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Carnival Theme!

The inspiration for this adorable theme came from the Dots on Turquoise border from Creative Teaching Press.  I just loved the color combinations used in this darling collection.  The minute I saw the large polka dots, I envisioned a carnival theme with non-traditional carnival colors.  Typically, you would see primary colors used in a carnival, but I LOVED the thought of creating a fresher, more updated carnival look using turquoise, red, lime green, and orange.  The coordinating striped border instantly made me think of a carnival canopy with its scalloped design.  When all of the colors are put together, you have a look that is fun and HAPPY!

One of my favorite elements in this theme is the photo booth.  How many times do you take your student’s pictures throughout the year?!?!  Wouldn’t this be a cute back drop for all of their school memories?  I also loved the big top that was created on the ceiling of my “classroom.”  I found the most perfect striped wrapping paper at Party City and knew that I had to use it to create the focal point of the room.  Wouldn’t that be incredible to hang above your classroom meeting area?!?!  I have to admit, I had anxiety about actually getting it up on the ceiling.  How would I do it?  Well,I ended up using Command Brand hook and loop fasteners to attach it to the ceiling and it worked like a charm!  I created coordinating curtains out of the wrapping paper by folding the paper over a tension rod and stapling the bottom.  I finished off the adorable curtains with the coordinating polka dot border.  Super easy and super cheap to finish off the look of the room.  Lastly, I staged the room like it was an Open House night at your school – cupcakes with my carnival tags as toppers, striking balloons, gorgeous banners, prizes, colorful tags, fun ribbon, supplies, caddies, and storage containers in an array of happy colors!

Regardless of how you choose to decorate your classroom, I hope I gave you a little inspiration to create a fun and happy environment for your own students.  Seeing those happy faces come into your classroom on that first day is priceless!

Happy Decorating!








Shopping Guide:

Banners, table signs, book basket bags, multipurpose tags, nameplates, cupcake toppers, honeycomb tissue balls – Schoolgirl Style

Concession stand items, balloons (red, blue, orange), red & white polka dot straws, prize containers:  Shop Sweet Lulu (

Red & white striped wrapping paper, tickets:  Party City

Designer letters & borders:  Dots on Turquoise – Creative Teaching Press

Green daisies, orange daisies, lime green rugs, turquoise files and storage containers, Keep Calm and Carry On canvas:  Meijer

Stuffed lion, elephants, gumballs:  Toys R’ Us

Red & white striped pillows, turquoise & white striped storage containers, glass jars:  Pottery Barn

Ribbon, red buckets, tigers, green glitter bags:  Michaels

Lime utility baskets, turquoise caddies, popcorn storage containers:  Dollar Tree

Goldfish – Carson Dellosa

Water border – Trend

Green balloons:  Polka Dot Market (

Orange Storage Containers: Kmart
Photography by E.C. Campbell Photography


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  1. Loved it so much I went out and bought everything of that series and spent $132 at the teacher store. They had all the strips, paisley, and polka dots that I could ask for to mix and match that series. Now I am gonna work on sewing curtains and somehow making a canopy. I have been teaching for 14 years and thought my room was elaborate….now I am gonna have an addiction. I also own my own photography business and I follow blogs everyday with that. I couldn’t believe there were teaching blogs out there. I was clueless….more things to consume my day with!! Thanks for the cute idea. I am also buying some of your great materials!!

    • Hi Jill! Thank you so much for purchasing my items! I hope you like them! Your comments were so nice – thank you! When you get your canopy done, send my pics – I would love to show my readers! I feel the same way about the blogs – I never knew how many teacher one’s were out there until now. I am consumed with trying to keep up as well! 🙂

      • I am planning your carnival theme for the 13 – 14 school year. I teach preschool and would also like to know how to make a canopy top. I have noticed on some of your other themes how you only use 2 backgrounds for bulletin boards. I have 3 large bulletin boards and a focus wall when you enter my classroom. I am wondering what to use for backgrounds and I am not afraid to use fabric. I want it to tie together, I know I like too many patterns, could you please suggest something and how many different patterns to use. You don’t show your bulletin boards in any of the photos. We are not allowed to hang things from the ceiling any more as many other schools. I can’t wait to purchase your items and get started on this theme this summer. Thank you so much for your time, I know how valuable it is. Kay

  2. I love this room the best!!! Is this your child’s playroom or is it a real classroom? I wish I had this when my previous school had the theme~ Under the big top! This is so stinkin cute!!!

  3. I love this theme! I teach K for English Language Learners and this theme would work so well for learning about animals, jobs in the circus, numbers, money, and on and on! I like to keep my classroom colors bright and cheery, so everything here works perfectly. Thank you for sharing so many great ideas!

  4. By far the best decorated…no matter what it is! I have a passion for parties and I am always searching for inspiration from others who have the creative gene. Somehow I stumbled acrossed your page here and I can say with complete honesty that I am impressed! Your ideas are amazing, I will be borrowing some for my little girls 3rd birthday party! Your students are extremely lucky to have you as their teacher. I can only imagine what its like learning in a carnival themed classroom everday- what fun! Thank you for all your hard work. Clearly, your efforts do not end when the bell rings. 🙂

    • I cannot thank you enough for the sincere comment! You made my day for sure! It is always nice to hear that people really like your creations. Taking the time to comment really means so much! Thank you!

  5. Is the tablecloth fabric? I am a teacher who is currently planning my son’s first birthday party, and I’ve been looking for the perfect fabric. Thank you so much for the beautiful inspiration!!

    • Hi Jessica! No, it is vinyl. I bought it last year at a dollar store. You can also achieve the same look with wrapping paper. Party City carries the red and white striped paper. Hope that helps! ~Melanie

  6. I’ve always wanted to made my classroom more exciting and inviting, yet in my town in Massachusetts the fire department visits each classroom the week before school begins to check for “fire-code” violations. We aren’t allowed to hang anything from the ceiling, can only have 25% of the walls covered, Fabric must have “flame-retardent” tags on them, etc. Do you ever have restrictions as to what you can do in the classroom? How can I achieve your stunning looks without freaking out the firemen?

    • Elizabeth, I love your question. I think others have the same restrictions that you do. I want to answer this question on my blog this week – I think it is a really good one. Watch my blog during the beginning of the week for some answers!

    • I sell them in my Schoolgirl Style shop. You can print them out on cardstock or photo paper, then you cut them out! 🙂

  7. I love this theme! I started out in my current classroom almost 3 years ago as a 2nd year teacher & gave it a complete makeover. My goal was bright, primary colors. Running out of time and money, it didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it, but it worked. I’ve made some changes over the last few years, as far as focusing in more on a color scheme. Getting to the point… my walls are bright blue (darker bright blue, not navy at all) and yellow (opposite sides). I’ve been trying to pull green in as the main accent color and some red here and there. It’s not anywhere near what I see on your website. It’s very basic. I would love to incorporate the Carnival theme without repainting my walls. They are huge & I have a lot of computer cords, tables, plugs, boards, etc. in the way!! However, I’m afraid the colors won’t match my walls. Any suggestions??

  8. I saw this and knew I needed to change my room theme to carnival because of it 🙂 I am moving from kindergarten to first and may have some of the same students, so I wanted them to come into a room that didn’t look exactly like their kindergarten one. I would love to get a suggestion from you about a word wall. What would you suggest I title it? I will use the dots on turquoise letters (I have them already), for the title, but am struggling with background color, and title. I know word walls are supposed to be easy to read and pretty simple, but do you think a red background wood be too much? With that polka dot border?

  9. Hi! Just wondering what colour of Bordette you used to co-ordinate with the Dots on Turquoise border? Thanks!

  10. Hi!
    I love this classroom theme and can’t wait to get into my classroom to start the decor makeover! I just have a question regarding the font on the labels. Could you please let me know what font you used on all the labels and pennants and where it could be purchased? I looked through the LD fonts and couldn’t seem to find a match, but I would love to use the same fonts!
    Thanks! 🙂

  11. I LOVE this room! It is the best I have ever seen! I am doing this theme this 2012-13 school year. I have already purchased many of the items! Could you please tell how you made that awesome photo booth?

  12. I just love this theme and recently posted a couple of pictures that shows some bulletin boards that were inspired by you and the Turquoise Dots Collection. I would be honored if you would go check it out. Thanks so much for inspiring me. My students love the decorations in my classroom.

  13. I know this sounds terrible, but I do not have a printer that uses color ink. I guess I am way behind the times. Is there anyway I could pay for your printable items if you would print them and ship them to me? I will be happy to pay you for them. Please let me know if this is possible and how much it would be. Also, what did you use to make your adorable striped curtains? Is is fabric or wrapping paper? I can’t really tell in the picture. You have such beautiful, creative taste. I wish you could come help me decorate my classroom. I just enjoy your color choices so much! Sincerely, Holly O’Dell

    • Hi Holly!
      Thank you so much! You actually don’t need a color printer. You can send any of the files to a place like Staples, and they print it out for you! And the striped curtains were wrapping paper!

  14. Omg this is adorable. Please tell me how to makr the photobooth! Please guide me to where in your shop to buy the items pictured! Also, how did I create the ceiling

  15. I purchased this theme for my fourth grade classroom. This will be my first time in fourth grade since 2002. I am so excited about decorating my class. There are endless possibilities with all that you have made. You, my dear are one talented person! I purchased the table signs, pennants, and book labels. I LOVE them all. I just wanted to ask you what font you used. It is a simple font, but it looks fantastic. Thank you again for sharing your creativity with the rest of us!

    Please keep creating and sharing! Have a fabulous day.

  16. Did you laminate the wrapping paper that you put on the ceiling? If not, did it fade?


  17. I saw your carnival theme said you got the rug and boxes at meijer. I looked online but didn’t see any rugs at all on their website. Do you know why that would be?

  18. I am graduating in May with my degree in Early Childhood and Special Education! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! I adore this idea! Thank you for being so helpful, resourceful, and exciting! -Tiffanee


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