DIY Back to School Fashionable Bags

It’s August, and you know what that means. It’s almost time to head back to school. Whether you’re dreading it or are secretly excited, we can tell you now that being prepared is the difference between having a good or bad year. While, yes, we do mean being prepared mentally, by getting back into your old routine and studying habits, you want to have the right tools (read: accessories) as well.

When I was younger I would have major anxiety around my school supplies every year. I would demand my mom to buy me all new cases, pencils, book covers, and a book bag, of course. Blame the little diva in me, but I knew that a huge shopping spree was just what I needed to motivate me to get back into the swing of things, even if it was only for crayons and notebooks.

As I’ve gotten older, I still feel the same way, except on a slightly smaller scale. I like getting a new bag every year and labeling all my folders before each semester at college. (64-pack Crayola Crayons and Elmer’s glue really aren’t necessary on the shopping list anymore.) Blame it on going to Parsons, but believe me, people will notice your new bag and impeccable labeling. They will notice that you have an actual case for your iPad and pencils. After all, it’s the little things that make you a stylish standout!

Here we’ve rounded up great ways to make and personalize those essential back-to-school accessories, in typical DIY Thursday style.

1. Weekender Bag via Makes the Things


This weekender bag is perfect to fill up with books. So many times, we’ve had to deal with “overflowing bag” syndrome because we’ve been too stubborn to get a normal sized backpack. This DIY is sure to keep you looking stylish while not sacrificing size!

2. Floral Backpack via The Mop Top

moptop floral bag

If you already have a backpack but need to “vamp” it up, try this tutorial. It’s not only simple to follow, but you’ll be sure to create something one of a kind. Don’t like floral? Try another print!

3. DIY Laptop Sleeve via Radical Possibility


Nothing is more chic than a leather laptop (or iPad) sleeve. Everyone from Natallia Brilli to Stella McCartney has made one, and people are quick to snatch them up. However, if you can’t shell out $600+ for a case, make your own! This DIY tutorial is as easy as it gets.

4. Notebook Covers via Caugh on a Wim

book cover

As we said earlier, it’s the little things that count. Why be boring and have plain 5-subject spiral bound notebooks? Because it’s not the 90’s and Lisa Frank trapper keepers are definitely not “in” anymore, we suggest getting some cool notebooks at a stationary or supply store and make your own book covers! I’ve been doing this since I was 6, so I promise you’ll be able to do it.

5. Chevron Stripe Army Backpack via Elemental Carbon

chevron army bag

Another backpack DIY. Bored of your old army bag? Some chevron stripes will brighten it up!

6. Leather Pencil Case via Livius

leather pen case

Clearly, we love leather. And we also like to keep our book bags clean. Dropping pencils and pens into our bags mindlessly is a disaster waiting to happen. Too many times has the bottom of them become splotched with ink and lead. Try making this simple case. Not only will it keep stains away but also keep you organized.

How do you stay organized when you go back to school?