Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Classroom Library Decor Ideas

A classroom library has books on shelves, but what else? This list of Classroom Library Decor Ideas will get you started with designing the perfect classroom library that is right for your space and your class. After you know your shelf style, you'll want to ceate a reading nook and have some reading props. We'll get more into those as you scroll down. For now, the classroom shelf is the first focus.  You can find easy ways to have a classroom library shelf without having to use a hammer or wood. These ideas only require items that you may already have in your classroom. 

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See my collection of classroom library labels here

  • Have bright eye-catching READ staning letters: This teacher did a DIY project with marquee letters (#ad) to create the beautiful READ letters for her classroom library. This is what she said about it: "I bought 4 letters to spell READ for my classroom library. I wanted to have them be more fun so I took each letter apart and spray painted it and put a scrapbook paper print on the front to give it a unique look. It was super easy and I’m not crafty at all."

  • Make a milk create library: Stack milk crates (#ad) together to make your classroom library. It is suitable for a small collection of books. Zip ties can be used to hold them together. See more milk crate classroom hacks here.

  • Keep book series separate in mini milk crates: Mini milk creates (#ad) can also be used for small books. They are seen under the shelf in this picture.

  • Divide book sections with clear shelf dividers: These are vertical shelf dividers that keep book sections upright. Just slide them into the shelf.

  • Have reading bulletin boards and posters: Classroom Library Spring themed Bulletin Board Idea: Rooted in Reading. The tree (#ad) and butterflies (#ad) are from School Girl Style.

  • Use trash bins for tall books: This teacher used narrow trash bins (#ad) as library bins for storing her large workbooks since most library bins would not have been tall enough to support them.

  • Put sorters in shelves: For cube shelves, another tip is to place small metal file holders within each cubicle of your library bookcase. It you look closely at the picture above with the books in the shelf, you can see the white file holder keeping the books neat and upright. The metal file holders fit in the IKEA Kallax shelf unit perfectly.


  • Make a showcase (if you have the space): Make a reading showcase like this if you have the space in your classroom. I like this bulletin board design. The first poster (#ad) reads 'Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader' and these book cut-outs (#ad) were used. The second poster can be found here (#ad).

  • Use wall decals: I love this fantasy themed wall decal for libraries. Of course, it's more for a school library but it looks so charming that I had to add it. See other wall decal ideas in this blog post.

  • Have book character plush toys: These can be use to encourage students to read through the voices of characters, which is a lot of fun for them. Some book sets are boxed with plush toys like this one

  • Use sturdy bookends: Bookends are a must for keeping books upright and neat, especially if the shelves are only half filled. These metal bookends are of good quality because they are sturdy and have discs on the base to prevent sliding. They are also very decorative.

Classroom reading nooks are fun to create and it is so worth it for your students to have a comfortable and inviting space to read. Teachers are so creative! I have seen many beautiful classroom reading nook ideas that have just taken my breath away. I love to see how teachers can take the tiniest space and turn it into a cozy spot for students.

  • Use a tent: This classroom reading nook is right next to the classroom library. The teepee tent is decorated with a rainbow pom-pom garland and throw pillows.

  • Pillows, rugs, and seating cushions: Make your reading nook inviting with a plush rug and some throw pillows to match your classroom theme. Even if your classroom is tiny, set up your reading corner to be as comfortable as possible and students will treasure it. The reading corner in the picture uses this wall decal here and this throw pillow here.

  • Make a 2 in 1 library and reading nook in a small space: Go vertical! This reading nook is in a small corner along with the books on shelves above. The storage seat has seating cushions for students.

  • Use a low and wide storage cubby unit: If you don't have much space, have low level library shelves that will leave some wall space above it for your bulletin boards. A cubby shelf like this can hold storage baskets for books and the top of the shelf can be a work area or storage area.

  • Label library book levels with stickers: Level your  library books with circle labels which can be blank and labeled with an alphabet or number system. 
Assorted colors can be used if you want to have a color coded system. This helps the students to know where to put back the books when they are done.

Since we are talking about classroom library tips here, do you need book recommendations for your class level? I created a list of back to school books for each grade (blog post).

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About Me

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As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!