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A Tiny Little Classroom Update

I have been in school for nearly 9 weeks, but the classroom improvements continue!

As you know by now, I am teaching in a new building this year and I am lucky enough to teach in a classroom that is simply stunning (it was a collaborative project between myself and Melanie from Schoolgirl Style.) As I settle more into the classroom each day, I continue to “fine tune” a few of the details in the learning space. This week’s touch-up was a simple improvement of the bench in my classroom library.

The focal point of my classroom is definitely the library area. With bright book boxes, yellow silk gerber daisies, and the silhouette of a child swinging from a tree, it is such an inviting corner. I purchased an Expedit bookshelf and Dröna fabric bins from Ikea to use as a bench in the reading area, topped off with a pink chevron cushion.
classroom library organization
The bookshelf-turned-bench is stunning but it needed a tiny little something to give it some extra pizzazz. At a recent trip to Michaels, I checked out the ribbon aisle and had a revelation! I bought my favorite stitched grosgrain ribbon in black and bright pink and was ready to do a quick little DIY!

I began by wrapping the black ribbon across the cushion and around the top of the bench, then securing the ribbon with a large bow. I did this 3 times across the shelf. It makes a bold statement and also keeps the cushion from sliding around as the students climb on and off of the bench to read.
use an IKEA Expedit bookshelf as a classroom library bench
Next, I wrapped the pink ribbon across the top panel on the front of each fabric box. I used hot glue to attach each end of the ribbon to the box’s side panels. This gave the bench the little bit of extra pop that it needed.
use an IKEA Expedit bookshelf as a classroom library bench
I loved my library bench before, now I love it EVEN MORE!
use an IKEA Expedit bookshelf as a classroom library bench
The bench for reading is wonderful and I adore all of the storage it brings into my classroom. Right now the bench is filled with all of my library books that still need to be sorted.

Have you discovered Vine yet? Its a new form of social media that loops 6 seconds of video. I created and shared the above video in Vine, along with a few others. I would love for you to follow me on Vine for extra glimpses into my classroom!

Want to see more photos of my classroom? Check out my previous big reveal!

beautiful kindergarten classroom

Have a great week everyone!

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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24 Responses

    1. Thank you Kathleen! To answer your question, I bought fabric for the cushion at Hobby Lobby, then purchased the foam and found a local sewing shop to create the cushion for me.

      1. Maria, I absolutely LOVE everything about your classroom! My husband just put together my bench from IKEA today! Now, onto the bench cushion… Where did you get the foam for the cushion?

        1. Hi Jessica,
          There is a store near me called “The Foam Factory.” I purchased the foam from there. Maybe you can try googling “wholesale foam?”

  1. Love reading your blog, thanks for being an inspiration to so many ECE out there 😉 Classroom is stunning & looks like a fun place to learn. I use a cushion gripper drawer/shelf liner at circle time with my preschool class. Cut into 18″ squares, works great for squares for them to sit on, and “grips” the floor. I wonder, if placing a long strip between the chevron cushion and the Expedit would help grip the cushion, to prevent extra moving around? ~Amanda

  2. Just FYI, the shelf is no longer available at Ikea 🙁 They do have a new one that is similar, but it’s shorter (only four spaces), called Kallax. 🙂

  3. OH MY HOW BEAUTIFUL!…It makes me wanna empty my room and have you come and decorate it for me!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the decals of the children AND the reading bench!!! After I hit send I’m googling IKEA!!!!

  4. Your classroom ist really amazing! I even can’t imagine how much work and how much money you spent on it!

    Every time I see such great rooms as yours my own seems really boring to me 😉
    Do american teachers get extra money to buy stuff for their rooms?

    Greetings from Germany 🙂

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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