I. Love. Back-to-school! I probably say it every year, but I just can’t help think of the quote from You’ve Got Mail – “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
I totally get it! I always refresh my office supplies during back-to-school time, even though I’m way (waaaayyy) past my back to school years. This year I found some plain supplies and wanted to dress them up with one of Martha Stewart’s super cute stencil sets. Bring on the painted patterns!
I love this little project because you can truly customize it about a zillion different ways. My girl Martha has so many stencil sets my eyes just about crossed trying to pick one. I decided on the Rainbows + Clouds stencil set because I loved the shape of the fluffy clouds placed against those rad little lightning bolts. Kind of sweet and salty at the same time.
I used a plain mason jar and a plain folder file (because I needed a little extra desk organization), along with a pencil case that I’m keeping in my purse for my pens and the kids’ crayons + stickers. But one thing I noticed about the Martha Stewart paint as I was using it was that it applied really well to all three surfaces (glass, chipboard, and faux leather), so you could really experiment on a whole bunch of different supplies to make exactly what you want.
More Amazing BAck-to-School Ideas
If you’re here for back-to-school inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! I cherry picked a few more of our best school year DIY projects to inspire you.
Be sure to pin your favorites:
- Make a First Day of School Sign
- Harry Potter School Supplies
- How to Make a Modern Desk Organizer
- DIY Gold Foil Notebooks for Back to School
- DIY Leather and Gold Leaf Notebook
Make Back-to-School Supplies with Painted Patterns
- Martha Stewart Adhesive Paper Stencils, Weather & Forecast
- Martha Stewart Family Friendly Multi-surface craft paint
- Foam pouncers
- Blank school supplies (we used a folder file, mason jar, and pencil case)
Make Time: 1 Hour
Step 1: Start by using a 1-inch wide paintbrush to paint the inside of your mason or glass jar. This will create a solid color so that when you stencil the outside, the pattern will really pop. Set this aside and allow it to start drying while you begin to stencil your other pieces. You can come back to this piece and stencil it after you paint your other pieces.
Step 2: Choose your first stencil. For this project, I eventually found that I preferred to cut around the stencil that I was using to make the size of the stencil more manageable. So if you prefer, cut out your stencil, leaving a margin around the edges so that there is enough space to mask your pouncer or brush. Remove the sticky backing from your stencil and stick it to the surface of your item. Press around the edges to ensure it’s secure.
Step 3: Use the foam pouncer to gently dip in some paint and then press the paint into the open area of the stencil.
Step 4: Once you have the coverage you’d like, remove the stencil and repeat the process in another area to continue the pattern. Be creative — add new colors or shapes to make your pattern extra custom.
Step 5: To get a layered look, choose another stencil shape and cut it out. Once your first stencils are completely dry, you can layer a second stencil over them and paint with a different color.
Step 6: Allow everything to dry thoroughly before using. Ta-da!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Martha Stewart always has my favorite color selection in her paints. There are just some shades that you can’t get anywhere else! I especially love how Kiddie Pool looks in our cloud pattern; that bright aqua is perfect for an accent color.
So be real — have you ever DIY’d your school supplies?! Something comes over me in August and September and I just can’t help myself. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve ever made anything for back-to-school. Have a great school year, friends! xoxo
This post is sponsored by Martha Stewart Paint and Plaid Crafts. Martha Stewart craft paint and stencils can be found exclusively at Michaels.