Years ago I used to live in a studio apartment in Brooklyn and wanted to cover the biggest empty wall space with a gigantic bulletin board. I had a hard time finding a bulletin board that was as big as I wanted — so I made my own out of homasote and burlap.
Homasote is actually a brand name that has become synonymous with the product generically known as cellulose based fiber wall board — which is similar in composition to papier-mache. It's made from recycled paper that is compressed under high temperature and pressure and held together with a glue. It is ½ inch thick and comes in sheets that measure 4' by 8'. It can easily be found in lumber stores. At the time I made my boards, I was fortunate to have a job with access to a large workspace, table saws and tools so I cut the boards myself and covered them with burlap I bought through Rosebrand. I highly recommend having the lumber store cut the Homasote to the size you wish as it can be messy!
What You Need
Homasote — cut to the size you wish
Fabric to cover the Homasote
piece of scrap wood
4 finishing washers
4 long screws
An electric drill
A strong friend
1. Lay your fabric face down on the floor and center the Homasote on top making sure you have at least two inches of fabric to wrap over the sides. Using a staple gun, staple the center of one side, then the opposite side, and then each center of the two other sides making sure the fabric is nice and taut. Work your way from the center of each side out towards the corners like a painter would stretch a canvas. If your fabric has a pattern, you may want to make sure the design lines up with the edges so that it appears straight.
2. When you reach the corners, pull the point of the fabric down over the corner of the Homasote, creating a 45 degree angle. Then fold down the two sides of fabric, tucking the excess in along the sides. Try to make it as neat and streamlined as possible so that there's not too much fabric between the bulletin board and the wall.
3. Next pre-drill holes in each corner. I used an exacto knife to cut a little "x" right where I wanted my hole so that I would be less likely to torque the fabric when I drilled (but it is a good idea to begin slow when drilling anyway). Have a piece of scrap wood underneath so that your floor is protected!
4. This is the part when a strong friend comes in handy! Have your friend hold up the board where you wish it to be placed on the wall and make sure it is level. Using the holes you've already drilled, poke through them and gently mark the wall. Let your friend rest his arms and put the board down while you pre-drill for the anchors.
5. When the anchors are in place, attach the board using long screws and finishing washers. You are finished! pin up your inspirations, reminders, artwork etc. Bulletin boards can be evolving art pieces, mood boards or communication centers. Have fun!
Images: 1 Sparrow King, 2 Home Sweet Home, 3 NYSD, 4 Rejuvination