How I Do It: Decorate My Classroom
Teachers share their creative advice for decorating
a classroom on a budget.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
I find fun fabric remnants to use as bulletin-board backgrounds. They’re cheap, colorful, and can be used year after year.
Tied With a Bow
Gift wrap is a cheap way to cover large areas.
—Sarah M. H.
Play With Paper
Instead of typical borders around walls, use bright-colored tissue paper. Grab each end about five to six inches in, gather it, and staple to the wall. Do the same thing to the next piece of paper and pouf up where the two ends come together. Beautiful!
I look for ideas on Pinterest and then make my own decorations out of construction paper. For larger images, place white paper against a wall, project the image onto the paper, and trace it with a pencil or black marker.
New to You
Get friendly with the veteran teachers at your school. They hate to toss things out but will gladly give materials to a new teacher in need. In our career, there’s a “pay it forward” aspect.
Most of my room is decorated with art made by the students, especially art that is centered around inspirational phrases and core virtues. It’s meaningful and it provides great visuals throughout the year.
Use sentence strips for borders! You can have students write their names on them along with things they like, or you can write their names, words of encouragement, or anything else.
I created my word wall and “best work” wall by laminating color card stock and taping it up. Easy and colorful!
Have students create graphs using paper chains. You can graph anything: test scores, remaining days of school, minutes of recess, hair colors, and so on.
I make my own decorations and posters using Microsoft publisher or an online poster creator, print out with a color printer, laminate, and voilà! Basically free decorations.
I save plastic containers to hold supplies and upcycle them by covering them with scrapbook paper. Baby-formula containers work great for larger supplies, tea-bag canisters for pencils, etc.
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