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35 Cheap And Ingenious Ways To Have The Best Classroom Ever

You'll wish you knew about these organization and decoration ideas sooner.

Mallory McInnis / BuzzFeed

1. Buy canvas work aprons and turn them into seat sacks.

It's easy to make your own seat sacks if you have sewing skills, but this is a wonderful option if you don't even own a sewing machine.

Learn more about the apron method at Confessions of a Nerdy Teacher and find a tutorial for sewing your own at Come Stitch With Me.

2. Save your ears! Cover chair feet with tennis balls.

3. Add some extra seating options with DIY crate stools.

4. Or a DIY crate bench.

5. Ikea's Tolsby frames are great for making signs to set up around the classroom.

6. Place cups in a wine rack and use them to store pens and pencils.

Sort them by color or by type.

Learn more at Playful Learning.

7. Repurpose old tin cans as a supply caddy.

8. Or use them to keep track of pencils that need to be sharpened.

9. Make your own easel board using PVC piping.

Many easels you find in teacher supply catalogues cost hundreds of dollars: You can make this one for around $25.

Learn more at The Owl Teacher.

10. Use wooden paint stirrers to break a shelf of books up into several sections.

11. Transform ugly cardboard boxes into attractive storage containers with duct tape.

They'll look better and they'll last longer.

Learn more at DIY Home Sweet Home.

12. Make a sign to keep track of papers without a name.

13. Buy plastic bracelets at a dollar store and use them when you need students to break up into groups.

This teacher has her class draw the bracelets from a fun monster-shaped pouch, but you could just use a bag or a box.

Learn more at Ms. Fultz's Corner.

14. Give a filing cabinet that's seen better days a makeover using chalkboard paint.

Now you can use the exterior for notes (or doodles).

Learn more at Design Improvised.

15. Use crates to make a supply station for each group of desks.

16. Use carabiners to hang up backpacks.

17. Glue magazine holders together to make a homework organizer.

18. Use Command hooks to hang up baskets on the walls of your room.

Run out of shelf space? Head to the walls!

Learn more at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.

19. Use contact paper to give yourself a snazzier desk.

20. Or to save your shelves from getting all banged up.

21. Or to add polkadots to your tables — you can write on them with dry-erase markers!

Teacher-approved desk scribbling.

Learn more at Polka Dot Kinders.

22. Set up an art cart on wheels.

Store it in a corner and wheel it out when necessary.

Learn more at TinkerLab.

23. Have a spare Ikea Kallax shelf hanging around the house? Turn it into a bench.

The shelf you see above is actually an Expedit shelf, but they're no longer being produced. That's OK! The Kallax is pretty much the same thing.

Learn more at Refresh Living.

24. Make a magnetic art center using metal containers, magnets, and a metal board.

Students can just grab a few items off the wall or take a whole container back to their desk.

Learn more at Burton Avenue.

25. Turn book dust jackets into a banner to hang in your classroom library.

Dust jackets are a pain for little kids to deal with, so many teachers end up just taking them off. This is a fun way to put them to use.

Learn more at Kinder-Craze.

26. Cover up a dingy desk chair with cheery fabric.

You deserve to sit in an attractive chair.

Learn more at How Joyful.

27. Have a hard time finding the right workbook when you need it? Organize them by subject.

Magazine holders = life savers.

28. Manage your student's library books with a specially designated bin.

29. Make your own binder clip tags.

These are so useful for labeling things around the classroom (and when you buy them at Staples or Office Depot the cost can really add up).

Learn more at Literacy Loves Company.

30. Stick Command hooks to the sides of desks and use them to hang supplies.

31. Or use them to hang number lines and borders.

So much better than pushing them in between a shelf and the wall (or tossing them into a messy pile).

Learn more at The Brown Bag Teacher.

32. Push two filing cabinets together to make a magnet board.

You could attach the fabric and borders using double stick tape.

33. Eliminate door crowding by adding "line up" stickers to your floor.

34. Use a cookie pan to make a "Where We Are" board.

Each student will have a magnet with their name on it and whenever they need to leave the classroom, they'll move their magnet to the place they're heading off to.

35. Turn a tub into a "book hospital."

A place for books to rest and relax until you're able to repair ripped pages.

Learn more at Learning in Wonderland.

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