Creating a sense of wonder, enveloping your students in their surroundings, crafting immersive spaces that bring lessons to life…these may seem like lofty goals for most teachers when they think of stocking and decorating their classrooms, given the limited budget that they are typically working with.
Fortunately, with a little ingenuity, planning ahead and savvy shopping, you can stock your classroom and decorate it too, all while on a budget.
How to Stay on Budget with Classroom Decor and Supplies
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and teachers have long been familiar with this concept when it comes to finding ways to solve challenges of all sorts. Sourcing classroom decor and supplies is no different, so they are most certainly up for this challenge too!
While teachers and their creativity know no bounds, below are a few ways to get you started with decorating and stocking your classroom on a budget.
6 Ways to Decorate and Stock Your Classroom on a Budget
Here are some tried-and-true budget-friendly ideas to consider:
- Shop what you already have
This is a foundation of most budgeting enthusiasts: shop from the things that you already have access to, whether that be in your home, your classroom or your school. Many items can easily be repurposed when you consider what alternate uses they may have, such as an old apron that can be worn for art projects or a flower pot turned into a holder for markers and colored pencils.
- Visit resale stores
Resale shops can be a treasure trove of items waiting to be discovered. There is often a huge variety ranging from furniture, clothing, office supplies, toys, decor and much more that can be purchased at discounted prices and given new life for use in the classroom.
- Buy in bulk
Items like paper goods, cleaning supplies, pens, pencils, notebooks, glue sticks, paper plates and plastic cups can be purchased in bulk at greatly reduced prices. Buying these items in advance can also be a time-saver as you can do your shopping once or twice and then pull from your supply throughout the year as needed.
- Borrow both inspiration and items from others
When you see an idea you could put to use in your classroom, don't be afraid to ask for help or if you might be able to borrow props, decor or other supplies. You may be surprised by how willing others are to help by lending a hand or lending an item, and they may be flattered that you were inspired by their creativity or resourcefulness.
- Try your hand at DIY
Get crafty and try making what you need yourself. This can be anything from a homemade bookshelf or handsewn bean bag for a cozy reading nook to using table cloths to create curtains or room dividers.
- Reuse and recycle
Bring items into the classroom that have staying power, when possible. For example, create decor themes that can be reused for the next holiday, season or lesson plan, and purchase storage bins that will hold up year after year.
Get Inspired and Find Ideas for Your Classroom
Consider these ideas a springboard for your own clever approach to decorate and stock your classroom on a budget. Concepts can be tweaked and customized to fit your personality, interests, location and student base.
With over 90 years of experience, GEDDES has an endless array of creative items and school supplies to help achieve your classroom goals.