Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DIY Classroom Decorations for Fall

If you're anything like me, your classroom probably feels like home, you certainly spend enough time there! There a few ways that I make my classroom my own, and one of those strategies is decorating the classroom for each season - just like I do at home.  I've come up with some easy ways to keep this seasonal decor within my budget.



Instead of decorating for each holiday throughout the year, I stick to the four seasons, this means I need fewer decorations, and less space to store my decorations because they stay out longer.  I also try to use any natural decor that I can - for autumn pumpkins and mums do the trick, and I buy new ones each year.  

There are some things that I don't want to buy new every year, and these DIY decor items give me the opportunity to get crafty, and share my personality in the classroom.  Check out these cute, easy projects that I made with supplies for Oriental Trading (Oriental Trading sent me the supplies for these projects, but they did not sponsor this post in any way - my opinions and ideas are all my own).  
First, a project that you could do with your students - let them take ownership of some of these decorations, it's their classroom too! 


This garland is made from those cute paper straws - take a closer look;


I picked out three different designs (polka dots, chevron, and stripes) and cut all of the straws into 1.5 inch pieces.  This takes some time because you have to re-shape the straws after you cut them. Then I used my Crop-a-dile to punch holes in all of the straws.  Then I strung them on a long string - which would be great fine motor practice for your kiddos.  I love the way it turned out, just a little bit whimsical.  

My other projects were all things I had never attempted before, and I think they turned out great, so if I can do them, you can too! 


This door hanger gave me some practice with acrylic paint, but I'm most excited about the lettering, so let me show you the trick behind perfect lettering. 


1. I painted the pumpkin so that it had the contouring I was looking for.
2. Then, I chose a font and printed the word so that it would fit on the pumpkin. 
3. I flipped the paper over and covered the back with lead from a pencil (just the back side of the word).
4. Then, I flipped the paper back over and placed it on top of the pumpkin. 
5. I traced the outline of each letter and when I removed the paper I was left with the pencil marks where I had traced. 
6. Then I filled in the pencil outlines with paint (I used a toothpick to paint the narrower places). 

After I finished the lettering I added some felt flowers and a leaf. I found some copper wire to use as a hanger, and it was done.  

I felt like I needed a little more practice with the lettering, so I tackled some fall-themed subway art;


I used a 12"x12" canvas (I had no idea Oriental Trading sold canvases!), which I spray painted gold before using Mod Podge to attach a piece of 12"x12" scrapbook paper.  I wanted a rustic look so I sanded down the paper a little fore starting on the wording.  I love that I can introduce vocabulary in a way that is aesthetically pleasing!

The last project I put together are some ceramic pumpkins that turned out absolutely beautiful.  


I painted each pumpkin a different shade of orange, and then got creative with some gold spray paint.  The most impressive thing about the pumpkins was the quality.  When I received them they were pure white, and I considered keeping them that way, but I'm really happy with the way they turned out, and I'm sure these will inspire some great artwork when my students paint their own pumpkins!

Every time I order from Oriental trading I am amazed by the variety they offer - ready made projects for the kiddos or amazing craft supplies for myself, even fine art materials.  And for Halloween it gets even better, I can't tell you how many times I've visited the site to look at costumes, and even candy and party favors.  Make sure to spend some time browsing the site, I'm sure you'll be inspired!
And if you need more motivation, Oriental Trading is giving away $250 in Halloween goodies.  You can enter to win here!

* Oriental Trading sent me the supplies for these projects, but they did not sponsor this post in any way - my opinions and ideas are all my own

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