Well, I have several bulletin boards to think about at the beginning of the year. I have a huge bulletin board in the hallway that I usually use for advocacy or to advertise for an upcoming concert. I also use it occasionally to display student work or display musical content. I have several smaller bulletin boards in my music room that I use to display standards or hold musical content or help me in my teaching in some way. Often I use these spaces for "I Can" statements or objective questions. I have a lot of spaces to think about and when it hits crunch time I'm rushing to get those spaces finished and filled.
I figured that all of you might have some of those same questions and that if I blogged about it, some of you veterans might also chime in in the comments with ideas that you have. I also entitled this blog post "Bulletin Board Best Practices #1" because I think that there are a lot of things to learn and I hope to make a couple more blog posts like this to share the ideas and help everyone feel good about what they're putting up on the walls. Please comment on this post in the comment section so that I can get your new ideas and share those as well!
Don't just make it for now
There are instances when I don't take the time to make everything more durable through lamination, but most of the time I think it's worth the effort. For instance, when I put up a bulletin board to advertise an upcoming concert, I'll laminate everything except for the date of the concert. I know that I'll do "A Bear-y Merry Holiday" sometime in the future, so why not save myself trouble years from now and keep this bulletin board set around so that I don't have to remake it later. Make it well now and you'll save yourself hours and dollars in the future.
Sometimes it's better just to buy
Conclusion: Sometimes it's worth it to do it on your own. You might be able to make something cute and fun and put a unique spin on it... but sometimes it's worth the money to avoid the loss of YOUR time and to avoid stress and just spend the $2. :D
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Buy fabric
One thing that I always try to reuse and recycle is bulletin board backing. I learned during student teaching that you can use butcher paper from the big colorful rolls in the teacher's lounge, but those fade quickly and are easily torn. You can use plastic table covers that you can get at the Dollar Tree for cheap because those don't fade. However, they have their downsides too and if you have a lot to cover it can get pricey to have to buy them every time you change the bulletin board. My cooperating teacher suggested that I use fabric. You can get it at any craft store, you can buy sheets, or you can find random fabric remnants at garage sales, consignment stores and more! Cloth doesn't fade, doesn't show staple holes from previous uses, and can be used over and over again. Get something on it? Just throw it in the washer! You can even tie-dye and manipulate the fabric if you want a certain effect. There's one navy fabric that I use about 4 times a year and it's the perfect background for any occasion!