10 Throwback School Supplies That Were the Most Fun to Score

Are you an office supplies geek like me? Then your love of all things organization was likely ingrained at an early age, too, way back in elementary school.

The concept of back-to-school shopping for fresh pencils, crisp loose leaf, and colorful binders always made my young heart pitter-patter. Following is a list of old-school supplies that were the most fun to score.

1. Trapper Keepers

Image via 1980s

Your classroom command center, the Trapper Keeper had a design to fit every personality: kittens, cars, heart-shaped bubbles. Sure, it could be frustrating when your teacher started a lesson before you had flipped open the Velcro to take notes, but there was no way you’d ever go back to a regular binder after owning one.

Good news for those of us who still miss our Trapper Keepers: The company has relaunched with binders, planners, and tablet cases.

2. Pencil Cases

Image via Lil MissRed T-Shirt

Why yes, everything was covered in shiny vinyl, even unassuming pencil cases. Pretty sure I had this pooch printed on a bunch of other supplies, too!

3. Pencil Toppers

Image via Etsy

You needed flashy gear to fill up those vibrant cases, and pencil toppers provided just the vehicle. Trolls were superstars when it came to accessorizing writing tools.

4. Smelly Markers

Image via The Burlap Bag

Sometimes, you needed a boost during the day beyond aesthetic eye candy. Scented markers could make any kid excited for art class.

5. Milky Pens

Image via Amazon

Still widely used, milky and gel pens left satisfyingly smooth marks on your pages. Some aspiring students even created body art designs with them…when the teacher wasn’t looking.

6. Lunch Boxes

Image via Etsy

From Care Bears to Transformers, whatever characters you craved could be found on these convenient plastic rectangles.

7. Erasers

Image via Pics & Photos

Why were these always made to look so edible?

8. Sharpeners

Image via Etsy

Lisa Frank everything.

9. Calculators

Image via YouTube

Does this game look familiar? Snake was a popular pastime on fancy calculators before cell phones came along.

10. Alarm Clocks

Image via Kenny Colors

It’s not something that you’d put in your backpack, but this popular brand of alarm clock was essential for getting up in the morning.

+ What’s one school supply you couldn’t attend class without?

Suggested Posts

Galentine’s Day Style + DIY Self-Love Kit
February 05, 2019
This Face Mask Is Like a Bouquet for Your Skin
January 17, 2019
Workplace Besties: A #TeamModCloth Trio Shares the Love
January 10, 2019
How to Style a Party Dress Three Ways
December 20, 2018
The New Black: Styling All-Grey 3 Ways
December 13, 2018
Travel Bug: Saumya Takes Us on a Tour of DC
December 06, 2018
Party Recap: Hello Kitty’s Birthday in LA
November 12, 2018
A Pampering Present: DIY Concentrated Bubble Bath
November 05, 2018
Easy Makeup for Going Out: Featuring Anna Sui Beauty
October 22, 2018
Haunt Now, Haute Later: Three Scary-Stylish Outfits
October 11, 2018


  1. Becky 08/23/2014 at 6:16 am #

    I was a big fan of glitter gel pens myself, and changing the color I took notes in every day! I always preferred making my own collages on my binders and notebooks, though.

  2. Kailey 08/24/2014 at 7:55 am #

    Loveee Jem!

  3. sales@5thavestore.com 08/24/2014 at 12:53 pm #

    I love this site

  4. Jeanette 08/24/2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Milk pens. I just got nostalgic chills!

Leave a Reply