Friday, June 27, 2014

Best Way to Cover Your Classroom Door with Butcher Paper

Being a teacher for several years now, I've covered many classroom doors in butcher paper. The picture above shows a door from 2012 when our VBS theme was New York. That door is supposed to be an apple. Now that I'm looking at it, I'm seeing a butterfly shape but that is not the main idea of this post LOL!, I'm going to post step by step how to cover a door. When you put some type of art around the door, the hardest part is just getting the door itself covered so here goes.
Supplies that you will need:

A good pair of scissors 
Clear Packing Tape (this is essential if you plan on keeping your door up for awhile!)
You will also need a child's classroom chair small stepladder
Step 1: Measuring your butcher paper: Most butcher paper is the width of a typical classroom door. Thank goodness!! So you will need to only measure the length for your door and then add about 20 to 24 inches to that. Choose the color paper you are using and cut the length that you need.

Step 2: Placing and taping the paper to the door: This requires a little help and a child's chair step ladder to do. Open the door and place the paper over the front of the door and leave 10-12 inches hanging off the back and 10-12 inches on the bottom. While someone is holding the TOP of the paper taunt for you, from the back: thread or pull the bottom of the paper from under the door and fold the paper neatly across the bottom and pull up and make sure the paper is taunt along the bottom as well. If it isn't, it may wrinkle on the front. Then, if the paper looks nice and smooth from the front: tape along the bottom edge of where your paper ends on the bottom of the back of the door. Then fold the top edge across the back of the door just right above the door window and tape along the top edge of where your paper ends on the top of the back of the door.
The picture above shows the paper after it has been taped. This picture below shows the bottom of the paper right after I threaded through to the back of the door.

Step 3: Taping the sides: Now that you have the top and bottom of the paper taped to the door, it is time to tape the sides. This part is very important because if you don't have the sides taped, when you open and close the door, the paper will tear most every time the door opens and closes.
You should have a tiny bit of paper overlapping the sides of the door. Using the strips of packing tape, tape along the side making sure that the tape has stuck onto the paper and the side of the door.
Here is a picture showing what I'm talking about:

Take this part slow and easy. You will do both sides of the door this way all the way down. Make sure that the tape is overlapping so you basically have tape coming down the sides of the door. Notice how the tape is doing is all shiny (from the tape) down the side. As you get to the top ( and bottom), fold the top edge (and bottom edge)  of the paper like you would when wrapping a present (does anybody do that anymore?!?) . Where you have some paper from the back, you will need to tape the sides of that as well.

Step 4: Cutting a hole for the door handle: This way will work for any type of door handle or knob. As you can see, you have covered up the door handle. Oh no!! What are you to do?!? Easy!! Using your scissors cut some diagonal lines creating triangles that have not been cut apart yet along the paper that is over the handle. Study these pictures carefully to see what I mean.

Notice the line to the left is longer than the others so the handle can come through easily. Next, tape all along the lines to reinforce this area. That way, the lines you cut will not get larger.

Step 5: Creating a opening for the door window Due to fire code and safety regulations, the window to your door cannot be covered, so you have to make an opening there. This is how I do it to make it look nice and neat. In the center of that window area (you have to feel it with your hands, you can see it right now because it is covered by paper) begin to cut lines from the center to the top and bottom of the window frame and then a diagonal line to the top and bottom corners of the window. Here is a picture that shows that:
Next, begin folding the paper under each side of the window frame. See how I'm doing that in these pictures:

After you have done that, to reinforce the area, you can tape along the sides with your packing tape. I try not to get any tape on the glass, because I think that doesn't look as neat.
Here is a picture of how the window looks when it is complete:

Step 6: Admiring your hard work  Finally, you should be done. However, open and close your door and if you hear any scratching sounds, that means you haven't tape the edges around your door completely and that may tear your paper. So then go along and find where you may have missed some spots and tape along those areas. Now you are ready to complete the display on your door.
There are some pretty elaborate door displays out there in teacher land! It amazes me how talented teachers are!!
Here is a picture of a completed door before the display has been added around it:

Hope this post helps those of you who have wanted to do this but just didn't know the best way how. I have covered my doors for VBS for a few years now and this is the best way I have found. I also cover my classroom door and make a display that usually lasts all year.

Let me know about some displays you have put on your door at VBS or your classroom. I would absolutely love to hear from you!!
God bless you!


  1. Thank you for this! I'm off to decorate a door and I would have done it all wonky if I hadn't of found your post first!

  2. I'm decorating doors for teacher appreciation week, (I'm a parent) and am SO thankful I found you! THANK YOU!!! I'm not going to lie, I felt a little creepy googling "school door dimensions" and I'm praying I don't die a mysterious death in the next few months where CSI has to look into my computer search history! ;) I was more than happy this showed up!

  3. It's "taut" not "taunt." But this is really helpful. Thank you.

  4. Looks Great! Thanks for sharing the useful information. It was really amazing and very informative. Keep sharing
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