Teaching Theatre with 50 bucks: The Jo-ann Edition!

Rebecca Maymi

Teaching Theatre with 50 Bucks      

Money is tight when you’re jumping head first into your first year teaching, a new school or just a new year. Miguel and I are both teachers so in July and August our bank account is like a double scoop of desert with extra cobwebs. We get it. Money is dumb and the beginning of the year is stressful. That’s where Maymi’s Posters comes in.


We pulled together a list that won’t just make your room Pinterest Perfect but also give you Admin Award Winning Activities.

All you need: 50 bucks.

Step 1. PREP

  • Sign up for the Teachers Rewards Card, Emails and Mailers for Jo Anns PRIOR to shopping.
  • Measure your Bulletin Boards

Step 2. Let’s go shopping!

Mantra- “Focus, focus, focus- I can come back in September. I DO NOT NEED a beach wood cut out of a seagull”. Go with an accountability buddy who has zero interest in Joanns, like Miguel!


Ok, here's our shopping list-

Bulletin Board Border:
5 bucks after coupons

3.99 Each and you probably need 2. Usually 30-40 percent off, If not, you have your regular item coupon.

First stop- teacher aisle. Find your favorite border! To save time and heartache, pick out your border first, THEN go find a matching fabric. I love Jo Ann’s borders because 1) I always have a store coupon. MONEY SAVER and 2)It’s just easier to obsess over matching fabric and border in the same store. TIME SAVER loves boarders!  


Bulletin Board Fabric:
15 bucks after coupons

On average, a yard of fabric is 7.99, usually 30 percent off, plus your teacher reward of 15% off fabric purchases. I got my 16 feet for 15 dollars. Holla.

If you don’t know what size your bulletin boards are because you haven’t seen your room yet. Pick ONE fabric and ask for one long continuous cut of 16 feet. We’re on a budget over here so pick one on sale.

WARNING: Some fabric bolts come in smaller sizes. Be careful what you pick out.

Most bulletin boards come in two sizes: square or rectangle.

  • Square Bulletin Boards - Ask for 4 feet and 2 inches (or 50 inches) of fabric

Square bulletin boards in a classroom are typically 50 x 50 inches. A fabric bolt width is 44 inches. We cover the gaps with borders!

  • Rectangle Bulletin Boards- Ask for 3 yards

My large bulletin boards on my campus are nine feet. Yours might be 6 or even 12 feet. 


Shiny crinkly lined fabric:
30 bucks after coupons

This fabric is priced at 7.99 a yard. BUT with coupons, 3 yards of shiny crinkly fabric is about 10 bucks each. I got three colors this time.  

I use crinkly silky fabric for everything and anything. I keep these full tote of just this fabric under my desk. 

The tote of specific fabric can be used for anything. LIKE:

  • Table cloths to start a new project or class celebration
  • This fabric is so easy to tie to things- perfect for making togas and forts. AND YES, we make forts in middle school theatre class.
  • Plain ol' everyday dress up for a class scene. (ADMIN BONUS)
  • Creating a space for a class scene- I’m talking forest, princess castle,
  • Distracting the kids that are easily distracted with a box full SHINY SILKY colorful fabric. (ADMIN BONUS)

 The tote of specific fabric can be used for anything. BECAUSE:

  • Who cares if cheap fabric gets messed up? (STRESS SAVER)
  • Can you really mess up a pile of fabric?
  • When it gets a little stinky I just throw it in the washer and dryer and it’s fine.
  • It’s shiny so the children are instantly engaged (ADMIN BONUS)
  • A box of fabric can be borrowed by other groups and events

It becomes an integral part of my class culture. And it’s so cheap! The value of something WORKING in a middle school classroom is gold.



Mental Notes for Later!

I love clearance bolts... my precious!
Sometimes the red labels in the clearance baskets are the price for the whole bolt!  


The fleece is always 40% off.  

And I always have a coupon. So making a herd of rainforest animal or a clan of cavemen is the cheapest thing. I made 10 caveman costumes for less than 25 dollars that I have used for the past 4 semesters in every class, even the advanced class asks to do that activity. you can sew it, hot glue it, tie it. And it's so kid friendly! Fleece for the win!!! It's always my first choice when uping my lesson plan game. 


Use this 20% discount code
on your next Maymi’s Posters order:  STRESSSAVER

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