Speech Room on a Budget

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room On A Budget

Do you need to overhaul your speech room on a budget?  Here are some tips on how I made an ugly janitor’s closet into a cute and quaint speech room on a budget!

Last year, I began the school year sharing a room with 3 other SLPs, one OT, one PT and our ELL teacher!  Needless to say, we were a little cramped and our room was in constant chaos.  Mid year, the other SLPs and I scoured the school to try to find some type of extra space.

We found the old janitor’s closet which was currently being used as the daycare’s closet.  Not ideal, but it was doable!  So, the principal approved us to use it and we (SLPs) finally had our own space for IEPs and therapy! Here was our UGLY room (I am pretty sure you will agree that it was UGLY)!
Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

After the initial excitement, it hit me that we needed to redo the room, without a budget.  My husband would not be happy if I spend hundreds of dollars to redo this room, so I gave myself a $50 speech room budget..and I spent $35!  Part of the reason that I was able to keep costs so low was because I asked for donations!  Never hesitate to ask for help.

Issues To Address:

1. The desk was probably older than my great grandparents!

2. The window was untreated and had a cement windowsill.

3. The floor was rusted and dirty.

4. The janitor had to keep her cleaners in the back corner.

5. The walls were full of screws, paint stains and metal bars.

6. There was a ladder in the back corner of the room (instant liability issue)!

7. There was a serious lack of furniture.

The first thing I did was go shopping at my favorite store…The Dollar Tree of course!  There, I found duct tape for the table ($7), cute pencil baskets ($3), random posters and decorative borders ($3), a vase ($1) and some fake flowers ($3).  Finally, I went shopping on Amazon.com for window curtains ($6), a curtain rod ($4), 2 bolts of material ($6) and white duct tape ($2).

Issue #1 The Table/Desk  – TOTAL COST: $7

I think this was the ugliest desk I had ever seen.  At first, I wanted to paint it, but then I found that adorable duct tape at the Dollar Tree and decided to Duct Tape the whole thing.  I have to give credit to my dad for this one…I grew up with everything being duct taped (my childhood sandals, my brush, toys, etc.)!

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a BudgetSpeech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a BudgetSpeech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a BudgetSpeech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

Issue #2 The Untreated, Cement Window – TOTAL COST: $7

I bought cheap curtains from Amazon ($6).  In the picture, they looked like pretty shear fabric, but when I got them in the mail, I realized that they were shower curtain material! I contemplated returning them, but it wasn’t in my budget.  I hung them up, placed a few flowers in the curtains and it actually turned out nice!  I also taped (duct taped) white computer paper ($0) over the cement shelf and added a decorative border ($1) to make it look decent. Finally, I placed all of my games on the shelf to cover the white paper.

Before:

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

After:

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

Issue #3 The Rusty Floor – TOTAL COST: $0 (donation)

I needed carpet…I couldn’t afford it, so I asked our janitor if we had any extra.  She was extremely nice and found some for me, but it was the 3X5 carpet from the boiler room.  I decided to find my own.  I called around and found out that my dad actually had carpet in his basement that he wanted to get rid of.  He brought it to the school, we cut it up and it fit perfectly!  If you can’t find someone who wants to donate, I recommend calling carpet stores.  They tend to have junk carpet from shows or random pieces that they can’t sell.

Issue #4 The Janitor’s Cleaners – TOTAL COST: $0 (donation)

In order for us to get the room, we had to agree to let the janitor keep all of the cleaning supplies in the back corner.  This back corner was crammed and it had a see through curtain to cover the supplies.  So, I organized the supplies on the red shelf that was left in the room and hung up a solid white curtain.  This curtain was also a donation from our OT, but they can be found for $10 on Amazon.

Before…

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

After…

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

Issue #5 The Ugly Wall – TOTAL COST – $0

The walls had pipes, wires, holes, paint splotches, rust, etc. everywhere!  Nothing a little printable decorations couldn’t fix!  For this, I used some of my ‘Decorate Your Speech Room’ printables to cover the ugly wall.  I didn’t have money to paint it, so my goal was to hide it!  I printed out my decor, laminated it and then went to town!  ***If you are one of my subscribers, make sure to check your email for the password to this FREEBIE!  If you become a subscriber and would like the password, email me at [email protected]***

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD SPEECH ROOM DECOR!

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

Issue #6 The Dangerous Ladder – TOTAL COST: $6

The only way I could think to make this ‘disappear’ was to hang bolts of fabric from the ceiling.  I used duct tape (my dad would be proud) and taped the fabric to the top of the ladder and wallah!

Issue #7 No Furniture – TOTAL COST: $0 (donations)

The only furniture in the room was that ugly table!  I sent out an email to the entire school staff and begged for any leftover furniture.  The staff was extremely generous and I received a filing cabinet, round table and 5 little chairs!

Finally, after $35 and two evenings of staying after school (about 5 hours of work), the room was finished!

Speech Therapy Fun: Speech Room on a Budget

I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment with what types of rooms you have been in or tell me about your speech room on a budget!

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  • Cindy
    August 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Wonderful Job! You would think by now SLPs would be out of closets and have decent spaces but not always the case!

    • [email protected]
      August 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you Cindy! I hope the trend of sticking SLPs in closets ends soon!

  • Ashley Rossi
    August 11, 2016 at 12:34 am

    That is an amazing improvement!!! I am definitely taking some of these ideas for my “space.” Thanks for the cute freebie!!!!

    • [email protected]
      August 12, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you for visiting! I am happy you were able to get some ideas from the post!

  • Danielle
    August 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I loved this post! It was so encouraging! Take something that looks overwhelming and make it work with your budget! Great job! It looks so inviting now! Have a great school year!

    • [email protected]
      August 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you so much Danielle! I absolutely love the dollar store as you can tell 🙂

  • Carissa
    August 13, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Love love love all of your ideas! It truly looks great. Nice job!!

    Carissa
    Home Sweet Speech Room

    • [email protected]
      August 17, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Thank you so much Carissa! I appreciate you visiting my blog!

  • Felice
    August 21, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Looks so great! I can’t believe the conditions some SLP’s are given for room spaces. The before picture would have left me feeling super sad.

    • [email protected]
      August 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you Felice! I know, it was overwhelming at first. I do hope that things change and SLPs begin to get better rooms!

  • Lisa
    September 19, 2016 at 1:16 am

    I needed this!! I am in a closet, in the basement of our building. The only window I have is in the poster I purchased. The room is tiny, has metal pipes, and a HUGE 3 faucet sink left over from when it was used by the art department. If you can turn your janitor closet into that beautiful space, there is hope for me. Thank you!

    • speechtherapy[email protected]
      September 24, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog Lisa! I am so happy that this helped you. Your room sounds awful and dangerous! Good luck!