Sunday, July 8, 2012

My 50's Diner Classroom!

I was so excited to see that Corrina at Surfin' Through Second was holding a fabulous linky party on classroom themes and inspirations.  I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at everyone's ideas for their classrooms.  I know I have certainly learned soooooo much from "peeping" into these other fabulous classrooms.  So join in and link up to:

This year my theme is a 50's diner.  I am trying to use lots of black, white, and red.  For my bulletin boards, I have solid black fabric as backgrounds. Being in an old school, our walls are all white.  With black fabric backgrounds and the red and white gingham borders it gives it a 50's diner feel.  I also have some silver/chrome borders that I plan to use as accents.


I have made several items for my classroom to add to the black, white, and red theme.  I found this cork board at a thrift store for $1.99 so I just had to revamp it for my room. (Sorry for the light reflections.) I painted it black and then glued gingham ribbon around the edges.  Next, I cut up a black and red feather boa and glued it on the corner.  Then I glued a bow made of the ribbon on the upper corner.  Finally, I attached a crocheted flower to the center of the bow.  I love the look and I think it will look great near my door for notes.

 The next new item that I made was my "gumball" machine.  I had actually made this years ago from clay pots and a fish bowl, but it was simply the wrong color.  I brought it home and repainted it.  I painted it solid red and then attached items to make it more "flashy".  I glued black ball tassels around the lid.  Where the fish bowl connects to the bottom, I used more of the black and red feather boa and then glued a black and white gingham bow.  Along the base I simply glued more of the black and white gingham ribbon.  I really looks fabulous now!

 I like to expose my students to some of the actual people of the fifties, just like in an actual diner.  I bought lots of frames from the Dollar Tree and painted them red.  Once dry, I used sandpaper to rough up the red paint.  I then found pictures of popular stars of the 50's and printed out black and white photos to fit in the frames.  I use these on shelves and in various nooks and crannies that need a little interest in the classroom.

 This new container is simply Oxy-Clean containers that I have painted.  I decided that I was going to be thrifty this summer and made my own laundry detergent.  I used two containers of Oxy-Clean and just could not throw these wonderful containers away. I spray painted them black and then simply glued large red ric-rac on the top edge of them.  (Unfortunately, they were still hot and I still have "glue webs" on them in the picture.) I have already gotten more of the containers from my mom and now have one for each of my class tables.  I plan on putting some of the students' supplies in them.

I don't have pictures, but I have also bought the shelving units like Dandelions and Dragonflies uses for each of her tables.  I need to go to school and put those together.  Unfortunately, I received "reject" tables and they are not going to match my red, white, and black theme.  I'm thinking of maybe buying table cloths to cover them.

 We do have the wonderful Lakeshore A Place for everyone carpet.  I love it, but it has other colors too.  I have already reconciled to the fact that since many of the items in my classroom are other colors, I will try to tie it together by using gingham in those colors as accents.
I have found that this is not a common theme and I really haven't found much online to help me with ideas.  I usually look at what I need and then try to create something to "cutesy it up".  I will try to post other ideas as I make more progress in my classroom.  I hope to work there some this week.  We'll see how it turns out.  I hope it will be cute. (Fingers crossed!)

Right now I am in the process of creating Whole Brain Teaching Rules posters with the black and white check background.  I plan on trying WBT out this year.  Follow my blog if you would like those when I finish as I plan on posting them for free!

Don't forget to join the linky!  Hope to see you back soon!


  1. I can't wait to see more pictures! I would love to see how it all comes together:) It's so fun checking out everyones ideas:) Mahalo for linking up!

    Surfin' Through Second

  2. I just added you to my black, red, & white classroom inspiration page. Thanks so much for sharing this with me!! I love the red frames with the black and white photos. What a neat idea! I too am doing the shelves system ala Dandelions & Dragonflies. I stopped at Ikea last night for book boxes. Get this... 30 of them for $13.27!! Hubby suggested I line the inside of them with decorative duck tape to make them sturdier. Love that idea!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  3. What a super cute theme! What a great idea for you gumball machine! It's so fun seeing everyone else's classroom themes. I'm your newest follower! Come by when you get a chance.

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox

  4. Ooh I love the idea of a 50s diner theme!! Everything you have so far looks great, especially that gumball machine. It's so cute!! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  5. The 50's is a really unique theme and it sounds so fun! I can't wait to see more. I'm a new follower.
    Modern Kindergarten

  6. I love the 50's theme. I love the colors. I am leaving you the versatile blogger award. You can go to Homemade First Grade to pick your's up.

  7. Have you seen the pics circulating about using one of those old stainless steel straw dispensers for pencils. That would fit in with your theme. Looks great!!!!

  8. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. When you've got it posted, link up at my blog! I'm hosting a classroom theme/room reveal linky party. My kitchen is kinda dinerish/retro so I can't wait to see how this looks in a classroom! -Julia