Get Your Classroom Ready For The School Year
Whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced teacher, deciding how to decorate your classroom in a way that is both engaging for your students and not too painful for your wallet can be a real head-scratcher. Not only do you need to find decorations that are easy to put up, are educational and all fall under a cohesive theme, but you usually need to pay for it all out of your own pocket!
At Spotlight we take our catchphrase 'Bargains Galore' very seriously, and teachers can take advantage of this to find everything they need to decorate their classroom without breaking the bank. From craft supplies and haberdashery to home decor, you can find everything you need to create a stunning classroom right here at Spotlight!
Classroom Decoration Ideas And Themes
If you are stuck and need some classroom decorating ideas, we've collated some of the most popular classroom themes around that you can use to inspire your own decorating!
You can easily use flowers as a base for decorating, thanks to the multiple colours and forms flowers can come in. Colourful flowers like sunflowers, daisies, bottlebrushes and wattles are all great choices for classrooms featuring boys and girls, and super easy to feature on all your classroom decor. Flowers can be placed on labels, signs, tubs, cupboards, tables and name cards, and their designs are iconic enough that they're easy to create and identify for both teachers and students.
Books and pencils/library
Make learning at the forefront of your decorations with books and pencils or a library theme in your classroom. This theme gives you great flexibility in your choices of colour and space to write on, and it is easy to edit if you specialise in a specific subject. The simple shape of a book and pencil are also easy to cut out and hang up, making them a great option for when you need to showcase a lot of writing in a hurry.
Having a colour theme is always handy, but if you're having trouble picking one, how about choosing all the colours? A rainbow-themed classroom ensures every child will have their personal favourite hue represented, and it ensures your classroom will never be lacking in colour!
And rainbows come in more than just the classic variation you see in the sky on special days! Why not try a rainbow full of magical pastel colours, or a more natural 'boho' style rainbow with more natural, complimenting colours?
You can use other sky-related imagery, like clouds, birds and balloons, to create solid spaces to write on if needed.
If you want a more understated but still beautiful classroom theme, then consider decorating using a gumtree theme. Gum leaves are a simple but eye-catching shape to write things like names, months and other classroom essentials, and you can use the iconic gum nuts and beautiful yellow flowers to further decorate your classroom.
Classroom Decorations You Can Make Yourself
When setting up a classroom for the first time, you'll quickly realise you'll need a lot of labels! Labels can help keep your classroom organised, as well as assisting you in enforcing your classroom rules and helping kids learn new words. Hand-making labels for more special objects and areas of your classroom can help stress their importance to your students, although you can use a label maker for smaller things.
Here are some of the things you can label around your classroom:
- Stationary buckets - if you have extra stationery on hand for students that need them, keeping them organised in their own buckets is a must. Basics like grey lead pencils, blue and red pens, erasers and sharpeners can all be kept in their own little labelled storage cups.
- Student storage - if your students have their own tubs, storage cubicles or bag hooks, labelling them can help students keep their belongings in one place, discourage them from looking into each other's things, and also prevent arguments about who gets to keep their things where.
- Bookshelves - providing books is a great way to encourage your students to read, and you can label your bookshelf to help them find their books quickly. Splitting your bookshelf into two halves - fiction and nonfiction - is a good start. You can then label your shelves by genre. Non-fiction genres include geography, history and science, while you can split your fiction shelf into popular categories like fantasy, adventure and spooky.
- Workstations - if you have space for it, setting up workstations for certain activities can help keep your classroom clean, as it will prevent the activity from 'spilling over' into other parts of the space. Examples include an art station for painting, a science station for any experiments and a reading station for quiet reading.
- Media devices - if you have devices like headphones, chargers and laptops in your classroom, labelling them (and the space they live) will help keep them in their place and encourage kids to return them to where they need to go. A few 'do not touch' labels will always be handy as well, for expensive machines like a smart TV or dehumidifier.
Buntings and garlands
Hanging decor that dangles from the ceiling or is spread from one side of the room to the other looks lovely on any occasion, and is also a handy way to display the arts and crafts your kids make themselves. Seeing their work displayed will help students take pride in what they make, and shows them you are proud of what they've achieved.
A simple twine cord and cute craft pegs are perfect for displaying artwork by your students. If you want to make some purely decorative garlands and buntings, try the following projects:
- Triangle bunting - this cute bunting is super easy to make, even if you are a beginner seamstress! You can choose fabrics to match your classroom theme, or even ask your students their favourite colours and make the burning during the year. If you have a lot of leftover materials from dressmaking projects, this is a great way to use your scrap materials as well.
- Leaf garland - this beautiful garland is easy to make with a Cricut machine, or any other cutting machine you may already own. You can also cut the leaves out by hand by layering your paper sheets and using a cutting or rotary knife to make the process a bit quicker.
- Animal garland - these adorable animals will make this garland one of your student's favourites! Made of super-soft felt sheets, these animals are easy to identify and can serve as a teaching tool as well - create animals from different countries or from different species to help your students learn more about the fauna of our planet.
A birthday wall is a must-have in any classroom, as not only does it help generate excitement among students for their peer's birthdays but it will also help you remember them as well! The birthday wall is a really fun chance for you to get creative in your design - here are some different ways you can set up your birthday wall:
- Cupcakes and candles - create a cupcake image for each month, with the name of the month written on each cupcake. Then prepare candle shapes for each child. Write their name and the day on each candle, and stick it to the cupcake with velcro or another temporary adhesive. When it's their birthday, students can 'blow out' their candle - which means they can take their candle off the cake and bring it home with them if they like. You can also just leave the candles on the cakes year-round.
- Balloons - this simple but classic birthday wall set-up is popular for its bright colours and easy creation. Simply make a label for each month and then cut out a paper balloon shape for each child - write their name and birthdate on each balloon, and stick it under the corresponding month. Stick a real ribbon under each balloon for some extra texture and colour!
- Party hats - the simple triangle shape of a party hat makes them easy to cut out, but you can use special foil, metallic and patterned cardstock to help make your party hats more exciting. Similar to the balloon set-up, cut out a month label, then create a party hat for each child with their name and birth date. You can stick a pompom to the top of each hat to add a fluffy 3D element.
- Party bags - this birthday wall set-up can be a little more tricky, but will make each student super excited for their birthday! Find a decent-sized paper party bag for each month, and then create a label for each month. Stick the labels to the wall and fill the party bags with some crepe paper to make them look full. Either create labels or write each student's name and birthdate on each bag according to the month, then stick the bag to the wall under each month. You can then pop a treat in the bag on the day of the student's birthday for them to retrieve on their special day! Small toys and trinkets are best - chocolates and treats are okay, but you will need to be aware of any dietary requirements your students may have.
- Your classroom theme - you can also theme your birthday wall around your classroom theme. Labels featuring the student's name can easily feature a flower, book or rainbow image to help match your classroom theme!
Cost-Saving Ideas And Tricks To Decorate Your Classroom
Decorating your classroom on a budget? Here are some of our classroom decorating hacks you can use to make a gorgeous classroom theme while saving time and without breaking the bank:
- Decorative tape - if you need to use tape for displaying images and adhering anything together, make it a little more interesting using decorative washi tape. Not only does it cost around the same as regular craft tape, but the detailed designs on washi tape are sure to enhance anything it is used on. Washi tape can also be used purely for decoration - try using it on books, posters and binders to add a little extra detail.
- Stamps for marking - make marking a whole lot faster with some handy stamps! A few 'well done', 'great work' and 'good effort' stamps will make adding comments to your student's work much easier.
- Label maker - for creating simple, ready to use labels, consider using a label maker! Label makers will print you a label on the spot, are easy to carry around and often come with all the size and font options you need for a classroom.
- Velcro labels - for labels you may need to move around, attach a velcro strip or dot to the back so you can attach and remove them easily. This will prevent you from having to print a new label whenever something changes, such as when you need to move things around or repurpose any of your supplies.
Decorate Your Classroom With Spotlight
Whether you want to sew, paint, fold or glue your way to a stunning classroom, Spotlight has the materials for you to bring your vision to life! You can find everything you need for your classroom themes online, or pay a visit to your nearest Spotlight store and our friendly team will help you find the right classroom decorations to suit your ideas and budget.