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Ask Melanie – Decorating on a budget


“I am a second year teacher.  I will be teaching 3rd grade Math and I want to have a plan for my decor next year. I have your “Learn Colorfully” collection. Besides the bulletin boards being coordinated what are the most important things I should focus on to make a big impact on a small budget? I have a 10 month old and we just bought a house. I can’t spend a lot on classroom decor.”


This is such a great question!  I think SO many teachers have this same problem!

Without a doubt, it’s the pom poms, paper daisies, or paper lanterns that really make a huge decorating impact!  Whenever I am designing a room, I add this element last.  It never feels quite finished until I get these hung up.  These accessories will pull your color theme together and also adds a touch of whimsy that every classroom needs.  You can also get these fairly cheap or make the poms yourself.



Here is my link to pom pom making…

Okay, now I know some of you are saying that your fire marshal will not allow you to hang anything from your ceilings and this decorating tip is out of the question for you.  What about stapling poms to your bulletin boards?


I’ve also used paper daisies on bulletin boards!  Take a look…


I am also a HUGE advocate of displaying your student’s work around the room.  When I taught, I had my student’s self portraits lining the ceiling of my classroom….


…and had their art work displayed everywhere!  We celebrated holidays, displayed their writing, hung projects to admire our hard work.  Our room was decorated by my students and I changed it out regularly.

SO…if you can’t afford to decorate or maybe aren’t allowed to decorate the way you would like to, NO WORRIES…use your student’s work to create a fun and inviting environment for yourself and your kiddos!


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  1. I bought your styling book and your monster theme. I would love to create a 3D effect but I can’t think of things that go with monsters. I love the 3D tree effect. What could I do for monsters, please help me???