Any trendy preteen knows that back-to-school shopping isn't just about notebooks and pens. The first day of school is a fresh start -- and along with it, a new chance to make a first impression. The right wardrobe staples can help your student score major points in the confidence department -- and DIYing some of those clothes and accessories? That can be the perfect way to get those creative juices flowing -- and show your kid that it's so much cooler to be a trendsetter than a trend-follower.
"Make new friends but keep the old," right? Start with these colorful thread-wrapped friendship bracelets -- nostalgic reminders of a summer spent forging bonds, old and new.
Start Off on the Right Foot
They're ready to learn -- so help them put their best foot forward with some trendy kicks...or make these awesome braided shoelaces for the ones they're already wearing.
After a fun-filled summer, it can feel like a long trek back to the classroom. Help them get back in a scholarly state of mind with a personalized pack. It can be stamped with iron-on patches in their initials or their favorite symbols. Girls will love this decoupaged faux diamond bag for keeping small supplies -- like pencils and erasers -- at the ready.
Keys of Knowledge
After picking out the perfect pack, go ahead, layer on those accessories. These personalized leather key chains can be color-coded or monogrammed so your student will never lose them.
Stay Ahead of the Class
Humid first day, or -- gasp! -- school-photo day?! Say goodbye to frizz and flyaway curls with these whimsical ribbon barrettes.
That T-Shirt Is So You!
Let your little Picasso give a plain T-shirt a cool makeover with stencils and glitter! Get the how-to here.
Prefer to use markers with your stencils? Watch the tutorial below by DIY Style host Erin Furey -- and send your kid to homeroom in a custom creation.
Keep an Open Mind (and Heart)
It's not always easy to make new friends. This easy-to-make glitter heart necklace makes a precious gift of love to your student. Write a tiny note of encouragement on the back and she can carry your inspirational message with her everywhere.