Southland Elementary PTO leaders in Riverton, Utah, have been asking the school’s room parents to cover staff members’ doors for Teacher Appreciation Week for several years. In the process, they’ve gathered some great tips and a ton of creative ideas for classroom door decorations.

Decorations can be simple, elaborate, funny; they might be trendy, referencing the latest movie that’s popular with students, or tied to a teacher’s favorite things.

Keep it friendly. While it can be turned into a contest between room parents, the Southland PTO prefers to avoid the competitive aspect.

Measure everything first. Don’t forget to note the position of the doorknob and window! In some cases, safety codes might require that the window be kept clear.

Make the door cover in advance. Lay your paper base flat on the floor or on a large table, then glue and tape all decorations into place. That way, it only takes a moment to attach it to the actual door.

Use wide tape to secure the paper to your door. Taping at top, bottom, and a couple of spots along the sides is usually good enough, along with some reinforcement near the knob. (Ask your school’s janitor or office staff what kind of tape they prefer—clear packing tape or painter’s tape, for example.)

Choose decorations that are not too heavy, or make replicas with lighter materials. If you’re using candy in your door theme, ask students to “empty” the candy packages first—this is a job they’ll be happy to help with!

Almost any door decorating idea can be done as a poster instead. If your district has stricter fire codes and won’t allow an entire door to be covered in paper, a poster is a good alternative. The Southland PTO has done posters some years, which the teachers love because they can use them the next year as a classroom wall hanging.

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