Bulletin Board Creation: Lessons Learned Part #3

Lesson #3 Blocks of colour are better than patterns.

Some of us might think that a matching pattern ties things together, but it can actually become more of a distraction. I know this from experience; as a student I was often distracted by the mismatching of patterns that my teachers put up in the classroom. For this reason, I stick to blocks of colour as much as possible.

If I do use patterns, I do the best I can to keep them properly aligned (ha). My students are also the type who will latch onto absolutely any distraction. The slightest opportunity to avoid focused learning will be snapped up by my kids. They will not only stare at a pattern disaster in a quiet escape, they will raise their hand and nag me about it so that it distracts the entire class! While I like pretty patterns too, it is easier to stick with block colours. The advantage of block colours, means that you don’t have to change an entire board to update it. You could change the lettering or the accents and the words, but the background can stay the same.

Here are a few examples of backgrounds and borders that are simple and less distracting.  Remember that visual clutter (like over flowing shelves) can change the whole vibe of a room – especially a classroom.  In the same way, too many patterned borders/ backgrounds or even a uniform busy border can become overwhelming.

Different colours are used but they are in big blocks.  This photo was taken in my old classroom!

Different colours are used but they are in big blocks. This photo was taken in my old classroom!

This one has a block colour for the backround of the board and then a simple border across the top of the title.  This particular display is still a bit too busy.

This one has a block colour for the background of the board and then a simple border across the top of the title. This particular display is still a bit too busy for my liking.


Today I have a tip rather than another website to visit.  Bed linen (single bed sheets especially) and tab-top curtains make great block coloured backgrounds for bulletin boards.  You can pick these up from your local discount store for a reasonable price and cut them to fit the various boards in your room.  If you are like me and have to “create” spaces that can be used as bulletin boards, bed linen or curtains can simply attached to the wall or over a window and you have a defined space ready to go.  Add a simple border (with a contrasting colour) and start attaching accents.  This is also an economical way of adding board space to your classroom that can be moved with relative ease.

At the end of the term – if it’s practical, remove the fabrics and take them home to be laundered.  This way your linens – although cheap- will last a little bit longer and you can use them again and again.  If each term is too difficult (i.e. the fabric is used for a year round board), then take it down at the end of the year and clean it up.  The other fun thing about bed linens, is that you can paint titles onto them.


Please Share

I hope you are learning from my mistakes and ideas here.  I also hope you are finding the resources and tips helpful.  Now we are about half way, I think it’s time you start sharing your ideas!  Here are some Questions you might like to respond to:

What bulletin boards have you created?

Do you prefer patterns over block colours?

Do you have an adhesive preference?

Where do you purchase your supplies?

What do you use for backgrounds and borders?

There are a lot of pins on Pinterest about bulletin boards and lots of blogs that share ideas.  The conversation points are endless on this topic, so please share with us!  As always, photos are much appreciated.

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