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.
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.
At first I decided to simply hang beautiful things like fabric samples and poetry, and perhaps a favorite business card or two.
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.
Next, a few favorite cards jumped on board simply because they made me happy.
It would be silly not to tuck a favorite photo in here and there, right?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?