20 Back-To-School Decorations To Make Kids Feel Oh-So-Welcome

They’re perfect for classrooms and open house events too.

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Are you in charge of decorating your school’s open house this year? Maybe you’re a teacher wanting to deck out your classroom, or a parent throwing a fun back-to-school party to dispel the school-year scaries for your child and their friends. Well, along with plenty of new notebooks and pencils, you may want to add some back-to-school decorations to your online shopping cart.

While the end of summer can sometimes be a bit of a downer (see you next year, pool parties, ice cream shop visits, and family vacations), you can help your little scholars look forward to a new school year with a few special touches. Parents throwing a party or hosting your school’s open house can buy or DIY everything from pencil shaving garlands to school supply stands to get kids excited about their new school year. And teachers, if you’re looking for some school-themed decor to spruce up your classroom, these decorations are perfect for that too. I mean, wouldn’t a giant pink eraser piñata get you in a celebratory state of mind too?

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A school bus garland

Deck out your back-to-school party with a black and yellow color palette inspired by school buses, and don’t forget this adorable Oriental Trading School Bus Tissue Garland. It measures 9 feet long and each bus is about 5 inches tall, perfect for hanging over a food spread or as part of a photo backdrop.


Back-to-school party favor bags

Want to send party guests home with some small treats? These Back to School Mini Gift Bags from D And A Cards on Etsy measure 5 by 2 by 3 inches, so they’re the perfect size for some fun mini erasers, a few candies, and a hand sanitizer.


Back-to-school photo props

Don’t forget the cute photo booth accessories for your party pics — these 12-piece set of Back-to-School Photo Sticks from Oriental Trading are perfect. Kids will love the little taped glasses, pencil, apple, and school bus. Store them in a pocket folder and use them year after year.


The easiest DIY back-to-school garland

Again with the adorable garlands from Handmade Charlotte (but this one is even simpler to make than the pencil shavings one). You literally only need silver pipe cleaners and some baker’s twine, and you can make your garland as long or short as you need to perfectly fit your space.


Hanging pencil decorations

Oriental Trading’s Pencil Hanging Honeycombs are perfect for filling empty spots in your party decor that need a little back-to-school spirit. Each pencil is about a foot long and four inches wide, and comes with the string for hanging (you’ll just have to attach it when the package arrives).


School bus balloons

Want to put together a few balloon bunches, or to spread them around on the floor of your party? The Hemoton 12-Inch Back-to-School Balloons Set comes with 15 balloons comes with a variety of designs with buses and gold confetti. The product description doesn’t mention that string is included, so be sure to add some to cart to be safe.


Back-to-school cutouts for walls, tables, and more

This eight-pack of Back-to-School Wall Decorations from Oriental Trading is perfect for sticking to walls, windows, or anything else that you want to spruce up with a school theme. They’d be great for adding to a balloon arch or garland for special touches, too.


An adorable pencil shaving garland

Um, OK, this is the cutest possible garland option ever. This DIY decoration from Handmade Charlotte only needs a few supplies, most of which you probably already have on hand if you’re into crafting, and the finished product is unlike anything you can buy. It’ll make a great impression at any party or school open house.


School-themed confetti

This School Confetti by FestiveFetti on Etsy is quite possibly the cutest back-to-school decoration ever. It’s perfect to sprinkle on a party favor table or to spread on students’ desks when they come in during open house (it’ll make finding their seat so magical).


A mini chalkboard for your classroom

A miniature chalkboard with a welcome message is the perfect back-to-school decoration. The tutorial from DIY Candy has a woodland theme, but you could customize your board to fit your classroom’s look. All you need are a wooden board and shapes, chalk paint, and any other special touches you want to add at the end.


A back-to-school wreath that rules

Want to DIY an inexpensive wreath for your door? You could make a pair of them for double doors at school and they’d still be budget friendly, since all this DIY from Burlap + Blue requires is ruler-themed washi tape and a foam wreath form. You could also print rulers and cut them down to size.


A school bus photo prop

If you’re not into crafting but still want to create a little photo op at your back-to-school party, the AirLoonz Selfie School Bus Foil Balloon is a simple solution. Just inflate it for the kids to pass around and take pics with. Especially if you have a grade schooler who’s excited to ride the school bus for the first time this year, this thing will be a hit.


Giant back-to-school banners

This set of Back-To-School Hanging Vertical Door Banners from Big Dot of Happiness would look amazing on a classroom door, school entryway or pillars, or on each side of a chalkboard. The kit comes with white satin ribbon to thread the banners together with as much space in between the sections as you’d like, and includes clear adhesive stickers to attach them to whatever surface you choose.


Back-to-school yard signs

Back-to-school decorations aren’t just for the indoors. This set of eight First Day of School Yard Signs from Big Dot of Happiness would look so cute on your front lawn, whether they’re for a party or just so kids who ride the bus past your yard feel special. They’re also perfect for sprucing up the car loop at school.


A big welcome back banner

Want to give your students the biggest welcome to an open house ever? Cover up a big blank wall with this Big Dot of Happiness Back to School Outdoor Letter Banner, or hang it over the entrance to your school where all the new students can see it. It’s decked out in pencils and apples, paper airplanes and notebook doodles. For size reference, each letter is about 10.75 inches tall.


A Pink Pearl piñata for back-to-school parties

Getting a brand new, pristine eraser was one of the most satisfying school supply purchases every year, so why not make a Pink Pearl-inspired piñata for your party? This one shaped like a pie chart would be adorable for older kids. You can personalize the shape to your child’s favorite extracurriculars and classes.


Crafted letters for the classroom

Mod Podge Rocks’ tutorial for making these letters is all about decorating a book area in your classroom. While they’re perfect for that, you could customize your letters with any colors or message. You’ll need paint, a paint brush, cardboard or wooden letters, and any decorative touches you want to add (like twine, stickers, or glitter).


The best back-to-school photo booth

Do you need the perfect photo prop for your back-to-school party? This little school supply stand from Studio DIY would make for adorable pics of your child and their friends. It’s definitely a more involved craft, but even if you only do the balloons with tassel strings portion of the tutorial, they’ll level up your decorations.


A pencil-themed back-to-school photo backdrop

The most classic back-to-school supply of all: a No. 2 pencil, of course. This pencil-themed Back to School Balloon & Streamer Backdrop Kit from The Pretty Party Studio on Etsy would be so cute at your party or outside a classroom during open house so parents can take a cute milestone photo of their kids. You can purchase this kit with or without a balloon pump, so if you don’t have one already, lump it in when you purchase.


An apple door hanger

This Apple Back to School Door Hanger by Connie Risley Crafts on Etsy is perfect for decorating doors, walls, or windows during a back-to-school party. It’s also a cute back-to-school decoration to hang on your child’s bedroom door each year to wake up to on their first day back.

Which back-to-school decorations you choose will depend on your theme, but any options on this list are sure to look adorable. And if you’re using these products to decorate your open house or your classroom, they’ll definitely get your students excited to start a new school year.

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