Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Easy (and cheap!) Mercy Bulletin Boards

***A little 2020 update- use these ideas as inspiration for decorating your home for Divine Mercy Sunday! Use plastic table cloths, fabric, chalk, window paint, streamers...anything you can find! Maybe make your display in a window to bring the message of hope to your whole neighborhood!

Bulletin boards- some teachers love creating them, others, well... don't.  I usually fall into the former category, but it is nice to have some inspiration and ideas, especially for creating decorations that are cheap.  There are a lot of cool products out there in magazines, school supply stores, etc.- but they can be pricey.  So when your budget looks like mine you strive for different ways to do things.

Let me introduce you to my favorite bulletin board supply: The Plastic Tablecloth.  They come in a variety of colors.  They are easier to store and come in more manageable quantities than large bulletin board paper.  And, they are cheap.  These gems are from the Dollar Tree, making them $1 a piece.

Here's how I made a few bulletin boards for the upcoming Year of Mercy CCD Theme that cost me next to nothing.

Up first: A symbolic & simple version of the Image of Divine Mercy.  I covered this bulletin board end to end with black plastic tablecloth.  I happened to have the end of a roll of plastic for this, but a single one in a package would work too.  I wasn't planning on using a border, so I made sure to cover the edges and trim neatly.  (I also went over the exposed staples with a permanent black marker when I was finished....because I am a detail-oriented dork.)
Next I opened up the red tablecloth, unfolded, and gathered the short end in my hand like this:
I then put that end near the left middle of the bulletin board and staplestaplestapled it.
And did the same with the blue tablecloth on the right.
Next I fanned out the strips and stapled them near the bottom and sides of the bulletin board creating the rays of light.  I let the staples help create gathers and bunches and didn't pull too tight.
Here we are so far:
If this had been a bigger bulletin board, I could have had nice long rays of light and just cut off the excess, but it is tiny, so I continues the display onto the wall.  Note the door to the left of the bulletin board.  I decided to just use the space that I have and then make a mirror image on the right.
I brought the edge of the plastic to the doorway and bunched it and then held it with a few red thumbtacks that barely show.
After pulling and tacking both of them, I trimmed the excess at the very bottom, and this was the result:
Then for the centerpiece, I used an extra piece of white posterboard and wrote "Jesus, I Trust in You" and cut out a heart, matching some of the other Divine Mercy crafts I have created and pulling in St. Faustina's words.
Done!  Simple, but eye catching.  And it cost me about $3, so that's a win.

Next up, I always decorate the main stairs to our basement where the CCD classrooms are located because it serves as a sort of entryway and I want to make it look kid friendly.  You can see a few other years' decorations here and here. (Those posts will also show you how I have used more plastic tablecloths in the past!)

I wanted to create a similar look, but didn't have the advantage of a cork bulletin board to work with.  Here's how I decorated over the stairs with only a few push pins.

First, I opened up another red and blue tablecloth, unfolded, and gathered both of them together like this:
I tied them together with a string:
And created a small knotted loop:
I then hooked that look onto a push pin that I had already put into the center of the wall above the stairs.
Next I paused a made these mini posters using white and black construction paper to mirror our logo for the year which you can see here.
I then tacked those up, with the middle on covering up the ends of the tablecloths:
Next I gathered up the tablecloths about halfway (after holding them up to the wall first) and loosely tied string around them.
I hammered in two more push pins near the corners of the walls, and simply hooked the string loops over the pins.
A little fanning out and arranging....
And we have a simple mercy themed doorway into our CCD hallway.

At the top of those stairs is the general entryway into our parish hall, so I decided the CCD bulletin board there should have updates and resources for both kids and adults.  So far, I have an Image of Divine Mercy and some holy cards that are free to take as well as an article from our Diocese newspaper about the Year of Mercy.  I plan to add more as the Year is in the news, resources are made available, etc.

And finally, a couple of our youth group girls wanted to make something to help decorate the hallways, so I gave them a picture of the logo and they created this large (its about 8" long!) mixed media/collage of Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.  It turned out great, and I love that the kids made it!

You might want to check out the list of the other activities and printables I have already posted for the Year of Mercy.  Click on this image, and scroll down a bit to the updated list:
And there will be more to come! :)


  1. I'm loving your creativity! I have already used several of your printables in our RE classes. I'm in the midst of writing a Jubilee of Mercy VBS for this summer and plan to use even more of your lovely and cute ideas! (The mini-shrines are on the list of crafts!) These decorations are great for all of our gym and hallways...I always have to come up with BIG decorations so they don't get swallowed up in the space.

    1. Love it Beth! What a great VBS idea. I'm so glad that some of the idea have been (and will be) useful for you!