Bulletin Board Makeover

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A few months ago, my friend Jennifer asked me to cover their sad, boring bulletin board when they moved in their new house. What I think I struggled with the most was deciding on what fabric to put on it since it was going in her living room and I didn’t want her husband to have to stare at something too girly. A 100% flower pattern was definitely out!

So after trying out nearly every piece of fabric I have, this is what I came up with…

I used dark brown canvas and accented the top and bottom with a band of brown and white floral fabric. Just in case you were wondering, the floral fabric isn’t actually attached to the brown canvas, it is just kind of sitting on top. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out, considering this was my first bulletin board makeover! Jennifer and her husband James were as well!

This week as I was finally getting to decorating my kitchen (which has been in the constant state of remodel since last summer…), I decided I wanted a bulletin board to put my recipes on, rather than just have them lying around covered in egg and other miscellaneous goop.

So this was the spot in the Kitchen that I wanted to put the bulletin board…

It was so plain and boring…it definitely needed some jazzing up.
When I was at the thrift store last week I picked up a 18″ x 26″ bulletin board for $2.99! It was in pretty good condition and even had a solid wood frame. And it fit perfectly in this space! Sweet.
Covering the Bulletin Board
(I apoligize in advance for my shoddy pictures or lack of pictures!)

Materials needed for this project: Fabric (duh!), batting (either cotton or polyester will work), and a staple gun. I had some polyester batting scraps that I used here but I used cotton batting scraps for Jennifer’s board. For the fabric, I used a home-dec weight printed linen. I love the feel of the heavier fabrics on a project like this, but you can use plain quilter’s cotton too. Just DON’T SKIP the batting! The batting makes this project! :)

**DIY TIP – When doing this project, you have to be careful of the bulletin board you use…not all are created equally. Because you will be stapling the fabric to the back of the frame/and or the board, you cannot use one that has a plastic frame and cardboard on the back. Most of the bulletin boards you find at Walmart are made from these materials because they cost less to make and are therefore cheaper. Check other stores like Target or Office Depot for a better quality board…or see if you can get one from a thrift store like I did.
One issue I had was the location where I wanted to put it. Because I didn’t want to stick nails in the side of my cabinet, I knew I needed to use heavy duty double stick mounting tape. BUT the back of the board was a weird plywoodish back that I knew the tape wouldn’t stick to (plus it was about 1/4″ lower than the frame).
My solution was to attach 2 strips of wood across the back. These were actually strips of  lattice I had left over from another project. I just stapled them onto the frame on the left and right side. Because bulletin board won’t be weight bearing, these staples were plenty strong enough! If I wanted to reinforce them more, I could have used some glue under the wood in addition to stapling it.
With that problem out the way, now we are ready to cover it!
Start with the right side of the fabric (the pretty side) down on the table, lay the batting on top, then lay the cork side of the bulletin board on top of the batting.
First, cut your fabric and batting to fit your bulletin board, leaving about 3-4 inches all the way around. You don’t have to worry about being precise here…just make sure you have enough fabric to wrap around and grab. Again, my frame was 18″ x 26″, so my fabric and batting ended up being about 24″ x 32″ each.
The easy part first – securing the left and right sides of fabric on the bulletin board.
Make sure your fabric is placed exactly where you want it, fold over the left edge and staple it down along the left side of the bulletin board frame (sorry I don’t have a pic of this!). If you have a patterned fabric like I do, make sure it is lined up with the edge of the frame. My staple gun is not the strongest so some of my staples didn’t go in all the way so I took a hammer and tapped them in. If you end up with crooked staples it’s ok, I promise! Staple the fabric to the entire left side of the frame.
Now do the right side. Fold the right side of the fabric over the frame. This time you want to pull the fabric until it is tight…but also make sure your pattern is still aligned. Once it is in the correct place, staple the fabric onto the right side of the entire frame.
So at this point both left and right sides of the fabric should be stapled to the frame of the bulletin board, and the fabric should be tight. If any parts are loose, remove the staples, pull it tighter and re-staple. Sorry again I don’t have a pic of this step…dang it!
Ready to move on??
Ok, now we are going to fold each corner and staple it down. But before you do, you need to reduce some of the batting bulk on the corners by cutting them like so:
Now that the corners are cut, let’s start at the right bottom. The fabric is already folded over and stapled like this:
Fold the bottom corner of the fabric up into a tight triangle.
Then fold that triangle up. Make sure to keep it tight, but pay attention if you have a patterned fabric!

Now staple along the frame. Again, I prefer stapling along the frame because it holds the fabric tighter. You want to make sure you have a firm grip on the fabric and that you are pulling tight while paying attention to the pattern on your fabric.

So once you have finished a whole corner, you can staple the bottom side a little bit. This is what it should look like so far:
So neat and pretty! :) Now do the left corner fold the same way.
Rotate the board 180 degrees so the top is now on the bottom and repeat with the right corner and then left corner. Remember to keep it tight!
Note – when folding the corners, you have to fold them in the EXACT same way every time. When you are done, the folded edges should be on the top and bottom sides and the neat edges should be on the left and right sides.
Here is what my bulletin board looked like:
So pretty! And I love the shape that the batting gives it.
You can stop here if you want but because my bulletin board pattern was busy and the adjacent wall I was putting it on was busy, I felt like the two were fighting each other, so I had to do something!
My solution was to add decorative corners.
Adding decorative corners
I took 4 strips of fabric that were 3.5″ x 11″. With each strip folded the side of the fabric back, I sewed a 1/2″ seam on each side. You can also use iron on no sew tape to do this. This is what each strip (now 2.5″ x 11″) looks like from the back.
Starting on one corner I laid out the strip diagonally and measured where I wanted it…about 5″ from the bottom on each side.
Then I carefully turned it over (here is an excellent time to recheck your measurements), then I stapled it down on each side.
Now repeat for the other 3 sides. Once I finished all 4 corners I added my double sided tape along the wood strips.

Then I put it up on my wall…the decorative corners made a big difference!

Viola…a pretty new board! Here’s a little before and after:

And now it’s in use :)

Until later, happy crafting!

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4 Responses to “Bulletin Board Makeover”

  1. SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime says:

    Hi, Jamie! You've got so much creativity here and I'm admiring them all. Can you please share your creative posts at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there :)

  2. SeaGal says:

    This is very lovely, I like the contrasting corners..

  3. Jamie says:

    Thanks Stacy! So glad to have you in my little corner of the blogosphere. I LOVE this particular fabric…I have been waiting for the perfect project to use it. The best part is that I got it on sale for $4 a yard @ Hancock fabric. And it matches the curtains I am almost done with. I can't wait to show those off too!

  4. Stacy Orndorff says:

    I'm loving that green bulletin board! I'm your newest follower!

    Stop by and enter my giveaway if you'd like:

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