3 DIY Crafts for an Ocean-Themed Classroom

A beachy bulletin board (full of ocean puns!), a “Whalecome” sign, and a “No Shell Phones” box — all DIY!

Is it really time to get ready for back-to-school?  I swear the summer goes faster and faster each year.  But, no matter how long summer lasts, I’m always grateful for the block of time that can be devoted to things like house projects, our children’s book endeavors, adventuring & vacationing, connecting with family and friends, and summer crafts.

But, as the first day of school swiftly approaches, I must to come to grips that I’d better get ready for my new group of students to come through the classroom door!

So to welcome this new crowd, I added a few DIY crafts to go along with the ocean theme.  It is certainly one of my life’s passions to share the ocean’s magic with others, and classroom décor gives the perfect setting to do this.

Here’s a look!  (In case you want to make one or all of them, I’ve also included pictures with the steps and a list of supplies for each.)

“Whalecome” Door Hanger

Who doesn’t love a good ocean pun?  Well, get ready for them because this post is filled with them!


To make this one, I printed the message on parchment style printer paper, cut it out, and then used Mod Podge to glue it to the metal and over the top to seal it and add texture.

I then hot glued rope around the message and also a shell on top of the rope in the corner to cover the ends of the rope.

Last but not least, I painted the whales dark blue, hot glued them to the metal, and then painted the spout with aqua acrylic paint.

(Roll over each photo to see a description of the step.)

 Want to make this?  Here are the supplies:

  • hanging metal sheet
  • wooden whale cutouts (2)
  • craft rope
  • small paintbrush – one for Mod Podge and an even smaller one for the spout
  • acrylic paint in dark blue and aqua
  • hot glue gun
  • Mod Podge
  • printed message on paper of choice, cut (I used a parchment-style paper)
  • bivalve shell (cockle, clam, oyster, etc.)

Ocean Wisdom Bulletin Board

I love how this turned out and it almost makes leaving summer behind a breeze!  The weathered wood paper really sets a beachy tone, and dollar-store fish print scarves work as a sweet border.


I painted a piece of balsa wood with a blue and aqua background, and then stamped the letters on with a computer printout and paint pen to make the “Ocean Wisdom” sign.  After hot gluing a faux sea star and thumbtacks to the back, it was ready to go!

(Roll over each photo to see a description of the step.)

I didn’t want to cover up the weathered wood effect so I printed the ocean messages on transparencies and attached them with silver thumbtacks.


I had a few wooden anchors (about 30 cents each) that I painted using the same blue and aqua colors as the “Ocean Wisdom” sign.  In my craft stash, I also discovered a couple of aqua artificial starfish, so I hot glued a thumbtack to the back of them and also to the anchors to attach them to the bulletin board.

Want to make this?  Here are the supplies:

  • weathered wood bulletin board paper
  • dollar-store fish print scarves (3) or other narrow fabric
  • printable overhead transparencies
  • ocean sayings to print (here are the ones I made)
  • silver thumbtacks
  • artificial starfish (2 for bulletin board)
  • small craft wood anchors (3)
  • “Ocean Wisdom” sign:
    • piece of balsa wood (1/8″ x 4″ x 36″)
    • small artificial starfish (1)
    • acrylic paint in dark blue and aqua
    • paintbrush (1-2 inches wide)
    • white paint pen
    • printed letters on regular printer paper that spell “Ocean Wisdom”, cut into individuals (here are the ones I made)
    • hot glue gun

No Shell Phones wooden box

Works as a sign to remind my tech-savvy high school students to keep their cell phones put away, and also as a place to put them if they need help staying focused!


(Roll over each photo to see a description of the step.)

Want to make this?  Here are the supplies:

  • wooden box
  • white chalky finish paint
  • paintbrush
  • stencils (mine were adhesive)
  • seashells
  • hot glue gun
  • paintbrush (1-2″)

And there you have it.  Just in time to welcome this year’s students for a FINtastic year of ocean exploring.  (Are you sick of the puns yet?  That’s the last one, I promise…for now at least!) 

Have a favorite ocean pun?  Hit me with a comment, I’d love to hear your feedback!

Ocean Classroom

4 thoughts on “3 DIY Crafts for an Ocean-Themed Classroom

  1. I had AG dept make me mini surfboards that I put my sayings on. Have a whale of a day. Seas the day. Make waves. Be shore to smile, Avoid pier pressure, sea life’s beauty. Is that enough for you? Haha! Love it!

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