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Best of Etsy: Back-to-school accessories

Get everything kids need

From SheKnows Canada
Are your kids dreading the end of summer? Get them excited about heading back to school with these fun, stylish and helpful accessories from the talented artisans at Etsy.
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Best of Etsy
School supplies and more...
Are your kids dreading the end of summer? Get them excited about heading back to school with these fun, stylish and helpful accessories from the talented artisans at Etsy.

Animal pencil case

Little ones will be thrilled to head off to school for the first time when they get to tote all their pencils, erasers and crayons around in this adorable bee pencil case created by Mary Pow at Minne Bites. Or if another animal might appeal to your child, check out the fish, turtles, ladybugs, snails, sharks and other creatures creatively turned into pencil cases, and pick out their perfect carrier.

Minne Bites bee pencil caseSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

Mary Pow: As a child, and still as an adult, I just love pencils, pens, markers — anything you can write with! I'm in no way a hoarder, but if I were, I would definitely have quite the collection of pens and pencils! I used to do a lot of writing and drawing when I was young, but now I make cases to store pencils and pens, so I guess it all worked out quite well.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

MP: My pieces are both designed and handmade by me. I think they're set apart by not only being cute and fun, but they are also bright and modern. This makes my bags perfect for anyone, from kids to adults. They're great for storing toddler toys, crayons and markers — all the way to being a fun desk accessory for an office worker or a makeup pouch for a woman's handbag!

Water bottle name tag

It's important for kids to stay hydrated during the school day. But that's hard to do if they keep losing their water bottle or another kid mistakes it for his or her own. Fortunately that won't be an issue anymore thanks to these adorable water bottle name tags made by Sarah Zahran at Munkee Jewelry. They make stylish and practical additions to the water bottles of kids of all ages.

Munkee Jewlery water bottle name tagSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

Sarah Zahran: When I was in elementary school, I could never be without my lunch box, which contained my Thermos full of milk. I was always the only kid who brought milk to school, but I didn't mind being different, because I didn't like to drink anything else!

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

SZ: I don't think that anyone else on Etsy is making water bottle ID bracelets. I feel like my creation fills a niche. When my daughter Julia started kindergarten, I learned that most kids bring water bottles to school these days, and they must have their name on them. However, the only solution there seemed to be were sticky vinyl labels. So I decided to come up with my own solution. I've designed jewellery for years, so I used my experience (and my stockpiles of beads) to make something both practical and attractive.

Notebook pencil holder

Kids in middle school and high school have many notebooks to cart around, and keeping all the pens and pencils they require for each class on hand isn't always easy. But that doesn't have to be an issue any longer thanks to this notebook pencil holder created by Rachel at Bundle and Stow. It comes in three stylish colours and will help ensure preteens and teens have everything they need with them for each and every class.

Bundle and Stow notebook pencil holderSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

Rachel: Oh man, it's hard to choose one thing, because I have always loved office supplies, and that started early with crayons and markers. I remember the day in school when we were given time to clean out and organize our desks, the kind with the big lift-up top. My box of crayons always got the primo spot when everything was neatly back in its place.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

R: My best products are collaborations, and the idea for the notebook pencil holder actually came from Peter, the owner of my favourite local art supply store. We were talking about our favourite fountain pens one day and then about how we both have multiple favourites, because you can never find the one you're looking for when you need it. He said something like, "You could make a tool roll that goes with the notebook so they're always together." The [thing] that I keep in the front of my mind when designing new products is how they will actually function. I've had plenty of broken pencil leads from loose pencils in my bag, so I knew I wanted to shelter the tips of the utensils inside a pocket versus being exposed. The canvas is a sturdy material — I had a customer write in, thrilled that after months of daily use on the outside of his notebook, his notebook pencil holder still looked like new. The notebook pencil holder is really for your absolute favourite one to three writing implements — the ones that make you love writing and drawing. It's a minimalist item, and that sets it apart too.

Engraved ruler

Heading off to school can be intimidating for little ones. But with a cheerful, encouraging reminder such as the one on this wooden laser-engraved ruler made by Mei at EtchyThings, they'll always remember just how proud you are of them. You can even have their name or a small message engraved on the back for an extra-special touch.

EtchyThings laser-engraved rulerSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

Mei: As I child, I was obsessed with lead pencils. Not just the regular kind, but the kind where you remove the blunt tip when it's all used up and replace it with a sharp one that's directly above it. The blunt one goes to the top so that the lead pencil is still complete. They are too much fun!

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

M: What sets my items apart from the other stamp makers is the ability to make only the items I like to make, and I associate with each item because they mean something to me. For example, I'm also a yoga instructor, so connecting with the yoga community is important to me, and I meet awesome yogis every day!

Reusable snack bags

Packing up kids' sandwiches and snacks in plastic bags every day of the week can be incredibly wasteful. But it doesn't have to be thanks to the reusable snack bags created by Marielle at Lunitouti. The eco-friendly bags come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, so little ones will have plenty of options to choose from and get excited about. They're perfect for children and teens of all ages.

Lunitouti reusable snack packsSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

Marielle: A pair of basketball runners. They were fuchsia! I was in elementary school, maybe grade four. When I saw the shoes in the store, I fell in love. I knew I had found the pair! My mother gave me the most wonderful gift by buying them for me. I was so happy! Nobody could understand why I loved them so much. They didn't match with any of my clothing, but I didn't care. I wore them every day! I've always loved colourful things. Fuchsia is still one of my favourites! It is the accent colour in my workshop. I guess some things never change!

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

M: Before introducing the reusable snack bag to my collection, I did my research. I looked at what other companies were offering, then created my own style. After trying different models, I finally found the shape that worked best. Add some beautiful fabric to the mix, and voila! I wanted to create an item that was not only fashionable but also practical and eco-friendly. Lunitouti has many different sizes and prints to fit everyone's tastes! My children were my inspiration when I started the bags. They would tell me what fabrics they liked, and I'd make it for them. Now I order new fabrics every month, and my collection is growing quickly. I even find my husband researching new fabric choices online! My children love helping me when I work. My company is really a part of the family! I love it when clients make special requests. I know I'll be creating something unique and just for them. Making my clients happy is my motivation!

Personalized backpacks

Do you have a little one who's heading to school for the first time? Then check out the adorable backpacks designed for elementary school children at MJ SpiritWear. They come in many great colours and can be personalized with your child's name or initialled for an extra pop of personalization.

MJ SpiritWear personalized backpackSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

MJ: Depending on what age the child is in school helps determine what is the one thing you couldn't live without. As a younger child, one thing I couldn't live without [was] my nap mat or lunch box during preschool. As I got older, backpacks became an essential part of my back-to-school routine. I would much rather carry my books and binders in a backpack than in my arms. As you get into the older age range, having matching or stylish back-to-school accessories were always important.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

MJ: We offer a super-wide range of colours, materials and styles for back-to-school accessories. We also offer combo packs, where you can get all of the back-to-school necessities for preschoolers or toddlers. We also offer free personalization with your purchase, which helps the customer find something unique and special just for them. It also helps when at school and someone has the same backpack or lunch box as you, you will know who they belong to. We just try to offer our customers high-end products for their everyday lives at a reasonable price and that it is made just for them.

Paperclip bookmark

Kids will have a lot of reading to do when the school year starts. Fortunately children of all ages can keep track of the page they're on thanks to the adorable paperclip bookmarks created by Robyn at Clara Clips. The shop offers several cute designs to choose from, so you can pick out the bookmarks that will help get your kids most excited about their reading assignments.

Clara Clips paperclip bookmarksSheKnows Canada: What school item/accessory could you never be without as a child, and why?

Robyn: My sticker book. Every recess was a sticker-trading frenzy among the eight-and-under crowd for a while! I'm still proud of some of the trades I haggled for.

SK: What do you think sets your pieces apart from other, similar products available on Etsy?

R: I love designing, cutting and hand-stitching my items. I have nothing against die-cutting machines and even own/use one myself from time to time, but there's nothing like producing a design that's completely from your own mind. There are no limits (other than time, I suppose). I hope that's what people notice when they look at the items I make.

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