Classroom decor makes my teacher heart so happy. The colors. The fonts. The adorable graphics. It just gets me! Last week I shared 3 reasons that I love having a classroom theme. So maybe you are thinking about that new decor, but you don't know where to start and you are working with a measly teacher's salary. Decorating can get pricey if you are not careful. Over the years, I have discovered a few tips to decorating a classroom on a budget.
All of the teaching stores are filled with beautiful classroom decor. And if money is not an issue, by all means buy it all! But if you want to save a ton, buy your decor on TpT. There are so many themes and styles available. The best part about buying a theme kit on TpT is that many kits are editable. You are able to create the exact labels, rules, schedule, etc to meet your classroom needs. You can't do this with the expensive decor at your local teaching store.
Click HERE to see the classroom theme kits that I currently have in my store.
Once you buy a kit, you will need to do a significant amount of printing. I am very jealous of those teachers who can print at school for free. I never had this privilege. I have a printer at home, but the ink is expensive and the print quality is nothing to brag about. I am OCD and I NEED my decor to look great so I put my theme kit on a jump drive and take it to an office supply store like Staples. I tell them exactly what pages I want printed and how many of each page. Save a ton of money on this print order by bringing your own cardstock. If you can order it at school- even better. I buy mine at Wal-Mart and it is reasonable. Staples gives me a discount on the print job because I bring my own cardstock.
With the help of TpT, I am able to get an entire classroom of decor for the price of only a few items from a teaching store.
Once you have decided on a classroom theme, do some Pinterest reserach for DIY projects to add to your classroom decor. I like to think of this as professional development. Many of these projects are cheeper than buying something from a teaching store because they use materials you already have at home. For example, I made this cute field goal and soccer goal for my sports theme classroom using cheep pool noodles.
I have lots of Pinterest boards dedicated to various classroom themes so you can start your research here. Just click on the picture below and find the theme you have in mind.
Pinterest word of warning- Don't get overwhelmed and think that your classroom has to look like any picture on Pinterest! Keep your students in mind rather than turning this into an episode from HGTV!
I love this meme from Wild About Firsties!
In my first classrooms, I made every bulletin board look different. They were each their own work of art. So I needed different colors of paper, different boarder and lots of letters. It was so expensive! Now I have gotten a bit smarter and I use the same paper and borders for all of my boards. I originally thought that would be boring, but I was so wrong! It looks so neat and coordinated! And it saved me a ton! I even used the cheap border. But it still looks amazing!
Buying packs of bulletin board letters can get expensive! You end up having to buy a bunch of different sets so that you have enough of the common letters that you need. I finally got smart and started just printing letters from my computer. I use a bold font and then I can cut the letters out or even just hang the whole paper. My school has free black and white printing- so I made my letters black! It's inexpensive and easy to read. I only need to print the letters that I am going to use!
Just because you are redecorating your classroom, doesn't mean that you need to start from scratch! Look around your classroom. What can you keep? What can you just spray paint to match your new decor? When I redid my classroom a few years ago, I spray painted a bunch of red tubs to black to match my new decor. It saved tons of money.
Party decor often makes for great classroom decor. Think about parties you have thrown and those your friends have thrown. Your Super Bowl party decor from last year will look great in your sports themed classroom. Your friend's luau party decorations will be perfect in that beach theme classroom you've been dreaming about.
Did you catch my post from last week about reasons that I love having a classroom theme? Click on the image below to read that one too! Lots of good ideas!
My next classroom theme post will showcase my very favorite classroom themes so be sure to stay tuned!
And if you are looking for some fun classroom theme kits for your classroom, click on the image below to see the sets I currently have in my store.