Saturday, July 13, 2013

Decorating a Small Classroom on a Small Budget

I've shared several of my small-room solutions and class decorations (here and here), as well as my new bee carpet (which I loved). One thing I didn't LOVVEEE about that carpet was the amount of dirt that was tracked onto it every day, and how the yellow of the carpet showed every little bit of dirt. I even rented a carpet cleaner after one quarter ... but it didn't do much for the look of the carpet. {Anndddd... I might have blown a fuse on that side of the room, rendering the outlets on that side useless for the rest of the year. Ahem.} 

This was when I first got the carpet ... {sniff, sniff}
After watching my precious bee carpet get dirtier and dirtier, I decided I needed to move it to a not-as-high-traffic area and replace our primary lesson carpet. Naturally, I turned to the bajillion Pinterest photographs of classrooms {and got SUPER overwhelmed ... #amIright?!} ... I decided I really wanted to tone down the "THIS IS A KID ROOM!!!" vibe and make my classroom feel more like my home {I'm there more than I'm at my own house ... #againamIright?!}. 

My inspirations were classrooms like Reagan's {click on picture to see more}  ...

... and these images ... 


Then, I found this rug on {OY! I got it on sale, but I'm going to have to make it up elsewhere ...}. I loved how this rug had the yellow and blue from my bee rug, but pulled in the red from my desks. Plus, it didn't look so much like I bought it SOLELY for a classroom.

I also fell into deep, deep love with the work of Stephanie Ryan, a beautiful watercolor artist whose work I bought for my moms {my mom and mothers-in-law!} for Mother's Day. I decided  I could use the combination of the rug, the inspiration pictures and Stephanie Ryan's work as the "base" for my classroom decor. 


So I headed off to JoAnn Fabrics, which, can I just say --- totally overwhelming. Way too much stuff. I knew I wanted to pull the colors from the above pictures, but use a variety of patterns and textures so it had depth. {HAHAHAHAHA I'm channeling some HGTV here, can you tell?!}

I wandered around, pulling up these pictures on my phone, hoping I could find something that would work. Finally I settled on these three as a beginning {LOVE that gold polka dot burlap...}

One of the things I knew I needed to do was take care of some of the various pillows I have in the reading nook - they were cute, but didn't go with the whole color palette I have going on. So I headed up to my closest thrift store and bought some $2 pillows. I didn't care how they looked, I just needed cheap filling. 

I placed each of the pillows on top of the inside-out fabric and pinned it on three sides -- 

Then I pulled the pillow out, and popped it in the washer/dryer to get the cooties out, while I sewed three sides. {Oh! I should also mention that I used the gold polka dot burlap on the front-only for the pillows, mainly because it was $12.99 a yard. This budget only allowed for 1/2 a yard of that adorable-ness, so I bought some cheap-o $3/yd. brown cotton quilting fabric for the back. 

When the pillows were dry I flipped the sewed fabric right-side out (so now the seams are on the inside), put the pillow back in, and sewed up the one side I hadn't done before. Bam! Adorable pillows that I love! 

Here's what I have so far --- Cici approved, of course ... (there are some other fun things happening there too ... can't wait to share)! 

Check back later for two of the fun projects I made with these Hobby Lobby supplies ... !

See y'all soon ... 


  1. So cute! Love the pillows!


  2. Looks like you have been a very busy lady! Cannot wait to see how it all looks together! I like the idea of a classroom with a more "homey" feel.

    Eclectic Educating

  3. Reagan's room is my inspiration for my room this coming year as well. I'm pretty sure I want to do my word wall similar to hers, I just love it. It's so calm.

  4. There is nothing like a classroom makeover! Love your color choices:)

    The Math Maniac

  5. Guys, thank you so much for the encouragement! I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that when the fire marshall comes on Monday I'll still be able to have all my stuff. Send him some good vibes, if you will!


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