When decorating your school office, you may encounter two obstacles: It can be expensive; and your school may limit exactly how much decorating you can do. Always start planning your decoration project by obtaining a list of decorating restrictions and asking about the budget. Some schools do not offer a decorating budget, and any expense must be done at the educator's expense.

Brighten Your Space

Your school may not allow painting in your school office. If it's allowed, the choice of color may not be up to you. Be creative with the ways you add color to the room. A large foam-core board covered with a photo collage, ball fringe stapled on an otherwise boring office chair, or a mirror frame with super hero images from comic books -- all are inexpensive ways to add color to your school office.

Save money by making some of your accessories. Paint a plastic mint container and drop a small rare earth magnet in it; paper clips will stick to the outside of it. Wrap the legs, seat and back of a metal or plastic chair with yarn to add to your office or for your chair. Cut a school logo out of a vintage shirt and tack it onto the cork bulletin board for a spirited backdrop for your notes and reminders.

Bring Home to School

Take a look around your house for extra decorating items to take to your school office. Give an old end table a fresh coat of paint or stain and move it to your office. An old plant stand may no longer match the rest of your patio decor, but perhaps you can use it to hold a potted vine in a corner of your office. Throw pillows, framed family photos and unused lamps are other home items that can decorate your school office.

If you will host young students in your office, consider bringing something fun for them that will help make a non-disciplinary visit to the office less scary. Young children enjoy sitting in an old wagon converted into a seat with the addition of a thick cushion. Older students find comfort in a video-gaming chair or a bean bag.

School Colors and Mascot Themes

Some schools provide offices that are painted in school colors or provide neutral walls with some mascot-themed art. For instance, a school's colors may be orange and black. You may find your office painted basic white with an orange accent wall and furnished with a black desk and chair. You can still decorate the office in your own personal style within the school-furnished basics. Add a large mirror to the accent wall to reflect the neutral wall across from it. Frame art posters in black frames to tie the decor together.

If your school's mascot is a leopard and you don't care for leopard print, find a less obvious way to incorporate the mascot into your office. For instance, place a leopard-print rug on the visitor's side of your desk. Have one small leopard print frame on your desk that features a motivational quote; turn it so it faces your visitors. Decorate the rest of your office with desk accessories, additional frames and wall art that coordinate with the colors of the leopard print rug and frame.

Communicate With Posters

  • Anti-bullying posters are appropriate for students of all ages.
  • Posters that reinforce good manners are helpful for young students
  • Older students can benefit from Internet and texting safety posters.
  • Keep expenses low by framing them with a thin bulletin board border.
  • Spending a little money on inexpensive plastic poster frames is another option. Many posters can be purchased for a nominal price, but other poster sources available to educators may provide them for free.
  • If your school district has access to a large format printer, design and print your own for very little if any expense. Also check with area colleges for posters or pennants they can donate for your office decor. It's good exposure for them and is encouraging to students, too.

Keep It Cheap

Even if your school provides a budget to decorate your office, you can get more for your money by cutting corners where you can.

  • If your office needs furniture, check with the maintenance department. Someone can tell you where unused office furniture is stored and how to properly acquire it for your use.
  • Arrange a decor swap with fellow educators. Even if you can't arrange an actual swap meet, establish a group on a social media outlet and post pictures of what you have to swap.
  • Check the dollar stores and clearance aisles.