Do you love the look of layered borders on a classroom bulletin board but are stumped about how to get them just right? Did you try the “staple and tuck” method, only to end up with creases all over your beautiful borders? Today am thrilled to bring you a video AND photographic tutorial guiding you step-by-step through creating a beautifully layered border for your bulletin boards without having to pull your hair out in frustration. Are you ready? Let's do it!
This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog.
This tutorial contains photos and videos to deliver the most complete information for your needs. Watch the video and then scroll through the photos in the rest of this post. You will become an expert in creating perfectly layered borders by the time you are finished.
To begin, you will want to measure all of your classroom bulletin boards ahead of time and pre-cut the desired colors of border to fit each edge. Be sure to add an extra 6″ or so onto each strip that you cut. You want to have the extra space for lining up your scallops. Once you are ready, lift one edge of the top layer and place a thin line of hot glue on top of the bottom border. Don't do the whole border. You are just setting this up and the little bit of hot glue will hold your positioning.
After a few of the stacked borders are glued in place, flip the entire strip over so you are looking at the back of the borders. Go ahead and lift the entire unglued portion up and place a thin layer of glue along the entire bottom layer then set the lifted piece on top of the glue, being careful to lay the top piece in a straight line.
I know a few people will probably wonder:
“Why on Earth is she flipping the border over? Wouldn't it be easier to just glue the whole thing while looking at the top of the borders?”
Yes it is possible to do all of the gluing while looking at the colored side of the border. But something about the scallops plays tricks on your eyes and makes it more difficult to ensure that you are applying the top layer in a straight line. I have had far more success flipping the border over to apply the glue. Remember, the look we are trying to achieve is PERFECTLY SPACED LAYERS.
Once you have two layers of border glued together, you can repeat the steps as many times as you desire. Start each new layer face-up and glue 6-8″ along one edge to hold your spacing. Then flip the whole thing order and let the straight lines guide you as you glue the rest of the strip. Many of my classroom board have 4-5 layers of border. It works even when you have that many pieces.
If you accidentally glue a border crooked or have any other mishaps along the way, just give a gentle tug to separate the glued layers. If you used a thin line of hot glue, they will come apart (even if the glue has dried). Reposition your strips of border and apply a new line of hot glue to re-adhere the strips. This project is very forgiving of mistakes.
Photos and video by BTW Photography. Brian Weitzel from BTW Photography is one of the most talented people I know and I was so pleased to hand the camera off to Brian and his assistant, Eric for this tutorial. Thank you gentlemen!
Hanging Your Perfectly Layered Borders
Once your borders are finished, they are ready to hang! I use staples to attach the pieces just like any other bulletin board. Sections of border that are only a few feet long are very easy to hang. I created several faux-bulletin boards around my classroom and trimmed them with layered border as well. In those spaces, I used hot glue or packing tape to attach the borders to the paper backing. Both adhesives worked just fine.
If you find yourself with REALLY long pieces of border (like the ones you see on my classroom alphabet wall), I highly recommend having some friends help you hold the border while you staple it. For this particularly bulletin board, my mom and another teacher at my school held help me lift the the very long section of border without bending and creasing it. Then I grabbed a stapler and quickly attached the layered border to my board while they held it in place. It can be a little stressful to hang pieces of border this big, but don't worry. With help, it look less than 10 minutes to hang the border around my entire bulletin board.
If you look carefully at the birds in my classroom, you will see that the corners are sort of woven together. To achieve this look, I the border around the bulletin board but did not staple the ends of each strip to the board. The ends of each strip were hot glued together, but they easily tugged apart to separate each layer. Start from inner layers and weave the edges to create the desired look, applying hot glue to set the corners in place.
Where to Shop
I trimmed all of the bulletin boards in my kindergarten classroom with Bordette. I love it because it is bold, cheap, and comes in a rainbow of colors. You can purchase Bordette on Amazon or from Schoolgirl Style. The silhouettes of children playing that are on display in my window, pennant banners in my classroom, and even the sign above my desk that says “Miss Manore” all came from Schoolgirl Style. The Schoolgirl Style online store is the best place to stock up on beautiful decorations and Schoolgirl Style blog provides limitless classroom inspiration.
Find out More
Have a question about something you saw in my classroom?
You will find answers in one of these blog posts.
Take a Tour of My Classroom
Take a peek into every nook and cranny of my kindergarten classroom with my 2013 classroom tour. You will also find a shopping list so you can track down materials to recreate my space in your own learning environment.
Spray Painted File Cabinets
Fans always ask about my bright yellow file cabinets. I painted them. Read more to discover step by step directions and essential tools for painting your own cabinets.
Silhouettes of Children Playing
Don't you just love the beautiful silhouettes that are displayed above my classroom windows? These cuties can be found throughout the room. Read all about them in this blog post.
Brightly Colored Alphabet Wall
The alphabet wall you see behind me is part of the Letter of the Week study we do in my classroom. Each letter is a collage of pictures beginning with that sound. Discover how I use the alphabet wall in the classroom and download a FREE template to help you create your own alphabet wall.
Word Wall Printables
The brightly colored cards you see beside the letters on my alphabet wall are kindergarten sight words. The alphabet wall in my classroom doubles as our word wall. Read more about how I use color to help students master sight words and download FREE sight word labels to create your own word wall cards.
Shelf Storage Bins and Labels
Aren't the brightly colored bins not the shelf behind me beautiful? They are my favorite way to store all of those necessary teacher materials and they look so much nicer than stacks of paper. Read all about how I stay organized with Classroom Supply Labels and storage bins in this blog post.
Share Your Thoughts
Before you go, I would love to hear what you think! Would you like to see more tutorials like this one? Do you have any specific projects that you would like to see me present on? Do you enjoy blog posts with video or would you prefer that I just stick to the basics of text and photos?
I create all of my content with you, the readers, in mind. Please take a moment to leave a comment telling me what kind of content you prefer.
Thank you so much. xoxo