DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure .

Make this HUGE bulletin board for just $12; no cork required! #DIY #organization

One of the ways we’ve made our home fit our family is by adding a desk in the dining room.  I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it really helps organize papers and mail, both as they come in our home and as they go.  For holidays and parties, we just clear it off and it becomes a sideboard for serving food.  It’s become a mini-office, and a wonderful tool for keeping us organized and taming the avalanche of papers in our life.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

DIY fabric covered bulletin board tutorial

Bulletin boards are a utilitarian part of most offices, and I knew having one would be incredibly helpful for our family– but very ugly for our dining room.  That’s when it occurred to me I could make my own bulletin board, make it pretty, and do so for about $12.  REALLY.  It’s become one of my favorite things in our home, our beautiful family ‘command center’, sprinkled with important memos and kid produced art and special photos too.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

At first I decided to simply hang beautiful things like fabric samples and poetry, and perhaps a favorite business card or two.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Then I added some important pieces of paper I didn’t want to lose like our Jim Gaffigan tickets, permission slips, and losing Powerball tickets.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Next, a few favorite cards jumped on board simply because they made me happy.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

It would be silly not to tuck a favorite photo in here and there, right?

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Of course, the prolific art that started coming home from school needed a place to live.  It soon became apparent this bulletin board was meant to hold that sweet art, with the added benefit that my kids are so stinkin’ proud to see it displayed.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

For such a huge game-changer, the bulletin board itself cost next to nothing.  The foam board was about $10, plus a few bucks for the thumbtack trim.  The fabric was a piece I’ve had for years (I think it was waiting for it’s moment to shine!), so this project cost about $12 TOTAL.  Want to make one too?  Here’s how!

DIY Bulletin Board Tutorial

I knew I’d need a big car to transport the foam board home for the size I wanted.  After stealing my husband’s SUV and making a break for it, I found exactly what I was looking for at Lowes– a huge piece of foam insulation board.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

The material is very light and comes in large sizes so you can definitely make your bulletin board as big as you want.  I’d recommend measuring the trunk of whichever vehicle you took to the store, because this stuff is BIG.  The board was way bigger than the trunk of our Honda Pilot, so thankfully the size I wanted for the finished board (3′ X 5′) would also fit in our SUV.

Which is about the extent of my math skills.   Please don’t force me to tell you how long it took to calculate that.

The guy at Lowes happily cut it to size, so I was able to carry it to the car myself (awkwardly, because I’m carrying a huge mother freaking board.  but still, it was light enough to haul to my car without issue.  just maybe not on a windy day or you might sail away.)

Once home, I test drove several fabrics to see which looked best.  Originally I thought I was going to use either a white or oatmeal colored linen, but after trying this piece I knew it was the one!

Then I ironed the fabric so there were no wrinkles.  Sidenote: when I hung it up, it looked like this:

wrinkled fabric

I’m as good at ironing as I am at math, apparently.

But I digress.  Iron that fabric, realllllly well.  Then place the fabric face down on your floor.  Place the foam insulation on top of it.  Wrap the fabric around the sides making sure it’s straight, smooth, and even.  Attach the fabric to the back, using large pieces of clear packing tape (or duct tape or flat thumbtacks.  whatever floats your boat).

I’d show you pics, but this was a job that needed both hands all the way through.  Plus my husband’s hands.  It was all-hands on deck.

To hang, I simply drilled screws right through it into the wall.  I’m calling the exposed screws ‘industrial chic.’  It’s really light, way lighter than an actual corkboard, so hanging it was a cinch.

DIY fabric covered bulletin board tutorial

Plus if you don’t like the look of the exposed screws you can just cover it with something else, like a favorite Christmas card.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

I wanted to give it the look of nailhead trim so I bought a few boxes of thumbtacks to place around the border.  Which ended up looking like I was Thumbtacking Under the Influence.  So I took them out and thumbtacked around the edges instead, for a much better result (and no arrests for Drunk Thumbtacking).

DIY fabric covered bulletin board tutorial

So that’s the story of how my dining room acquired a gigantic bulletin board, and how that bulletin board acquired a lot of photos and art, and how those memories make our house a home.

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Easy DIY Bulletin Board {fabric covered foam board}

Plus how I still have a garland of Christmas stars hanging from our chandelier.  But that’s a story for another day.

Would this idea work for your home?  What would you display on your ginormous bulletin board?

Creating a Meaningful Home by Make this HUGE bulletin board for just $12; no cork required! #DIY #organization

Linking up to: Home Stories A to Z :: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia :: Todays Creative Blog :: Between Naps on the Porch :: Restoration Redoux


Meet Carrie Higgins

Dreamer, thinker, + lemon squeezer; you'll usually find me clutching a mug of coffee, glue gun, fandeck of paint colors, and a child at any given time. This mom of two (and wife to one) loves to share freshly squeezed ideas for home and family. Join the adventure as we learn most lemons can indeed become lemonade-- with generous amounts of sweetness, perspective, and love.

previous post: Creating a Home You Love: Style Board
next post: Snow Day Activities for Kids


  1. Oh, I love this! So pretty for everyday use!

  2. Hey, hey!!! <3

    I think I might actually put Alex on a project like this for down in the kitchen.

  3. Anna Lee Gresham says:

    This is genius! All of the other DIY bulletin boards I’ve seen look way too complicated and involved for this DIY-challenged girl. I’ve been looking for something for my home office, and this is it! Thank you!!

    (Oh, and I also LOVED the Dawn and vinegar combo you blogged about a while back for cleaning the shower. It works and is amazing. My shower and my kiddos thank you.)

    • If I can do it, ANYONE can do it! I’m pretty DIY challenged myself, I tend to rush things but this was very easy. It’s helpful to have an extra set of hands and eyes to make sure it’s straight, but other than that very simple. I’m so glad the Dawn/vinegar combo worked, I feel SO much better using that than chemical based cleaners. In fact, I just washed our bathmat in the washing machine using only vinegar instead of bleach and knew it was the right decision as soon as I saw my kids’ tushes sitting on it while taking a bath. 😉 Thanks for letting me know you liked that tip, that means the world to me!

  4. love the fabric and those tacks!! Awesome job!

  5. This is GENIUS! Off to Home Depot I go!! 😀

  6. I love the fabric that you used for this project. It’s great to create something pretty for your home that’s also functional.

  7. Great tute Carrie… I am inspired. xo

  8. So pretty love the fabric!

  9. Carrie, this is so pretty. I love the fabric and the thumbtack trim and also the fact that it is so useful!

  10. Great idea, I love it! I found this post through Looksi, can’t wait to see what you do next!

  11. Hey! That is a cool bulletin board. And the fabric looks familiar. Oh yeah, I used it for my duvet cover! I think we both have really good taste! Maybe you would like to check it (if you are so inclined). ~Trina

  12. This is so cute! I’ve been looking for a good (cheap) way to make a bulletin board. Could you tell me what the thickness of the foam board you used is please? Thanks so much!

  13. I love your finished product! I wanted to make a bulletin board for my 94 year-old grandmother who lives in an assisted living facility. I found the link to your blog on Pinterest. Thanks for the great photos and easy to follow directions! I’m making one this weekend! :)

  14. That’s the easiest, and classiest, tutorial for a bulletin board I have seen, think this is the one for me! It looks fabulous.

  15. Your bulletin board looks great! I want to make a large one for my daughter’s room. I’ve been debating what kind of cork-like material to use – cork squares, cork sheet, and now… “Expanded Polystyrene Insulated Sheathing”

    Do you feel like the pins stay in the sheathing as well as in cork? I just don’t want her art and stuff falling down. Thanks!!!

  16. My mother has a DIY bulletin board that I think she really loves. The kind where you tuck a picture behind the crisscross ribbon strips. Sadly it is falling apart; ribbon are loose and it looks a mess. I have been looking for instructions for an updated version of that. I like that this doesnt have a picture frame, but does have the tacks to hold everything together. I might add the crisscross ribbon, just cause I know she likes it. I am thinking of a Saturday project for my mom, my sister and I to work on while I am home Easter weekend. :) Maybe a little wine or a few mojitos. We might be doing a little tipsy tacking.

    • Crafting + Mojitos = perfection. Can I come? Haha! The crisscross ribbon would look great, and you can always stick a tack at the top too for extra security once you’ve tucked something in the ribbon. Have fun!

  17. I love this! I have been looking for ideas for my writing office and I wanted to put up a bulletin board for my story ideas and timelines, etc. This is perfect! And I get to pick out cute fabric. :)

  18. Jennifer Holmes says:

    This was JUST what I was looking for!! Thank you..and you are SO FUNNY! I really enjoyed reading this!!

  19. I just came across this as I was googling how to create a bulletin board and some are super complicated and require a lot of steps, but I found yours and I love how easy it is and cannot wait to try it…especially since you just used clear tape instead of a glue gun…(I tend to burn myself) Thanks so much for posting!

    • I’m so glad you found the tutorial! It really is SO easy, just some clear tape and maybe an extra set of hands to hold the fabric while you tape. Enjoy, and let me know if you make it!

  20. Cascades says:

    Wow, this is so pretty and lovely! I am a highly DIY challenged person and this seems like something even I might be able to pull off!

  21. Rita Menold says:

    Did you have trouble with the styrafoam wanting to flake? I bought my insulation foam board this morning, and was wondering about putting a coat of paint on it first. Thinking maybe it would be less flaky, etc. Thoughts?

    Love this idea!

    • Hi Rita! My insulation board was covered on both sides with a very thin layer of what appears to be plastic (or a shiny coat of some kind). It keeps the foam from flaking. You might give it a try with just the fabric over it, since the fabric will keep any flakes contained. Let me know how it goes!

      • Rita Menold says:

        Ok. When i picked it up, it was more “styrafoamy” than what I was expecting, so that’s I thought about painting it before covering it. We’ll see ho it goes.

  22. I liked this project when you first introduced it to us and I still like it today! Thanks so much for sharing it on Throwback Thursday.

  23. Very very cute idea! I love it!

  24. I was about to spend a fortune on cork board, etc… and then I found your post. This is genius!! I went out and bought the supplies right away. This is the perfect technique for making a BIG bulletin board. Mine is 6′ x 4′. It was fun and easy. I wrote about making mine (giving you credit for the idea, of course), and contributed a few tips on the process at: For example, it helped to pin the fabric along the back first, and then tape it down. Also, if you can’t get a huge piece in your car, have halves cut and simply tape them together when you get home. I did that and it worked great.

    Thanks for the great DIY idea!!

  25. Just saw this and I love it! I’d love to use this in my preschool office! How has this held up?

  26. I love this idea i’m going to do this but add hinges to a few boards the same size when it’s done and make a room divider for my home office :)

  27. So glad I found this blog. My daughter is using baseball tickets as table placecards for her wedding and needed an inexpensive idea how to display them so that her guests could find their seats. She found a fabric panel of a baseball field and we’ll use it to cover the foamboard insulation. She’ll add a “Will Call” sign on top and hopefully we can find some kind of decorative baseball pin to hang them. The board will be inexpensive, light and easy to transport to the reception venue!

    Thanks for the project directions!

  28. This is a wonderful idea and so easy except the getting it home part. LOL
    I am a quilter and will be making one of these to hang squares on before quilting them together.
    The fabric you are using is beautiful. What a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • A reader actually made this and gave a fantastic tip for getting it home– she cut it in half at the store, packed it in the car, and when she got home easily repaired it good as new with clear packing tape. Since you cover it up with fabric you end up not seeing that it’s in two parts! So don’t let the getting it home part scare you, definitely give it a try. :)

  29. Verna Lamb says:

    Can we see the whole room?

    • Verna, I need to post an update on the room I just haven’t found the time– thanks for the incentive! I’ll do that soon and email you when the post goes up so you can see the room in it’s entirety. Thanks for the reminder!

  30. This is amazing <3 i really want a bulletin board for my room and i need to start working on it soon before school. Thank you alot for the lovely post this turned out to be amazing,great job! <3 <3 <3

  31. I came to your website to see what you used to construct your bulletin board, but also browse some of your blogs about your “misadventures.” I was touched by your stories. Tough times, but it sounds like your kids have absolutely wonderful parents, and your kids are very special also. I’m glad you “get” (a sacrificial choice, no doubt) to stay home with your kids instead of trying to juggle work outside the home with your family’s needs – an overwhelming prospect even when everything is “normal.” God bless you all, and may the rewards you reap for all the love you’re sowing be great. :)

    • You are super sweet and your comment really made my week! It’s been a struggle trying to juggle it all but you’re so right– my family comes first and I’m so incredibly thankful I’m able to stay home with my kids during this overwhelming yet all-to-brief season. 😉 May your blessings be great too!

  32. Hello! This board looks AMAZING! I have a daycare and I am looking at making a few bulletin boards for our “classroom” and I was wondering how well this holds up? Do you pin lots of things regularly? I know I would witch out my board monthly and was wondering if this material will hold up to the constant change of fabric, and pins on it… Have you had a spot where it has already been punctured and then not hold as well? Even if I had to make a new board yearly thats fine! I just want to know so I can budget accordingly! Thanks!!

    • Hi Ashley! So far it’s holding up great. I’ve had it awhile now and do change things out regularly. I haven’t used it with staples though (not sure if you will either, but I was a teacher and used to staple the heck out of my bulletin boards.) Sometimes I try to repin to the same spot to “save” the fabric a bit but honestly after 2 years it still looks fab. I’d guess it would last at least one school year, if not longer. Though the changing of the fabric might be a bit harder since I haven’t done that, and mine is attached to the back so it would require me unscrewing the insulation board– but if you could figure out a work-around I think it will work well. Good luck, let me know if you try it!

  33. This looks awesome, I’m SO trying it tomorrow! Thanks for the instructions!
    PS I think you’re gorgeous!

    xoxo Best wishes to you and your family

  34. Hi! I am currently wanting to make a bulletin board for pictures and school related items. I’ve been planning on buying a large frameless corkboard ($17) and covering it in fabric using upholstery pins. This is the first time, however, that I’ve seen insulation foam board being used instead. What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of both? Will the cork last longer if I am changing pins out often? Does the foam hold the pins in place well?

    • I have to say I’m super impressed by how well the foam holds the pins. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a cork bulletin board so I can’t speak to that, but I can say the insulation board really does hold thumbtacks in well. That being said, $17 is a good price for a large corkboard so it’s not a bad option. Hope that helps!

  35. This is so clever! And it well help me fill the awkward, pain in the butt sized wall in my bedroom! I’ll definitely be doing this when I’m home from vacation next month! Thanks so much for posting it! (:

  36. This is such an easy tutorial. We are looking to do this in our performing arts studio but I”m curious–did you screw right through the fabric to hang it up? :)

    • Hi Courtney, I did. I didn’t mind the ‘industrial’ look (that’s what I call anything of mine with visible screws, haha!) There are other ways to hang it I’m sure, but I felt that screwing it directly into the wall would help it stay flat as well as be the quickest way to hang it. Hope that helps!

  37. It’s just awesome and so easy! I’ve been looking for something simple to make a message board. Can’t wait to try it out. 😀

  38. What a GREAT idea!!! Excellent job!

  39. Thank you so much for this. I made two to decorate the wall to my room and it looks great. I have pictures, ticket stubs, song lyrics, etc. It’s so nice to have it on the board instead of just cluttering my wall :)

  40. First of all, love this idea. I’m going to attempt to add this to the credenza at my desk. I used to have a $300+ one on my old desk and just can’t go through the hassle of asking my boss to approve another one. I’m going to make this and velcro fasten it to the back of the credenza, just under the shelves. My question is, what kind of fabric should I look for? Upholstery fabric? Thanks for the tips!

  41. Thank goodness for your total brilliance! I’m designing a new Homeschool/Playroom for the kiddoes and wanted a nice bulletin board for over their desks, but Holy Cow they are expensive when you want them GIANT! But this, THIS IS PERFECTION! I’m so excited! Thank you so much!

  42. Hi Carrie!

    This is a fabulous idea! I’ve been looking for a way to make a lightweight and portable version of a cubicle wall that I could use to hang things on (like a calendar) without making all kinds of holes in my walls. I started permanently working from home last year, and I’ve got all these cubicle wall clips I’m dying to put back into use (they look like this: Do you know if the foam board you bought would be able to handle repeated removal and repositioning of these types of clips? Or would you say it’s more made for thumbtacks and push pins?

  43. I am making two of these boards for my classroom. Do staples work on this as well as pins?

  44. Candace leigh says:

    Thank you for the great tips! Love your ideas….C

  45. I just made two huge ones of these to back my built-in desk. I have to say it looks amazing and totally professional. It cost me all of about $52!!! Compare that to the high end price quote my designer gave me for vinyl grass-cloth wallpaper mounted on a board and attached to the wall ($2000) and I’d say this is NO – BRAINER! Thanks for the amazing idea. I’m so happy!

    I used staples and they worked perfectly. And a little glue gun to get the corners tight.

  46. I was looking for an inexpensive way to create a “cork board wall” for my son’s room when I came across your tutorial on pinterest. I can’t wait to give it a try. But I wanted to say thank you for answering questions in your comments because I too was wondering how well it would hold up. Sounds like your board is holding up well so off I go to Home Depot! Thanks!

  47. Hi! I’m a little late to the party. I just came across this DIY the other day, took advantage of a 50% sale on home decor fabric, made it, and it came out AWESOME! All for under $20 😀 Thanks for the awesome DIY

    • That’s awesome! So glad you love it!! I’d be thrilled to feature it on my Facebook page if you want to send a photo. My email address is makinglemonadeblog at gmail dot com. Thanks for letting me know, this always makes my day! :)


  1. […] out this DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board from Carrie at Making Lemonade. She made this for about […]

  2. […] A refrigerator is just no fun without letter magnets, party invitations, outdated  but well-loved photos and crayon pictures of dinosaurs and the family dog. Now I’m going to have to enlist Carrie’s help to make some kind of bulletin board or message station. […]

  3. […] the huge DIY bulletin board I made in my living room?  I had a bunch of the polystyrene foam left over so using a utility […]

  4. […] actually two DIY projects that rocked my organizational world this year.  The first is the HUGE DIY pinboard which displays favorite mementos, important pieces of paper, and serves as my inspiration board for […]

  5. […] go online and pin them. If I can’t find it online, I’ll either save it in a binder or tack it up to my enormous bulletin board as an idea for inspiration. The rest of the magazines get […]

Fresh Thoughts