideas! Specially the frame! I need this to practice multiplication with my daughter! 😍

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      YAY! So glad you loved this post, Eka! Hip reader, Emily, really had some great ideas! 🤗

  2. everest716

    Cutest. Minion. Ever

  3. Eva

    These are all great ideas and the minion is adorable. I wouldn’t use the frame with younger children, though. They could easily break and shatter the glass. Another alternative is using sheet protectors. You can either print out worksheets or insert a blank page in the sheet protector and use as a personal dry erase board. You can also get a small piece of felt or a scrap of fabric from an old t-shirt to use as an eraser. I did this when I used to homeschool my children. I would store the sheet protectors in a binder to keep them organized and put away nearly.

    • Nicole (Hip Sidekick)

      Great idea, Eva!

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