Now, this is a topic that we all have a love-hate relationship with! Bulletin Boards and STEM Decor.
I still remember those early days in my teaching career when I changed my boards often. Like at least once a month because I was that annoying new teacher that was full of new-teacher energy and apparently thought pretty bulletin boards were impressive.
Now, I know better. Pretty bulletin boards are fabulous. Don’t get me wrong. What I have learned is that functional, interactive, encouraging bulletin boards work better for me. It also works better to put up something that can be left up for a long time.
Simple and Easy Works Best!
I have some really complicated bulletin boards that have been featured on this blog. I will link you to some of those posts at the end of this one. Those boards were fun to make and I did leave them up for a long time.
More recently I found myself making smaller boards with some nice decorative touches. The big difference is in the time it takes to produce these!
The boards I am going to share with you are fairly simple and will take about an hour to set up. I have tips to go along with each image- so grab some coffee and get ready to take notes and get your STEM Decor planned for you!
Best thing ever! I started making square boards. Let me explain! The boards in my classroom are 7 feet long. That is a lot of space to cover which means a complicated board. So I started dividing that space into two square boards. This means a simple board will cover nicely.
This board uses puzzle pieces cut in the same colors as the border. It’s quite vibrant!
Have you tried a double border? This just means you use coordinating border strips and layer them. I love the look of a double border, but it does take some time to apply. I have found that putting down the outside border first works best for me. I can just slide the second border under the first. Plan ahead and staple the outside border close to its edge so you will have room to slide in the second color.
This is one of may favorite boards ever. I have also created this one is a very large size. Are you wondering how I matched the letter colors? I took a strip of the border to a craft store and pulled colors from the scrapbook paper. The words in the center are printed on the scrapbook paper in those beautiful watercolor backgrounds. The other letters are cut from the same paper.
This is a board I reference often in STEM Class!
Cutting the Letters
This board was fun to make. I wanted the words to be in the shape of a light bulb and I will be honest. This was tricky! I printed one letter from each line and moved them around until I had the effect I was looking for. Now, how long does it take to cut out letters like this? Multi-task. That is the answer. I cut out letters while listening to a book or watching television.
This display with student names on the light bulbs is a fun way to create this encouraging board.
Before I ever start putting the letters on the wall I lay them out on the floor to space the letters correctly. Then I lift the letters from the floor right to the same positions on the wall. I start from the center of the board and put letters up out of order to make sure my spacing is good. This, of course, does not always work. I mean notice the letters in the word ‘leaders’ are aiming downhill!
Another tip- when your spacing is a little off just add sprinkles or decorative embellishments to fill those spots!
Get it Right (first)
I cannot tell you how many times I have stapled all the letters and then need to move a few. So, either pin them up or just staple in one spot. It is much easier to move the letters if your rows are crooked. After everything is placed the way you want it, then do a massive stapling. Here is another great tip- purposely place your letters in zigzig designs instead of straight rows. Mistakes don’t show because they are all crooked!
Speaking of embellishments- you may have noticed some of the items on my boards in the photos. I find most of these in the party sections of Wal Mart, Target, or Hobby Lobby. Paper fans work great and usually come in packages of 3-5 in several sizes. Tissue paper pom-poms also work great.
Sometimes I just cut out circles in matching colors and sprinkle them around the board.
These motivational STEM and teamwork bulletin boards are really all about the words and how they can encourage your groups to work with one another- so just add some pops of color in the corners and you are good to go!
Click on any of the images to see the bulletin board resources in my store! It will save you so much time creating your STEM Decor!
LINKS TO BULLETIN BOARD BLOG POSTS: