How to make a fabric-covered bulletin board

While the dresser may be the workhorse of my new office nook, the beauty queen is definitely the fabric-covered bulletin board that hangs above it.

Pretty home command centre

Since I was working with such specific measurements in this tiny space, I decided that my best option was to make my own bulletin board.

Home Depot sells prefab cork panels that are 48 inches by 24 inches, very close to the dimensions I needed, so I started with that. Then I found a piece of decorative molding to build my frame. I considered some of the very fancy crown moldings, but a lot of those are very wide. Given that I only had about 20 inches total to work with, I didn’t want to take up too much space just with the frame. I wanted as much pin-up space as possible.

For the back of the frame, I bought some 5/8 inch by 2 inch strips. After ripping them in half, they were about half an inch narrower than my molding. By attaching them to the back of the molding with some glue and little nails, I was able to make a recessed area for the cork to sit.

How to make a bulletin board

I used my mitre saw to cut each side of the frame to the right length at a perfect forty-five degree angle. Tip: When you’re cutting pieces on an angle, mark your desired length as you usually would at 90 degrees. Add a tick mark to the left or right to remind yourself which way you’ll need to angle your cut your.

Cutting decorative molding on an angle

Each corner got a few dabs of glue, and then I nailed them together with my Dad’s nail gun. Tip: To check that your frame is square, measure diagonally from corner to corner. The dimensions should be the same between each diagonal pair. Twist your frame a bit to the left or right until your measurements match exactly.

Checking for square

Once my frame was perfectly square, I caulked all of the nail holes and corner joints. Tip: Keep a damp sponge on hand as you’re caulking. Wetting your finger before smoothing out the caulk gives a nice even finish. Plus the sponge gives you a spot to wipe any excess caulk off your hands before you get it all over yourself. Not that I’m speaking from past experience, or anything. Oh, and make sure you choose paintable caulk.

Wet your finger before smoothing out caulking

I let everything dry and then it was time for paint. I knew I wanted a bit of glitz, so I decided to go with gold. A few light coats of spray paint did the job.

With the frame done, I moved on to the cork. The prefab piece was close, but just a bit too wide. It cut easily with a knife, and then a quick rub with fine sandpaper smoothed any ragged edges. Tip: Cut the the cork about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch smaller than the frame. A little bit too loose is better than too tight. Plus any gap will be hidden by the recessed channel behind the frame.

Cutting cork with a knife

Covering the cork in fabric was no more complicated than wrapping a present. I cut the fabric about 6 to 7 inches bigger than the cork panel, so that I had plenty to wrap around the back. I pulled it taunt and stapled it in place. The corners got a bit of extra pleating and a few extra staples.

Staple the corners on the backside of the cork

I slipped the cork into the frame. To hold it in place, I tacked staples part way into the frame at four different points around the back side of the frame. I can easily pull these out if I ever want to change the fabric.

Use staples to hold the bulletin board in the frame

I flipped it over and was dazzled. Pretty! Pink! Flowers! Colour! Gold!

Fabric covered bulletin board

I was so dazzled that I didn’t spend too much time coming up with a technical solution to hang it on the wall. I just wanted it up. My solution was two finishing nails hammered into the drywall on the same level. Their small heads fit easily between the edge of the frame and the cork, and the board is light enough that that’s all the support it needs.

Anchoring securely might be more important if you have small children or other things you don’t want bulletin boards falling on, although we’ve had no issue with the board shifting or falling since I installed it.

Fabric covered bulletin boards are a pretty easy and popular DIY. Have you ever made one? How do you bring beauty to functional pieces like bulletin boards? Are you a floral sparkle fan?

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10 thoughts on “How to make a fabric-covered bulletin board

  1. It looks so pretty! I have some fabric that I would like to display somehow, and this is a possibility. It would be a project I would have to ask my mother in law to help me with. She’s so good at this kind of thing.

      • I love the dark metal, the oil-rubbed bronze look. But dark, not the antique-y gold. Colours do the same thing. But when they come back around there’s a bit of a change, so you can’t bring out your old stuff and have it be just right again. Like the avocado green of the seventies is more goldish than the similar green from recent years, as an example.

  2. I mean…. you built this. From scratch. Julia!!!
    I am so crazy in love with your projects!
    Also, I REALLY hope you’ll be coming back to Blog Podium this year because I’d LOOOOOOVE to hang out with you some more!

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