Back to School · Classroom Decor · For Your Classroom · For Your Creative Side

Classroom Set-up Must-haves

Whether you’re a first-year newbie, or a teaching veteran, we could all use some tools to make setting up and decorating our classrooms a little faster and easier so we can get on to more important things like lesson planning, and chatting with our teacher bestie next door! 😉

Here are my favorite Amazon finds to save time when setting up your classroom or changing out bulletin boards.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this blog are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or are certain will add value to my readers. Thank you for supporting my blog!

colored printer size cardstock for classroom decor

Printer size colored cardstock 

Why you’ll love it: A pack of letter-size assorted color cardstock will come in handy over and over for creating quick posters, flyers, review games, holiday items, and more. You’ll be glad you’ve got some on hand. Just make sure it’s 8.5×11 so you’ll have no trouble running it through the printer.

affordable laser level for making bulletin boards and classroom decor

Laser level

Why you’ll love it: While this tool might sound like overkill at first, it’ll quickly become your BFF for creating perfectly straight rows of bulletin board letters, posters, word walls, etc.

silicone magnets safe for classroom whiteboard classroom decor for middle school

Silicone Magnets

Why you’ll love it: There are million options out there for magnets for your white board, but I love this style in particular for a few reasons: 

  1. They have so many cute colors, they’re sure to match your classroom decor.
  2. They’re coated in silicone all the way around so not only is it one solid piece that won’t break when dropped, it also won’t scratch the delicate surface of your white board.
  3. The knob-like shape means they’re quick to grab and move so you can use them without missing a beat when you’re mid-lesson.
magnetic tape to make classroom games classroom visuals for whiteboard

Magnetic tape

Why you’ll love it: Quickly turn anything into a magnet! It’s also great for making visual aids or game pieces to use on your white board.

velcro tape roll for classroom interactive bulletin board ideas

Velcro® tape roll

Why you’ll love it: Make an interactive bulletin board, or handy stick-and-go storage for lightweight items with hook and loop fasters. I like getting the self-adhesive roll specifically because I can cut off exactly what I need, or use longer strips. Plus, it’s a little cheaper than the pre-cut circles.

fine straight pins for classroom decor bulletin board tips bulletin board hacks

Fine straight pins

Why you’ll love it: Fine straight pins with a small head are your secret weapon for creating fun 3-D effects on your bulletin boards. Secure the items to your board using pins instead of staples, then pull them forward towards the head of the pin to make them stand out from the board!

calm classroom decor bulletin boards classroom decor tips
Here’s a simple example of the 3-D effect with the decorative hexagons from the Calm Nature Classroom Decor set. You can certainly do more elaborate things, too.
better than paper sage green classroom decor bulletin board hacks

Better Than Paper®

Why you’ll love it: This one is probably no secret at this point, but in case you haven’t tried it yet… Better Than Paper® is a type of fabric for bulletin board backgrounds that lasts much longer than paper, doesn’t rip or show staple marks prominently, and is even a write-on, wipe-off surface! Plus, it comes in gorgeous colors like this sage green that would be amazing with my fantasy forest classroom decor

fantasy forest enchanted classroom decor for middle school
cork board strips for classroom middle school classroom decor tips

Cork board strips or shapes

Why you’ll love it: Need to post notes, make-up assignments, or reminders in a small space? Create a bulletin board anywhere with cork board strips or shapes.

classroom stapler recommendations high school classroom decor tips

Good stapler

Why you’ll love it: You probably don’t need any convincing here, but make sure you have a heavy-duty, full-size, old-fashioned metal stapler that releases and swings open all the way flat. It’ll make popping up bulletin boards much faster than a cheapy plastic deal.

delicate painter's tape for high school classroom decor hacks

Delicate surface painter’s tape

Why you’ll love it: Use this to map out where you think you’ll place items either on the walls or a bulletin board, by sticking them temporarily. Or use to section off your classroom for activities. Specifically the delicate version will ensure you don’t rip your paper items or leave residue on your walls or floor.

desktop file holder for teacher's desk classroom decor tips for high school middle school

Desktop file holder

Why you’ll love it: Stand-up file holders are nothing new, but I wanted to include the idea just in case. You can use them for files, folders, binders, papers, iPads, clip boards… etc. If you have one file for each day or the week or each class, this is a great place to stash them so that they’re easy to grab. And of course a chic-looking option like this one makes everything better!

clear sign holders for classroom decor ideas decorating secondary classroom tips

Clear sign holders

Why you’ll love it: You can use these acrylic sign holders for QR codes, announcements, instructions, reminders, decor, photos, student artwork, as a mini white board, or any else you need them for! They’re also available in landscape orientation and different sizes.

best staple remover for bulletin boards teachers classroom decor hacks

Round tip staple remover 

Why you’ll love it: This style of staple remover is fast and gentle at popping the staples out of your bulletin board items quickly. Be sure to choose one with a magnet inside to help catch the loose staples, too.

mavalus tape for teachers sticky tack alternative better than sticky tac for classroom posters

Mavalus® Tape

Why you’ll love it: Mavalus® tape is the best of both worlds: strong enough to hold up posters (like these free steampunk inspirational posters!) all year, but gentle enough not to rip the paint. It’s worth the money!

free steampunk inspirational classroom posters for middle school high school classroom decor bulletin boards

With these affordable classroom preparation tools and tips, you’re ready to get set up lickety-split!

What are your classroom decor and set-up must-haves? Share in the comments below!

And for more awesome classroom finds, check out this post packed with cheap prize ideas for middle or high schoolers.

I'd love to hear from you!