Meet Tootles and Nibs, quite possibly the most exciting childrens' events team ever! They've put together super easy stationery crafts to make your little ones' return to school that little bit more fun. Read on for how to craft fuzzy notebooks, patches and a customised tote bag.

Shop Girls Back to School

Shop Boys Back to School


Take their books from boring to bling. Wrap it in fun fabrics and personalise it with your initials and charms.

First, gather your supplies:

  • A notebook, diary, or journal – hardback works best
  • Some fun fabric
  • Strong craft glue
  • Scissors
  • A marker pen
  • Felt for decorations
  • Decorative bits like buttons, googly eyes, sequins, jewels, stickers etc.

Next, trim a piece of your chosen fabric to size, and place it face down on your table. Make sure your book fits comfortably on it when open.

Using a marker pen draw trapezoid (like the roof of a house) shapes around the three edges of your back cover to make flaps.

Spread some glue over the back cover of the book and then press it firmly down onto the fabric.

Carefully cut around the flaps and then glue them down firmly onto the inside of the book making sure to pull the fabric carefully around the edges.

Close the book and squeeze a line of glue onto your fabric along the spine and then roll the book to the left to stick it down.

Repeat the process for the front cover of the book, drawing the flap shapes adding some glue and then pressing down firmly.

And there you have it. A lovely fluffy covered notebook! Add some patches, felt shapes, or other decorations to make it your own!


Jazz up your book bag with a customised design created using DIY stamps.

The materials you’ll need:

  • A take-away container or piece of Styrofoam
  • The item you want to print onto (we’re using a tote bag)
  • A tray or plate
  • Scissors
  • A blunt pencil or old run-out pen
  • Printing inks or acrylic paints
  • A roller or paintbrushes
  • A spoon

If you’re using a takeaway container (yay recycling!) make sure it’s clean, and trim out the bottom so you have a flat piece.

Using your blunt pencil or old pen, mark out a fun shape (anything you like!) and then carefully cut it out.

With your blunt pencil, gouge out some decorative lines, making sure not to go all the way through by pressing too hard.

Before the next step you might want to put something down to protect your table, as it can be a little messy.

Squeeze a small blob of printing ink or acrylic paint onto your tray or plate, and then use a roller to spread it around  until the roller is evenly coated. If you don’t have a roller, you can just use paint brushes to apply paint to your foam stamp.

Roll the ink/paint onto your stamp, and then press it down onto your bag carefully. You can use the back of a spoon to press evenly all over the back of the stamp.

Carefully peel off your stamp to see your amazing print!  Repeat with different colours or shapes as many times as you like to build up a pattern!

You can rinse your foam stamps and save them to do more printing in the future. This technique is great for doing clothing, and accessories like bags, bucket hats, canvas shoes, t shirts etc.


Add some flair to your jacket or school bag with a DIY punch needle patch! We will show you how simple it is to make your own cute fuzzy patches that show off your style.

The equipment you’ll need for this one:

  • An embroidery hoop
  • A punch needle and punch needle threader (these come together)
  • A type of thick, woven, fabric called ‘monks cloth’
  • A light coloured pen
  • Thick wool (if you only have thin wool you can double it up)
  • Iron on interfacing
  • Scissors

First of all, unscrew your embroidery hoop and separate it into two rings. Place your monks cloth on top of the inner hoop, and then place the outer hoop on top to sandwich the fabric between them.

Carefully pull the corners of the fabric so it becomes taut like a drum in the hoop, and then use the screw to tighten it even more.

Next get your punch needle and threader (a long hoop of wire with a tab on the end). The wooden bit is the handle, and the metal bit is a tube with a hole in it, called the needle.

Take the loop of the threader and thread it all the way up through the punch needle until it pops out the end of the handle, and you can tuck your wool through the loop.

At the needle end, pull the tab of the threader until the wool is dragged all the way through it and out.

Now, carefully fold the wool backwards so you can see the hole in the scoop end of the needle (called the eye). Tuck the threader through the eye, pinch the wool through the threader and pull it through the eye so it looks like this with a nice short tail sticking out.

Draw your design onto the cloth – keep it simple for your first patch!

Now you’re ready to start punch needling! With the scoop of the needle facing upwards, keep it pointed in the direction you want to start sewing  and plunge it all the way into the fabric so it’s handle deep.

Carefully pull it out so the tip of the needle just skims the fabric and then plunge it back in again to create your first stitch. Fill in your whole shape one colour at a time. To change colour just repeat the threading process with the punch needle..

When you get to your last stitch, trim the excess wool off, and give it a little haircut all over if you have any fluffy bits that need tidying up.

Next, to secure the stitches you’ll need some iron-on interfacing. Place the interfacing shiny side down on the back of the patch, and ask an adult to help iron it on, making sure to put a bit of scrap fabric between it and the iron.

Now, you’re ready to carefully cut out your patch! It will look awesome on a jacket, bag, or pencil case.