Today I went back to school to finish up a few things.  For the most part, I am ready for camp on Monday.  Except for the whole I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-teaching-because-I-am-too-lazy-to-look-at-lesson-plans problem. I need to get on that.  At least for Monday.  I can plan the rest of the week after camp on Monday :).

I put up my bulletin boards today.   Of course it can NOT be simple.  I must over analyze this little task, too.  After reading The Daily Five and a few other brain based research articles I have tried to stay away from patterned fabric. It can be distracting to the eyes and make it difficult for the brain to focus on what is displayed.  Really, borders should also be plain (solid black was recommended).  I caved and bought polka dots, but I can tell it is MUCH more distracting.  I am thinking to off set the distract-ability of the borders I may mat everything I post in black to make it pop out.  I can’t decide if I have the time!

 I chose blue specifically.  I originally picked out a coral and turquoise color.  I pitched that idea when I went to a professional development two weeks ago about how brain research can be applied to education. I can’t remember the exact phrase but blue (and I don’t think it was pastels- an actual true blue) promoted cognitive processing.  I was sold :).  I figure I need all the help I can get and if it is the color of the background, so be it!

I have a quick and easy tip. I know many people like fabric.  So do I.  It doesn’t fade and looks great for a long time.  The problem with fabric is that it can be so dang expensive!  It never fails; I always pick out the MOST expensive  pattern. 

I read online somewhere that a great CHEAP fabric is the Wal-Mart flat sheet (make sure NOT to pick up fitted like I did the first time around).  They cover a good bit of the bulletin board. I like the twin size.

I picked up two in this blue color and it covered a bunch.

 This is the smaller board above the library.  I had a bunch left over.

I used another twin sheet for the dark blue.  It covered more than half of my long board.  I already had the pale blue fabric.  It was also a bed sheet!!!!!

This might give an idea for the amount of cork board the sheets cover.  I used two twin flat sheets and then part of a flat sheet that I had previously.  The dark blue could have gone further if I didn’t have to chop it off for the smaller board.

The best part?  Each sheet costs only $5.00.  For fabric that is SUPER cheap!!!!  The total cost for my boards was about $15 (if I include the fabric I already had).  More expensive than it had to be; I chopped the fabric up to fit my odd sized boards.  I do have one tip- take the sheets home and wash them first.  Mine are ALL wrinkled because I pulled them straight out of the package and put them up.  I pulled it as tight as possible, but the wrinkles are still very visible.  I think I may bring my Downy Wrinkle Releaser, spray it all down, and cross my fingers!

I plan to use the far left board above the library as a math word wall.  The right cork blue board will display the CAFE menu and reading strategies.  The light blue is for me and my junk.  I wanted a place to hang pictures the kids made, schedules, notes and memos.  It is bigger than I need, but the dark blue ran out : ).  I am sure I can find enough stuff to fill it up!!!!

2017-07-05T22:38:37-04:00Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |


  1. Haley June 20, 2012 at 3:44 am

    I'm jealous you have such awesome bulletin boards. I have two teeny tiny half sized boards on either side of my chalkboard. Depressing. Like the sheet idea…adding to my list 🙂

    Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

  2. sixtyfourcolorbox June 20, 2012 at 5:11 am

    I've been looking for a way to cover my boards for test taking time. The sheets are a wonderful idea. I lucked out and my boards were made blue. Whatever they are covered in is blue. As a way to save paper, I just don't cover them. Now I have scientific research to back up my leaving them uncovered. Thanks for the wonderful tip.

  3. Danasaur June 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    What a great( and thrifty) idea!!

  4. Amanda June 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Mandy! Thanks for all the info on bulletin boards. Can you ever really know too much about bulletin boards? We don't have bulletin boards in my classroom, but giant walls, that years ago the principal let the teacher HOWEVER they wanted. I didn't know that blue was such a good color, but that is what I painted mine. I also went to all black border last year or at least black as the background in the border and I loved the continuity. 🙂

    The Teaching Thief

  5. SweetP June 21, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Thank you for sharing the information about the color blue, promoting cognitive processing. I have been thinking about painting my classroom blue. Right now it's yellow. When I first started at the school where I teach, the first thing I did was paint a wooden bulletin board, blue.
    Using fabric/sheets to cover boards is my first choice, but the fire marshal won't allow it. That's one reason that I painted the brown, wooden board.

  6. SweetP June 21, 2012 at 1:24 am

    By the way, your room looks great.

  7. Nancy June 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    My room is blue, bulletin boards (only 3 and very small) are covered in black with bright borders. I really like the look. Glad to hear the blue promotes cognitive processing! Every little bit helps!

  8. jessma June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Your room is looing wonderful! I love using fabric and packing paper. The dollar store has brown packing paper (or wrapping paper) used to wrap packages to send in the mail. I have a Lodge theme in my classroom and it worked perfectly! Also another suggestion is a plastic table cloth from the wonderful Dollar Store to cover a bulletin board. 🙂

  9. Sara June 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I love your ideas! Great to include calm colors, especially on places that can distract students during their work! I found your blog via Elementary Matters! Thanks for all you do :]

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  10. Miss Trayers June 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    What great suggestions! I never would have thought to use a sheet-I just may have to try that this year.


  11. Courtney July 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and I noticed we have the exact same bulletin board colors. I bought those same sheets and polka dotted border strips!

  12. Julie Pieprzyk July 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    How do you get the sheets on the boards? Can you just staple them? I am very interested in doing these since it looks great and is cheap!!

  13. Mandy Gregory July 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Hey Julie!
    I just used a regular stapler and stapled them up! Works like a charm!

  14. Hudson4 July 18, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Do you keep the fabric up all year?? I use wrapping paper which I buy out of season and at outlet stores so it is also cheap, but it wouldn't last as long as a sheet…Hmmm…thanks for the ideas.

  15. Mandy Gregory July 18, 2012 at 1:34 am

    I do keep up the fabric all year. I am so bad about bulletin boards! I rarely switch them out- usually I make them reference walls that I just keep adding information to!

  16. Shannon July 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I actually use the plastic party tablecloths from the dollarstore. You can use them as dry erase boards as well or using scotch tape you can move things on the board all you want!

  17. Ashley Nicole July 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I used the plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree but a little bit of stretching actually started to tear them. I'm definitely going to check out Walmart's sheets when they have their back to school sales! 🙂 Great idea!

  18. Schoolteacher27 July 19, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Walmart material may be cheaper. I always look for $1 a yard clearance… It never fades and you buy it once. The flat sheet is a good idea. I would use the ones I don't use at home, but brown and tan are not so bright.

  19. Maggie Williams October 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Love it! thank you

  20. Gepadgett April 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I love using sheets fir bullentin boards. I even made two faux bullentin boards from sheets and border. No one can tell it's not a real board.

    • Daddy June 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

      How did you make faux bulletin boards?

  21. M3IL July 6, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Our custodians painted our bulletin boards a couple of years ago. Some are black and some are blue. It has worked well. The only problem I am seeing is that after a few years they will need to be repainted to cover pin holes.

  22. Janice Curtis July 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Mandy, Did you have to cut the sheets to make them fit?

    • Mandy Gregory June 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      I did have to cut a little off the sides to make them fit the boards!

  23. Ady Lopez June 22, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Do you staple your stuff on the fabric ir tape it?

    • Mandy Gregory June 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      I just stapled it right to the board!! It was super easy!

  24. Annas paper March 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information. it is a use able information. this is a nice and good blog.

    All kinds of Colored Paper and Boards

    • Ms. B June 11, 2017 at 5:21 am

      I use Wal Mart sheets and if I can find them sheets from Goodwill too, both flat and fitted to cover boards and as skirt covers or table clothes to cover what is stored under the long tables. I've used hot glue to secure them and safety pins under the tables so they don't show. If you use hot glue be sure to remove it from the fabrics before washing. They also work great for boxes and containers that need to remain in your room for storage, but might not look great. Cover with the sheets, secure with tape or a small dab of hot glue, be a bit creative in stacking them and use them as a display area. Toss in some fake vines and or books and take an eye sore into an useful and creative area.

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