40 Brilliant, Cheap and Easy Classroom Decoration Ideas

Classroom Decoration Ideas - banner

Wouldn’t it be great if every time someone walked into your classroom they fell in love with it?

They’d all be in awe at how practical, beautiful and ingeniously creative it was.

The other teachers would want to steal it from you. The children line up to get inside it. And, the parents rave at their friends about how incredible their child’s classroom is.

Now, imagine you could get a classroom like that for less than a couple of dollars. How good would that be?

Well, in this article you’re going to see the cream-of-the-crop of ideas to help you have the best classroom on even the tightest budget.

If that sounds good to you, read on…

Practical Storage Ideas

01. Use Plastic Wall Baskets For Colorful Separation

classroom decoration - 01 - Plastic Wall Baskets

Perfect for paper, pencils or whatever the heck you like. These inexpensive wall baskets affix to your walls easily and add a splash of color to your classroom.

02. Use Your Old Tin Cans As Magnetic Pen Holders

classroom decoration - 02 - Old Tin Cans

Clean them up, stick some fancy tape around the top and either stick them to a magnet board, or keep them on your desk. Chances are, you’ve already got some in the recycling.

03. Use A Metal Bucket As A Library Book Drop Off Point

classroom decoration - 03 - Metal Bucket

You can jazz it up with stickers, stencils and vibrant colors. Writing “Stop forgetting your books!” in big red letters is done at your discretion.

04. Create Seats With Storage By Using Old Milk Crates

classroom decoration - 04 - Old Milk Crates

Add a cushion to the top of these and you’ve got the perfect blend of storage, maneuverability and (dis)comfort.

05. Photo Boxes for Cards

classroom decoration - 05 - Photo Boxes

Fed up of card games getting dog eared, stepped on or lost? Grab some plastic photo boxes and store them there instead.

06. Reuse Baby Wipe Containers

classroom decoration - 06 - Baby Wipe Containers

How many tubs of baby wipes will the parents of your kids go through? Ask parents to donate their empty ones, or use your own. Decorate and use for storage. Easy.

07. Use Carabiners to Hang Bags and Coats

classroom decoration - 07 - Carabinas

Carabiners are guaranteed to hold a rock climber to side of a mountain. However, their results remain untested with an eight-year-old’s jacket. Also, you can use them to make a quick abseil escape from an unruly mob.

08. Turn a Dish Drainer into a Filing Caddy

classroom decoration - 08 - Dish Drainer

Got an old dish drainer? Give it a lick of paint and use it as a filing caddy instead.

09. Spice Rack Storage

classroom decoration - 09 - Spice Rack Storage

Sticking with the kitchen themed storage, you can use a spice-rack as a creative storage option for smaller objects. And, it’ll probably get more use than that container of Five Spice that you’re still looking for a reason to use.

10. Use A Curtain Rail To Hang Magazines

classroom decoration - 10 - Curtain Rail

Place magazines into plastic covers and hang them onto a shower rack with shower curtain hooks. Sorted.

11. Spray Paint Plastic Locker Bins

classroom decoration - 11 - Spray Paint Plastic Locker Bins

It’s not until you become a teacher you realize how versatile plastic storage bins are, right? Take some dollar-store storage bins, spray paint them, and you’ve got ‘lockers’ for your students.

12. Mini-Crate Scissor Rack

classroom decoration - 12 - Scissor Rack

Grab a small crate. Flip it upside down. Pop your scissors in. Winner.

13. The Swedish Hanging Craft Dryer

classroom decoration - 13 - Swedish Hanging Craft Dryer

Ah, IKEA. A never ending source of great storage ideas. Grab this PRESSA hanging dryer for a whopping $7.95 and use as a craft dryer.

14. Pencil Storage

classroom decoration - 14 - Pencil Storage

Another great way to use old tin cans. Have one for sharp pencils and one for dull. Then give the job of sharpening the dull ones to one of your students.

15. Use Shoe Holders for Electronics

classroom decoration - 15 - Shoe Holders

If there are items you don’t need to lock up – like headphones or usb sticks – you can use these neat little shoe holders to keep them tucked away.

Decoration Innovation

16. Decorated Cork Boards

classroom decoration - 16 - Decorated Cork Boards

Decorate bland cork boards using wallpaper, wrapping paper or some funky colored craft paper. Who knew cork could look this beautiful when it’s not next to a wine bottle?

17. Hanging Books

classroom decoration - 17 - Hanging Books

Hanging Books are a cute little addition. All you need is some string and a command hook, then you’re ready to go.

18. Use Funky Tape For Colorful Edging

classroom decoration - 18 - Funky Tape

Refresh your dated filing cabinets or desks with some funky patterned tape. I wonder if they make a Police Line Do Not Cross tape for a confiscated items draw, too?

19. Tissue Paper Tassel Garland

classroom decoration - 19 - Tissue Paper

You can get loads of tissue paper for super cheap and even get the children to help make them. Watch how to do it here.

20. More Crates? Make A Reading Bench From Them

classroom decoration - 20 - Reading Bench

Just dial 1-800-Crates-R-Us…okay, no, I don’t work for a crate manufacturer. But you can find out how to make one of these glorious crate benches here.

21. Don’t Spend on Posters

classroom decoration - 21 - Posters

Give your students some ownership of the classroom, too. Let them design posters at the start of the year to make them feel a part of something bigger.

22. Rain Gutter Book Shelves

classroom decoration - 22 - Rain Gutter

Cheap and easy to assemble, these look great without taking up too much space. And, you can always leave one full of leaves and mud to clean as a detention punishment too (optional, of course).

23. Paint Old Lightbulbs

classroom decoration - 23 - Lightbulbs

To add a little bit of quirky decor to your classroom get the children to paint some old lightbulbs, then hang from the ceiling with fishing wire.

24. Vinyl Classroom Cushions

classroom decoration - 24 - Cushions

These cushions add color, are really easy to clean and are cheap to make. Looks a little more like home too, right?

Teacher’s Little Helpers

25. Glitter Bottles

classroom decoration - 25 - Glitter Bottles

Not only do these look great but they works as calm down tools for your kids. They help to give some much needed ‘time out’ time when things get a bit too much.

26. Plastic Bracelets for Group Time

classroom decoration - 26 - Plastic Bracelets

Grab some plastic bracelets from a local discount store and give each group a certain colored band. Makes things clear for the children and saves you having to remember.

27. Dry Erase Spots on Tables

classroom decoration - 27 - Dry Erase Spots

This is great for group activities when they need to come up with ideas, and they can be easily wiped away when they’re finished.

28. ‘Line Up’ Vinyl Floor Stickers

classroom decoration - 28 - Floor Stickers

A really useful visual tool for kids to stand in a straight line. So simple, but so helpful.

29. Alphabet Pebbles

classroom decoration - 29 - Alphabet Pebbles

This a completely free idea to help kids learn their letters. You can even get kids to bring in their own pebbles to paint, too.

30. Photo Frame Teaching Prompts

classroom decoration - 30 - Photo Frame

These little photo frames work great for putting prompts on your desk, or for adding notes and reminders around the classroom. Saves on wall space too, and can be changed in just a few seconds.

31. Box-Lid Customized Desk Organizer

classroom decoration - 31 - Customized Desk Organiser

Why should your cutlery drawer be the only one that’s well organized? Find some small boxes – match boxes or thumb tacks – and box lids, to create a desk organizer for a little moment of sanity in your classroom.

32. Carpet Squares

classroom decoration - 32 - Carpet Squares

Stuck for space with seating? Grab some carpet square samples and use those instead.

33. DIY Chair Feet

classroom decoration - 33 - DIY Chair Feet

Chair squeaking is guaranteed to make my teeth hurt. So is spending lots of money on tennis balls. You can find the cheaper option right here!

34. Job Pegs

classroom decoration - 34 - Job Pegs

Write each child’s name on a peg and attach it to a ‘job’ chart for the day. It’s a simple visual tool to give your kids responsibilities in the classroom.

35. An I’m Done Chart for Early Finishers

classroom decoration - 35 - Chart for Early Finishers

Stuck for what to do with children who finish their work first? Have an I’m Done chart on one of the walls and get them to pick a task.

36. Instant Pom Pom Eraser

classroom decoration - 36 - Instant Pom Pom Eraser

Hot glue some poms-poms to the end of your dry eraser for an easy wipe solution.

37. A Clothes Peg ‘Turn In’ Bin

classroom decoration - 37 - Clothes Peg

Put each child’s name on a peg and have them attach it to their work. This way you know who’s assignments are missing.

38. Color in the Clock

classroom decoration - 38 - Colour in the Clock

This picture is more for a home schedule but I love the idea for the classroom. Color in different sections of the clock and put a chart underneath so the children know exactly how the day will run.

39. Have Colorful Duct Tape on Pencils

classroom decoration - 39 - Colourful Duct Tape

Another line of defence in the never ending battle to find lost pencils.

40. Cell Phone Day Care

classroom decoration - 40 - Cell Phone Day Care

This is a great way to get the phones out of their pockets and away from their desks. Double it up as a charging station to get them in there in the first place.

Let Your Creativity Flow…

Okay, now it’s over to you. Did any of these cheap ideas inspire you, or do you have some of your own that other teachers need to know about? Let me know in the comments…

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James is a Freelance Writer from England. Although his main exposure to design comes from being comic-book obsessed, he wants to show writers how visual content can make their work so much better. And, who doesn't like looking at pretty things while drinking coffee?

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