notebook icon
ruler icon
Paint icon
Arts integration
calendar icon
lightbulb icon
Tips & Strategies
Computer icon
Plant icon
coffee mug icon
Teacher Shop

IKEA and Classroom Decor



I recently took the trek {about an hour or so in easy Sunday morning highway traffic} to IKEA this morning.  I know I can check out a lot on their website but for storage needs I need to see them in person.  So, my plan was to window shop {and pick up a few things for my house like their kitchen storage containers} and to gather ideas and prices so I can compare to other places.  So many of you gave me great ideas of items to look for and find more information about.  But, sticking to window shopping didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  So here are all the goodies that I grabbed!

 My favorite find was this black and white polka dot rug!  I looked at their rugs online before we left and never saw this one.  When I was looking for it specifically, I found it when I searched by price.  The price is the best part!  It’s only $20 and it’s big!  It’s going to be perfect in my reading area!  I bought two: one for covering our reading area, and one for our meeting spot.  It’s a great price on classroom rugs!  Click the picture to head to their website and find more about it.
 I grabbed a couple of these kitchen timers just to have.  They’re super cheap and there are so many different ways they can be used!
 These lamps were supposed to be $1 off for a discontinued price but they rang up full price for me! Oh well.  Anyway, I picked up 4 of them.  I thought they’d be great in different areas of the room.  I still am looking into a couple other lamp options- including something bigger.  I found a couple ideas but I wanted something more durable than the linen paper cover I was finding.  Of course, there were other options, but they were more money.  I’m going to keep looking.
I think most people know about these.  They’re magazine files that come 5 for $2!  It’s the cheapest you’ll find like anywhere!  They’re a very affordable option for book bins.  I’ve used them with my students in the past, and for most of the students, they last the entire year.  The secret is not let students keep them with them, but rather on a shelf where they just pick it up from time to time.


This was an unexpected purchase.  This is a laptop support/lapdesk {thing}.  Click the picture to head to their site for better pictures.  I was checking out a couple others that I saw as we were walking through then I saw these and knew I needed them! I grabbed 6 of them.  I figure they’d be great for students working on the floor or possibly on stools.  They also stack neat enough that they could go in a corner of the room or maybe stacked under a Lack table {more to come with that below}.  What I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to show you in the picture is that the bottom pillow part separates with velcro from the top.  It comes with the velcro not secured yet which is why it’s white in the picture.  It also unzips and is machine washable!  The other one I loved was a bit more money and had so much white I was really worried about how dirty it’d get.


I saw this picture and KNEW I needed it for my room!  {Please pardon my exceptionally awful photography skills!}  I’m planning to make some other poster prints and post them here as I decide which ones that I want. I also bought the cheap poster print frame.  You can see that by clicking here.  The frame is light so it’ll be easily mounted with 3M hooks once the time comes.


I also loved how easy it was to replace the picture in the frame.  All I had to do was remove 12 or so of these doohickeys.  You just push that back part under and they slid right out!  I thought it was neat so I thought I’d snag a pic and show you.
I also grabbed a couple more sets of frames in other sizes for yet to be determined purposes.  I probably could have waited to buy that.  Then again, I probably could have waited to buy like all of this.  But what fun is that?!?
I’m looking to buy some bigger furniture pieces and so I was pricing those.  I especially need something for my classroom library.  I’ve used provided bookshelves in the past, but I won’t have enough storage, especially with large bins.  I have dedicated a lot to building my classroom library in recent years so I need quite a few places to store them.  My top choice (but it’s fairly pricey) are these:

These Expedit shelves come in different size and color combos.  This is the one I’m leaning towards but then I was also thinking about getting two that’s just two rows.  I’ll probably decide once I decide on a layout.  This one also comes in a lacquered texture which I think will clean really easily- though the finish costs a bit more. *Edit- After two years, they’ve held up nicely and don’t have the chips in them that some of the finishes on my Lack tables have.

I was also thinking that these Trofast systems may work.  It’s more affordable and this one piece could hold 9 of the skinnier drawers.  The downside is that all of the books would have to lay flat and then they’d be harder to find.  Another downside is that it comes in white or birch and so I’d go with white.  But then the bins are bright colors or white and so I’d have to go with white to stay with my black and white theme.  That’s a lot of white.I’m also on the lookout for some additional seating for the kiddos.  I was disappointed in the ottoman options but many people directed me to check out these stools.  They were definitely more sturdy than I would have imagined and are very affordable.  But, again, the downside is that with my black and white habit, I’d have to go with white.  But maybe I’d go with green and spice things up a bit?  I’m not sure yet.

I’m also thinking they’d be super cute around a couple of these Lack tables as some other student seating.  Have I mentioned that my room isn’t all that large and I have no idea how I’m going to do everything I’m thinking up in my head? 🙂  Those lapdesks would hopefully also fit underneath here as well.

Last, one thing I DO know I’m going to be putting in my room is my new Black & White Chevron decor set.  A few weeks back I made this in a “If I make it, I will get one” mentality.  Clearly, it paid off!  And I think the chevron will go with the polka dots beautifully.  That also means that I won’t be buying that zebra chair from Big Lots that I was eyeing the other day!


It has full size alphabet chart cards, numbers to 20 cards, 6 table signs, calendar pieces, desk nametags, signs for the word wall or book bins if you level your library, and classroom job cards.  It also has two editable components: labels and binder covers.  That way, if you need to make different jobs or something else to match, you can.  You just open the file in Powerpoint, insert a text box, and write what you need.

I bought a 6 pack of binders from Costco a while back so I see myself using this cover on just about everything!
I also made the same set in a couple different color combos- with more options to come later!

There’s a set in yellow and white chevron.

And a set in hot pink and lime green polka dots.
If you like these decor packs you can see them more closely by clicking on the pictures.


  • Gotta love IKEA…those little stools are PERFECTLY sturdy. I have four of them in my classroom and the kids move them all over. I use them when I confer…super easy to pick up and move and right at "desk level"…

    Can't wait to see your finished room!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    • I really didn't think they would be. But it held me well so I know it'll hold some third graders just fine! I can't wait to start putting it together. Too bad they just finished school last week and so I have quite a ways to wait!

  • Wow! Great stuff, I love the chevron packs! So cute-and I can't get enough of the pink pop either. 🙂


  • Fyi on the book boxes…..I used them last year. After you have them decorate the reinforce the bottom with some packing tape, duck tape, contact paper or something. If theyvput hardback books in them they will be heavy and break.

    • I was thinking I would need to do something like that! Thanks for the tip!

  • Fyi on the book boxes…..I used them last year. After you have them decorate the reinforce the bottom with some packing tape, duck tape, contact paper or something. If theyvput hardback books in them they will be heavy and break.

  • Tessa,
    I am moving to kindergarten so will be getting the Expedite shelves for cubbies. A friend got them last year and they worked really well. Like you, I wanted the white, but my friend HIGHLY recommended the birch because smudges don't show up. She got some other shelf in white and it looks pretty bad, but the birch cubbies look great. The birch actually blends in with the cupboards at our school so they almost look like built ins (almost :).

    I LOVE your other ideas and am now adding to my Ikea shopping list. I want that black and white rug for my kitchen.

    Thank you for sharing!


    • I'm thinking that green may be the color accent I may end up going with. Maybe pink too.

  • I just started following you on Instagram. You might want to change your settings to private. Mine is set to private. When I first started, I had my settings set at public. (That's because I didn't know any better.) So, I was getting all kinds of followers. I didn't want just anyone following me so now it's set to private.


    • Thanks for the tip! The problem is if I set it up so that my blog fans can follow me, I won't know who they are to accept them.

  • Oh my goodness I just got your yellow and white chevron classroom décor pack from Miss Kindergarten and I'm stoked! My classroom colors are blue and yellow and this will be perfect to use. I am trying to have a good mixture of both colors as they are my favorite and the kids seem to like it. Too bad you don't have this in blue too so I can mix and match. 😉 Thanks so much again!!
    Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

  • Looks like we should have gone shopping together! I went this past weekend, and I got the same rug, same lamps, same book boxes, and I already have the green chairs! Too funny…. Love all your finds!! 🙂 I just want to learn how to join Instagram with a separate account from my personal one, and if it's easy to switch between the two on your phone. Any idea would be great 🙂

    First Grade Fairytales

    • How funny!

      With instagram, I couldn't figure it out. Right now, my account is on my personal page but then I changed the account it was linked to so that if it posts, it only goes on my fan page. Unfortunately, my fb friends were notified that I signed up with instagram so now there's a lot of non-teacher-y people following me there and I'm not so sure how I feel about that. So, I'm no help there! Instagram needs to get with the program and allow us to link two accounts! 🙂

  • Thank you! We have an IKEA new to our area and my first visit was a little overwhelming. Stepping back into teaching after a 10 yr hiatus, and trying to pull a classroom back together, has been overwhelming. Thank you for the great ideas with black and white. I am planning on black and white with lime green! =)

Comments are closed.

Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image