Thursday, April 28, 2011

How To Make The DIY Message Board {As Seen on Page 66 in HOF}

I had a lot of fun taking Pauline's advice to heart, creating a message center in my home. It has certainly helped me keep track of all my family's varied schedules and activities! If you haven't already done so, you can read her article here, in House of Fifty. Also, I just have to share, Max is one smart businessman in the making. He came up with the idea to charge me to model for the title cover picture! So...of course I paid up.

To make this message board you'll need the following supplies and materials:

23” x 35” framed corkboard
7/8 yard of fabric
7/8 yard of batting
150 pieces nail head trim
paint to coordinate with room decor
small paint brush
temporary fabric pen

Step 1. Gather Supplies
Find a basic framed corkboard to transform with fabric, paint and nail head trim. (The corkboards can be found for just a few dollars at Target and consider using a printed fabric as an alternative to the linen I used.)

Step 2. Sand the Frame
Using a fine grit sanding pad or paper, lightly sand any existing finish off the frame.

3. Paint the Frame
Apply a coat of paint to the frame and let dry.

4. Cover the Corkboard with Batting
Place batting over the corkboard. Trace a cutting guide along the inside edge of the frame using a fabric pen and cut along line.

5. Cut the Fabric
Lay fabric over the frame and cut along the outer frame edges, leaving approximately 3/4 inch fabric to turn under on all sides.

6. Cover the Corkboard With Fabric
After the fabric has been cut, trace a line on fabric along inner edges of frame with a fabric pen. Turn fabric under along this line and press with an iron. Wrap the pressed fabric around the batting and square the layered fabric edges with the frame.

7. Attach the Fabric Using Nail Head Trim
Push the nail head trim through fabric and into corkboard at each corner. Position the remaining nails 1/2 inch apart (nail head center to nail head center) along the frame sides to secure the fabric.

And you are done. A great message board to hang a calender, invitations, notes, reminders, the baseball practice schedule, outgoing name it!

A fun touch was personalizing our message board. I ordered two pretty notepads from Letter Love Designs, a favorite resource of mine from Australia. Visit Susannah's Etsy shop here. The 'Oriental' pad reads Isabella & Max...

...while the 'Chinoiserie' pad I had printed with House of Fifty!

I also found this great wire hanging basket at Ballard Designs. It provides a place to store the notepads, our binder with household information and this is also where one can usually find the dog leash. (It's great not to have to go searching for it as we race to the bus in the morning!)

And the favorite find for this message board? These beyond adorable bee push pins found by Cristin, see her article on page 73 in House of Fifty. They make me want to find notes to hang, just to be able to use the pins!


  1. LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is such a great command center and the resources are wonderful. Anything that can keep a family focused that looks good works for me.


  3. My plain bulletin board is going to look so much better spiffed up! I have it hung in my kitchen and it is a great spot for all to see what is on the docket!

  4. The little touches like the pen and the push pins take it a step up. Finishing touches like that are always what sets a good room apart from a great room.

  5. Command centers are so great! We use Pottery Barn bins to keep track of mail and random things and I love it because my kitchen island stays clean...instead of becoming a home to everything and anything. I love the board you made!

  6. Thanks for sharing. I have always wanted to make an inspiration board for my home office and this tutorial really helps. Also, I love those bee push pins. They are so adorable.


  7. Command centers are the best. I can't live without mine.

  8. I don't know what's cuter. The message board or Max's curly hair.
    He's adorable & a smart businessman.

  9. Thanks!! I loved this idea while reading House of Fifty and wanted to give it a try. You just made it a lot easier! Much appreciated, Jill

  10. He charged you??
    On the one hand, that's outrageous :)
    On the other hand, it's great to know Max's business savvy will surely be keeping you in absolute luxury during your retirement years!

  11. You have no idea how much I need one of these- love this tutorial and those pinks...soooo adorable!!

  12. I love it! It's so pretty, I love the pen you have hanging there too, in the bamboo look.
    The little Bees are a nice touch, well done.

  13. I love that picture of Max, he is a darling little model with his hand on his hip!!! He is also one smart kiddo for charging, love that!!! Your DIY projects always turn out so well, you always pay such attention to detail and it shows in your home and in your new E-zine, House of Fifty, love love it!! Kathysue

  14. Yes, $20. That Max. I was at first irritated. Then I was proud. As Pauline commented, with Max at my side I will surely spend my later years in luxury.


  15. That was one of my favs in HOF!!! FYI, Max is a doll! I think my laundry room redo needs one!!!

  16. Love this! I have a bulletin board that is in the "project fail" category right now, and this might be a solution! Thanks for sharing!

  17. I love Max's entrepreneurial spirit. Like mother, like son. What a great project. I noticed it while reading so I'm thrilled you posted the tutorial. I am in desperate need of a command central station in my home.

  18. My nephew is the same as Max, always figuring out a way to get paid for just about anything! Love their spirit! Adore the command center too. I think I need to check out the basket.

  19. I think I need to have Max teach me a thing or two about business! What a cutie he is and a smart one! I like his style. A pretty message board, Janell. I certainly could use this to help keep myself organized these days. A great tutorial!

  20. Gosh this is so cute!!! I wish I had time to make it for my shelter room.....I remember seeing it in House of Fifty then I must have seen a squirrel run by and got distracted!
    I finally met Lakeitha the other day...she is such a doll and laughs at everything I say.....everybody needs an audience like that. Hope you are enjoying my flowers :)

  21. Those push pins are so fun! I would want to make art with them :)

    Loved the ezine. Congrats, Janell!

  22. It looks fantastic! And I really love the fun pins. That Max is one smart cookie! He'll make a great business man someday :)

  23. Thank you!!! This is exactly what I needed!!! I'm thinking a pin board in the closet for jewelry :) thanks again, You're awesome!

  24. love your message board idea and that you can hang some of your kid's art projects and fun pics on it...
    great idea..

  25. Would love to know where you bought your nail heads?? i am planning on accessorizing my dining room white vinyl and espresso wood chairs with nail heads, and could use your sources :) Thanks!

  26. Here is the resource, they have a large selection of items, great and dependable resource to work with:

  27. Janell, I love it. I wasn't sure what to do to make my cork board look better, and this is perfect. I have a ton of tacks left over from another project. I am so excited. I will post pictures when done. I also featured your diy trays on my blog, and made some myself. Thanks for so much inspiration and beautiful things.


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