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10 Budget-Friendly Classroom Decor Tips

Decorating your classroom can be a bit intimidating. There are so many options to choose from and it can feel like an expensive and time-consuming task, but it doesn’t have to be! You can bring back the excitement of prepping your classroom for the new year with fun, simple, and budget-friendly classroom decor ideas that will make decorating a breeze. Whether you are a natural in decorating or it is your first year and you have absolutely no clue where to start, there are tips, tricks, and hacks that will get you feeling confident and ready to tackle your classroom decor. These ten classroom decor tips will help you decorate your classroom on a budget.

10 budget-friendly classroom decor tips

1. Choose a Classic Theme

Chalkboard Classroom Theme Decorations

We all know that a good ol’ classic black dress is a must have in your wardrobe. The same goes for other types of classics. You know, those things that never seem to go out style. You can apply this concept to your classroom decor too! Instead of choosing a theme that is trendy and likely to be gone in a year or two, choose a classic. A classic theme will help you decorate your classroom on a budget.

What’s more classic in the classroom than chalkboards! A chalkboard decor theme is a great way to decorate your room in a fun way that is easily changed up. Instead of changing out the entire theme, swap out bulletin board boarders and change up the complimenting color scheme. You can get a new look with these small changes while keeping the same decor theme year after year.

Decorate with mini chalkboards as a way to display your rules, label supplies or even tables. Use chalkboard paint on a bookshelf, bins, or even on the wall.

This all inclusive Editable Chalkboard Decor Set is ready to print and use. Just print the exact pieces you need and you are ready to go. No more buying a decor set from the teacher supply store just to use a couple pieces. You can choose from all sorts of decor pieces to hang in your room, including months of the year, holidays, bin labels, banners, posters, and more!

Chalkboard Classroom Theme Decorations

2. Use Fabric or Burlap

If you're on the lookout for a chalkboard and burlap classroom decor theme, you're in luck! This post has many great photos to help you see exactly how great you can make your classroom look. You're preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students are going to LOVE the cohesiveness of this look. You'll get many compliments, and you'll be organized for the entire school year as well! Click through to learn more and see all the options!

When it comes to creating a cozy, inviting space for you and your students, you can find endless inspiration for little cost in the fabric section of your local store. Add a festive pop to your bulletin with bright patterns by using fabric, instead of paper, as the background. It’s a great way to keep bulletin boards looking brand new all year long! And fabric is an inexpensive option that will help you decorate your classroom and stick to your budget.

Another great fabric element is burlap. Burlap has a great texture and is a wonderful neutral that you can combine with many other things. Use real burlap to accent this Rustic Burlap Classroom Decor theme.

Burlap has become so popular because it is inexpensive and creates such a cozy atmosphere. I really love the pairing of burlap with chalkboards, but you can also use it to create a farmhouse theme, a historical theme and so much more.

You can tweak your space however you’d like, fabrics and burlap are really such a blank canvas for you to create your own unique touch with! These printable classroom resources will add that little extra flair all around the classroom to pull everything together!

3. Don’t Skip the Dollar Store

Your local dollar store can be a treasure trove for all things classroom decor, and it won’t cost you a fortune! You can stick to your budget when you look for supplies to decorate your classroom at the local dollar store. When it comes to finding storage for the classroom, don’t pass up the dollar store. You can find bins, tubs, cases, and all sorts of storage containers to organize your classroom. Add some labels and you will find yourself in a well organized classroom.

You can also get some great deals on school supplies and teacher resources at the dollar store. Most dollar stores have a section dedicated to these things. And if you want to create an educational game, start here. You can find all sorts of cards, dominos and even tumbling block towers that are the perfect addition to your review centers. The dollar store is your go to place for budget-friendly classroom decor resources.

4. Prep with Posters

Turn a bare, boring wall into a fun, colorful area in your classroom with posters. You can find all types, shapes, and sizes of posters, in tons of themes, for very little money and they can spruce up an area in no time. They are super simple and easy to hang, you can find fun quotes or find the perfect poster to support your lesson.

create a bulletin board with your new poster

You can also create your own, special posters using PowerPoint. It is super simple and these editable poster templates will help you design the perfect posters, tailored to your own unique classroom. They are perfect for classroom rules, motivational quotes, growth mindset concepts and so much more. You can even use them for academic concepts!

And . . . posters take up a lot of space. So if you have a large blank area that needs some visual interest think about posters. You can even print a poster from a PDF! Posters are an inexpensive way to decorate your classroom and stick to your budget.

5. Add Some Sparkle

A great way to add that cozy feel to any space is to add some twinkly lights. Grab a few strings of lights and string them up in your reading area to create a comfortable and inviting spot for students to curl up with their favorite book. You can often find them on sale in the days leading up to, or right after Christmas. Draw attention to your teaching board with some color, changing LED light strips. Your students are sure to love the cool vibe added by colorful lights. Add as many or as few as you want and watch your classroom transform into the perfect space for learning and fun!

6. Transform Cheap Picture Frames

Use inexpensive frames to display class rules, stations and motivational quotes

Head over to the dollar store and grab up as many $1 picture frames as you’d like, then get ready to transform them into something amazing for your classroom. IKEA is another great place to find inexpensive frames. Framing the posters or labels in your classroom gives them a great look and helps to create a homy atmosphere.

You can leave the frames as is, or decorate them. Decorating frames would also be a great first week of school activity. Your students will love seeing their creations used to help decorate the classroom.

Add some cute, motivational quote posters to your newly decorated picture frames to spread throughout your room. Not only will it look amazing, but it will also spread motivation and confidence throughout your room with these awesome quotes, plus how cute are the pineapples?

7. Repurpose

repurpose older items from your classroom or home and give them new life

Do you have old pieces of decor from classrooms past just laying around? Maybe old planner pages, scraps of fabric, posters, or art? Don’t be afraid to grab it all up and repurpose it! Using old items is a great, budget-friendly, time-saving tip that can benefit you and your classroom. Pop an old poster in your newly decorated picture frames, use scraps to make a collage, add fresh borders to old posters, frame up cute old pages from your used planners..the possibilities are limitless with repurposing old materials!

You can repurpose things like furniture too! Have an old chair, shelf or desk that would make a great addition to your classroom? Give it a good scrub, add some fresh paint and you’ll have a new special piece ready to go.

8. Create a Focal Point

Instead of focusing on decorating the entire classroom, which can get expensive, create a focal point. Go all out on one focal point in the room and let it make the statement. Then pull the rest of the room together with coordinating colors or patterns. The classroom bulletin board is a good focal point to use. Create a “wow” board and let it guide the rest of the room. Use this board to show off student work or let it be the home base of the room that features rules, the schedule and important announcements. Whatever you decide, add those extra special touches and it will stand out!

9. Decorate Dull, Boring Surfaces

Do you know those spots in the classroom that just look sad and boring? Maybe it’s the top of an old bookshelf, or maybe it’s a door that has seen better days. Spruce them up with decals, posters, and plenty of bright colors! You can also grab packs of decal stickers in all different types of themes from your craft store, won’t cost a ton, and will perk up any dull surface like cabinets, bins, storage, tables, etc. Also, make sure you use some fun pops of color!

For a large surface, contact paper and spray paint are two inexpensive ways to give new life to an old surface. Chalkboard paint would create a fun and interactive space in the classroom that students would love.

10. Wrap It Up!

Use wrapping paper to add fun color and pattern to your classroom.  It's a great way to make a big statement without spending a lot of money.

Go to the party aisle at your local store and grab a few inexpensive rolls of fun, colorful wrapping paper. You can choose any pattern, color or theme and make a big statement for barely any cost! Here’s some fun ways to use wrapping paper in the classroom:

  • Wrap up the front of your desk
  • Use on your bulletin board
  • Cover cabinet doors

It is fun to get creative and see what patterns you can mix and just how many surfaces you can cover with wrapping paper. It will add just the pop of fun and color to your room!

Think Big, Spend Small

Hopefully, these fun, creative, and budget-friendly classroom decor ideas are just what you needed to get your creative juices flowing. Decorating your classroom for a new year can really be a fun and exciting time that doesn’t have to break the budget. Have fun, get creative and make a space you and your students will enjoy and feel comfortable in all year long!

Save These Budget-Friendly Classroom Decor Tips

Pin these budget-friendly classroom decor tips to your favorite teacher Pinterest board. Then when you are ready, you can come back and find these practical tips to help your decorate your classroom on a budget!

Find easy and practical budget-friendly classroom decor tips and ideas

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Shelly Rees

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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