Decorating on the Cheap

Some classrooms lend themselves to decorating. Some teachers are better classroom decorators than others. I’d point you to uberpopular social media site Pinterest to prove these points. Some of you are simply amazing, turning something as simple as a light switch into a teaching moment. Not just a bland-as-unsalted popcorn teaching moment, but a teaching moment seemingly designed by a freewheeling combination of Salvador Dali, Beverly Cleary, and Michelangelo. Come on, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

By cruel twist of fate or simple bad luck, good teachers can sometimes end up with impossible spaces. Too many windows? Not enough wall space? Cheap flooring? High ceilings? A recipe that will be difficult to improve upon. Factor in the constraints of a slim or nonexistent budget? What’s a teacher to do?

In my high-ceiling/underwhelming-wall-space classroom, the key to decorating rested on the unbending versatility of heavy-duty fishing line.

What tips can you offer a teacher trying to decorate a classroom on a tight budget? Share your tips here at the Upper Grades Exchange.

P.S. What books would you choose if you got to pick $250 worth of books from The Mailbox? That’s the dilemma you face if you win our Facebook Fan Giveaway! Click on “The Mailbox Promotions” on our Facebook page to enter! Or click here to get started –

4 thoughts on “Decorating on the Cheap

  1. problem walls no problem at all I use large display boards mactaced to the wall or some just standing at the wall. These are so versitile you can create different looks over and over again if you go to the local hardware store and purchase the white plastic board they are large and even better if your space is small collect the mirrors from the dollar shop and place these on the boards for the illusion of more space.

  2. With 4 simple heavy duty eye hooks drilled into the corners of my walls, some plastic coated wire and clothespins you suddenly have all the display space that you need! The wire goes cris-cross and meets in the middle. I do not make it too high so that I can reach it to change the work often. The work hanging takes the focus away from what may be above and brings the noise level of my classroom down.
    I have also put hooks up on my ceiling, tied fishing line to the hooks and then paperclips to the other end. Lots of work can be hung from these as well. It is easy to cover walls, bulletin boards and windows-but ‘up’ is a huge space which is often forgotten and very valuable!

  3. When I did my student teaching 20 years ago I went to my Dad with a little problem of display space. So we came up with plywood shapes as extra display space. My Dad made 2 simple shapes with a stand-they were a cross shape, but quite full. I used an overhead projector to make large paper animals or people (chef, girls, boys, etc.) that can be attached to these versatile wooden shapes. I laminate the paper animal or person and then attach them to the wooden shape as they are appropriate for what I want to display. The paper can be stored flat on top of my storage closet along with the wooden shape and stand. My Dad and I made a great team!

  4. I never have enough storage space. Years ago I did not have enough storage space, and no money to buy a book case. I bought concrete cinderblocks (like the ones for your yard) and had straight boards cut at Home Depot. For about $25.00 I had a book case that worked for about ten years. The bricks got painted everytime I changed color schemes. The length of the boards could change if I lost or added space over the years.

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