Physical Space

16 Art Bulletin Boards to Do Now to Jumpstart Anticipation for Next School Year

coffee filters

Your future art teacher self is one project away from owing you one! As the school year draws to a close, it’s easy to get caught up in wrapping up the year and planning for the well-deserved break ahead. However, carving out time now to prepare for a new school year sets the stage for a smooth transition and an inspiring start for you and your students. 

One morale-boosting way to do this is to create projects for your beginning-of-the-year bulletin boards. Choose bulletin board projects that are exciting, easy, and will last well into the year. Involve your students in making artwork that will greet them with a burst of creativity, instill pride, generate a buzz for your art program, and set a positive tone for the upcoming year.

Prepare to infuse your classroom with excitement and anticipation for the next school year with these themed bulletin board ideas and collaborative projects.

build your skills bulletin board

Themed Bulletin Boards

Center your bulletin board around a specific, pre-determined message to get students excited about creating art. Involve your students in developing individual elements for the board that tie into the chosen theme. Involving students in creating these elements fosters ownership and belonging in the classroom environment, which sets a positive tone for the upcoming school year.

Students can create bulletin board elements around these themes:

1. Imagine the Possibilities

Using the art career cards from FLEX Curriculum, design a bulletin board featuring different art careers. Each grade-level-appropriate card includes an art professional’s skills, attire, tools, and responsibilities. Students interview other adults and conduct research to create their own art career cards on additional careers. Display both art career cards on the bulletin board to showcase the diverse range of art-related professions and inspire students to explore career possibilities.

career posters

2. Coming Soon

Design a bulletin board resembling a movie theater marquee or a streaming service carousel. Students create digital posters showcasing their favorite projects, techniques, or themes based on what they learned during the year in art class. Display the posters on the bulletin board to give incoming students a sneak peek of the exciting artistic discoveries awaiting them in the upcoming school year. Rely on the Digital Drawing Basics Pack from PRO Learning to give you a place to start with your students.

3. Starting the Year Off Write

Design a poetry-themed bulletin board featuring student-generated poems about their favorite art class experiences. Students incorporate their poems into visual images using concrete poetry, ekphrastic poems, illustrated haikus, and blackout poetry. Display the poems on the bulletin board and use your artists’ own words to inspire incoming students for another year of artmaking.

4. What Kind of Artist Will You Be?

Create a bulletin board featuring portraits of different artists. Explore FLEX Curriculum’s artist bios for a vast archive of diverse artists to include. Build upon portrait drawing skills learned during the school year or trace the artist’s silhouette to create their own renditions. Fill the portrait with distinctive elements associated with the artist, such as iconic artworks, techniques, or motifs. Celebrate the variety of artistic styles and encourage students to explore fresh artists. 

outlines bulletin board
Image Source

5. Art is Everywhere

Design a bulletin board that illustrates the real-world applications of art. Provide students with a list of subjects and content areas and challenge them to create collages that illustrate how art relates to each. Students can use images, text, and mixed media to showcase the connections between art and the real world. Display the collages on the bulletin board to celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of art education.

6. The Picture of a Fantastic Year

Encourage students to capture well-composed photos related to the art room to create a photography-themed bulletin board. Explore the Creative Approaches to Beginning Photography Pack from PRO Learning for tips on how to set your students up for success. Display the photos to give a picture of the exciting experiences the year will hold.

7. Find Your Style This Year

Design a fashion-themed bulletin board to engage students with art history. Showcase clothing designs or wearable art inspired by different artists. Provide students with templates of clothing items such as purses, shoes, or dresses and challenge them to incorporate symbols, colors, or techniques from an artist of their choice into their design. (This is another fantastic time to introduce the artist bios in FLEX Curriculum!) Display the finished designs to get students pumped about discovering their style along with other artists’ styles in the fall.

8. Your Voice Matters Here

Create a board where students visually express themselves and share their messages with the world. Students design symbols representing significant events from the year or causes they’re passionate about. Review the Social Change Relief Print Lesson from FLEX Curriculum for step-by-step directions on how to turn these symbols into prints. Use relief printing to amplify student voices and showcase your commitment to meaningful expression and advocacy.

Collaborative Displays

Engage students in a collaborative art project by giving them a simple shape or form to replicate. For instance, students can fold an origami fortune teller, like in the video below. Once completed, gather their masterpieces and arrange them together to form a cohesive and impressive installation artwork. Incorporate a welcoming message or theme and celebrate the teamwork your art room fostered. 

Select a collaborative project for students to contribute to:

1. A Rainbow of Possibilities This Year

Invite students to create coffee filter creations using coffee filters, washable markers, and a spray bottle. Color the filters with vibrant hues, spray them with water, and watch the colors bleed. Turn their colorful creations into a rainbow sea, a vibrant garden of flowers, or beautiful butterflies. This display conveys the rainbow of possibilities that the new school year holds.

coffee filters
Image courtesy of Abby Schukei

2. Weave Together a New Beginning

Engage students in creating a giant paper tapestry by writing favorite lessons and experiences on colored paper strips. Working collaboratively, weave the strips together into squares. Intermediate weavers can even create three-dimensional paper weavings, as seen in the Basic Weaving Techniques Pack from PRO Learning. Hang your woven shared experiences to inspire another year of artmaking.

3. Love-ly to Have You Back

Encourage your students to express their love for art by drawing embossed heart designs on cardboard squares. Embellish the hearts with patterns. Trace the designs with hot glue and create an embossed look by covering the squares with aluminum foil. Add color with permanent markers and display all of the hearts together to express the joy of having everyone back in the art room.

4. We All Fit Together Here

Create a puzzle to symbolize the unity of your artists. Divide a large piece of paper into puzzle pieces for each student to design. Draw inspiration from FLEX Curriculum’s Contemporary Street Art Collection by having students illustrate their names in graffiti lettering. Assemble the pieces to reveal a unified image that fosters belonging and togetherness.

5. We Missed You ‘Round Here

Explore rhythm, repetition, variety, and other principles of art in a unique way as you anticipate the coming year. Craft radial designs on colored paper circles. Cut them into quarters and arrange them on square background paper to create a captivating pattern. Display this collaborative quilt to symbolize a vibrant community reunited and ready to embark on a new artistic journey.

circles display
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6. Welcome Back to [Your School Name]

Paint half sheets of paper with lively patterns and textures. Then, cut them into small squares and rearrange them into large block letters that spell out your school’s name. Use the FLEX Curriculum resource, What Are Mosaics? to learn about the different types of mosaics and how to create them to inspire your students’ work. Introduce mosaics to your students in a budget-friendly way that doubles as a colorful welcome back in the fall.

7. Dye-ing to Get This Year Rolling

Get ready to kick off the year with vibrant energy and create oil pastel tie-dye squares, like in the video below. Color paper squares with oil pastels in stripe or spiral shapes. Drag an eraser through them to blend the colors and make a tie-dye effect. Discover tips for how to help your students succeed in the Getting Started With Oil Pastels Pack from PRO Learning. Mount the dyed squares together to compose an energetic display.

8. Writing An Exciting Chapter

Embark on a collaborative storytelling adventure with your students by creating a storyboard with sticky notes. Illustrate reflective prompts like, Draw a moment you felt confident in art class, or Portray an artist you feel inspired by. Then, caption each drawing to tell the story of the fantastic year ahead. This is a fun way to collect feedback and create a buzz for incoming students. 

Foster creativity, collaboration, and ownership in your students by engaging them with artwork up to the last day. Use the artwork in a display to generate excitement to come back to school in the fall. Whether composing artistic poems for a theme like Starting the Year Off Write or collaborating with peers to emboss hearts for a Love-ly to Have You Back display, bulletin board projects provide an opportunity for students to showcase their artistic talents while contributing to the welcoming atmosphere of your art room. They are also helpful if you need to adapt to end-of-year schedule twists and turns. Invest time now to reap the benefits later and do your future art teacher self a solid today!

What bulletin board project will you do now to set yourself up for success in the fall?

How do you bring your students together to create collaborative displays? 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Mariana VanDerMolen

Mariana VanDerMolen, an elementary art educator, is a current AOEU Writer. She enjoys teaching for creativity, with a focus on ELL and therapy in a process-based art room.

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