How to recover a bulletin board in ten minutes

In today’s post, I’m going to show you how to re-cover a bulletin board in a shockingly short amount of time. Best part? All you need is a piece of fabric and a stapler.

We’ll start with this hideous bulletin board which I scored for $3 at a garage sale. Take a moment to soak in the ugly. Take your time, we haven’t started the clock yet.

Bulletin board makeover - Before

Had enough of it? We’re going to turn it into something like this:

Bulleting board makeover - After

YEAH. That’s better.

You will need:

A rectangular bulletin board – Keep an eye out at thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales if you want to find them cheap–I’ve done this many times, and I’ve never paid more than $4 for a bulletin board. Any size will do. If the bulletin board comes with a wooden frame, check it out before you buy it to see if the frame can be removed easily (or, as was the case with the one I used, the black metal frame might have such a low profile that you can leave it on).

A piece of fabric, vintage preferred – I decided to cut apart a lovely thrifted flannel bedsheet in robin’s egg blue. You can use any fabric, really. I would recommend using something medium or heavier; a thin, lightweight and lightly colored fabric might let the color of a bulletin board like this show through, which wouldn’t be cute. And we are trying to make it cute. Be aware if you choose a striped fabric that you’ll need to be a little more careful to ensure the stripes line up with the edge of the board.

A standard stapler that will flip open – Nothing fancy, no need for heavy duty (unless the back of the bulletin board is really thick wood…which is a problem I have never had). Bonus points for using a red Swingline and telling them if they move your desk one more time you’re going to quit. First to name that movie in the comments and gets twenty points.

Let’s do this!

Lay out your fabric on a flat surface, and place the bulletin board on it, wrong side up. Cut the fabric about 3 inches wider than the board on all sides.

Cut the fabric

A quick note about the hanging apparatus…my board has the wire and hardware in such a spot that it can be left alone throughout the project, which helps us maintain the ten minute timeframe. If your bulletin board needs to be disassembled then reassembled at the end, I will allow you to add five minutes to the project. I believe that you can do this. Because you are scrappy.

Starting on one side, fold the fabric over the back of the board and secure with your trusty stapler. Next do the opposite side. It’s important to hold the fabric snugly and to pick up the board and check occasionally for wrinkles that need to be fixed.

Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler.

To do the corners, I like to clip out a notch first, then fold it like so:

Corners like this, kids.

We’re not going for perfect. Just try for “not too bulky,” then staple the $h!t out of it.

Follow your heart on the frequency of staples. I like to start with them spaced about 4-6 inches apart, then fill in. But add your own pieces of flair to the backside. No one will see it. (Except if you write a blog post about it, and put the pictures on the interwebs.)

When you’ve stapled all the way around, you can trim the fabric like I did. Or not. Whatever you feel like, you know?


Time for the big reveal! BOOM. Not ugly anymore, eh?

Bulletin board

I’m pretty sure it only took me eight minutes and 47 seconds. But who’s counting?

Now the fun part! Hanging favorite things. Mine is going in my studio/home office/Rosy Blu HQ/the place where I make things, so I put on some favorite pictures, magazine clippings, and a few patterns, fabrics and washi tapes I use a lot.

Finished bulletin board with new fabric cover

This is a drawing my sister made me. Can you tell which girl is her and which girl is me? Hint: she’s preggers.

Drawing by prego sister

The little newspaper clipping says “Who begins too much accomplishes little”. I try to remember this when I spaz out about ideas I’ve found on Pinterest and elsewhere. (My grandma Jean cut it out and included it with my birthday card one year. Opening cards from her is the BEST, there’s always extra surprises like free hug coupons, pictures of cute kittens, recipes she thinks I’ll like and my name cut out from magazines and newspapers.)

Here’s one of my favorite quotes. Another quote on the board says, “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Amen, Luciano Pavarotti. Amen.

Favorite quote: Happiness is a place between too little and too much.

And one of the best birthday cards I’ve ever gotten.

Another contribution from sister

What do you think? Can you beat my time?

  • Jess @ Spool and Spoon

    I have a fabric covered masonite board in my office and I love how fresh it can make a room (and it’s cheap!). You styled yours beautifully!

    • rosyblu

      Thanks, Jess!

  • Jen

    Office Space!! xo

    • rosyblu

      Yes, yes, yes! Twenty points to you, love! (Did you know Jon actually has a red Swingline stapler? True story.)


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