Bulletin Boards 101: Design tips to take your classroom decor to the next levelThere are lots of things you won’t learn about teaching during your time in college.  How to start up your literacy block at the beginning of the year and what you should be teaching in phonics are on the list. Making attractive bulletin boards is another one of these topics.  Back-to-School bulletin boards welcome your students and create a fun, colorful learning atmosphere.  They may not increase achievement but they are a creative outlet and are definitely my jam! From a teacher/closet-art-enthusiast, here is Bulletin Boards 101!

Start With a Great Background

Sometimes butcher paper is great but eventually, everyone gets tired of seeing the same 5 colors all over the walls of the school.  Try starting with a background made of something different.  What if you crinkled the material?  Turned it in different directions? Used more than 1 color or a mix of materials?
You can make a background with:
*Tissue Paper
*Notebook paper
*Grocery Store Ads
*Wrapping Paper
*Old Maps
*Scrapbook Paper
*Old Music
*Brown Paper Bags
Bulletin Boards 101: Plant a Seed and Read flower bulletin board
Here I layered pieces of construction and copy paper to create the look of a field. The flowers are made from old magazine pages. Read about how to make the 3D flowers here.
Bulletin Boards 101: Start with a great background
There’s a funny story behind this one. I came into school during the summer to set up the bulletin board outside of my room and found that the door to the supply room was locked! I couldn’t get to butcher paper, tissue paper, or construction paper. I decided to use plain white copy paper that I had in my room and use it to cover just part of my bulletin board. I was going for the suggestion of a cloud in the background.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Outside of the Lines

Every custodian I’ve encountered hates this…but I can’t be constrained by the edges of a bulletin board!  Sometimes things need to go outside the lines!

Bulletin Boards 101: Go Outside of the Lines


Notice that the exploding stars (which were leftovers after I cut starts on a Cricut) blasted right off the bulletin board and onto the wall.  It’s so much more interesting this way!

The zig-zag lines on this library bulletin board cross over the border onto the wall.  Yes, extra staple holes were made in the name of art!

Yarn is Your Best Friend!

Want to make a thin line, zig-zag, interesting shape, large shape?  Use yarn!  The rocket in the picture above was made by stretching yarn and stapling it down any time I wanted to change directions.
Bulletin Boards 101: Yarn is your Best Friend
These power lines are made of yarn.

Think About “Eye-Movement”

Instead of putting items on a bulletin board in straight rows or just randomly filling the space, see if you can create a sense of direction on your bulletin board.  Notice how the stars and the rocket on the red bulletin board above cause your eyes to move diagonally through the whole board.
Bulletin Boards 101: Think About Eye Movement
The position of these snowflakes causes your eye to swoop across the whole board.  You can do this same thing with pieces of student work. The snowflakes here were made with dyed coffee filters (could be a fun winter art project for students).
Bulletin Boards 101: Think About Eye Movement
The confetti on this bulletin board causes your eye to start at the top and move down to the message. I found it here.

Add Some Dimension

Bulletin boards don’t have to be totally flat! Notice how the kites above are made of folded paper and only stapled down in the middle so they are 3D.
Bulletin Boards 101: Create Dimension
These flowers are made of fluffed up tissue paper (and yarn for the stems!)  For a flower making tutorial, click here.
bulletin board 8

Paper lanterns add dimension to this bulletin board. I found it here.


Bulletin Boards 101: Add Dimension, Pinwheel Bulletin Board

The 3D pinwheels add dimension to this bulletin board.

Posters for Your Bulletin Boards

As you are setting up bulletin boards this year you may enjoy these resources:

 Pin these ideas for later!Bulletin Boards 101: Design tips to take your classroom decor to the next level


Check out more classroom decor ideas here:

Follow Hannah @ The Classroom Key’s board Classroom Decor on Pinterest.

Hannah Braun on FacebookHannah Braun on InstagramHannah Braun on PinterestHannah Braun on Youtube
Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master's degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.


  1. Thank you for all the beautiful inspiration! I love your bulletin boards! Thanks for sharing your secrets!

Comments are closed.