• 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.

Sea birds display


A fresh and swirling display to celebrate our beautiful New Zealand coastal bird life.

 The jetty poles give the display structure and the green grass adds just a bit of extra colour to the blue  of sea and sky. 

I adorned the jetty poles with cut offs from the laminated birds and pieces of paper I keep in a box to suggest moss, rust and bird droppings you usually see on the timber, but if you like it plain you can make it easy for yourself and use just  black card. The top of the poles definitely need the half round white hats and it looks even better when you give them a bit of depth with a black felt pen.



I used two different shades of blue to make a distinction between sky and sea. At the SLANZA display workshop, where I created a similar kind of display, I used crumpled tin foil to suggest choppy water. It looked fantastic but the back wall of our library is way too large to use expensive tin foil….. Pity though because it looked so good!
 I used the background of this display for a new display called: Summer love, with books. Have a look at the reading mermaids who are lingering on a rocky beach.

What you need:

  • Blue wrapping paper for the sky
  • Darker blue wrapping paper for the sea
  • Green wrapping paper for the green border down the bottom (you could use a subdued yellow as well, acting as beach) 
  • Black card for the jetty poles. If you like to give them a weathered look use cut off pieces from the laminated sea birds and paste them to the poles and use white or grey card as well


  • Cut white tops for the poles and give them a real look with a black felt pen. Rub the black lines with a wet finger to make it more natural. Paste them to the poles 
  • Sea gulls or other sea birds – Google images (creative commons) large size – to make sure it looks good when enlarged. Copy and enlarge them as required. I enlarged one of the seagull 6 times and copied it in reverse as well 
  • Carton boxes
  • Christmas lights (50 lights)

What to do:

  • Laminate the birds  – I’ve cut some of the birds in half to make them fit the A3 pouches and pasted them together after laminating to use all the space (mark the backside if you cut them up to make sure you paste the right parts together)
  • Staple the wrapping paper for sky and sea to the board. Make the horizon quite a bit under eye level
  • Cut the green roll of wrapping paper in three equal parts and cut the top of the rolls to simulate grass or green rolling hills. Staple the grass to the board with only a couple of staples, you need to tuck the jetty poles behind the grass


  • Staple the poles to the board. I used a pin, cotton and blu-tack to make sure the poles on both sides of the middle one are on the same descending height
  • Choose a focal point somewhere left or right of the middle pole. This will be the point the birds are concentrating on. Staple them as if there is a fishing boat behind the pole or a shoal of fish just under the surface of the water they are interested in. Let them fly in that direction
  • Pin the birds to the board. I use pins because often I discover when looking from further away that the birds need to be relocated a bit. With pins you can easily remove them and give them a new place. I stapled the smaller birds together in groups of three or more instead of having them all over the place. This gives a more structured feeling and birds often fly together in little flocks

Walk away and do something else for a moment. Look with fresh eyes whether the birds are all in the right place.  Readjust until you are happy with the result

  • Attach the Christmas lights to the board. Use the same colour wrapping paper as the background and create little straps that hold the wire. Never staple the wire directly to the board.


    Cover the carton boxes (or do that in advance if you have the chance). I often use the leftover wrapping paper and use bits and pieces to give the boxes a nice jacket

  • Use some of the laminated birds to adorn the front of the boxes
  • Put book-stands on the boxes and tape them to prevent them tumbling down
  • Collect books about bird and sea life and sea adventures and place them on the stands
  • Connect the Christmas lights to the electricity and let the water sparkle

Left bottom part of display

  Middle bottom part of display

Right bottom part of display

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