Friday, September 28, 2012

Dress it Up

As teachers, we all like to motivate, inspire, and even entertain our students. Our classrooms can help us do all three. Creating an inviting environment that children want to enter is an easy way to get them excited about coming to class. Below are some ideas for dressing up a music room.

Hallway Inspiration

Our classrooms are in a wing of the building that was constructed a few years ago. The hallway was sparkling clean, but very bland. I found several adorable printables of inspiring quotes from Shannon at Technology Rocks Seriously. The link to the printables is below.

Our art teachers had a quote they wanted to use, so I created one to blend with the others. I was able to do this because Shannon provided great info on fonts that she likes to use in her prints. I picked up a few mats and black frames from Hobby Lobby, and now we have a wall of inspiration over the water fountains in the hallway. They are the first thing the students see when they enter the hall from the stairwell. The framed prints really brighten the space and give students something to read and think about while they stand in line for water after physical education class.

If you like these printables, you can find these and many more at:

If you would like to create custom printables like these, read Shannon's post:

Make an Entrance

Our rooms are side by side, and we like to create unity by decorating our entrances the same. This year, I wanted to try out an idea I saw on Pinterest. These window treatments were a breeze to make and required no sewing.
Mounted between the doors is our school mission statement. I used the same fonts that are in our Star Student posters, plus a couple more that you will find in Shannon's favorite font list in the post linked above. I think the fonts fit the personality of the mission statement. I printed it on cardstock and taped it to a canvas that I had previously painted for my daughter. Fortunately, she no longer wanted it, and it matched perfectly! Your mission statement or quote could also be printed with a border, such as black with white polka dots, so there would be no need for a painted canvas.
If you are interested in making streamer curtains like these, visit Maggie at Black and White {Side by Side} for directions. For reference, I purchased 1 yard each of 4 lightweight cotton prints, and 1 yard each of 2 colors of tulle. That was enough fabric to create the treatments for 2 doorways. I ripped the cotton fabrics into strips, but had to cut the tulle with scissors. I put the fabric strips on tension rods with the idea of mounting them inside the door frame. However, our door frames are metal, and two heavy duty clip magnets from Office Depot allowed us to mount them a little higher. These could be used for window treatments, as well.

Frame It

These hanging frames were created from a 4x8 sheet of foam insulation (the pinkish purple kind found at home improvement stores). I cut the frames with a jigsaw, but you could use a sharp knife. Next, I painted them with craft paint. Spray paint eats the foam (I learned the hard way), so stick with craft paint. It's cheap and available in a plethora of colors.
These frames were originally made to use as decorations for a tool shower. There were saws, pliers, and such hanging inside. I brought them to school, found instruments to fit in each frame, and put 3 on each side of the screen at the front of the room. A tiny hook in each of the top corners allows them to be hung with picture frame wire that is attached to the frame of the dropped ceiling.

Cute & Functional

Sometimes, Janet and I take our classes out of our rooms. Whether it is next door to meet together, outside to practice recorders, or down to the auditorium for a rehearsal, it is important to let students and teachers know where we are. We used to jot out notes on index cards or Post-it notes before rushing off with our class. Finally, we realized that we could just print and laminate signs for places we consistently go. We picked up some cute cards from an invitation shop and printed the signs and laminated them. Now we keep them on our whiteboards in a clip magnet, ready to pop on the door as we leave. 

Bright & Cheery

A well-placed pop of color or humor can draw a child's attention. My students sit on the floor, so this flower friend is right at their level, smiling at them every day. In addition, I painted this bright flower and added a quote about excellence to inspire students to work hard every day.

Keeping it bright...
I wrote about this table in Make Your Furniture Rock. It provides a fun sitting area that serves as a reward for hardworking students. The cabinet was also a makeover several years ago. It began as an old, battered, army green metal cabinet. I covered it with white contact paper and added vinyl decals. It's still not my favorite, but it will suffice. It provides great storage, and at least it is bright now!
Speaking of bright...my room has 9 windows! The back wall is completely filled with windows. Adding these valances really made the space much cozier. I used bulletin board paper to make a pattern with waves that would be opposite when the fabric folded over a tension rod, so the contrasting fabric would peek through. Each window is about 42" wide. 1 yard of fabric and 1 yard of contrasting fabric was used for each window.
These are just a few things that I hope brighten the day for my students, since their smiles brighten mine. :)

Have fun dressing up your space!

4 comments :

  1. Great ideas! I have one one those same flowers in my little office at school. I will definitely be taking her out to live around my music stand!

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  2. Thank you for sharing! I love your ideas. I'm going to "borrow" some for sure!!

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