Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Fun and functional bulletin board, stencil tutorial

Recently I've noticed quite a few super cute and very functional bulletin boards around the blogosphere.  I thought, I could use a cute bulletin board... I have a plain corkboard one, so I set out to transform it from these inspirations:

From MadeByGirl:
From Claremont Road:
From Shelter Interior Design:
From Sanctuary:

I started with my old bulletin board, which since I last moved has been totally neglected.  In high school and college, this thing was COVERED with random pics of friends, concert tickets, postcards, etc. and when I moved this time, I decided it was time for a new layout since my life has changed so much since then.  I took everything off and put it in a scrapbook (well, didn't glue it yet but made a pile and stuck it with the scrapbook... that's another project).  I have sort of collected other things but actually the stuff that was on here was old, too... a pretty pathetic spread of bulletin and inspiration collections.

Here's the before:
I loved the cute background fabric on Jennifer Ramos's bulletin board, and I had seen fun tape patterns you can stencil on walls, etc.--so I tried it on a very small scale!

Here's how I did it!
  • I took a very small piece (left over from another project) of white duck cloth.  This is the same stuff I used on my zig zag rug.  Sturdy, true white, $7.99 a yard at JoAnn and then I use a coupon!  I pressed it as best I could, but it's tough to do.  I cut it 1/2" bigger all around than the cork board surface.
  • I started by measuring a pattern on the fabric.  If you look up close, you can see pencil marks every two inches (use a fabric pen if you have one).
  • I used masking tape to make a square-on-square pattern on the fabric.  I thought about doing freezer paper like I did on my rug, but thought it would be too much work for strips that would be the width of tape, anyway.  The pattern you use is up to you, but for this part I used straight acrylic paint (I didn't feel the need to mix it with fabric medium since this will never be washed or wrinkled or manipulated like fabric, it's more like a painting canvas).  I used my stencil dauber thing and patted the paint down.
  • I let it dry and peeled the tape off.  Here's where I realized that freezer paper works better on this kind of fabric!  The tape let some of the paint in.  Don't look up close too thoroughly! ;)
  • Simulaneously, I spray-painted the frame of my cork board.  I had quite a few ideas about what color to do it but settled on pink.  Not actually my first choice, but it works.
  • I used spray adhesive to affix the fabric to the cork board, centered.  It was 1/2" bigger than the cork board surface all around, and my plan was to trim it and poke it under the frame all the way around.  This did not work as planned.  The fabric was so stiff!  I think if you did this with quilter's cotton or something, it might work, but I ended up cutting along the edge (after pressing it down into the edge to get a straight line guide) and doing a little tucking with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Then I hung it!
  • And put stuff back on it.  I'm still working on filling it with cute things.

Definately a trial-and-error project, but it worked out in the end!

If I did it again I would probably use a lighter-weight fabric, and maybe use freezer paper depending on the design and texture of the fabric.

I put all my fashion and home dec ideas from magazines in a binder, so none of them are on here... this is more of a personal bulletin board than an idea board, but I did put some fabric swatches up there...
Do any of you have super cute bulletin boards at home?


  1. For our wedding someone gave us a hugs montage picture frame with some cheesy/romantic saying in the middle. Not at all my taste. But I liked the frame, it was gold and old-fashioned. So I bought a roll of cork at Joann's and glued it in. Voila! Ugly monstrosity becomes useful, pretty corkboard.

  2. O wow! I think you did a great job! How creative and the pattern is awesome!

  3. I did a similar thing with a plain cork board: just covered it with some black/white graphic fabric I got at JoAnn Fabrics. I need to take better photos of my projects, but here it is.

  4. So cute! I have a few incredibly boring Ikea corkboards that I really need to jazz up somehow - thanks for the inspiration!

  5. totally totally awesome! you have THE best ideas!



  6. Great job with the DIY fabric!

  7. I made a sort of board of memories but with thermocol/styrofoam sheets because I didn't have access to any cork... I covered it with strips of orange and yellow textured paper which turned out too short to cover the entire width! so i covered the remaining part with a gradation of textured paper from red to navy blue! =) turned out great and I use it as a board to pin up pictures, movie stubs, masquerade masks... pretty much things which are part of memories =)



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