What are some other uses for back to school items, if you don't have school age children? I want to take advantage of the $.25 back to school items, but want to be sure I have a good plan for the stuff other than collecting dust.
By Kim from Minneapolis, MN
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Adults could use the back to school sales to restock some of their home office supplies. Some items, like tape, glue or pencils and pens, etc. could be useful in making crafts. Or if you feel charitable, you could donate some of the purchases to help families that are having difficulty providing school supplies for their children.
Donate a bag of crayons, gluesticks, pencils, markers, etc to any local church, supermarket, or school taking donations. OR, give it to a family with young children that could use them.
You could donate things to the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Shoebox program that it run by the Billy Graham organization. You fill up shoeboxes that are then sent to children around the world that normally don't recieve Christmas presents.
I keep the spiral notebooks on my desk by my computer for notes. I also keep one in the kitchen to list needed grocery items. There's a third one in my sewing room for whenever I need to make note of measurements or things I need to buy.
Crayons - I used these to color quilt labels that I make myself using iron on embroidery transfers. If you color them and then iron them face down on a paper towel, the color won't wash out! By the same token, they could be used to color children's t-shirts.
School glue really needs no explanation if you do any type of crafting with paper or even if you sew. School glue works great for holding up hems and such if you iron the item while the glue is still wet. It washes out completely. The tape also needs no directions, nor the pencils and pens. I stock up on these items every summer.
Do you know any seniors or anyone in a nursing home? It sounds crazy but the "fat" crayons (like for preschool/Kindergarten - not the skinny Crayola 64's) are good therapy for arthritic fingers. Add a sketch pad or sheets of blank paper (like for a printer) and seniors can write notes, draw pictures or just doodle away and work their hands at the same time.
As for the other good sales, the mind boggles! Rulers in almost every room, a writing kit - made in a pencil case - in the car for leaving notes when a friend isn't home or you bump someone's car (hope not! lol), permanent markers are great for marking items for the freezer - different colors for different meats, leftovers, etc., the pencil boxes stack great in the garage or craft room with a separate supply in each.
I keep one small pencil case loaded with a couple of pencils, an eraser, 3 colors of pens, 2 colors of highlighters and a small pad in the bag I use a carry-on for trips. Great for doing the puzzles in the airline magazines (and if you mess up, you can just start over with a different color pen rather than erase). Add a puzzle book of choice from the dollar store and you have hours of entertainment.
The highlighters are good for reading tourist books and marking what peaks your interest. I have tried to keep one of these "kits" near where I read my newspaper (adding a small scissors) to cut out articles, coupons or recipes but "parts" seem to go missing regularly (I blame the kids or my husband! I ALWAYS put them back - don't I?) I could go on and on but this is a start!
From what I have seen most of the cheap stuff is from China. Why not let the Chinesse kids have them back to use at school and do something real nice for an adult here.
I am just looking through a flyer for a local drugstore that has many back to school items on sale. I don't have school-aged children either but there are many disadvantaged children going back to school with no supplies this fall. I will purchase some items and drop them off at the school. There was a post today about Back to School Bingo and I may give that a try in my neighborhood also.
1. Christmas gifts.
2. Things to occupy visiting children.
3. Find a child at your local school who needs supplies & be his/her sponser.
I either donate the supplies to schools or group collectors or I find a use for them at home
crayons/color pencils -
I use the coloring books and copy the pictures then I color them with crayons to see what color i would like to make my cross stitch patterns with
lined paper -
I collect recipes from newspapers and magazines and i found out that the school folder paper is the thinest besides tracing paper. So I tape the collect recipes to the paper and file them in a binder.
Kid friendly scissors -
I leave some in every room so that I do not have to go chasing for a pair when I am in the middle of a project (I do the same for flashlights) and I put a pair in my crafting tote bag with no fear that they would make a rip in the tote with the sharp point since they do not have one.
sharpie pens -
as the previous person said - i keep on in the kitchen with post it notes to label foods that go in the fridge/freezer
white out -
great source of a quick paint touch up
composition graph paper notebooks -
I have several of these books around the house that I utilize for my cross stitch patterns. I map out what squares, shapes and colors so that I do not destroy my original pattern with unreadable pen/pencil/eraser marks.
spiral notebook -
I keep one in my tote bag because I constantly used scrap pieces of paper and they would get lost in my tote bag, so now I have them all in a bound notebook that I can go back to later to see the note that I wrote.
When I get magazines I like to rip out just the pages that I would like to keep but that means all these loose pieces of paper get wrinkled and squished in my tote bag so I place them all in a folder that I keep in my tote.
all the ripped out magazine pages and taped in recipes go into binders on my shelves
I also buy plastic pockets with 3 holes punched into them so that i can keep my cross stitch kits together in binders rather than clutter in boxes
I get lots of those project plastic sleeves to put my patterns into so they stay nice and neat
the binder divider tabs help me to organize my binders with labeling the different sections of my binders - quick find sections
bound plastic sleeve books -
I use one of these that have several plastic sleeves bound together because it is quite a bit lighter than a binder with loose plastic sleeves. I carry it around in my tote to place important papers in it like bills, my kids school schedules, important flyers, organizations calenders and other important bits of small papers that iIdo not want floating at the bottom of my tote bag.
This would be the time that I stock up. I am constantly loosing my pens around the house so I stash a hoard in a drawer and when my supply by the phone disappears. I grab another handful to replace it.
I also make grab bags for my kids classes. When it is those holiday times and everyone gives junk food and candy. I give some candy and i also give some school supplies because by then the kids have used up or their supply does not look new anymore. Kids love presents whether they admit to it or not they want new things to be creative with.
I like to make gift boxes (hate baskets - what do you do with them later?). So I make boxes - who does not need a tupperware plastic box to store stuff in [or they can regift or recycle later] --
So sometimes pencils, pens or small notebooks go in the mix besides food and goodies. Other adults need some supplies, also.
I use clear sided pencil cases to store power supply, cords, floppy drive etc for my laptop computer. Keeps them neat. Rigid plastic cases store extra batteries in a drawer, rolls of tape (I have different colors) etc.
Crayons can be used to color wax when making candles. Also can be used to fill in chips of paint or wood scratches.
Pencils can be used in place of dowel rods in some projects. Erasers can be used for earring backs. Flat ones can be cut and glued on as protective "feet" on desktop items.
I've used pens with the insides removed for rigid tubing (one sits atop a Christmas tree branch attached to an angel) Pens can also be cut in small rings and used for beads
Rulers make great shims for bookcases etc. or glue one to a wall to check the height of kids as they grow.
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