How to make back to school party decorations using everyday items like rolls of paper towel and toilet paper

Before I was a parent, I did back to school shopping the hard way. I scored fabulous deals, but I also chased penny deals at anywhere from 3-7 stores a week until the shopping season was over. It was intense.

Now that I have actual children?

Oh hecks naw! I’m not about jumping stores with two kids in tow.

This year, I waited for the school supplies to hit a sweet rollback price at Walmart and called it a day. Like a boss. I was really there for the double Box Tops anyway.

Yes, I partnered with Kimberly Clark for this project, but I for real collect Box Tops for Michael’s school. 

Gathering markers and toilet paper to make back to school party decorations


  • 1 roll of toilet paper (I used a Scott Extra Soft Double Roll.)
  • 2 rolls of paper towel (I used a Viva Vantage Big Roll.)
  • 2 rectangle boxes of tissue (I used Kleenex.)
  • 110-ish pencils
  • 27 markers
  • 3 rubber bands
  • Duct tape and/or ribbon
  • 2 plates
  • 3 boxes of 24ct crayons

Making back to school party decorations by lining markers around a roll of toilet paper

  • Wrap the heavy duty rubber band around the roll of toilet paper.
  • In whatever pattern you prefer, slip the markers in between the rubber band and the roll until you wrap the entire thing.

Using duct tape to keep the markers from slipping off the roll of toilet paper

  • Carefully wrap the markers with duct tape or ribbon.

Crafter’s note: I prefer duct tape because there is no way your markers will slip out.

How to turn paper towels and pencils into back to school decorations

  • Repeat the same steps with both rolls of paper towel and the pencils.

Pencils wrapped around a roll of paper towel

I must point out that you will be able to see the bulge caused by the rubber band. I know, it kills me, but pencils slipping and sliding does worse things to my fragile brain.

School supply cake plate made out of pencils and a roll of paper towel

  • All that’s left for the cake stands is to top them with an upside down plate.

How’s that for creativity? And they are affordable. I didn’t forget about our pocketbooks with is one.

School supply cake for a back to school party

  • To finish the school supply centerpiece, arrange 3 boxes of crayons inside the top of the markers and place the whole thing on top of the tissues.

Make sure you tune back in to see the wicked cool back to school party plans I have coming your way! They are perfect for the overachievers trying to out collect their classmates for whatever prize their teacher has put up for grabs. We do Box Tops like a boss in this house.


I start slacking after Christmas.


Easy DIY ideas for back to school party decorations using everyday items around your house

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