In this DIY Bulletin Board Makeover, you’ll learn how to cover an ordinary corkboard in upholstery fabric and accent ribbon for a bold, beautiful new look.
Right now stores are bursting at the seams with back-to-school and home office supplies. Why buy everything new when you can repurpose things you already have around the house?
In this DIY Bulletin Board Makeover, you’ll learn how to cover an ordinary corkboard in fun upholstery fabric and accent ribbon for a bold, beautiful new look. This easy DIY project is something you can do in just an hour to keep your classroom, home office or dorm room organized and in-style this year.
Disclosure: We received complimentary Marimekko fabric from AlwaysMod for this DIY Bulletin Board makeover. This blog post also contains affiliate links for products or services we think you’ll like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, we’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep the great ideas for the home coming your way. All opinions expressed are our own, derived from our personal experience.
For years, we’ve had a plain old bulletin board sitting around collecting dust. It’s a remnant from Kent’s college years, I think. We keep moving it from one closet to another with the hope that “some day” we may use it again. Well today is finally the day! Several weeks ago, AlwaysMod contacted the Think and Make Thursday host team and asked if we’d be interested in working with them on a Marimekko Fabric Challenge. They have such gorgeous modern fabrics that myself and several of others from the team jumped at the chance to work with them.
For the Marimekko Fabric Challenge, each of us got to pick any one of the modern fabrics from AlwaysMod to use on a creative DIY project of our choosing.
For me the project choice was simple. Our basement or lower level has been a work-in-progress for the last few years. One of the rooms I’ve been working on is an arts and crafts room my young boys and I can share. Along one of the walls in that room, I have two large organization cabinets connected by a desk.
Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting odds and ends to create a collage or gallery wall in that space above the desk with art, tool caddies and other organizational resources. So far, I have a small canvas that says “Be the most brilliant color in the box,” a stainless magnetic marker board, a large bright red clock and that bulletin board Kent had leftover from college. I also want to find a tool rail or something to hold pens, markers, scissors etc, but that’s for another day.
While the project choice was simple, the fabric decision was much more challenging. There were so many great options to choose from at AlwaysMod! I decided for the DIY Bulletin Board Makeover I wanted a thicker upholstery fabric to make it more durable. Based on the colors in the other items I’ve collected for that wall, I also decided to go with black and white.
I debated between three different ones including the Marimekko Kanteleen Kutsu Upholstery Fabric and the Marimekko Frekvenssi Black Upholstery Fabric, but finally settled on the more delicately patterned Marimekko Pirput Parput Black Upholstery Fabric. I thought it would give the DIY Bulletin Board Makeover the bold modern look I wanted while still allowing notes, lists and other things I tack on it to stand out.
How to Cover a DIY Bulletin Board in Fabric
A DIY Bulletin Board makeover with fabric is incredibly easy once you’ve chosen the materials you want to use. It’s the type of project that can be completed in less than an hour and doesn’t require any sewing or special skills.
What You Need:
- A 2 ft x 3 ft bulletin board (We had an old one to use, but you can easily find one on Amazon or at local retailers.)
- 1-2 yards of fabric (I chose Marimekko Pirput Parput Black Upholstery Fabric from AlwaysMod)
- Multi-purpose spray adhesive (Make sure it’s suitable for fabric and cork.)
- Black upholstery tacks
- Thin red ribbon
- Light duty staple gun for upholstery and general use
- 5/16″ light duty staples
1. Cut the fabric. Roll the fabric on to a clean, dry surface with the back side of the fabric facing up. Place the DIY Bulletin Board on top of the fabric. Use scissors to cut around the edge of the bulletin board leaving about 2 1/2 inches of fabric on all sides.
2. Secure the fabric to the DIY Bulletin Board. Place the fabric over the corkboard right side up so the pattern and cork face you. Once you have the fabric where you want it, use two push pins to hold one of the corners in place as shown. If you’re using a lighter weight fabric, you may want to iron it before securing it to the corkboard to take out any wrinkles.
Fold the fabric back over the push pins. Press the nozzle on the spray adhesive and apply evenly over the surface of the corkboard from about 6-8 inches away. You’ll want to work in a well-ventilated area and apply the spray adhesive to just a small portion of the corkboard at first.
Flip the fabric back over the DIY Bulletin Board and smooth out any wrinkles with your hands on the part where you applied the spray adhesive.
Continue to apply spray adhesive over small portions of the DIY Bulletin Board and then smooth the fabric down over those areas until you’ve covered the entire corkboard. Don’t forget to remove the push pins and move them to another corner so you can apply spray adhesive in the corner where you were holding down the fabric.
3. Add decorative ribbon and upholstery tacks. I was originally just going to put upholstery tacks around the outer edge of the DIY Bulletin Board. My mom had some black ones she gave me leftover from one of her projects. I could quickly see that they’d be lost among the black dots on the Marimekko Pirput Parput Black Upholstery Fabric. It then occurred to me that I had some thin red ribbon in my craft stash. I thought it would help the upholstery tacks to stand out and make the DIY Bulletin Board tie in nicely with big red clock and canvas art I have for the gallery wall.
First I cut the ribbons to the size I needed to frame the edges.
Next, I secured the edges of the ribbons in each corner with upholstery tacks. Then I evenly spaced the upholstery tacks around the edges of the DIY Bulletin Board until I’d used all the ones my mom gave me. Since it’s a corkboard, I was easily able to press the upholstery tacks into the DIY Bulletin Board by hand. They were a little long for the job, but you’ll see in the next step that the exposed ends on the back side got covered with fabric so it didn’t really matter.
4. Staple the fabric to the DIY Bulletin Board. Flip the DIY Bulletin Board over to the backside. Now wrap the fabric around the edges of the corkboard and use a staple gun to secure the fabric in place.
At the corners, I sort of wrapped the fabric like I would a gift. I folded the corner over like a triangle, then folded the rest of that edge over the DIY Bulletin Board as shown.
Turn the DIY Bulletin Board back over and you’re done! I’d recommend giving the DIY Bulletin Board a full hour for the spray adhesive to dry before hanging it on the wall or tacking anything into it, like your list of upcoming projects or craft supplies to buy.
I was thrilled with how my DIY Bulletin Board makeover turned out and especially love how cool the Marimekko fabric looks with the other goodies I have for that gallery wall. Now I actually just need to take the time to figure out what else should go on the wall and finish decorating/organizing that arts and crafts room so I can share a big reveal here on the blog!
Like the fabric we used for this DIY Bulletin Board Makeover? You’ll find more like it as well as other beautiful products for your home at AlwaysMod. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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While you’re here, you might also enjoy this DIY decor projects:
- Shabby Chic Interchangeable Photo Display
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- DIY Dowel Rod Frames for Your Children’s Artwork
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Originally published August 2015. Updated August 2018.