Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DIY - Bulletin Boards

A few weeks ago, I conquered the unruly school shelf.  Which, I'd like to add, has continued to stay organized and tidy ... without any mommy-help.  It has been wonderful to have the kids keep track of their own school folders, papers, books, etc. and I have not made one trip to school to bring anything anyone forgot ... boo-yeah!  But ... we still had the problem of lost slips of paper, forgotten reminders of upcoming events and misplaced teacher notes.  In light of this, it became quite clear that a bulletin board was in order, but not just any bulletin board.  I wanted something cute. :)  So, I thought back to an article I had read in a recent FamilyFun magazine issue.  I don't have a subscription (yet!) to this magazine ... I had one a few years ago, but found that my life was too full to actually sit down and read it or put any of their wonderful, ingenious, creative ideas to work.  The typical, cyclical irony being that by the time I actually had the time to enjoy their ideas, my kids would be all grown up and the suggestions irrelevant.  But ... I digress ...

Seeing as I don't usually follow directions anyway, I figured I could fake it and make something that would work.  It ended up being so easy ... I made four! :)  So, if you can wrap a present, have a way to make things stick (a hot glue gun is my tool of choice ... I wouldn't recommend chewing gum!), extra fabric odds and ends, any extra embellishments lying around and an empty diaper box ... you're good to go!

My odds and ends ... and gizmos

First, I flattened the cardboard box down.  (For the smaller ones I made for the kids, I cut the box in half and had two forms for two separate bulletin boards.)  Then I laid the fabric on the counter, smoothed it out and laid the flattened box in the middle.  I then wrapped the fabric around the side and ran a bead of glue along the cardboard and then pressed the fabric into the hot glue and made sure it was really stuck.  I did this in 3 inch sections so that the glue didn't cool before I got the fabric attached.  I did one long side, followed by the opposite long side, being sure to pull the fabric tight.  Then I turned the cardboard around and folded the short end like you would at the end of a gift box and then pulled this almost triangular end up and glued it in place.  Maybe the picture will help you to see how very much the back looks like a Christmas present.

To the left is the long side and along the bottom is the folded end.

To make this a little trickier, I found that the fabric remnant I had wasn't wide enough to cover the box.  It was plenty long enough, so I cut it in half which left me with two pieces that could wrap around the cardboard the long way, but would only meet about half-way across the front of the box.  To fix this problem I had to lay the two pieces with the printed sides facing each other.  I folded one piece back and then ran some hot glue along the edge of the fabric and pressed the two pieces together.  Once it was cooled, I could fold the top piece back and I had one large square of fabric with a "seam" in the middle.  If you really wanted to be fancy, you could make a patch-work quilt look to your bulletin board by using a variety of fabrics and gluing them in the same way.

To hide the "seam" and make the bulletin board cutsy, I used a ribbon to run long ways along that line.  I cut the ribbon long enough to wrap about 2 inches around the back and glued them into place.  I chose one ribbon to wrap long ways and then I wrapped another ribbon perpendicular to the first, but I edged it  to one side a bit so I didn't have to worry about making sure it was exactly in the middle.  It was a little more pleasing to the eye, too!  You can see from the following picture that it even looks like a present from the front now! :)  The ribbons will also come in hand for hanging notes and cards as they can just slide under the ribbon without the need for tacks.  This idea is taken from the french bulletin boards that I have seen at craft stores and home decorating stores.  I didn't have enough ribbon to crisscross multiple times (remember ... these are all supplies that I had on hand), but maybe next time!

Notice the position of the ribbon ... now for the bling!

Down in my craft bin I found some loose silk flowers that my mom-in-law had given me for making cards.  The flowers have the little holes from being on the stem.  I also had decorative brads in my card making supply.  I layered two flowers together and slid a brad in the middle ... ta-dah!  Adorable three-dimensional flowers to girly-up my functional bulletin board.  

Next I had to affix them to the board.  To make this work, I had to get a little creative ... but once I got the hang of it, it became easier.  The brads weren't pointed enough to poke into the cardboard through the ribbon and fabric, so I had to make a small hole with a tack, put a little dab of hot glue over the minuscule hole and then press the brad through the flowers, through the ribbon and through the gluey fabric ... quickly!  I pressed it in place until the glue cooled and I was pleased to discover that the brads were glued to the cardboard underneath.  Yeah!

Here I am pressing the brad through all the supplies and making it secure.

I did five different flowers:  one at the intersection of the ribbons and then one on each of ribbons at varying spots.  When all the flowers were glued on, I turned the entire board over and glued a small section of ribbon in a loop in the back for hanging it on the wall.  

Ready for the fun, flowery finished product?

So fun!  And functional!!

Like I said, I also made three for the bigger kids.  They were thrilled and already have tagged mementos to their flowered, butterfly and football memory boards.

I hope this was inspiring (you can make this!!) and not too hard to understand (it's tough to put into words what my hands do and make it make sense!).  If you have any questions, let me know ... otherwise, have fun!


  1. Love the colors! Visiting you from Rook No. 17's party... cheers!

  2. Beautifully done! We could definitely use an organizing center like this at my house. I love Family Fun, but have let my subscription lapse for the same reasons.

    Always a pleasure to have you be a part of "A Little Birdie Told Me..." Tuesday at Rook No. 17



Thanks for visiting! Your comments are warm fuzzies! (And con-crit is always welcome, too.)