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DIY: An Art-Worthy Bulletin Board

June 25, 2010

We are very excited to bring you another cheap (in this case, free!) and simple DIY project!  One of my favorite organizational tools to have either in a kitchen, bedroom, or office is a good ol’ bulletin board.  They can help organize clutter and paperwork, display favorite photographs, as well as be a place to put up easily-noticeable reminders, such as invitations, appointment cards, to-do-lists, or notes for those you live with.  Of course, they can also turn into a horrendous pile of mess if not managed properly, but that’s another story or post, if you will.

However, most affordable bulletin boards are eyesores.  For example, take my plain bulletin board before the dramatic makeover, as seen below.  Good bones, bad aesthetic.  Not exactly something to brag about.  Or worthy of valuable wall space either.  Previously, I’ve tried to quickly cover up this fact through a couple of easy fixes, such as covering up the cork board with a favorite wrapping paper and switching it out for a new one once in a while to freshen things up.  But I was never that satisfied with the end product, until now.

Without further ado, here are the unrecognizable before and after pictures!

‘Exact Replica’ Before Shot:

And here’s what it looked like after the makeover…


I promise this is the same bulletin board.  Not bad, huh?   Equally as versatile bulletin board sans the eyesore.  In fact, I now have a hard time convincing myself to pin up anything, since it is just that pretty on its own.  When you think about it, that is a great side-effect in and of itself.  It forces me to sort through papers and other tidbits, rather than hastily tack up anything and everything.  In the end, I also inadvertently avoid long clean up and paper-organizing sessions.  Take that, hoarders!

Can I mention again that this was free?!  Here is the complete material list:

  • paint brush
  • leftover white trim paint
  • sandpaper
  • white poster board (not too thick!)
  • glue stick & scissors
  • Ehrman Tapestry catalog (source for the cut-outs of the patch work collage)

Most of you probably already have these items in your house!  While the Ehrman Tapestry (a needlepoint design company) mail catalog was perfect for this project, due to its thicker glossy paper, any other tapestry, fabric, or magazine would do just fine.  The sturdiness will be provided by the poster board.

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1: Take plain bulletin board, sand frame with coarse sanding paper, wipe off residual dust, and apply two coats of paint onto bulletin board frame.  Let dry for several hours!

Step 2: Meanwhile, start collecting different size magazine cut-outs.  While I ended up creating this as I went along, you may want to test out different options to create your favorite patchwork effect.  Of course, this step is completely adaptable to your own personal style.

Step 3: Cut out two equally sized pieces of white poster board with dimensions slightly larger than the frame of the cork board (not bulletin board, itself).

For example: If your cork board dimensions are 12 inches tall x 24 inches wide, cut out two pieces that are 12.5 inches tall x 13 inches wide.  This will enable you to overlap the pieces on the board, while also tucking them into the frame.  While you could certainly use adhesive, not using it will allow you to switch out the design or style over time, without this being a permanent fix!

Step 4: Glue magazine cut outs in various patterns onto the poster board, let dry, and slide into the newly painted bulletin board (look at step 3 for more details)!  Pick a variety of different colors, prints, and sizes.  This will create a more interesting visual layout for the end product.

Step 5: Put up on the wall and admire!  Here is a close-up of my own bulletin board collage (there are 8 different pieces alone in this segment!):

And because this DIY project uses thinner poster board, this bulletin board offers the same functionality with the added bonus of lending visual eye candy to any room of your choice.  In the end, I was really pleased with the end result of this project.  And now my bulletin board is a focal point on the wall!

So this concludes our most recent DIY project…What do you all think?  Are you ready to tackle a similar project of your own?  Be sure and let us know if you do, we’d love to hear all about it!  Check out our “Home/Design” for posts on similar DIY projects and design advice!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2013 9:56 AM

    I hope you don’t mind. I posted a link to this post over on my blog for art teachers. ” Bulletin Boards to Remember.”


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