• Pages

  • Activities and Competitions

    Organizing activities and competitions can be fun but there are times you need some fresh input. In the activity drop-down menu below, you can find heaps of ideas. What about a Paper Plane Competition?
  • Activities

  • TIP: Think inside the hat!

    Party hats, store-bought or made from pages of an old book or scrap paper are very useful for a display. You can staple the hat to the board as a container for whatever you want to showcase. Or hang them in front of the board filled with little notes, poems, toy animals or whatever takes your fancy
  • TIP: Staple at an angle

    Removing old display items will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle when you tack items to the board. The staples will stick out at one side - perfect to get hold of and pull them out when you change displays.
  • TIP: Use a glue gun

    Glue guns are the most fantastic tools for creating displays. You can attach all sorts of materials like hard plastic, metal, fabric and everything else you can think off. Be careful with your fingers (blow - blow) the glue is very hot and you easily get blisters
  • TIP: Create a 3D effect!

    Create a 3D effect by hanging objects in front of the display board, like fish in a Sea Life display or lanterns in a Spring or Garden display.
  • TIP: Don’t overdue it!

    Too much text, images or books on display too close together distract the eye. It all becomes a blur. Each object needs its own space. Think of a shop window that is more than full with appliances, you can’t distinguish one object from the other, while carefully placed objects attract the attention.

Flying beauties

This display is a quick turnover from an existing one. Having not much time and wanting to do something different I used the previous set-up with some new additions. Going through my boxes with used materials I stumbled upon the butterflies. There is no happier display than one with flying beauties.

Colorful, happy and cheerful. The laminated images make the butterflies so much more vibrant and strong. And…… you can use them over and over again. Previously used in the display: ‘Floral art and flying beauties’ I’ve used them, again and again, to make other displays more attractive or to create a quick change of setting…..


The existing background is from the display: ‘Pandora’s box’ with lots of boxes in different sizes on a black and gold background.

What you need:

  • Laminated butterflies from your own books or from Google – Images (creative commons)
  • Colorful boxes – ready bought or shoe boxes or carton boxes covered in your favorite colors
  • Wrapping paper to your taste (you don’t need to follow my example – use your imagination and be bolt)
  • Title – I used the one of the Floral art and flying beauties but it’s easy to make one from cart or a laminated one
  • If you want to use the lanterns it might pay off to visit: ‘Pandora’s box’ display for a description of how to go about

What to do:

  • Use the wrapping paper to cover the background
  • Staple the boxes to the board. For an extensive description see: Pandora’s box’ display
  • Staple the title to the board between the boxes or do as I did in this display and attach them to a box covered in wrapping paper and put to the topside of the display
  • Attach the butterflies to the boxes and to the board. Make sure you give them movement by stapling them in a ‘wavy’ way. Let the caterpillars bulge or let the wings of the butterflies move by stapling under the wing (in an angle) to make them stand out from the board
  • Get the books out on butterflies, bees or insects and place them on the stands

Stand back and have a look at your display……

Be creative and use this example as an idea to make your own display! Send me your photos and I’m more than happy to put it on this website.

A vibrant display with lots of possibilities  to cheer up a library or class

Xfactor – Biography books

There are lots of famous people, each one with different personalities and characteristics. What makes those people so special?

Do they all have the Xfactor?

I wanted to create a display connecting our biography books to the International Baccalaureate characteristics such as:            ‘Thinkers’          


‘Communicators’                                ‘Resilient’


and raise the question: ‘Do all those famous people have these characteristics or is it something else that gives them  –  the  Xfactor?


It had to be a vibrant and colourful display, posh and upmarket –  showing paparazzi features common in gossip magazines

What you need:

  • Fabric – 3 different patterns/colours for background
  • Fabric – pink voile, army patterned, feathery patterned
  • 3 Foam heads – 2 women, 1 man
  • 2 Hats, sunglasses, feather etc.
  • ‘Black board’ cart
  • Title – the X factor
  • IB characteristics – printed and laminated



What to do:

  • Cover the background with the green – black – yellow fabric. I used left-over for the top part – too small to cover it completely and had to create a frilly kind of extra in the middle. It gave it unintentionally extra dimension

  • Staple the title to the board
  • Staple the black board cards to the board
  • Attach the IB characteristics to the black cards with pins or staples – you could write them on the black board card as well!
  • Place the foam heads on the shelf – use Blu-Tack or double sided tape to secure them
  • Drape the feathery fabric around the first head, stick a feather in the fabric
  • Place the sunglasses on the nose of the middle one and put her hat on, secure it with tape – drape the pink voile around her neck and let it hang down in a pointy way. Cut it if necessary and tape it to give it the shape you want
  • Drape the army fabric around the neck of the man and secure it with staples or tape. Put his hat on
  • Cover the boxes in left-over fabric and use the glue gun or staples to secure it
  • Put the display stands on the boxes and secure them with tape
  • Put  the books on the stands and on the shelves


Stand back and have a look at your own creation – does it need adjustment?

Are the heads posh and glamorous? Do you need to drape the fabric in shape?

Be critical – think how will others see it. A good tool to help you is a mirror. Get a decent size mirror and look at your display from that angle. It shows you the uneven parts, the slightly out-of-line title or the books that need a different place. Sometimes the covers or size of the books don’t go well together when placed beside each other. Take note of that – you want to show them in the most attractive way!

Dance of the tigers – Drama and theatre

                   Striped yellow / pink fabric

Red curtains pulled to the side

tiger masks

Welcome to the theatre

       where dreams   

    are possible…..   

” Tiger, tiger, burning bright

In the forest of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry? “

William Blake

This display is a slightly different version from the ‘Dance, Divas and Drama Queens display I’ve made a couple of months ago. Just add some new materials and within 1/2 an hour you give the display a refreshed look

What you need:

  • Red velvet fabric for curtains
  • Pink shiny fabric for the edge of curtains
  • Striped fabric for the background – matching the colours of the curtains (I bought it at an emporium for a couple of dollars)
  • Wrapping paper – reddish-purple for background and curtains
  • Black card for the second half of the title at the middle of the stage
  • Tiger masks (emporium)
  • A4 sheets with wood pattern for floorboards – Google images / Creative Commons
  • Title – I used the title from the previous display

What to do:

  • Make the title. Use letters from previous displays or use Word and print new ones. I had to do a bit of ‘crafting’ to create all the letters I needed. A couple of letters were not available but with a bit of imagination, double-sided tape and a pair of scissors I got it sorted…
  • Staple the purple/pink wrapping paper to the board. Top and left and right part only
  • Cut the red velvet fabric into 10 cm wide strips – 4 on each side
  • Cut the pink shiny fabric into 10 cm wide strips – 1 for bordering each curtain
  • Fill the spaces between the velvet strips with crunched wrapping paper – staple to the board
  • Fill the middle part of the ‘theatre’ with the striped fabric. I stapled it right over the background of the previous display (see photo below)
  • If you use letters from previous display titles as I did, get all the titles (or letters) out of the boxes and sort them. I had to craft the A and the plus sign because they were not available. With a little imagination and the help of double-sided tape and scissors I quickly fixed that problem….
  • Add the title to the bottom part
  • Staple the floorboards to the bottom of the stage
  • Cut the curtains to just under the top part of the floorboards
  • Staple the striped fabric to the board between the pink curtains
  • Staple the masks to the board – I used a series of the same masks but contemplated a variety as well (am still a bit dubious about my choice)
  • Staple the fabric in a knot under the tiger’s chin to give it motion
  • Put the bookshelves in place and arrange the books on them

This is a great display to show books on art – dance – music – celebrities – theatre – filmstars etc.

Get your creative juices flowing and go ‘on-stage’

Whet your appetite! Cookbook Display

You can’t turn on the TV these days without a master chef telling us how to prepare a healthy and tasteful meal. Potatoes and veggies with a meatball on the side are out. Enjoying gravy is similar to signing your death sentence and a simple tomato soup contains at least 20 ingredients without the tomatoes. Instead of chef’s hats you could use cauliflower or beetroots, strawberries or bunches of asparagus. Don’t let your imagination limit you. Go veggie crazy!

I love cooking and I love watching those programs. I frantically write down the recipes but never make the dishes because I often miss the details. Was it 50 or 150 grams? Did she say teaspoons or tablespoons? “Never mind’ I usually mutter to my partner while I throw away my unreadable notes….. ‘let’s have a glass of wine and see what I can come up with.’

And then the day arrives that you have guests for dinner and a lack of inspiration. Or Christmas and you’ll be hosting lots of family members. Cooking for the parents is not that difficult but what to do for the children?

WOW….., A Veggie Farm  Boil two dozen eggs, get carrots, capsicum and tomatoes and let a class of children take care of the animals.

If that’s all too complicated then this is the time to give al those marvellous cookbooks a dusting and put them on display. They are the reference books for the ‘hopeful-but-not-yet’ master chefs. Those books whet your appetite while flicking through the pages, dreaming of tables set with fancy porcelain and softly glowing candles. The guest will be surprised by your cooking skills especially when you finish that lovely dinner with a superb Creme Brule straight from Youtube.

Turkish pide, Spanish anti-pasta, Olive oil recipes, these colourful books will look even better with a background like this. The strong red and black colour scheme and the repetition of the aprons outline the cookbooks even more and the white chef hats give just that extra bit of light and freshness.

What you need:

  • Black and red wrapping paper
  • 3 Aprons
  • 10 Images of chef’s hats (Google – images) enlarged and laminated
  • Black card for background title and behind the chef hats on top of title board
  • Red letters for the title, printed on A3 and laminated
  • Images of fruit and vegetables. I copied them from one of our books but Google – images will work as well – printed, laminated and cut into shape (To make it easier for myself I roughly follow the contour of the image and the little white border gives it an even more outlined appearance)
  • Carton boxes to create some extra (cheap) display space
  • Christmas lights

What to do:

Display panels: 

  • Cover the left and right top part of the panel with the black wrapping paper. I placed it horizontally because the paper was not wide enough to cover it vertically
  • Cover the top part of the middle panel with the red wrapping paper, horizontally for the same reason
  • Cover the bottom parts of the panels with the contrasting paper
  • Arrange the aprons sideways to the panels. Pin them first and if they look good, staple the corners
  • Drape the Christmas lights along the top line of the aprons. I use laminated offcuts to secure the wire to the board.  Make sure you connect the plug and wires in a safe way
  • Staple the strings of the aprons to the underside of the bookshelves and over the Christmas lights. I stapled them to the front of the shelf to create depth
  • Staple the three remaining chef hats to the middle of the aprons and add an extra piece of fruit or vegetables to the hat

Title board:    

  • Staple 15 cm wide black card to the top part of the title board
  • Cover the rest of the board with red wrapping paper but make sure that at least 13 cm black card remains visible
  • Staple black card to the middle of the board (over the red wrapping paper) to create a dark border for the white/red title. Use only a few staples at the top because the chef hats need to be tucked in between the black card and wrapping paper
  • Staple the title to the middle of the black card. Make sure the visible  top and bottom part of the black card are the same width or make the top slightly smaller
  • Arrange the chef hats in pairs of threes and twos above the title and tuck the bottom of the hats behind the black card
  • Arrange some of the laminated fruit and vegges on the red paper under the title and staple them to the board

Highlight the fruits of nature by enlarging and laminating them. A giant mushroom, cauliflower or carrot will steal the show.


  • Cover the boxes with the remaining black and red wrapping paper. Be creative and make borders and top/bottom combinations
  • Paste the laminated images of the fruit and vegetables to the boxes. Remember that some of the boxes are standing and others lying on their sides.
  • Secure the book stands with a small piece of tape to the top of  the boxes, just to make sure the books are not pushed off by passing library users
  • Arrange the boxes with books in front of the display board                            
  • Step back and have a look at your creation, rearrange if necessary and make adjustments ’til you’re happy with your work
    Add the books to the shelves and show off your collection

Baroque Christmas display

A baroque display made from materials that all have been used before: wrapping paper, boxes, bottles, plastic bags and images from a withdrawn book about medieval biblical paintings. Of course you’re not able to use exactly the same materials but you can easily replace the materials with your own.

Have a look in your box of materials (if you have one) or start collecting materials. Ask your friends, neighbors, colleagues for left over or discarded wrapping paper, plastic or paper bags with nice patterns (especially fashion carry bags can be really nice), ribbons etc. and build up a collection. Also look on your the library shelf for a book about paintings and copy some suitable images or use the pages of a withdrawn book as I did.

Use your imagination: you can replace all the materials according to your taste: a green background – silver plastic bags as lining for the tree – brown tree trunk – images from internet – or left-over Christmas paper from last year ………

Have a look at the Christmas display in black and white as well. It’s a totally different display but also made with used materials. Click on the photo or go to the webpage: www.creativelibrarydisplays.com/celebrations/christmas-tree.php for a full description and detailed photos.

What you need or better – What I used:

  • Red wrapping paper
  • Withdrawn book with medieval biblical paintings
  • Plastic bag with a black and gold pattern
  • Silver stars (left-over from the display: Time travel: from Moa to Mars)
  • Gold wrapping paper
  • Black wrapping paper
  • Christmas lights
  • Small boxes in different sizes
  • Empty wine bottles (isn’t that a fantastic excuse to have a tipple)
  • Gold laminated fabric as foreground cover


What to do:

  • Cover the board in red wrapping paper
  • Cut images from the ‘painting’ book – look for the angle the images are facing. You need left and right facing paintings but also images that suit the top and bottom. Cover the edges of the board with images. Pin them first and when you have filled in the center and it all fits then staple them
  • Cut the gold and black striped plastic bag and fold it open. Use 5 cm wide strips to form the triangle of the tree head. Tie two strips together and use the knot in the middle as the top center point. Pin the knot to the board and form the triangle. Pin the angles to the board and tie the strips together in the middle as the base for the trunk

  • Cut two trunks from the golden wrapping paper. Pin them to the board right under the bottom knot of the triangle
  • Cut 2 cm wide strips from the black and gold plastic bag and pin them to the sides of the trunk, not only to make them more sturdy but also to give the impression of balance and harmony – connecting tree head and trunk

  • Cut two suitable images from the painting book and place them in the middle of the triangles    
  • To make the triangle tree heads a bit more robust I used gold, black and printed paper (with suitable images) and fitted those around the  triangle. Pin them to the board and watch from a distance how it looks. It needs to look like a natural extension of the tree. I used an image from the paper about the Vatican which I bordered with strips of black and gold wrapping paper

  • If you need to fill space add more biblical images to the top and bottom of the board – I filled up the top right and bottom left of the board to emphasize the asymmetrical placement of the trees

  • Add silver stars in different sizes for some extra sparkle
  • Attach the Christmas lights to the board. Make sure not to staple them directly but use the same paper as the background to create little ‘hangers’ that hold the wire.
  • Use gold laminated fabric to cover the foreground
  • Cover boxes with biblical painting paper and put them in front of the board   
  • Make labels from the same biblical images and attach them to the bottles. Give them ties as well
  • You could get some candles for the bottles and use little candlelights to adorn the foreground
  • Light the Christmas lights – it will look fantastic

A display that radiates warmth and invites people to explore.

The excuse that such a display is too expensive to make is no longer valid. All materials are free, creating a treasure from trash!!!

Have a creative Christmas and a blessed New Year.