Binder covers are a great way to personalize your school supplies, as well as look like you got new things for school without spending too much money.

If finances are tight, or you want to do your part for recycling and reuse your last year’s school binders, then consider jazzing them up a bit instead of replacing them.

There are many ways to jazz them up even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body.  If you get started now, and really take inventory of your school supplies you still have left from last term, then you can be ready for a fresh new school year with some fresh and yet personalized school binders.  You can even redecorate your school backpack or even your shoes, or even save the environment and your wallet by using reusable sandwich wraps and bags.

There are enough affordable products on the market now that can take anything old from last year and jazz it up to be something new for this year.  This way you can save your money for the supplies you really need and do your part for recycling.

If you just happened to have a binder that had the clear plastic cover on it, then this one is easy to decorate and upgrade. 

Take some heavier paper or scrap book paper and glue all kinds of pictures to it, maybe of your friends or your favourite bands, or find some cool sayings and print them off,  even wrappers off your favourite snacks and treats can be fun, or you can head to sites that offer free binder cover templates such as  They carry all kinds of free downloadable covers for binders and reports that you can use.

If you happen to have a binder that does not have a plastic cover, don’t despair, you have other options.  You could even get a cheap binder from the dollar store and jazz it up if you don’t have any binders left.  It doesn’t have to have the plastic cover on it for it to work, you simply make your own!

A collage is still a fun way to personalize any binder, and so one way to do this with an older binder that does not have plastic on it, is to take photocopies of your pictures, either in colour or black and white (black and white can have a real cool effect too and it is cheaper to get black and white copies at the copy center) or scan pictures and add sayings to them.

Now take your copies and cut them out into shapes and if you are creating a collage, glue them right onto the binder with craft glue (make sure the front of the binder has been cleaned with a degreaser such as fantastic or other similar spray it helps the glue to stick).

Once you have glued your pictures to the front of your binder and made suBinder-coversre there are no wrinkles, then you can take clear packing tape, and carefully cover your pictures with the clear packing tape (get as wide a tape as you can) and make sure to go right over the edges of the binder to the other side and press flat.

This now creates a clear and protected front to your binder.  You can now do something similar to the spine and back if you are feeling really creative.

Another great way to decorate your binder is with coloured duct tape.  It now comes in a rainbow of colours.  You could do a checkerboard effect with different colours.  Or you could simply decorate the spine. 

Duck Brand 868088 1.88-Inch-by-15-Yard Colored Duct Tape, Neon PinkTape)

You can get duct tape in hardware stores, but many of the coloured rolls are online at sites such as Amazon.

Why not reuse as many of your school supplies as you can this year.  If you have younger kids or teens looking for an art project right now as they are bored, then creating binder covers would be a great way to get them used to the idea of reusing things rather than always buying new.