Turning Your Class Into a NAUTICAL Escape

Setting up a nautical classroom

Nautical themes are an upward trend lately. It’s a classic look that will give your class a peaceful, ocean vibe. With lots of dark reds and navy blues, this matching color scheme will help your classroom transform into an open water adventure. Here are a few tips to help with turning your class into a nautical escape!

While shopping, keep an eye out for these items…

  • netting
  • dark red or navy blue organizers
  • anchor decor
  • sailboats or lighthouse decor


Anchor for nautical themed classroom decor.

Ship Ahoy!

(Link: The Teaching Texan)

If you are doing a nautical theme in your classroom, you NEED to make this wreath from The Teaching Texan! Bryce found all of the supplies at Michael’s (foam wreath, yarn, ribbon, rope, wooden anchor, acrylic paint, paint pen). First, Bryce painted the anchor and added his name with a paint pen. Then, he wrapped the wreath with white and navy yarn, covered the connections with red ribbon, and finally, added rope and the anchor. VOILA! A wreath fit for a captain! Check out his post to see more on turning your class into a nautical escape!

Nautical themed classroom bulletin board for photos.

Yo-ho-ho Mateys!

(Link: KinderCraze)

This bulletin board from KinderCraze would be a great place to display photos of your students! They could each bring in a photo of themselves (or even their family) during the get-to-know-you days of back to school. Using simple striped and wavy borders and large wood printed letters, you could add your teacher name or put “The Crew.” Having photos of your students helps to create a sense of classroom community. Plus, it’s a good use of a bulletin board that you won’t have to change out all year!

A nautical themed classroom reading nook idea.

Stem to Stern Reading Nook

(Link: This fun DIY project is a broken link on Pinterest. If you know the original poster, please comment!)

This sailboat reading nook would be such a fun DIY project! Using sturdy cardboard (or plywood if you’re really handy), create a simple boat shape, paint it red (or even cover it with the wood plank bulletin board paper). Try going to your local carpet store and ask if they’d be willing to donate scrap carpet for the interior. A printed lifesaver, anchor pillow and striped fabric “sail,” and you have your own S.S. Read!

Nautical themed classroom decor bundle.

Get Ship-shape in a Bundle

(Link: TPT Decor Set)

Here is a link to my classroom decor bundle. Within this bundle, there are over 20 nautical themed pieces to use in the classroom. These range from journal labels, rules, name tags, check-in chart, bucket filling bulletin board set, book bin labels, and more! They’re all red and green colors, plus cute apple graphics on each item. Perfect for turning your class into a nautical escape.

A nautical themed classroom faux porthole idea.

Land Ho!

(Link: Welcome to the Woods)

How adorable are these faux portholes?? Using a projector, or a circle stencil, you can create the porthole rings. Then, print or draw a scene to “see” through the porthole. Glue the porthole to the scene and laminate it to make it look like a window! These would be a great addition to your library or a wall with no windows! A creative and fun way to help on your journey to turning your class into a nautical escape.

A nautical themed classroom lighthouse bulletin board idea.

Sailor’s Delight

(Link: Broken Link- If you know the original poster, please comment below!)

I LOVE this lighthouse bulletin board! The lighthouse can be made out of red, white, and blue paper, with paper sacks or brown butcher paper for the land. Different layers of blue waves will add dimension and texture before each of your kiddos adds their boat! Another idea would be making one large ship and adding sailors for each of your students!


All the links below are decor and organizational items from Amazon. Each image comes with an affiliate link from Amazon.

A nautical themed classroom organizing idea.

(Link: Amazon Fabric Buckets)

These fabric storage bins would be great for storing classroom books, school supplies, or small group materials! They are the perfect size for a bookshelf and can be easily moved from one space to another!

A nautical themed classroom ready to purchase captain's wheel.

(Link: Amazon Wheel)

Every nautical classroom needs a captain’s wheel! The captain’s wheel can be used as decoration or could have a function! Imagine a small group sitting around the wheel to work together on an activity. It could be a perfect place to incorporate Kagan strategies, like Round Robin, Talking Chips, etc.

A nautical themed classroom netting idea.

(Link: Amazon Netting)

This navy netting can be used on a bulletin board for interesting texture! You could also use it as functional storage for reading buddies (stuffed animals), pillows, and more! Netting is an easy path towards turning your class into a nautical escape.

A nautical themed classroom ready made binder covers.
A nautical themed classroom book binders.

(Link: Nautical Decor Set) (Link: Amazon Binder 4-pack)

The Nautical Decor set comes with adorable binder covers! Slide them into the front of these red, white, and blue binders for a cute way to store your teacher materials!

A nautical themed classroom paper lanterns and poms.

(Link: Amazon Pom Poms)

Hanging paper lanterns and pom poms is a quick and easy way to spruce up any room! The red, white, and blue will match your nautical theme and are easy to store over the summer. Lanterns and pom poms provide an easy solution for turning your class into a nautical escape.

A nautical themed classroom decor bundle.

(Link: TPT Decor Set)

All the decor items in this pack are to be used to decorate your classroom in a nautical themed room! Each piece is blue or red with nautical objects to match. Over half of the pieces in this bundle are editable. The pieces that require personalization, such as name tags and labels are editable. These pieces come with non-editable PDF that you can simply write on with a Sharpie OR an editable PowerPoint that you can type your personal names, rules, etc. into. Your instant solution for turning your class into a nautical escape.

Decor Pieces Included: 
ABC Line, Behavior Chart (Editable), Binder Covers- Monthly, Binder Covers- Other, Binder Covers (Editable), Birthday Chart (Editable), Book Bin Labels (Editable), Bucket Fillers (Editable), Bunting (Editable), Calendar Set, Check-in Chart (Editable), Clock Numbers, Hall Passes (Editable), Job Chart (Editable), Labels (Editable), Name tags (Editable), Number Signs, Rules (Editable), Shapes Posters, Table Signs (Editable), Where are We? (Editable), and Word Wall Letters

How to setup a nautical themed classroom.

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