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Back to School Prep Guide: DIY Bulletin Boards

Janelle Cox

Back to School: TeachHUB.coms Ultimate 5-Week Prep Guide Prep Guide is your go-to resource for making sure that your return to the classroom is successful.

Bulletin boards are an appealing way to display student work, they can serve as a means to educate, and provide an easy reference for classroom assignments or a daily calendar. They are an essential staple in your classroom not only because they increase student learning, but they also create a welcoming environment in an organized and attractive manner.

For first-time teachers, the thought of creating a bulletin board may seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you are not as creative as you would like to be. Before you hang up your shoes, equip yourself with the following items and give it a try, it’s a lot easier than you think.

DIY Back to School Bulletin Boards

Whether you are looking for a no-fuss bulletin board that will last all year long, or have a lot of empty space on your walls that need to be covered, the following two ideas will work for you.

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No-Fuss Bulletin Board Tutorial

Items Needed:

  • Thick insulation board (you can purchase this at Lowes or Home Depot)
  • Solid colored fabric (1 yard for every 30’ length of board)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Supplies to anchor to the wall (drill, screws, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the insulation board to the size that you want. Lowes, Home Depot, or whatever home improvement store you go to can do this for you.
  2. Cut your fabric larger than the board (about 5 inches) because you will have to staple the fabric down.
  3. Use a stapler to tack down the fabric onto the board (make sure you pull the fabric really tight). Secure the fabric at all corners and down the backside.
  4. Anchor to the wall and you’re all set!

Tips: Choose a fabric that is in a neutral color so it will be easy to reuse. When stapling your fabric to the backside of the insulation board wrap the corner like you would a present. Styrofoam sheets can also be used in lieu of insulation board but they will not hold up as long.

Simply Easy Bulletin Board Tutorial

Items Needed:

  • Push pins
  • Yarn
  • Butcher paper
  • Ribbon
  • Double-sided tape

Instructions:

  1. Use the yarn and push pins to map out a section on your wall (if your wall isn’t made of concrete or brick. If it is, see the first tutorial). The easiest way to do this is to place one push pin in the wall then wrap the yarn around it and continue to do this until you form a rectangle. There will be a little bit of adjusting until you have yourself a perfect rectangle.
  2. Next adhere your butcher paper with double-sided tape (you can also use table clothes from the Dollar Store) into the center of the rectangle. Don’t worry about overlapping because the border will cover that up.
  3. Use thick ribbon as the border (you can also buy this at the Dollar Store).
  4. That’s it, it’s that simple!

Tip: To make your border even more spectacular try adding creative objects around it, such as play money, stamps, cut-out letters, shapes, etc.

Helpful Tips

Here are a few suggestions to help you create an effective classroom display that all will enjoy. 

  • To make your bulletin board really stand out, choose a creative fabric. Table clothes, newspaper, wrapping paper, and magazine pages are imaginative ways to really catch someone’s eye.
  • Instead of the obvious cut-out letters to use as a title for your bulletin board, get creative and use items such as yarn, stones, beads, and marbles to create your letters.
  • Besides using the plain teacher border that everyone else uses, try stringing Christmas lights, or use beaded necklaces to make your border really stand out. Bingo dabbers are also a fun way to add a pop of color to your border.

Suggested Sites to Visit

  • Classroom DIY is a great site to visit if you are looking for some do-it-yourself classroom projects.
  • My Classroom Ideas is another great site with pages of bulletin board and classroom ideas.
  • Sparkle Box has an amazing photo gallery where you can browse hundreds of classroom bulletin boards and displays from classrooms all over.

Do you have a simple trick to create a classroom bulletin board? Share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas!

Check out TeachHUB.com’s extensive library of back-to-school and first-day of school articles, a list which grows every day:

7 First Day of School Activities Students Love

Back to School: 6 Things to Do at the Start of the Year

Back to School: Starting the Year on the Right Foot

How Parents Can Prepare for Back to School Time

Back to School: Top 5 Grammar Tips

Back to School: 10 Ways Teachers Can Prepare

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators