How to Make a Blank Slate Bulletin Board in One Hour

How to Make a Blank Slate Bulletin Board in One Hour

Misty Adair
Jul 22, 2010

We appreciate instant gratification, so a project that takes an afternoon or less is a winner in our book. With one free hour, a cheap cork board and a scrap of canvas, we whipped up this tack board to show off our yummy new push pins and inspiration items.

When we received our fabric covered button thumbtacks from The Dove Tree, we knew it would be wrong to use them on a fussy bulletin board. We needed a blank slate, so we upgraded an inexpensive cork board to a tabula rasa.

With canvas as a background, you can literally do anything to enhance the appearance of a tack board (hence, the blank slate). We painted a set of black brackets, wrote words with charcoal pencil, attached a bulldog clip to the top, and added small nails to hold a ruler. You could paint more, sew on patches, embroider designs, stencil shapes, collage images, hot glue buttons or Legos, use fine markers to add text, and so on -- endless options.

Materials Needed:
Any size cork board (with a wood frame)
Natural canvas fabric (larger than board)
Staple gun and 5/16" staples
Ruler and pencil
Acrylic paint and small brush
Hammer and short nails

How to Make a Bulletin Board:
1. Before you start, you might want to wash your canvas to make it softer. We like the canvas to be less perfect and slightly wrinkled, similar to a crumpled piece of paper that has been flattened out. If you prefer no texture, keep the canvas rolled after purchase to avoid any creases. Also, remove the attached hangers from the frame of the corkboard. Save them for later.

2. Lay the canvas out on a table and center the corkboard face down on the canvas. Measure a 2" border around the board and trim the canvas.

3. In the middle of one side, fold the canvas edge over once and then wrap it around the edge of the board. Secure with a staple and then do that again on each side in the center. Turn the corkboard over to make sure the front side looks good before continuing with the rest of the staples on back.

4. Double fold each side of the canvas and pull it tight while stapling it to the back of the cork board wood frame (leave the corners undone).

5. Trim the bulky fabric at each corner in order to have clean, finished edges.

6. Fold the remaining corner fabric into a triangle and then neatly over the edge (like wrapping a present).

7. Securely staple each corner, making sure all the edges are smooth. Flip the board over and it should look like a blank artist's canvas. Before you continue, fasten the hangers to the back again using strong glue or small nails.

8. Use acrylic paint to add embellishments on the front.

9. Write on the canvas with charcoal pencil or permanent marker, if you wish. Add a bulldog clamp for attaching things "clip board style" or staple on a small envelope for tiny trinkets. Just play with the canvas and make it as simple or as elaborate as you want.

10. Final option, hammer nails through a ruler and into the wood frame of the board. Oh, and don't forget to find some unique pushpins or even make your own.

That's it-- one hour later you have a personalized tack board that perfectly meets your needs. This is truly one of the easiest DIY projects that anyone can do. For more bulletin board ideas, take a peek at these former posts:
How to Reuse a Coffee Sack as an Office Board
DIY Keyboard Thumbtacks
Bulletin Boards: Funky, Fancy and DIY Round Up

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