Are you in charge of decorating your school’s open house this year? Or maybe you’re a teacher wanting to deck out your classroom, or a parent throwing a fun back-to-school party for your kid and neighbors. Well, along with plenty of notebooks and pencils, you may want to add some decorations to your Amazon cart.

Now that school is back in session in person around the U.S. after one heck of a year of distance learning (thanks, COVID), it definitely feels like there’s a reason to celebrate. So, while the end of summer can be a bit of a downer, help your little students look forward to a new year together with a few special touches. Sparkly pencil decorations, laminated apples, and even an eraser-shaped piñata can really put everyone in a good back-to-school vibe. It’s like school supply shopping, except it’s all just the fun stuff in the form of a party, and not fighting off a bunch of parents to get the last three-prong purple folder in the bunch.

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Back-To-School Pencil Shaving Garland

Um, OK, this is the cutest possible garland option ever. This DIY decoration from Handmade Charlotte only needs a few supplies, most of which you probably already have on hand if you’re into crafting, and the finished product is unlike anything you can buy. It’ll make a great impression at any party or school open house.


An All-Around Decor Set

This Amazon decoration set includes 45 cardboard cutouts of iconic school items, like buses, backpacks, chalkboards, and apples. It comes with two strings to create garlands and adhesive dots to attach them to walls and windows. You could probably fashion one into a cake topper, throw them on some ceiling streamers, or anywhere else you need some festivity.


A *Bussin’* Balloon Garland

In 2021, did you really have a party if you didn’t have a balloon garland? Buying them already made can be pricey. If you’re looking for a kit to make your own so you can adorn the front door or school entryway, this one comes with everything you need and a few school bus balloons to boot.


One Giant Welcome

Want to give your students the biggest welcome to an open house ever? Cover up a big blank wall with this colorful, whimsical, school-themed banner, or hang it over the entrance to your school where all the new students can see it. It celebrates pencils and apples, along with paper airplane pranks and doodles in notebook margins.


Perfect Photo Props

Want to set up a photo booth that will draw in all the kids? These props include glasses, bowties, and fun messages like “This is my thinking cap,” so they’re appropriate for a party of first-graders or at a high school shindig. Now all you need is the perfect backdrop.


A School Bus Backdrop

Speaking of photo booth backdrops, this one’s pretty cute. It’s 5 feet by 3 feet, so it’ll fit fairly easily in your home or classroom, and it comes with its own ties to secure it wherever you’d like. With a backdrop like this, kids stand in front with the props of their choosing, or pop their heads in the hole and say cheese.


Notable Party Favors

What should you give out as party favors at a back-to-school bash? Well, multi-packs of small notebooks are pretty inexpensive, and if you buy some white or brown recycled paper covers and a few cool stencils or stamps, you can make custom ones in no time. Or, you could set up a little activity station at the party for kids to decorate their own.


Welcome To The Flock

Want to make the students in your class feel welcomed back? Let them know they’re part of your flock and you’ll be taking them under your wing (OK, no more bird puns) with these flamingo wall decorations. Your little students will love running in and finding their name on the wall and feeling that sense of belonging.


A Wreath That Rules

Want to DIY an inexpensive wreath for your door? You could make a pair of them for double doors at school and they’d still be budget friendly, since all this DIY requires is ruler-themed washi tape and a foam wreath form. If you’re not up for making your own this year, check out this cute school bus door hanger on Etsy (bookworm is included).


On-Theme Party Favor Bags

If you’re wanting to drop those notepads into a bigger goodie bag with some candies, cute mini erases, No. 2 pencils, anything, then these party favor bags are perfect. They come with their own matching stickers to seal them shut, too, so you won’t have any young pupils peeking inside.


A Teeny Tiny Banner

Hello, adorable miniature decorations! This wee banner would look adorable as a cake topper, or even stuck into any dish you serve at the party. Or, like the photo suggests, it’s just a great surprise to greet your kiddos with at breakfast time to celebrate their first day of school.


Piñatas? Yes, Please

Getting a new eraser was one of the most satisfying school supply purchases every year, so why not make a Pink Pearl-inspired piñata for your party? This one shaped like a pie chart would be adorable for older kids. You can personalize it to your child’s favorite extracurriculars and classes.


School-Themed Yard Signs

Cover the entire lawn or quad in cheer, why don’t you? These eight yard signs are made with a sturdy material and come with their own stakes, so just open the box and start decorating. These smaller yard signs would look super cute lining the sidewalk up to your front door (or the registration desk!).


Animal Face Pocket Folders

Seriously, who could say no to a chance to make their folders look like pandas? It would make homework at least 20% less awful. Setting up a little zoological folder crafting station is fairly inexpensive, and a great way to occupy younger kids at an open house while parents talk to the teachers.


A Pretty Little Pencil Wreath

We *love* a party decoration that lasts the whole school year through. Adding a welcome sign to your classroom door after the open house (or giving it to your child’s teacher as a gift once you’re done with it) would make a sweet accent. It also comes in a chalkboard design.


Some Big Ol’ Banners

This giant, rainbow welcome banner set would look amazing on a front porch, school entryway or pillars, or on each side of a chalkboard. The letters come with string and plenty of glue dots so you can hang them vertically, horizontally, or attach them to a flat surface as you wish.


“Notebook Paper” Dry Erase Board

This DIY notebook paper dry erase board from Rosyscription could serve so many decor purposes: explaining what’s on the snack table, propped up as a welcome sign, or hung on the door like a wreath. It’s something you can give your child’s teacher to use around their classroom once the party ends, too.


DIY Paperclip Garland

Again with the adorable garlands from Handmade Charlotte (but this one is even simpler to make than the pencil shavings one). You literally only need silver pipe cleaners and some baker’s twine, and you can make your garland as long or short as you need to perfectly fit your space.


Garlands Galore

There are so many adorable back-to-school garlands you can buy online if you’re just not up for making your own. One choice from Amazon stars gold glitter letters and big red apples. A classic yellow pencil garland can stay up all year long, though if you want one that will survive for years of parties and open houses, a felt version might be your best bet.