Archive for July 2014

Back To School 2014: Bulletin Boards

Monday, July 21, 2014

Oh, hi there, remember me?  Miss Vericker's Adventures? Yeah, it's been AWHILE!  I have been splitting my time between New York (work, work, work on the new classroom and K activities!) and Rhode Island (beach, beach, beach) with a few weddings, family reunions, and bachelorette parties sprinkled in between.

Anyway, I am currently packing to ship off to Europe with my husband for two weeks, but before I go I wanted to do a blog post about a Back To School tip that is a lifesaver- felt or fabric bulletin boards!  WOO HOO!

Below is a photo of my  trusty Back To School bulletin board that was a cinch to just tack up the cut-outs and VOILA... bulletin board complete!  No fussing with rolls of paper and staples and the inevitable rips or fading.  {On this board, I used a wide grosgrain ribbon as a border}

If you are going to mess with fadeless paper over and over again, year after year- why bother?!  It is just as easy to head to your local Michael's, Joann's or another favorite craft store and purchase a few yards of felt.  For me, the felt was VERY cost-effective- approximately $4-$9 a yard, very comparable to rolls of fadeless paper.  This is a one-time purchase that will last for years to come.  Another slightly pricier option is to use neoprene fabric (think bathing suit or gymnastic leopard fabric), which looks super cool and has a little more "give".

I fell in love with the vibrant colors of the felt and how they did not fade over the three years I had them up in my classroom.  I also got a little snazzy with glitter felt, that also surprisingly, did not lose its sparkle.  What teacher doesn't love a little glitter in her life?! As you can see from the photo above, I have some oddly shaped bulletin boards which were a real gem to try to cover.  Thank goodness I only had to do it once!

I found that a yard of felt was the perfect size for the width of most of the bulletin boards.  Just like with any bulletin board creation, it definitely is a labor of love putting these up.  I found what worked best was to first use push pins before I inserted any staples.  This was you can keep pulling and stretching the fabric until it is taut.  Below are some works in progress.

Once you have the fabric stretched, pulled and wrinkle-free, throw some staples and a border or two on there and TAH-DAH!  Your forever bulletin boards are complete.  Never again will you be spending hot August days sweating your behind off putting up bulletin boards.  PS- I always found that regular old standard staples did the trick but some of my colleagues used a staple gun; either way you're fine.

And here are a few pics of my Word Wall which was not made with fabric, rather I laminated construction paper and used velcro dots as I added each word.  

Below is what I did with my leveled library.  Each bin was labeled using D-rings.  To make the boring shelves POP I laminated the large sheets of construction paper and taped them to the back of the shelves.  Alternately, I am sure my precious felt would work as well, it was just too hard for me to reach the back wall to staple so I decided on paper and tape.

Last, but not least, my meeting area was framed on one side by my classroom blocks.  Now, I don't know about your firsties, but my could not keep their little paws off of the blocks during learning time!  Simple solution- curtains!  I bought some inexpensive, colorful curtains from Target and a tension rod and problem solved!  PS- I had to carve a little 'C' shaped hole out of the shelves at the top of the block shelf so the tension rod would easily fit.  I eventually hemmed these so they were nice and flat and did not drag along my carpet.

PPS- sorry for the horrible "aesthetic" of these photos!  They were all taken three years ago in my old classroom before I became good at taking visually appealing pictures of classroom decor!  

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