How to Make Your Own Bulletin Board

Organization can be beautiful as well as functional. I bought a matching pair of pictures at a thrift store with the intention of using the frames to make bulletin boards. Here’s a sneak peek at the first one.



The frame was in great shape, but the green and gold needed to go.




Kilz latex primer to the rescue. Use a couple of coats of primer- don’t worry too much about complete coverage. Distress as much as you’d like with a fine grit sand paper- I use a sponge sanding block. Add a coat of polycrylic and let dry. Then apply glaze and wipe off as much or as little as you’d like to get the finish you want. There’s no right or wrong here- it’s all about what look you want for your project.

You’ll notice I didn’t add paint over the top of the primer. As I mentioned in my end table project,  the primer looks a lot like chalk paint and since I’m putting polycrylic on top, I decided to go with it.




I didn’t take pictures of the glazing and finishing steps, but it’s the same process as the end table project mentioned above. After glazing, add another coat of polycrylic. Next, you’ll need a cork board. Have you noticed how expensive cork is? Yikes! Back to the thrift store!




Remove the cork board from the frame and cut down to size if needed. I used my RotoZip, but it was probably over kill for this project. The cork boards are really flimsy so I think you could use an exacto knife just fine.


Next, cut a piece of drop cloth a few inches larger than your cork board. You don’t need yours to overlap like mine. I had thought I would need to make the back look nicely finished, but I ended up covering it with a piece of cardboard once it was in the frame. I wrapped the fabric over the cork board and taped it to the back temporarily, in case I messed it up and needed to start over. Not that I ever mess things up and need to start over. Mmm-hmmm.




I love Graphics Fairy and knew I wanted to use some of her graphics on this project. I used this French typography for the header and parts of this iron scrollwork.

*For any graphic with words, you’ll need to flip the image. I use Publisher, but any photo editing software should be able to do it. Print them on a laser printer or copier.

Arrange them face down on your fabric and tape into place. Use a cotton ball and rub CitraSolv concentrate over the paper. Below you can see the header is done and I’ve just applied the CitraSolv to the top graphic. Carefully peel up the paper to see if the graphic has transferred to your liking. If not, apply more CitraSolv. Be very careful not to shift your pattern. If you like a nice crisp graphic, this probably isn’t the method for you. It will look worn and faded, but you could use a paint pen to sharpen the image. Me? I go for easy, so I leave it as is.




I’ve used this process before without any problems, but this time the CitraSolv left a ring around the graphics. See? I never mess anything up. ~sigh~




What to do? I added a little CitraSolv to another cotton ball and went lightly over the rest of the fabric. Whew, it worked! Hot glue the fabric into place on the back, pop it into the frame, add a cardboard backing if needed and staple into place.

Close-up of the header:




Distressing and glazing detail:




Another look at the new bulletin board:





I love how it turned out. Now to decide what to do with the other frame. Another cork board? Magnetic board? Chalk board?

What would you use to make your own bulletin board?




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  1. Gretchen DeKalb says:

    I bought a vintage frame wanting to make it into a bulletin board as well. Where did you get the cork part to cover with fabric? I don’t understand that process (where you got it and how you put it in the frame because my frame doesn’t have a back).

    • Gretchen, I bought a cork board at a thrift store and cut it down to size. The cork is already attached to backing. I added a piece of cardboard behind this cork board to hide the raw edges of the fabric, but it probably isn’t necessary. You can either hot glue the covered board into place, staple it, or use window glazing points (found at Lowe’s or Home Depot). I showed how to use the glazing points here:
      Hope this helps, I’ll be glad to answer any other questions you might have. 🙂

  2. Love the board! What a great job…thanks for the DIY…officially a follower! stop on by my place and join me on my adventures too if you like! Happy Monday!

  3. I’m a big fan of all things frenchy. Love your bulletin board.

  4. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Oh how pretty! What a beautiful transformation!

  5. Wow, super cute! I love it.

  6. Sheila, this is wonderful! I have used CitraSolv and it left no rings! Did I rub off on you? The Lacquer thinner transfers leave rings for me! LOL! We’ll have to get together and try this with each other! This is great and I love the idea! I have several old cork boards waiting in the garage- you’ve given me a great idea of what I should make with them.

  7. Love it, so pretty. I haven not tried the Citrasolve method, but hear good things about it. Love the graphics you choose. So very pretty. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best.

  8. Sheila,

    What an awesome idea. I love the faded image and how it turned out! Thanks for the inspiration.


  9. Love this! I found you through Sarah’s Link Party. I have a question though… how did you print out the graphic with the words and still put it face down and not have it come out backwards? I’m sure I’m missing something simple but I can’t figure it out! lol.

    • Oops! Sorry, Amanda, I did have to flip the image. I use Microsoft Publisher to flip and resize images. I know you can do it in Word 2007 also, but not sure about earlier versions. Any photo editing software should be able to do it. Hope this helps! I’ll go edit my post now. 🙂

  10. Love that fabric that you chose!

  11. Love this…great tutorial! I think I will make that today~

  12. Pie Coyle says:

    Wow I love this. Would look great in my new laundry room/sewing room

  13. I have two daughters who would be adorning that with photos of lovely French sites. But it is so pretty, I am not sure I could cover it!

  14. This turned out beautifully! I love how the frame turned out as well as the graphics! Thanks for the tutorial! Hopped over from Knick of Time Tuesday…

  15. Turned out great! Way to problem-solve 😉
    Thanks so much for linking up!
    “Kiss Me I’m Irish” linky party now open

  16. Super cute! Where do you get the citrasolv?

  17. Gorgeous, Sheila! This is definitely something I would be drawn to! If I find anymore frames, I’m going to have sell stuff because I have no more wall space to hang a corkboard, chalkboard or magnetic board {and I have at least one of each in this house!}.

  18. This is lovely! For the other… Maybe something with glass over so you can do write on-wipe off without having the nasty, shiny, white board?

  19. Your bulletin board looks awesome! I too have tried the Citrasolve with mixed results. I just recently posted about how to transfer photos and text to fabric or canvas. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

    Carrie from Hooked on Decorating

  20. I would do a Magnetic Chalk board.

  21. Your bulletin board looks awesome! I too have tried the Citrasolve with mixed results. I just recently posted about how to transfer photos and text to fabric or canvas. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

    Carrie from Hooked on Decorating

  22. This really turned out Very lovely and vintage looking! Great save with the citra solv!:) It really does look wonderful!

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