Back-to-School {style on a dime}

Temperatures are rising, and many of us are counting down the days until we get a break our kids are back in school. (At which time we will begin counting down the days until our first break.) But for now, it’s back-to-school season. Soon we will all be meeting in the aisles of Target with our supply lists in hand and checking out the best deals for back-to-school clothes. As someone who attended Catholic school all her life, adhering to countless dress code policies, I was incredibly excited when I finally got to do real back to school shopping with my daughter. However, the excitement quickly faded when she started coming home with rips in her pants, holes in the toes of her shoes, and stains all over her shirts.IMG_3326 Shopping loses its appeal when you’re replacing clothing that you know will either be ruined or grown out of in a matter of months…or weeks…or days.

That’s why I wanted to come up with some money saving tips for making clothes last longer and to customize inexpensive basic pieces to express your child’s style. I had lots of ideas about how to revamp my daughter’s clothes and even started creating list of supplies to go pick up. But, then I began thinking about how that would defeat the purpose of ‘saving money’, so all of these projects were made with materials and supplies I had around the house. I encourage you to see what you already have that you can upcycle before heading out to the craft store. (But if you do, always… ALWAYS remember your 40% off coupons.)


Ripped leggings

Turn leggings into cartwheel shorts to wear under skirts and dresses. Cut above the knee. No need to hem, just stretch the opening -this will cause the fabric to naturally curl at the bottom. Voila!


High-water pants

Create a ruffle using fabric or purchase a premade trim to sew inside the hem of pants to create extra length to get your child through those growth spurts.




Holes in the knees

Add some colorful fabric to patch the inside of the hole. I recommend this tutorial.




My daughter loved this so much she asked if I would do this to all of her pants.

Worn toes

Mix fine glitter into mod-podge then paint layers over the toes of canvas shoes. (I painted 3 layers) The end result is reinforced shoes with extra sparkle!








Boho Chic Skirt (& shorts)

Add some lace trim to a skirt (or a pair of shorts) for a trendy boho chic look.



Freezer Paper Stencil top –

You can use freezer paper to create a stencil of any image or text. Here is my tutorial for this quick and easy top.


Embellished Cardigan –

Use whatever trim, fabric, and buttons you have around the house to transform a simple cardigan into a statement piece.IMG_3248


Tank top dress

This super simple sewing project was how I taught myself to sew a couple years ago. Buy or upcycle inexpensive tank tops and transform them into dresses by adding a simple fabric skirt.


Check out more ways to save money on kids’ clothes here. Do you have any money saving tips for back-to-school?



Michele is a wife and a mother of three girls (7, 4, &1). She is originally from Sioux City, IA but has lived with her husband in North Liberty for almost 9 years. She works from home as an in-home childcare provider as well as a mompreneur making specialty desserts as well as children’s accessories and apparel. She spends her days creating all types of artwork and food while constantly learning new skills. She began her blog this year as a way to document her journey to rediscover her passion for art.


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