Back to School Bulletin Board
Back to school bulletin boards don’t just happen overnight! They are dreamed about, researched, and painstakingly put together. This welcome back to school bulletin board idea got my attention just like the silhouette parade did. I love to highlight professionals who have an eye for something new!
This back to school bulletin board rocks the house! Trish shared it on Facebook and I stopped in my tracks when I saw it. I asked Trish to share her amazing creation with the readers of Busy Kids Happy Mom. Even if you’re not designing bulletin boards, this process can be applied to making a mural or even a project for work.
How to Make the IMAGINATION Bulletin Board
Making the Letters
- I die-cut lower case and one upper case in standard yellow construction paper.
- For the “Imagination”, I used each letter in a different word processing font with a size of 500 or 550.
- I edited the letters to just print the OUTLINES of the letters so that I wouldn’t be wasting ink.
- I printed the letters and cut them out.
- Then I bought scrapbook paper in gold glitter. I traced the printed out letters backwards on the back of the paper and cut them out.
- Then I aligned them on the bulletin board. For this one, I should have moved everything more to the right, but I’m less about perfection and more about accomplishing a task in a set amount of time.
Making the Figures
- Free draw a small sketch of each thing.
- Then I decide what colors I’m going to use. If I have access to really great Fadeless paper in brilliant colors, I use that (construction paper works well too).
- Then I lightly draw the outline of what I’m going to do on the back of the paper.
The dolphin is all in one piece. I cut out the figure, then add the detail lines in in contrasting color Fadeless paper. I made a splash out of bulletin board paper (I searched the internet for a good looking splash that I could sketch and scale up) and put that up.
For the space ship, I cut out the big red shape first then did the gold details and windows later, ending with the punch out gold rivets, gold fins and multicolored flame.
Jack in the Beanstalk was last. Each piece of him was individually sketched, cut out, then glued together. I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to tell he was looking over his shoulder, so I added little dimples to his hand to show his knuckles.
Bean stalk. I just took green bulletin board paper and twisted it into a long vine. Then I stapled the vine in place (took some wrestling). I cut out leaf shapes, then ran my thumbnail and forefinger pinched together on either side of the paper down the middle of the shape, sort of making a wrinkly crease. That turns a leaf shape into a leaf. I stapled a bunch of them to each side of the vine. Next, I stapled Jack up. Then I used glue stick to totally saturate one end of several leaves and I glued then to the FRONT of the vine.
Then I laminated those guys. The photos below are of what they looked like before they were laminated.
Making the Books
- I just drew giant wavy books on white paper, and added the cover detail peeking out at the edges.
- I traced lines lightly in pencil and made “text” by writing varying (smaller farther away) sizes of mmmm mm m mmmmmmm strings.
- Then I stapled the books onto the bulletin board.
Finishing Touches on the Back to School Bulletin Board
After that I looked, and it was really apparent that I hadn’t made the books or the figures BIG ENOUGH FOR THIS BOARD. So I needed to fill!!! So, I made a bunch of freehand stars for the rocket ship side and came up with a cute quasi-lightning bug for the Jack side. I badly laminated them on a machine that wasn’t hot enough (can fix this later), cut them out and got them up.
Once it was up, I was happy with my efforts. It is NOT perfect, but it’s bright, it grabs your attention, and it gives you an out if you, like me, did not go on an ACTUAL vacation this summer, but instead took many VIRTUAL vacations thanks to my library!! I needed to have something up in the library that I thought would be welcoming, happy, and accessible.
*If you’re not familiar with Fadeless paper, it is paper that doesn’t fade. It’s a bit of an investment, but worth it for projects you plan to use for years to come.
Are you interested in making your own back to school bulletin board or party display? Here are Trish’s tips to get you started:
How to Brainstorm a Creative Back to School Bulletin Board
- Before I do a bulletin board I think for a long time about my audience: what I think they’re doing and what I want to say to them.
- Then I think about the pictures I’m going to use to illustrate this theme. I usually do an image search for inspiration, make sure I can SKETCH whatever I’m going to use.
- I do a rough draft drawing of the board and the detail elements.
- Then I think about the lettering. What can I use in the available punch out die-cut (school supplied letter press), and what am I going to have to print and trace.
- Then I think about colors.
About the Designer
Trish Anthony Grace is first and foremost a follower, then wife, mother, and friend. She was educated in the performing arts, had an early career in media sales and copywriting, and her current mission is to use her creative and communication skills to help in any way possible. She loves her neighborhood and is overjoyed to be a school employee in her local school.
If you make your own version of this bulletin board, please share it with contactbkhm @ gmail (dot) com.
Thank you Trish! This looks amazing. It’s a beautiful display to welcome students back to school this year. Your love of the school, student, and the community shines through.