If you have multiple notebooks or children to design for, you can keep it really simple with patterned paper as I did here, and a simple scripture (Philippians 4:13 seemed like an appropriate one for a student). I don't have any children going off to school (well, one to college but she doesn't use binders), but I put these on my stamp storage albums.
For the second album, I used cut-outs of Eureka's peacock feather that I had made years ago for a journal. I used Opalite Inks on a sparkle blue cardstock. I could have simply used white cardstock and added my colors (example here), but I really wanted copper and only had it in the Opalites, so I went with a sparkle blue cardstock. Opalite inks never photograph really well, and in the wrong light can look rather dull. But, they are fun to play with!
This is a second picture of the peacock album, that I am showing because I like to show problems/errors that teach me. I had rejected a few of these feathers because I had not realized that Opalite inks (interference inks working only on very dark colors) will lose their color and look white if applied to heavily. So if you look closely at the feather on the lower right, you'll see it looks very white in the middle. So, be careful when using these inks!