Monday, January 14, 2013

A New Book Banner for a New Year

Way back in October, I set myself to the task of making a new DIY project for my classroom decor. The back wall of my classroom has a huge bulletin board that spans across it (which I fill with lots of colorful resources for my kinders) but there was about four feet of unused wall space above the board. It it WAY too high up for me to change out throughout the year, but I didn't want the "empty canvas" to go to waste.  A brightly colored book banner (similar to the one that spans across my windows) seemed like the perfect solution! I gathered my supplies and began my latest classroom creation. If you're a Facebook fan, you may recall this  preview photo I posted at the time.
use children's picture book dust jackets to make a colorful banner for the classroom

I actually completed my book banner in December. But I was so swamped planning my classroom Christmas party and making freebies to share with all of you, that I never had a chance to write about my latest classroom improvement...until now. 

Here's a photo from my classroom that was taken in August. You can see the brightly decorated bulletin board that spans across the back wall as well as the very boring space above the the bulletin board.  In a room with so much color and fun, that BLAH space drove me crazy!
cute and brightly-colored kindergarten classroom

Here is the transformation with my newly-created book cover banner. I love how it fills the space with color, but isn't too busy. The book banner fits perfectly into my classroom environment. 

use dust jackets from hardcover children's books to create a banner for the classroom

If you want to create a book banner of your own, check out the video tutorial I created this summer (I made the video before my classroom was decorated. You will see my ugly file cabinet before it was spray painted and my boring bulletin boards pre-polka dot.) You can also read my original  book banner blog post with step-by-step information. 

A great big thank-you goes out to my good friend (and amateur photographer extraordinaire) Steve Thompson for taking the beautiful "before" and "after" photos of my classroom!

Get Yourself Some Book Covers

If you don't currently have any hardcover children's books (or their covers) in your classroom. I have a few ideas for getting your hands on some: 
  • Ask classroom parents. If you tell your parents that you are working on a project to beautify your classroom, they might be thrilled to contribute!
  • Beg your friends. Many of my friends have young children. I put a message on my personal Facebook page and it helped me get my hands on a few more covers.
  • Shop used book sales. This sounds like it will be expensive, but I promise, it is NOT. I needed to enhance my own collection of book covers for this little project so I took a trip to my local library's used book sale. I acquired at least a dozen hardcover books (plus 20-30 paperback books for my classroom) for $12. You might find this previous blog post on Used Book Sale Shopping helpful. 


  1. Hi Maria,

    I have high walls, too. This is such a great idea for that space. I'll have to check out the video. Love the bright, cheerfulness of your room.

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  2. I love this! I will have to try it! I hate getting rid of any book covers but they are so pointless to use because they always get ruined. This will be the perfect fix!

    I just noticed your alphabet bulletin board. Do you add pictures of things that start with each letter as you learn the letters each week? I think that is such a great idea if so!


  3. It looks so WONDERFUL Maria. :) I want one for my room too. LOL

  4. Cute classroom!! I love the banner and how your room totally matches!
    Fun in 1st Grade

  5. Your room is so bright and cheerful, lovely !! The new book banner is a great idea.....maybe once my report cards are done :)

  6. Ok, I just watched your video (you are so cute :) and forget report cards,I want to make a banner. Thanks for the easy step by step instructions. I have soooo many book covers, I always take them off and save them. I know the perfect bland spot in my room....cannot wait to try this !! Great way to beat the January blahs !!

  7. It looks great I need to find some more canvas hee hee. :-)

  8. gorgeous room!!!! The fire marshall would be ALL over me if I put a book banner up... it's a great display though!

  9. Looks great! I wish I had book covers now :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  10. Love the book banner! This is such a cute idea! I just may have to try it out next year.

    KinderKids Fun

  11. What a wonderful idea. I will have to check on the fire code as well but I may be able to do a smaller version. Thanks for sharing!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Maria,
    I found your video tutorial on you tube this summer and did it. I am just now putting 2 and 2 together. (Mainly because you just posted about it.) I have gotten soooooo many compliments on my book banner and couldn't remember where I found the idea. I am so glad I can give you the credit!!! I love it. Thanks for the fabulous idea and tutorial!

    Kindergarten Boom Boom

  14. Love your room and your book banner! So cute!
    Crayons and Curls

  15. I love the banner. It is so bright and cheery - now I want one, lol.

    The First Grade Princess

  16. WOW, Im totally in love with you room. Its so adorable, I love the yellow. It makes the room have such a happy and comfy feeling. Love the decoration as well. I'm in love with everything, great job :)

  17. Maria, OMG you got a new blog look? right? I was just saying to myself this looks different. I totally love it, its so poppy and cute!

    Vanessa @

  18. You have got an interior designer bone in you for sure! Your room is AMAZING! I've got a question for you you about the banner. Do you think it would look too blah if I photocopied book covers (since they'd all be the same size that is)? We don't normally get many book with jackets so I was thinking I could color copy & laminate book covers. But to match size would skyrocket the cost. Color copy alone would be outrageous but this is so cute and I have a space above my closets that has annoyed me for years!!!

  19. Your room is gorgeous!!! I love the banner idea!

  20. Hi! Just wanted to let you know,you have inspired me to join Teaching Blog Traffic School. :)

    Happy Teaching, look what I can do now because of your tech savy tricks!

  21. Gorgeous book banner. I've been wanting to make one ever since I saw your first one. Your classroom is amazing!

    Darling Little Learners

  22. Where did you get the HUGE letters on you have on your bulletin board? I love them!


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