Our Favorite Back to School and Dorm Decor Essentials From Etsy

If you’re a student heading into class this fall, you’ll probably find something worth saving on this list–whether you are stressed-out about the coming of August, or you’re excited for the school year to start up again. The stressed-out might find some peace feeling more prepared for the upcoming year, or even get excited by the opportunity to put some original flair into their school supplies. The excited folks will probably just get more pumped at the mere sight of school-related paraphernalia.

Book Iphone Docks by UncommonandNice

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Dorm swagger is a tough game to pull off–because you’re surrounded by a bunch of young adults, you’ll want to seem cool and up to date with your technology. At the same time, you’re also surrounded by highly educated young adults, which means you’ll also want to seem well-read and up to date on your classic literature.

The smartphone charging docks of Texas makers Uncommon and Nice are a perfect middle ground between the two worlds. They’re handmade works of tech-art based on classic books, and they’re adaptable to whatever device you have in your back pocket. Pictured above is Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Other options include Pride and Prejudice, Gray’s Anatomy, and Tom Sawyer. Check out their storefront here.

Mountain Notebook by Little Alexander

Mountain Notebook

Awesome little notebook design from the experts at Little Alexander. The brown paper cover is hand-stitched, broken at the bottom by a mountain range graphic. The mountains were inspired by the Olympic Mountains of Washington state. Buyers can choose a blue/white color scheme or gray/white. There’s 80 pages inside the little book–also customizable in lined, graph or blank paper. Check out Little Alexander’s full shop here.

Pannier and Backpack by MotleyGoods

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Grand Rapids’ Motley Goods focuses on bike bags and backpacks. Many students need a bag that functions well as both, and that’s where their Pannier/Backpack comes in. The bag has a removable hardware plate for attaching to the back of your bike, and comes with a host of customizable extra features, like 18 different colors, a leather base, and a 13-inch laptop sleeve. Click here to visit the Motley Goods’ shop front.

Cordito Leather Cord Wrap by This is Ground

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Tangled chord are an eternal problem, and it’s even worse to have to stuff a spaghetti of technology into your bag every morning, then sprint to class and try to untangle said pile of noodles while everyone around you stares. The Cordito by LA shop This Is Ground addresses this problem in the most stylish way possible. The leather roll has sectioned off holders perfect for cradling your thin, fragile chords on the go. The roll comes in several different colors like Sky Blue, Black, and Tobacco Brown. Check the store out here.

Chalkboard Skull by skullpops

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If you like, you can imagine this skull is like your student brain, and your education is the chalk-words being “written” on your brain.

If that comparison seems pretty weak to you, you can still enjoy this chalkboard skull from Nashville’s skullpops as a badass dorm accessory. The artists at skullpops repurpose found thrift store statues and figurines into kaleidoscopic interior design. Their chalkboard skull also comes in green, and there is also a chalkboard hippo, if hippos are more your jam.

Their storefront looks a lot like a children’s museum from the future–check it out here.

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Bibliophilia: Gifts for Library Lovers

Something to keep in mind when buying a book for a known bibliophile: everyone gives them books as gifts. While books can be thoughtful and wonderful presents, even the quickest readers have a  long queue of books stacking up on their shelf.

Here’s a few presentables to help you stand out from the crowd, while sparing them the twinge of guilt that accompanies a pile of unread books.

1. BookPlates from SunshineandRavoli2

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Bookplates are fancy stickers placed on the inside cover of a book. They’re an elegant way to make sure people don’t steal the books you lend them–“Ex libris” loosely translates from Latin “from the library of”. Sunshineandravoli2 is a purveyor of fine paper goods, and they have an excellent collection of book plates like the ones pictured above.The first Sunshineandravoli is a bridal shop owned by the same company, to answer the question you’re about to ask.

2. Library Book Shirt from Grammatical Art

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This shirt is a two-fold gift–First, there’s the shirt itself. Second, you are giving them a joke that will never grow old: Hey, “check out” my awesome shirt!”

Get it now from GrammaticalArt.

3. Bookstore Candle by Frostbeard Studio


candleWho doesn’t love the smell of old books? This candle from Frostbeard Studio brings the bookstore to your home library. The shop carries many candles using all sorts of nerdy inspiration for scents–like “The Shire”, “Sherlock’s Study”, or “Dumbledore’s Office”. No doubt they will offer some assistance while you lose yourself in a fantastic environment.

4. Honeycomb Bookcase from FormMaker 

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The cool thing about FormMaker (beside their design) is their building materials. They use a material called “re-board”, which is made from 100% recyclable cardboard. You can also stack these hexagonal shelves as your collection grows, until your whole home looks like the smartest beehive of all time.

5. Book Purses from NovelCreations

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Along with admiring stares and easy conversation, you get a purse with that handily converts into a clutch when you shop at NovelCreations. There’s a range of classic texts to choose for the design, including titles like Crime and Punishment, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula.