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How To Decorate A School Locker For Less

Decorating a school locker

Do you have a tween or teen in school with a locker? Have you wanted to know how to decorate a school locker for less seeing all the crazy ways kids are decorating lockers now days?!

My older girls have decorated lockers for a few years. The first year I about had a heart attack and said, “no way!” and had them figure out how to do it for less!

You can see a news segment my daughter and I did for ABC 13 in Houston last year on saving money on lockers HERE.

Price comparison lockers

For the expensive lockers: 

  • Wallpaper Sheets – Target for $15 for 3 sheets ( it will take 6 sheets to 1/2 way do a locker)
  • Black Zebra Locker White Board – PBTeen $19.50
  • Mini Photo Frames – PBTeen $29
  • Locker Carpet – Walmart $9
  • Locker Shelf – Walmart $5
  • Locker Lamp – PBTeen – $24.50

For the budget locker: 

  • Roll of Wrapping paper – Dollar Tree $1
  • Basket - Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker magnetic baskets - Dollar Tree $1
  • Magnets for the wallpaper - Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker Shelf – Walmart (not shown in picture) $5
  • Locker Mirror - Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker Black Board - Dollar Tree $1
  • Microfiber cloth used as locker carpet - Dollar Tree $1

Paige honestly could not tell the difference between the high end locker and the budget locker. According to Paige, either would have been just as cool at school!

One thing that we did not have time for in the video segment was to laminate the wrapping paper. In the past for the girls I have taken the wrapping to a school supply store and paid a few dollars to laminate it so that it held up better through the school year.

Budget Locker Teen decorating

:: Locker on a budget $17::

We use magnets to attach the wrapping paper to the locker walls. You can use tape but Paige has told me horror stories of trying to get it off at the end of school. Magnets worked well for us last year.

This locker also had a locker shelf in it that you can find at Walmart for $5.

For Paige the most important thing to have in her locker was a mirror, shelf, and the magnetic containers on the wall to hold pens and pencils.

Pottery Barn Teen high end locker

:: High End Locker $107::

The wallpaper sheets in the high end locker came from Target. They are really nice and easy to work with, but we used 2 packages ($15 each) on this locker and you can see we needed even more.

The thing that FREAKED me out the most was $29 for the magnetic frames. ARE YOU CRAZY!?

The other tip from Paige is that she thinks the locker lights and locker chandeliers are cute and had one last year. But it only lasted a few days. See they block the hook at the top of the locker where the kids hang their backpacks and it was a hassle to try and maneuver around the lamp and she took it down (along with all her friends) after a few days.

In conclusion, you are more then welcome to spend $100 on your kids locker for school. But acording to the kids we interviewed, they couldn’t tell a difference between items from Pottery Barn and ones from Dollar Tree!

Plus, as we were doing the segment a teacher walked by and asked about the shoot. I explained to her what we were doing and she told us that at the end of the year they line up trash cans all along the hall for kids to clean out their lockers and place trash in. After school was done and the kids were gone, the teachers would pull out all the HIGH END nice locker decorations that all the kids just THREW AWAY!

They use them in their classrooms and save them for kids next year who can’t afford to decorate at all. I almost cried. But the teacher said NO WAY would she spend more then $20 on a locker as she watches the kids just toss it all when school is out!

Do your kids decorate lockers? What so they ask for? What do you spend?? 

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Comments

  1. Jaime says

    Hi Tiffany– thanks for the locker ideas! Just a random question: in the photo of you decorating the locker, where did you get your blouse? I love the style of it (don’t worry, I’m in MA so we won’t run into each other with the same shirt on, lol).
    Thanks!
    Jaime

    • Tiffany says

      LOL! It is one of my favorites! I actually can’t remember I have had it for 2 years! I am sure it was like Rue 21, or Target, or Forever 21….

  2. says

    I love that you had your girls figure out a way to do this that was far more economical. I’m shocked at what parents will spend on locker decor and you’re right, it just gets tossed.

    One friend wisely suggested taking some of what would be spent on a chandelier or decorative items and donating it to a charity providing school supplies to children who do not have them. I loved that idea.

  3. Julie M. says

    Wouldn’t contact paper work even better? You could do the entire locker plus cover accessories for $5-8 a roll. And I know they make a pretty black and white damask because I just covered some bookshelves with it.

  4. VB says

    This is insane! People actually spend that much money on this. We used to cover the locker with pics of us and friends and a mirror.

  5. Peggy S. says

    WOW….. times have changed…..50 years ago we had a combination lock for the locker and that was it….had a notebook with paper and a couple pens and pencils and that was our school supplies……sometimes I wish we could back to those days…..
    Locker looks great…..

  6. Anonymous says

    My oldest is staring middle school and I was surprised to see the girls doing such fancy stuff! My son was going to hang up a sports picture but decided against it. He just has a magnetic pencil cup, that’s it. They have full length lockers, it would probably take 6 packs of paper to cover the whole thing!

  7. Laura says

    Hi I was just wondering what the standard size of the locker was that you decorated. I was wanting to cut the wrapping paper at home before we get to school. Thanks:)

  8. says

    What a great idea! Decorating lockers wasn’t all that popular when I was in HS years ago, and it will be years before mine are in HS, but I love when something can be done for cheaper! We’ll be featuring this over at Someday Crafts tomorrow :)

  9. lll says

    Wow. We just used magazine photos of rockstars and a boom box in ours!
    The schools in our area removed lockers sighting cost of upkeep. So our kids have only their backpacks now. This does seem like fun to me though.

  10. Christie Jennings says

    re: locker light: just get one of those lights that you press to use, decorate the edge with stick on gems (what girl doesn’t like bling!) and that should stay outta the way of the bag hook. Instead of a chandelier lamp, it’d be a medallion mount.

  11. says

    WOW!! I love what you did for the whole locker decor! I didn’t know about this trend until last year when all the moms came in to the school on locker day with bags of decorations for their daughters lockers. I was out of the loop then, but not this year :) I won’t pay an arm and a leg for something so small, but now I know that my daughter can be trendy without breaking the bank! I live in Tomball, I wish I would have seen the segment….I’ll try and look it up!

  12. says

    Now I wish I were back in high school so I can decorate my locker. This wasn’t a “thing” at my school. But I totally wish it were!

    I really couldn’t tell the difference between the two lockers and think they both looked great. But the Pottery Barn prices were ridiculous. Dollar Tree all the way!

  13. Stevie says

    Tiffany! Hey! My dad said I could either get locker items from Claire’s or LuvUrLocker.. So I decided to do a test. After I finished decorating my locker (in my head) from Claire’s, I had spent $36. After I finished decorating my locker (they have a virtual locker on their website) from LuvUrLocker…. Well, it was about $164.48…. OUTRAGEOUS! But I haven’t gotten the Claire’s stuff yet. Maybe I’ll try it. Thanks for posting this! I would have never thought about this! :)

  14. Nancy says

    We used scrapbook paper for my daughter’s locker. We waited until it was on sale for half price so it was not too expensive, put magnet tape on the back and hung that up in my daughter’s locker. It was easy and cheap and my daughter’s school has a “no tape or adhesive rule” with locker decorating, so the magnet tape worked great for not much money!

  15. Jade says

    Hey Tiffany, I’m a seventh grader now and I have some of the ‘high end’ stuff that u put in ur locker but I didn’t make my dad pay for all of it. I payed for it myself. If all those girls want to have the ‘high end’ decorations make them work or do chores to save the money up. It would teach them a life lesson and it doesn’t break ur wallet! Lolz!

  16. PinkyGlitterGirl says

    At my school the lockers have a shelf at the top so I’m getting a locker chandelier for there and it won’t be in the way. :)

  17. Renee S says

    I love love love your ideas! I was trolling Ebay for cheaper locker paper but this is so much better and we can change it out according to the holidays! Yea fun!!! I will be doing this for my daughter tomorrow. Thanks so much!!! She is going to be singing your praises along with me for the rest of the year! (And so glad to know about the chandelier tip. She was wanting one but I think we’ll pass.)

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