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What's on Your Wall?

Shhh!  I have a secret addiction this time of year.  Yes, caffeine laden drinks and mini candy bars, but something else too.  I love peeking into the rooms of other music teachers!  I've always been the only music teacher in my school so I can look at other classroom teachers' rooms but I never get to see what other music specialists' rooms look like.  Fortunately others feel the same way and I've got to peek into some on Instagram and Facebook. 

In this post I'll introduce you to my new favorite decor theme-cooking!  Be sure to read all the way through to the end to learn about a special opportunity to get FREE Bulletin Board Lady merchandise and to link up pictures of your classroom.

The cooking theme was really something I've been wanting to do for a while.  There are so many inexpensive ways to decorate your classroom that look clever and inviting.  The bulletin board above uses a tablecloth for the background and 6-inch paper plates for the border.  You can find it HERE.

Teacher friend, Jeaneau Julian, also posted this board.  I love her background color.  It really pops!  Here are a few more pictures from Jeaneau's classroom.  I love how she has everything set up.

When displaying the Treble Clef Staff set she used laminated strips of bulletin board paper.  So smart!

With the National Music Standards - Cooking Theme she grouped each of the "I Can" statements under their category.  I love the way she utilized the cork strips to attach the posters.  It is definitely a smart use of space!

In this picture you can see (from left to right) the dynamics set, the tempo set and part of the music symbols set.  This is such a colorful eye-catcher!  I must admit I can never line my things up so neatly.  It is why I give them that "collage" look.  

This picture show more of the music symbols set and on the filing cabinet you can see the Ensemble Posters.  This set reminds me a little of Veggie Tales.  Oooo!  I should definitely find my Bob and Larry puppets!

Outside of the music room she has displayed part of this bulletin board set.  I bet she'll swap out some of the pieces as the school year goes on.  In the spot at the bottom she will post her class schedule.  I'm crossing my fingers that she does it like a menu!  Thank you for sharing your classroom with us Jeaneau!  It is beautiful!

So, let's go overboard.  What do you say?  I love working with themes and want to share a few more cooking/food ideas with you to carry the theme even farther.  First, you may want to check out these blogposts:  Dip and Chips Workstations, Dip Tray Workstations (Instrument Families and Note Values, and Dip Tray Workstations Bottle Cap Pitches.  The novelty of these workstations keeps students engaged and they totally match the cooking theme!

These hard, plastic plates were being clearanced at Wal-Mart.  I got 4 for $ .88!  Need to post daily/weekly I can statements?  This was so easy.  I attached a number doughnut (FREE download here) to the plate with tap and secured them to the wall.  Command strips or hot glue would work well for this.  If you would prefer to take them off the wall to write on them use Velcro.

Post them so that they are easy to reach and write your "I Can" statements for the week.  I see each class once a week so this is an easy way to display them all.
Dry erase markers wipe off these plates easily.  If you leave it on for a long time you might consider using some of that whiteboard spray on them and wiping them clean.

Like most teachers I love my local dollar stores!  These plastic, metallic-looking, platters work create with a dry erase marker.  This would be great to put outside of your classroom door for notes or announcements.
 Oh!  I also love yard sales!  Look at my latest yard sale score - plastic lunch trays.  I found a pretty big box of these for three dollars.  I used the 3 compartment trays for the grade levels that have 2 classes and the 4 compartment trays for the grade levels that have 3 classes.  My weekly schedule can be posted in a most unusual way.

These trays allowed the marker to be wiped off, but not easily.  When I'm finished with them I'll probably use fingernail polish remover or maybe spray paint them with chalkboard paint for use in a workstation.  The grade level labels are available HERE for free.

Attach them to your wall with Velcro, Command Strips or hot glue.
This theme lends itself to repurposing all sorts of things from home.  A peach box is now a basket for markers.  If I get board with that I may paint it to look like a woven wicker basket.
These cans that used to house veggies have been converted to pencil cans.  The labels are a FREE download HERE.  Plastic tumblers or coffee cups would work well too.
The spoons are attached to some of the pencils with clear tape.  I'm thinking that this may help me lose fewer pencils.  Maybe.  I spray painted the spoons.  I wanted to do them in a variety of colors, but just had black on hand.  Next I added a few dots with acrylic paint and let them dry.

After they were dry I attached them to the pencil and they are ready to go.  Students can't use the eraser this way, but I keep a box of erasers for just that purpose.  I take a regular sized eraser and cut it into three pieces to make them last longer.

Most of the displays for this theme shown above can be found in the Music Classroom Decor Bundle here.

Check out these fabulous classrooms!

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14 Unusual and Incredibly Fabulous Bulletin Board Borders

I love bulletin boards.  Have I mentioned that?  I love making my bulletin boards art.  I love putting art on my bulletin boards.  Heck...I'll put almost anything on my boards!  Here are a few ideas for quick and funky borders using some non-traditional items that you may have laying around your house.

Poker Chips

I use poker chips for several different things in my classroom, so I have quite a few on hand.  They make a great border, don't they?  If you have a metal edged board, you can use a glue gun to attach them.  If you are working with a board with a wooden frame, the hot glue may damage it.  Use glue dots.  I like to layer them for more visual appeal.  This bulletin board is a free download which feature the old national music standards.

Poker chips hold spray paint well.  I've spray painted them gold to use for the gold at the end of a St. Patrick's Day rainbow before and was pleased with the result.


I did a movie theme in my room once upon a time.  It was so fun to find new ways to use popcorn boxes and bags.  They are inexpensive to purchase (I got mine on Amazon.) and could be reused.  Popcorn boxes would be great for movie themed bulletin boards, popcorn words, etc...

I have plans to do something similar with small Chinese takeout boxes with my Instruments of China board.


It seems that it is completely impossible to keep a full deck of cards at my house.  Any kind of cards!  That's okay, because they look GREAT as borders for bulletin boards.  Uno, Phase 10 and regular playing cards work great for math bulletin boards, rhythm or time signature bulletin boards or maybe even a great trim for a bulletin board that showcases your daily schedule.

This set is from a Go Fish set of cards I picked up at the dollar store.  Love that they work so well with an ocean or beach theme.  Kids love to stop and look for matches even when they are displayed on a bulletin board.

Cupcake Papers 

This is one of my go to looks for making a display really pop.  There are so many varieties of cupcake papers available that you can find any color and any theme that you may need.  Flatten them out and staple them to your board. 

I've found that buying complimentary patterns and layering them can really be beautiful. 

When working with my rock star theme I wanted something metallic that would be a little flashy.  It turns out that there is a cupcake paper for that!  These little baking cups are so cute at the corners of my rock star alphabet display.  I added some glittery foam stickers to embellish them a little.  (Classroom teachers see the rock star theme HERE.  Music teachers see it HERE.)

Duct Tape 

It doesn't get any easier than this!  Look at what a great job duct tape does to cover this older bulletin board.  Check out your local discount store for tons of duct tape options.  The bulletin board above is from my Number Posters - Rock Star Theme.

This is another example of the versatility of duct tape.  This is a light blue glittery duct tape.  It is displayed on my Soar Into Music board.


This is SUCH an eye-catching display!  The bulletin board is Minecraft inspired and the Legos (or are these Duplos?) go with the building theme.  I used Scotch tape to attach them to my board.  For some of the pieces I just laid them on top of one piece and then taped the next block on it so that not every block is taped.  This may work better on a board that students can't easily touch.
(Classroom teachers take a closer look at the board HERE.  Music teachers HERE.)

Pool Noodles 

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while know that I have a great love for re-purposing pool noodles.  I've made ponies, steady beat swords and even workstations.  I also just cut them up to make great bulletin board borders!  For this fishy bulletin board I wanted them to imitate bubbles.  I've attached them with glue dots.  You could also use a low-temp hot glue gun to attach them.  This bulletin board is called Making Music Together.


They aren't just for note taking!  I often use these little gems to add content to bulletin boards.  They also make a great (and inexpensive) border.  The iPod pad shown above came from Wal-Mart and the composer bulletin board can be found HERE.

Paint Chips

Paint chips are free and are a perfect way to add visual interest to any bulletin board.  On the border above I chose to use two different kinds of paint chips and to create a pattern with them.  Paint chips look just as great mixed up and stapled in any order.  Staple them so they hang over the edge of the board and overlap.  You can learn more about the Let's Talk bulletin board HERE.


Even more than I love pool noodles in the classroom, I love plates!  When I packed up my room this year I marveled at my collection.  I have Zoo Pals (photo above), baseball plates, basketball plates, beach ball plates, watermelon plates, heart plates, square plates, Santa plates and more.  I also have colored plates in 3 different sizes and every color you can imagine.
I use them for movement and composition activities, but LOVE using them on bulletin boards.  I pick them up at discount stores, dollar stores and party supply places.  Here are a few examples.

The What's Cooking in Music board can be downloaded HERE.

The watermelon plates are so fun!  This year I found them in a larger, oval size.  This bulletin board is part of my Music Burger writing display.

Puzzle Pieces 

Shhh! Don't tell my daughter but sometimes I swipe her old puzzles for school projects!  In this instance, it was a jumbo Barney puzzle that had several missing pieces.  For the display below I just attached them to the board with glue dots.  You might be able to use Scotch tape too.  I have painted them before to match a bulletin board.

Tissue Paper 

Like many teachers I have created flowers and pom poms to decorate bulletin boards.  They have a huge visual punch and are relatively inexpensive to make.  It's very easy to just scrunch it up together and staple it around your board.  Creating enough tissue paper flowers to use around the edge of a bulletin board is also pretty, but time consuming.  Braiding long strips of tissue papers creates an interesting look and lets you coordinate your border with whatever colors you may need.

Odds and Ends  

Really, I'll put anything on a bulletin board.  I've used socks, fishing poles, candy, lights, my son's overalls and more.  For this movie themed bulletin board I used a few View Master reels to accent the corners.

Wrapping Paper 

In my bulletin board kits I often talk about using wrapping paper as a background for your bulletin boards.  It can be found in many themes and patterns and often stays bright and colorful without fading for several months.  Reversible wrapping paper can also be used to create borders.

As you are stapling the paper in place, leave about two inches overlap on each side.  Fold this down to reveal the back side of the paper and staple into place.

What unusual things have you put on your bulletin boards?  I'd love to hear about them or see a picture!

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