All you need is a roll of tape and some paint.

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Personalized School Supply Folders
Credit: Aaron Dyer

Whether your little one is headed back to school at the end of the month or you're homeschooling in light of COVID-19, you shouldn't miss out on the best part of the back-to-school season: buying pristine supplies and customizing them so everyone knows who that awesome notebook belongs to. With a handful of supplies, you will be able to transform what would appear to be ordinary supplies into creations your classmates will want for themselves. Here are four easy, creative ways to spruce up the tools of your trade, organize your desktop, and get that hopeful brand-new-binder feeling all over again.

Color-Code Your Folders

Personalizing your folders is as simple as unrolling the washi tape. Use different hues to indicate subjects (recipes, brilliant ideas for Mom and Dad; math, science for the kids) or write directly on the strips. The individual designs will keep you organized and on the right track with anything the academic year brings.

Shop Now: Muji Recycled-Paper Notebooks, $11.48, amazon.com; MT Masking Tape, $20, amazon.com.

Painted Pencils
Credit: Aaron Dyer

Paint a Set of Pencils

These will be marked as undeniably yours. Simply marbleize them with two shades of craft paint and a technique that's pre-K easy but AP-art impressive. Make enough to last throughout the school year—they will be sure to keep everyone's attention.

Shop Now: General's Cedar Pointe No. 2 Pencils, $13.20, walmart.com.

Painted Desktop Supplies
Credit: Aaron Dyer

Tag Your Tools

If your stapler tends to walk away, borrow this art-student idea and paint matching icons that whisper, "Mine!" Use tape for clean lines. The colorful additions will make your supplies unique and one of a kind.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint, $2.50 for 2 oz., amazon.com.

Binders with Colorful Edges
Credit: Aaron Dyer

Mark the Bindings on Your Notebooks

To instantly identify notebooks on a shelf—and keep bindings sturdy for the long haul—run different tape designs along the spines. Don't forget to choose washi tape in bright colors to make these school essentials stand out.

Shop Now: Muji Recycled-Paper Binders, $5.75, muji.us; MT Casa Washi Tape, $13.16, etsy.com.

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