DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

  1. How To Make A Giant Cork Board Wall For Kid Art
  2. Creating A Base For The Cork Tiles
  3. Gluing The Cork Tiles To The Wall
  4. Arranging Art On The Cork Wall
  5. Thrifted DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board
  6. Build a DIY Filing Chest ‹ Build Basic
  7. 1. Cut the Parts
  8. 2. Prep the Stiles and Cleats
  9. 3. Prep the Panels
  10. 4. Mark the Rails
  11. 5. Assemble the Stiles and Rails
  12. 6. Add the Panel
  13. 7. Secure the Panels
  14. 8. Taper the Legs (optional)
  15. 9. Attach the Legs
  16. 10. Assemble the Sides
  17. 11. Attach the Side Walls
  18. 12. Finish the Box Assembly
  19. 13. Add the Floor Cleats
  20. 14. Insert the Floor
  21. 15. Attach the Tray Cleats (Optional)
  22. 16. Build the Tray (Optional)
  23. 17. Position the Hinge
  24. 18. Install the Hinge
  25. 19. Add the Fabric Bulletin Board
  26. 20. Place the Hanging File Frame
  28. DIY Upholstered Bulletin Board
  29. Framing The Bulletin Board
  30. Upholstering The Bulletin Board
  31. Adding Nailhead Trim
  32. Hannah’s Bedroom Blog Posts:
  33. *Affiliate links are used throughout this post. This does not affect the cost to you in any way, but provides a small commission to me for every purchase through my links. Thank you!
  34. Desk Revamp, a Chic Bulletin Board Project and an Office Update.
  35. Bulletin Board Hacks to Save Your Sanity
  36. Bulletin Board Hack #3: Never (EVER!) Cut Your Border…EVER!
  37. Bulletin Board Hack #5: Tack It in Place
  38. Bulletin Board Hack #6: Take it Outside the Lines
  39. Bulletin Board Hack #8: Make it About the Kids
  40. Mod Podge Fabric Bulletin Board & DIY Thumb Tacks {Upcycle a Classroom}
  41. Bulletin Board:
  42. Clothes Pin Thumb Tacks:
  43. Round Thumb Tacks:
  44. Step 1
  45. Step 2
  46. Step 3
  47. Step 4
  48. Step 5
  49. -Erin

How To Make A Giant Cork Board Wall For Kid Art

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

When your kid reaches the stage where they beg you to hang up nearly every painting, drawing, and stickered creation that comes her school bag, you may find yourself needing some more display space. Here’s how we hooked up our daughter with a giant cork board wall with a nice framed-in look and lots of room for art galore.

The “bell-etin board” that she used to be referring to was this smaller fabric-covered cork board that hung in our office for the last eight months or so (it was originally made by Sherry for our old closet) – but it had been getting pretty crowded.

Sherry had the idea to turn things up a notch and take that cork board wall from window-to-window so that we’d have more room to display stuff – and so that it would more clearly define that little section of the room as Clara’s (and eventually Teddy’s) workspace.

Creating A Base For The Cork Tiles

We started by hanging a thin wood base for the cork tile squares to be adhered to.

Not only would this make the squares hang more securely than individually tacking them up, it would solve a slight problem of the existing board: some of the pushpins poke all the way through the cork and into the wall, which would mean a plethora of wall holes over time from window to window if we skipped the backing.

Now we’ll only have a few screws to remove if we ever want to take this down, and a few small holes to fill – as opposed to a swiss-cheese- wall full of divots.

The wood backing was made of three 2 x 4′ sheets of 5mm underlayment from Home Depot. All of them needed a little trim to fit the 43″ wide gap between the windows. I clamped them together tightly and cut them all with one slice of my circular saw.

Starting from the windowsill, I attached each board with a few 2″ wood screws each, using my stud finder to be sure they were going securely into studs.

We wanted the third board to stop just slightly below the window for a stepped-down inset effect, so Sherry stepped back and eyed things so I could mark where it needed to be cut with a pencil. I also sliced two thin strips of wood to act as a basic molding for the top and the bottom, just to give it a more polished look so the cork didn’t just end.

Gluing The Cork Tiles To The Wall

With the boards all cut and attached to the wall, we could start attaching the cork squares. We used this Loctite Spray Adhesive, since the back specifically said it worked for bonding cork to wood.

It suggested spraying both surfaces, but since I didn’t want to spray indoors – I just spayed the back of the cork outside and Sherry carried each square in and stuck it up.

Seems to have worked just fine so far.

Tiling the wall was pretty straightforward (read: it went really fast), especially since we could use full squares for most of it and we were tag teaming things. We did all of those first before doing any partial pieces.

Sherry marked the partial squares with a pen and a ruler and then we just used regular old scissors to cut them. We discovered that making small cuts (rather than using the entire length of the scissor blade) helped keep the cork from cracking, which made for a cleaner edge.

Here’s the finished cork board wall. Ideally, the seams would be less visible (we even considered covering it in fabric or painting it a pattern, or just the plain wall color) but ultimately decided that once art went up the lines would be a lot less noticeable. So since we both d the natural color and texture it added to the room, we opted to leave it as is for now.

Arranging Art On The Cork Wall

Sherry literally sprinted to arrange Clara’s current body of work on the board the second we finished hanging it (picture her rubbing her hands together and whispering “faaaavorite part starts… now!” Clara helped with choosing what to put where, and after a few minutes of shuffling things around, we ended up here.

The artist herself was also quick to assume the role of producing more stuff to hang, although we’ve explained that even with a bigger board, we’ll still need to switch things out to make room for new stuff. So far she’s cool with it.

She even seems to the challenge of choosing what to remove to make room for her newest creation.

As for the rest of her art, we have a box full of other paintings/drawings/crafts that we save, and Sherry has a new app on her phone called Artkive, which she uses to take/store photos of it, with the intention of making a photo book full of her creations someday. We think it’ll be really fun to look back on (both for us, and for Clara).

We’re really happy with how our new cork board wall is adding some personality and color to the office, and Clara couldn’t be more proud. We’ve realized it will get in the way of any curtains we might have hung, but we’ve been thinking about doing some inside-mount roman shades for the room anyway.

Oh, and those felt name banners are a little homemade surprise that a sweet reader sent us (thanks so much Jes!) as a welcome/big sister gift for Teddy and Clara. I that it sets the stage for Clara that she’ll eventually be sharing her gallery space. Although I’m sure we’ll have a tough time bumping some of her stuff up there. We’re especially enamored with Grumpy Snowman.

A clear family favorite is this drawing that came home from school last winter, where Clara had drawn a portrait of her soon-to-be-bigger family. She did it shortly after we told her that Sherry was having a boy, so it was a huge relief to see her embracing the idea of having a brother so quickly. Especially since she almost immediately started calling him “my baby.”

We’re also pretty big fans of this bear-on-a-stick that she made at school. It shows the evolution of her people drawing skills, since they went from just having heads to suddenly having bodies. Although some people still don’t get a torso, so this bear was pretty lucky.

You may have also noticed that our repurposed Campbell’s soup cans (the limited edition Warhol ones from this old project from two years ago) are still going strong.

The rest of the office still hasn’t made much progress, but with Teddy keeping one of us occupied pretty much at all times, there isn’t really a rush on getting the double-desk thing going just yet. For now, Clara will just have to be our most productive office-mate.

Update: We love to share an update when something didn’t work out the way we thought it would – and explain how we fixed it! – so here’s how we dealt with the cork board curveball that this wall sent our way. 

Note: This project was originally published in May 2014


Thrifted DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

Today is the day, awesome Friends!! It’s the final makeover in this year’s March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days Series! I hope you were entertained, but more importantly, I hope you were inspired!

Here we go with thrifty makeover #31!

I found this shower curtain, originally from Target, at the new DAV thrift store I mentioned the other day that I recently discovered. (I told you I left with a full cart.)

I’ve seen this at Target before and although I’m not in the market for a new shower curtain, I thought the fabric was pretty, so in my cart it went.

Our theme for this month’s Get Your DIY On party for April is Wall Décor. I pulled this out to see if I could incorporate it into wall art somehow.

I also grabbed this $8 frame from my stash:

(Isn’t that scene gorgeous?)

And this bulletin board I bought a while back…

It was half off, so I was able to get this for just over $2.

These three items came together to create this:

Isn’t that fabric so pretty?

I cut the bulletin board to fit the frame using my table saw. Then I used spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the bulletin board.

The bulletin board was nice and thick, but it ended up being flush with the frame, so I held it in place using my staple gun:

That worked perfectly. I covered the back with pretty paper to hide what was behind-the-scenes.

I also added hangers to the back, although I have it resting on this table for now. So technically…it’s wall décor!


Build a DIY Filing Chest ‹ Build Basic

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

This lovely low chest is the happy replacement for our towering filing cabinet of boxy proportions. With nearly four feet of space for hanging files, this beauty will replace our entire four-drawer filing cabinet.

With the addition of a sliding tray for keeping office supplies handy, and a built-in fabric bulletin board for posting reminders and inspiration swatches, this chest is sure to be a welcomed addition to our office space.

Though it has a few more steps than they typical Build Basic project, I can assure you that the straightforward cuts and detailed instructions make this build much easier than you’d think.

TIP: Click the image above to reveal the free building plans. Click the tabs below to see the tools, materials and cut list.
NOTE: This article contains affiliate links. Click HERE to learn more.

Cost: $70

Time: 4 Hours

Difficulty: Moderate. While this project has more steps, the simple cuts and pocket-hole assembly make it a straightforward build.

Plywood Panels

  • ¾ inch Plywood Sides – 2 @ 16″ H x 13½” W
  • ¾ inch Plywood Front and Back – 2 @ 16″ H x 43½” W
  • ¾ inch Plywood Floor – 1 @ 43½” W x 13½” D
  • ¾ inch Plywood Lid – 1 @ 48″ W x 17¼” D

1 x 2 Stiles, Rails and Cleats

  • 1 x 2 Vertical Stiles (Front and Back) – 4 @ 13 inches
  • 1 x 2 Horizontal Rails (Front and Back) – 4 @ 43½ inches
  • 1 x 2 Horizontal Rails (Sides) – 4 @ 13½ inches
  • 1×2 Cleats – 4 @ 13½ inches

½ x ¾ inch Tray Track – 2 @ 43½ inches

2×2 Legs – 4 @ 18 inches (See our How to Taper Legs tutorial and video HERE)

Office Supply Tray – See our full tutorial and cut list HERE

Fabric Bulletin Board – See our full tutorial and cut list HERE

1. Cut the Parts

Using the miter saw and cut list above, cut the 1 x 2 Stiles, Rails, and Cleats to size. If the plywood pieces weren’t sized at the homecenter, try our DIY Cutting Fence with a circular saw to create nice, straight cuts.

2. Prep the Stiles and Cleats

Using a Kreg Jig and Bit adjusted to a ¾-inch-depth, drill two pocket-holes in both ends of each Stile and Cleat.

3. Prep the Panels

Using a Kreg Jig and Bit adjusted to a ¾-inch-depth, drill three pocket-holes along the sides of the Front, Back and Side Plywood Panels where they’ll connect to the Legs.

4. Mark the Rails

Lay the 1 x 2 Rails parallel on the work surface. Make two marks on each board that are 13½-inches and 14¼-inches from each end. The two vertical Stiles will set between these marks.

5. Assemble the Stiles and Rails

Place the Stiles between the Rails, aligned with the marks made in Step 4. Apply wood glue to the ends of the Stiles, and then clamp them in place. Using a speed square, adjust the parts.

Using a drill/driver, drive 1¼-inch pocket-hole screws through the pocket-holes in the Stiles, and into the Rails to hold the parts in place. Repeat to create the second Stile and Rail assembly for the back of the Chest.

Joining the Stiles and Rails before attaching them to the Panel will help hold their joints tight, and prevent separation later on.

6. Add the Panel

With the pocket-holes facing upward, apply wood glue surface of the 1 x 2’s. Lay the Plywood Panel onto the 1 x 2’s, flush with the ends of the Rails.

7. Secure the Panels

Using a pneumatic nail gun, shoot 1¼-inch finish nails through the panel and into the Stiles and Rails. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 to attach the remaining Plywood Panel to the second Stiles and Rail assembly.

8. Taper the Legs (optional)

If you wish to taper the Legs, we did, click over to our How to Taper Legs Tutorial. The Legs on this project have two adjoining 2-inch-tall tapers that inset ½-inch at the base.

9. Attach the Legs

Place the Leg along the edge of the assembled front wall, flush with its top edge. If the Leg is tapered, position the tapers facing upward and inward toward the wall, as shown. Using a drill/driver, drive 1¼-inch pocket-hole screws through the Wall and into the Leg.

10. Assemble the Sides

Place two Rails parallel on the work surface. Place a Plywood Side Panel onto the Rails.

Adjust their positioning until a Rail sets flush with the top and bottom edge of the Plywood Panel, and the ends of both Rails run flush with the sides of the Panel.

Remove the Plywood, apply wood glue to the surface of the Rails, and then position the Plywood back in place. Secure the plywood by shooting 1¼-inch finish nails through the plywood and into the Rails using a pneumatic nail gun.

11. Attach the Side Walls

Apply wood glue to the edge of the Side Wall. Using a scrap block, clamp the Side Wall on edge on the Leg, making sure the face of the Rails run flush to the outside face of the Leg.

Check that the Side Wall is plumb (perfectly vertical) using a speed square–make adjustments if necessary. Drive 1¼-inch pocket-hole screws through the Side Wall and into the Leg to hold it in place.

Repeat to attach the remaining Side Wall.

12. Finish the Box Assembly

Lay the remaining Wall facedown. Apply wood glue to the exposed edge of each Side Wall. Place the assembled Walls onto the remaining Wall and Legs so that the Side Walls align with the Legs.

Using a speed square, adjust parts. Clamp a scrap block against the Walls being joined to hold the parts in place.

Drive pocket-hole screws through the Sides and into the Legs to secure the last Wall in place.

13. Add the Floor Cleats

Apply wood glue to the ends of the Cleats. Position the Cleats so that the pocket-holes are facing downward, and then slide them into the assembled box until they run flush with its bottom edge.

Position two Cleats at the ends of the opening. Evenly space the remaining two Cleats near the center of the opening.

Drive 1¼-inch pocket-hole screws through the Cleats and into the front and back Walls, as shown.

14. Insert the Floor

Stand the assembled box upright. Drop the floor into the assembly so that it rests on the Cleats. Using a pneumatic nail gun and 1¼-inch finish nails, nail though the floor and into the cleats to hold the plywood Floor in place.

15. Attach the Tray Cleats (Optional)

If installing a Sliding Tray, glue and nail a ½ x ¾-inch Cleat to the inside of the front and back Walls. The Cleats should run 3½-inches from the top edge of the Walls to create enough space for the Tray to set above and the hanging files, and to allow room for the thickness of the Bulletin Board once the Lid is closed.

16. Build the Tray (Optional)

If adding a Tray, follow our full tutorial for assembly HERE.

17. Position the Hinge

Once the entire assembly is painted, it’s time to install the continuous hinge. First, center the hinge on the back edge of the assembled Box.

Let the knuckle of the hinge rest flush with the outer edge of the Rail so that the remaining side of the hinge flops over. Clamp the hinge in place.

Using a drill/driver fitted with a pilot bit (drill bit sized to the thickness of the screws included with the hinge), drive shallow pilot holes into the center of each screw hole in the hinge.

18. Install the Hinge

Center the hinge along the back edge on the underside Lid. Clamp the hinge in place, and then drill shallow pilot holes in the center of each screw hole. Attach the hinge using the screws provided.

Now rest the remaining side of the hinge on the box, aligned with the pilot holes. Install the remaining screws to secure the Lid to the box.

Additionally, install a support hinge to hold the lid open safely while in use.

19. Add the Fabric Bulletin Board

If adding a Fabric Bulletin Board, follow our full tutorial HERE.

20. Place the Hanging File Frame

Place the hanging file frame into the base of the box. Set hanging files onto the frame, and then insert folders.



DIY Upholstered Bulletin Board

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

This DIY upholstered bulletin board is easy, affordable, and provides a beautiful space for your child to display their treasures. Transform a basic cork board into a chic upholstered bulletin board with this tutorial. 

I picked up this 36×36 cork bulletin board at Hobby Lobby for $20 almost two years ago for Noelle’s room in the house we were renting at the time. After moving into this house though, I realized how perfect the shape and size were for Hannah’s bedroom. This was a very straightforward DIY project that took me a few hours one afternoon, and I’m so happy with how it turned out.


Framing The Bulletin Board

1 | Remove the existing frame. I used needle nose pliers to remove the corner staple and then the frame came off easily. While you’re doing this, go ahead and use a screwdriver to remove the hangers from the back and set aside.

This will leave you with a nice flat edge to add your own, thicker frame to in the next step.

2 | Add a thicker frame using 1×2 pine trim boards. I have a framing tutorial for this HERE.

You want to make sure the cork portion of the board is flush with the face of the new frame and that there is an overhang on the back side, as pictured below.

Upholstering The Bulletin Board

1 | Lay the batting out flat and set the framed bulletin board on top with front side facing down. Cut the batting to size.

2 | Staple the batting securely to the wood frame on all four sides, leaving the corners un-stapled.

The corners need to be tight and really square, so I’ve included pictures of how I fold my corners over to keep them sharp.

The back of the bulletin board should look this once all four sides and corners are tightly stapled down.

3 | Lay the fabric out flat (back/wrong side up) and set the batting-wrapped bulletin board on top with front side facing down. Cut the fabric to size.

4 | Staple the fabric to the inside of the overhanging frame on the backside of the bulletin board, making sure to put one staple in the middle of each of the four sides before moving on. This ensures the fabric will sit straight.

Once you’ve got a staple in all four sides, work your way around the frame, stapling fairly close together until the fabric is secure. Leave your corners un-stapled.

Tight corners make DIY upholstery look professional, so I always take extra care to get these right. I photographed each fold I made so you can see exactly how to achieve professional-looking upholstered corners.

Once the fabric is stapled down nice and tight, trim off any excess, turn the bulletin board over and admire your work.

It should basically look a thick painter’s canvas when you’re done.

Adding Nailhead Trim

Now it’s time to add nailhead trim if you’ve chosen to do this step. Traditional nailhead trim consists of individual nails you have to try to line up and nail in. This product makes adding nailhead trim so easy because all the “nails” are connected and you only add an actual nail every 4-5 heads.

I wanted a fairly thick border, so instead of nailing this trim into the wood frame, I chose to place the trim right along the line where the frame met the bulletin board. It worked out perfectly and gave me the border I wanted. Just make sure to use some sort of cloth between the hammer and the nailheads or you’ll scratch the finish a bit.

The final step is to reattach the hangers you removed. Screw them into the wood frame on top of the fabric on the backside of the bulletin board and it’s ready to hang.

So that’s it. An easy way to take an inexpensive bulletin board and turn it into something that looks just the expensive pin boards at Pottery Barn.

This DIY upholstered bulletin board is perfect for keeping all your child’s pictures, concert tickets, drawings, and other memories corralled in one place, while also looking nice. It’s an easy, affordable project that can be completed in a few hours and hold a childhood’s worth of memories.

So tell me, would you attempt this DIY upholstered bulletin board for your child’s room?

  • Cork Bulletin Board (whatever size fits your wall space)
  • 1×2 Trim for the Frame
  • Batting
  • Fabric of Choice
  • Nailhead Trim
  • Hanging Hardware
  • Nail Gun and Nails
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Hammer (preferably a rubber hammer)
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Scissors
    1. Remove existing frame using needle nose pliers. *Remove hanging hardware while you're doing this.
    2. Create a new frame for the bulletin board with your pine 1×2 trim pieces. Tutorial for framing can be found HERE.
    3. Lay your bulletin board upside down on top of batting that's rolled out. Cut it to size. Wrap your newly-framed bulletin board in batting and staple it to the backside using your staple gun.
    4. Repeat step 3 with your fabric of choice. Wrap the bulletin board with fabric and staple to the back using your staple gun.
    5. Add nail head trim to form a border around the edge of the bulletin board.
    6. Re-install the hanging hardware on the back of the bulletin board.
    7. Hang your upholstered bulletin board on the wall.

*In order to pry the existing frame off of the cork board, you'll probably have to break it.

*If you don't have a nail gun, you can use wood glue to attach the 1×2's to frame out the cork board. Just make sure you let the glue dry really well before upholstering.

*If you don't have a staple gun, you can hot glue the batting and the fabric to the back side of the bulletin board. Just be sure to pull everything taut and hold until it cools and dries so that it will stay put.

Hannah’s Bedroom Blog Posts:

  • Design Plan
  • Nightstand Makeover
  • Phase 1 Shiplap and Trim


Yellow Custom Name Banner

Turquoise Plaid Lumbar Pillow (fabric is from a local fabric store…I made the pillow cover)

Yellow Ochre Block Print Pillow (fabric is a fat quarter…I made the pillow cover)

Rattan Parasol Lamps – Home Goods

Wall Color – Sherwin Williams Swiss Coffee in Satin Finish

Trim Color – Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige in Satin Finish


Desk Revamp, a Chic Bulletin Board Project and an Office Update.

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board


I promised last week that I would share more about my bulletin board/desk project with you as soon as I could get my new desk organized. The desk isn’t completely done yet but I can show you what I have so far and go into more detail about how I covered the cork board and added the nail heads.

So a little background on the desk first.. I bought this desk from a friend on who posted that she was getting rid of it.  The best part is that she only wanted $150.00 for it! It looks brand new and is solid wood!  So I jumped at it because I loved the idea of using this desk as the starting point for my wrap around desk/counter for my new office/craft room:

I really d the idea of having everything that I need in one piece the file cabinets, bulletin boards, the desk itself and the paper sorter and cubbies up top.  However, tying this piece into the wrap around counter area has really been a design challenge.

Thanks to you guys and your suggestions, after I posted my video update here, we moved the desk over towards the door, raised the desk up 3 inches, added a gift wrap station and we are in the process of adding shelves between the desk and the wall cabinet:

Again, I’m not finished with this area yet and we are adding shelves between the wall cabinet and desk this afternoon.  I think I am a lot closer to integrating this piece with the rest of the wrap around.  What do you think?  I do have a top trim piece that will go on the top of the desk as well (so the top will be level).  I think I’m getting there!

Once I get the piece completely finished and the shelves in, I will share the details for how we transformed this piece with paint.  In the meantime, I wanted to share with you how easy it was to do this chic bulletin board treatment:

Covering a free standing or hutch desk bulletin board with fabric and thumb tacks (or nail head tacks) is a great way to incorporate a pop of color/design into a space.  It doesn’t take much fabric at all, so you can splurge on something really special this chic Dwell Studio (for Robert Allen Fabric) that I fell in love with for my office:

If you are covering a free standing framed bulletin board, all you need to do is to center and cut your fabric to fit the inside of the frame and add an extra inch on all four sides to tuck under the frame to hide the fabric edges (I use a butter knife to tuck the fabric).

For a desk/hutch bulletin board, you will need to remove the particle board panel on the back the secures the bulletin board in place:

After you remove the panel and the bulletin boards, center and cover the cork with fabric and use tacks or nails in all four corners to hold it in place and put it back in the desk and secure the back panel:

Once you have secured the back panel, you can use a paint scrapper or butter knife to tuck and get your fabric tight and smooth:

Once your fabric is smooth and tight, you can add nail head trim by using standard office tacks.

I actually used chrome nail head nails because I had a box of about 1000! However, nail head nails are longer than standard tacks, so I had to add a piece of cardboard on the back on my bulletin boards so the nail heads would go all the way in. Had I used tacks, it would have been a lot easier.

To make sure that my nail head trim was evenly spaced, I started by placing the tacks in the four corners first and then going back around and adding another tack in the middle and then going around again and centering the tacks between the corner and middle and so on.. I hope that makes sense.

There are all kinds of finishes on standard tacks chrome, brass or painted tacks, so it’s easy to find the perfect coordinating tacks to compliment any color of fabric.  I thought about using the brass but I loved the look of the chrome.

Well friends, I am heading back to work in my office so I can finally get the finishing touches completed.  I am beyond ready to get this done!!

Thanks for hanging out with me today!




Bulletin Board Hacks to Save Your Sanity

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

Ok… I love bulletin boards. I do. But, maybe it’s more a love/hate relationship. They brighten a room nothing else can. My old room had HUGE bulletin boards. It allowed for so much creativity. I had a few that I kept the same all year, then I had a few that I would change seasonally. This seemed to be a good balance.

Now, at my new school, I don’t have such an abundance of bulletin board space to fill. I also don’t seem to have an abundance of energy to expend on filling said bulletin boards (I think I am getting old… either that, or my toddler is sucking away my energy…). But whether you’re full of energy, or dragging a little bit me, no one s to waste time. We teachers don’t need to spend more time at school than we need to. So, here are a few hacks to help you save your sanity on your bulletin boards! First up, your base. It’s all about that base! I’m not sure where I picked up this hack… but, it is a total GAME.CHANGER. And I’m not just saying that! Use fabric instead of paper to cover your boards. This little hack will save you YEARS of a headache. Measure once, cut, staple and done. Fabric doesn’t fade paper. Doesn’t rip or tear. When you change your content – month to month, or year to year – you don’t have to worry about the background. Chances are, it’s in good shape. I to use a fine print fabric base, but large prints can be fun too! I’ve found some great bargains on fabric in the clearance sections of Walmart and Hobby Lobby. If you’re really into the black chalkboard look, I suggest using black felt. It is a heavier weight fabric and a little more pricey, but the payoff is worth it. That black will stay black for years to come! I had it on my large word wall for 6 years in my old classroom.

Double, or even triple, your border. If Melanie from SchoolGirl Style has taught us anything about bulletin board style, it is to layer your bulletin board border. This not only adds visual interest, but it also takes up visual space. This makes it so you don’t have to put as much on the board. I call that a teacher win!

Layering border can be a little tricky… but, Maria from KinderCraze has your back. She shared this genius bulletin border hack for the perfectly layered border.

Just be warned… doing this will commit your borders to be layered that FOREVER.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with layering your border! Mix different edges to create a fun look. I love straight-edged borders with a fun scallop! Click to see some of my favorite borders HERE!

On to the next hack…

Bulletin Board Hack #3: Never (EVER!) Cut Your Border…EVER!

Serious here, folks! Listen to me – don’t cut your borders! If you to change borders more than once a year, or you plan to use those border pieces for more than one board, don’t trim your pieces! Just leave them at their 3-foot length, and layer as needed.

It can be a little trickier with scalloped borders, but I line up the edges as much as I can, then fold or tuck the excess down.

This allows you to keep your pieces intact and able to be used later for different boards without having to piece together a whole bunch of smaller pieces (which I can’t stand, btw- the patterns NEVER match up properly! Virgo problems…).

This next hack is for the *slightly* lazy teacher… me *cough*…

Ok… maybe lazy isn’t the right word for this time-saving hack. “Efficient” is a better word! This is for those of us teachers who don’t want to spend extra time doing things taking down a border just to put it up again the next year, or the next time. Let me explain. Instead of taking down your border every time you need to change the look, just layer a new border over top and staple. Now you can cover the old one without wasting time taking it down, putting it away, and all that junk. I did this for years with my calendar board. I d to change the border depending on the season. So instead of completely redoing the border EVERY.SINGLE.MONTH, I’d just staple it right over the old stuff. The best part? When you’re ready to return to an older border, just peel back the layers to reveal the original one. BOOM. No re-stapling, no positioning. It’s already done for you! Here are a few disclaimers on this bulletin board hack:

  1. It is best used with same-edged borders. If you start with straight, you can only layer on straight. Scallop with scallop, etc.
  2. You can only layer about 4 borders before your staples start having issues. So, umm… don’t try to layer too many borders on top of each other. Eventually, you’ll have to clear the borders out and start again, but at least you’re not having to do that every time you change!
  3. This is assuming you are already doing hack number one… So, all you need to change is the actual border itself, not the background.

Ok, this next hack is for the perfectionist bulletin board folks.

Bulletin Board Hack #5: Tack It in Place

Setting up a board? Use tacks! Tack all your letters and pieces and step back to take a look. This is perfect for large boards, or boards that need to be straight and stuff, a word wall. If you tack up your pieces, you can easily move them if they’re not quite right.

Once you’ve approved the placement, don’t forget to staple in place. Here’s my word wall for my new second-grade classroom… You can see at the top, I’ve already “approved” the pieces and stapled, but my second row still needed a little adjusting.

Now, I can just move those pieces slightly up or down to make them perfect

Bulletin Board Hack #6: Take it Outside the Lines

Now, the teacher part of me says… always color inside the lines. But, bulletin boards are the space to get crafty and creative. So, live a little! Go outside the lines! This little hack can help create visual interest, but also helps to fill in space.

Too much white wall is boring, not engaging… but taking your bulletin board outside the actual board? Magic! Seriously, look how BIG this small board looks.

Disclaimer: I would totally link to the creator of this, but the website name it is found on is questionable… so, umm… you can click the pic to find it on Pinterest. This next hack is all about the board itself… or the lack thereof.

It seems the newer schools are lacking bulletin board space.

My new school has barely any compared to my old school, which was built about 10 years before. I also visited a classroom of a friend who had floor to ceiling bulletin boards, and her school was built in the 70’s… so, yeah…

If you lack bulletin board space, re-think your space. Even something as simple as a clothesline or a tack strip can turn an unusable space into a display space!

 This is a tack strip outside my classroom. Another favorite non-traditional display space? Classroom blinds! Click the pictures to read more about these activities. The perfect space to display student work! Just use paper clips…

Keep the paperclips up all year, then you just change out the work ever so often.

Don’t be afraid to re-think everyday items to use as a display space. This board is actually garden lattice that I covered with fabric and added a border… To mount it to our concrete block, the head custodian drilled holes into the concrete block, and I used screws to keep it in place. A much less damaging alternative are these command velcro strips. Don’t let their size fool you. These puppies are STRONG! Want to see another DIY bulletin board? Check out this post! You can also use a normal classroom surface a whiteboard as a display board… Look how creative this idea is from Hippo-Hooray in Second Grade. This last hack I have to share with you is probably my favorite. Anytime I can get someone else to do the work for me, I feel I’ve gained my time back. Speaking of getting creative, check out this post on creative storage solutions for teachers!

Bulletin Board Hack #8: Make it About the Kids

What better people to do the work than those cuties in your classroom? Make the content on your boards be about your students. Pictures, classroom work, student of the week… it will help create ownership in the classroom!

Use their pictures in a fun way…

No matter what you decide, using student work to decorate your classroom will never steer you wrong! So, let’s go forth and create wonderful boards that don’t drive us bonkers! Well… I hope you walk away from this post full of bulletin board inspiration and ideas for cutting down on the time you spend creating and changing them! So, what are some other bulletin board hacks? Share your tips below in the comments!


Mod Podge Fabric Bulletin Board & DIY Thumb Tacks {Upcycle a Classroom}

DIY Filing Chest With A Built-In Fabric Bulletin Board

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Plaid®. All opinions are my own.

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Mod Podge and to celebrate, my fellow “Plaid Creators” and I are teaming up with teachers to “adopt a classroom” and create something special for them. I was especially excited about this particular project because my sister happens to be a teacher, so I knew this would be a great way to make something fun for her classroom.

For all of you amazing teachers out there, Plaid has created an educator’s content hub that has everything you need to incorporate Mod Podge into your classroom, including: lesson plans; free monthly downloads; project inspiration; instructional videos; a printable project calendar; and more! Everyone is invited to join the celebration, whether you are a parent, a teacher, or just a Mod Podge lover! You can find it all here.

When teaming up with my sister for her classroom project, I asked her what she needed and what colors she prefers. She told me she’d a bulletin board of some kind, and she prefers coral and teal. Here’s what I came up with.

I’ll show you exactly how I made this Mod Podge Fabric Corkboard, along with a couple of cute DIY thumb tack ideas.

Bulletin Board:

  • Large Corkboard
  • Fabric
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Paintbrushes
  • Gray Paint (for the frame; I used FolkArt® Home Decor Chalk in “Parisian Grey”)
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Ribbon

Clothes Pin Thumb Tacks:

  • Clothes Pins
  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Mod Podge Gloss (or any finish you’d )
  • Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Round Thumb Tacks:

  • Small Round Wooden Dowel Caps
  • Round/Flat Thumb Tacks
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Gold Tissue Paper
  • Mod Podge Sparkle
  • Small Artist’s Paint Brush

Step 1

First, lay your fabric on top of your cork board and mark it. Then, cut it to size.

Step 2

Paint your bulletin board frame. I used FolkArt Chalk.

Step 3

While the frame is drying, iron your fabric. Then, after the paint is dry, apply Mod Podge (I used Matte) to the back of your fabric and to the cork board portion of your bulletin board. Work fast as it dries fairly quickly.

Step 4

Carefully lay your fabric on top of the cork board, smoothing it as you go and trimming any excess along the edges. Use a straight edge to smooth out any air bubbles.

Step 5

After following the instructions for drying times, follow the same procedure and apply ribbon around the edges (optional).