We all probably had a few teachers who went above and beyond with their classroom bulletin boards. You know the ones — very vibrant, organized and full of positive messages. When the October holidays were around the corner, the classroom bulletin boards were decorated in orange and muted yellow colors with pumpkins, leaves and black cats — and Halloween was the talk of the school.
So whether you’re a teacher with a full classroom or an at-home educator with just a few students, bulletin boards are a wonderful way to convey information, create interest in various topics or engage student participation — like with a “Scavenger Hunt Board.” Love this one! The “item of the week,” for example the color red, is represented at the top and everyone is encouraged to stick on as many red-colored found objects on the board. By the end of the week, the board is covered with things like balloons, flowers or petals, crayons, buttons, ribbons, magazine cuttings of red items and so on. A group discussion about what and how each item was found is a nice way to wrap up the week.
Most bulletin boards have common elements — a themed or colored background, a slogan, small decorative accents, subject matter presented in a fun way — and there is almost always a border!
Borders can range from commonly used and minimalist single color scalloped borders to some epic hand-cut 3D craft paper masterpieces. Check out our instructional blog post about tissue paper flowers. They’re quick and easy to make with the help of sharp craft scissors and a fantastic way to create a fun bulletin board border. Make the flowers all the same size for a uniform border or create a variety of sizes and then mix and match in an arch shape for an artful display. For even more flair, tuck battery LED lights under the tissue paper to illuminate the flowers. LED lights have come a long way. Get the ones with a built-in timer to save on battery power and you don’t have to remember to turn them on or off.
Paper flowers are another way to spruce up the craft-store scalloped edging. For a spring theme, select a few pastel colors like light yellow, light blue and lavender. Layer the scalloped edges and then add 3-dimensional paper flowers in each corner over the scallops. Then, add a few leaves in a complementary green color. Use the template below for both petals and leaves.
If you’d like to see how these flowers were made, you can watch this YouTube video on how to make paper flowers. We used a craft knife to cut the petals and leaves out and a cutting mat to protect our work surface from blade marks.
Paper or yarn tassels are another fun way to decorate school or at-home classroom bulletin boards. Decide the overall length of the tassel. Then, using a measuring tool, mark out your paper twice that number and add about ½” to compensate for the fold. For a narrow tassel, cut less strips. For a fluffier cut, add more. On your cutting mat, using a ruler and a hobby knife, cut narrow strips in selected colors. You can also try the dual strip cutter for a quicker way to cut strips.
Count out the number of strips for each tassel from your pile and make sure they’re even. Then, gently fold over a ribbon or string and secure with a wider strip of paper with glue.
String them horizontally for a fun banner or hang up each on its own. If there’s a friendly competition in your classroom, you can use these paper tassels as progress marks by moving them up accordingly.
Speaking of fun banners, pennants are a versatile way to create a header for a bulletin board and these are so easy to make since they’re triangular in shape. Using a ruler and a craft knife, on the cutting mat, mark and cut out the desired shape. Then, using reusable sticky dots, add letters or design elements that correspond to the theme of your board.
If you use a thicker stock craft paper in a neutral color, the pennants can be used over and over by changing out the letters and decals. It’s a good way to save time on extra work.
We hope the ideas above have inspired you! And, as always, tag us in your creative work at #excelbades. We love to see and share your fabulous work.