Friday, June 17, 2011

DIY Bulletin Board

One last missing element in the Girl Bedroom Makeover is a "statement" bulletin board.  My mission is to have the piece pretty enough to act as artwork and be practical and functional for a teenage girl to put up anything that inspires her!

A good sized custom bulletin board generally starts from $150.  With a tight budget, I started looking for opportunities to "up-cycle" vintage picture frames and other ready-made contestants.  Luckily I came across this 26"x 34" ready-made diamond in the rough from HomeSense.  It has a nice proportioned frame, already come with the cork, and for only $39.99!  

Now to make it work for my young client, the "antique bronze" finish has to go.  To further beautify the piece to serve as artwork, I sourced a thick cotton woven floral (from Designer Fabrics) to cover the cork and ribbon as trims.

The tools you need includes: sandpaper or sand sponge and primer sealer to prep the frame, paint roller and sponge stick for painting, and a spray-glue for to apply the fabric to the cork.  Of course the paint of your choice: in this case, I went with a pale apple green from Benjamin Moore from Primetime Paint & Paper.

Work in Progress 1: Sand, Prime, and Paint

Tip to Note: sand the frame prior to applying the primer sealer.  If you want a second coat of primer, give the frame another light sand before applying your second coat.  Two coats of cheery apple green and the frame is ready for its next step!

Work in Progress 2: measure, measure, and re-measure

Applying the fabric to the cork is relatively simple:  a quick even spray of glue over the fabric and you are good to go.   One important thing to keep in mind is "measure twice and cut once".  If you've selected a patterned fabric, be mindful of the pattern as well to ensure what you want to see is captured on the finished product.  In my case, I adore the large flowers/flower buds and I managed to fit in 4 on the final product.

A piece of ribbon is then applied to act as trim for a more finished look and to cover the edges of the fabric. The ribbon I picked complements the fabric in both color and pattern.  The soft yellow works perfectly with the pale green and muted blue, while the square motif balances the flowy floral.

Here is the finished product my friend. 

I absolutely love this "up-cycle" bulletin board and it is light-years away from when I first saw it in the store.  For a total cost of $70 including all the materials and supplies you need for the transformation, it certainly is a deal of the century!

Now a couple of tips for you to tackle a similar project:

1.  Keep in mind if you are making the bulletin board yourself, get cork that is thicker or double up the thin ones so your pins make good contact with the board. 

2.  Pick a woven fabric as it often has little gap on the fabric already and therefore a lot more appropriate and forgiving as bulletin board.

Now the bulletin board is completed, the Girl's Bedroom will be ready for its reveal in a couple of weeks!  


  1. Well done Tim!

    You have inspired me to get going on a bulletin board for both my boys' room and little girl's room.
    I have had a custom bb made and it cost a fortune. Your frame looks way better.
    Bravo! Can't wait to see the finished room.

  2. Thanks trio! Well I still have an oral one you could attempt! It is a gorgeous frame... :)