Category: Organization

Bulletin Board – DIY

This is literally straight out of Do It Yourself magazine which is a Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication.  I splurged last minute in the checkout line at Home Depot and bought a copy.  I’m so glad I did – I discovered this cool bulletin board.  I really want a subscription to this magazine!!!!  But I’m kind of cheap so we’ll see.

We recently had a rental unit become vacant in our four-plex building (building has four units) and we are in need of some art in the common area.  I think this might be the perfect thing!  We’ll see how long it lasts though!  😉  I figure why put some generic piece of art when you can have something functional.  And it does look cute, don’t you think?  If someone wants to leave the tenants a note or something – wallah!

What you will need:

-Crochet yarn (whatever color you like-I did red, my favorite!) – found at Joann’s
-Decorative tacks (whatever style you like) – found mine at Joann’s
-Fabric (I used white linen – found at Joann’s)
-Felt (I used white felt – found by the yard at Joann’s)
-MDF board ( found in the lumber section at Home Depot – they had 2 x 4 boards and I had my husband cut one in half so I had to 2 2×4 boards).  I bet they will cut it for you at Home Depot if you ask someone though – they are awesome like that.  I didn’t think of it at the time.
-Pliers (needle nosed are important b/c those tacks are small!)
-Staple Gun and Staples


1.) Cut and prepare the fabric:  Cut your fabric so that there is about 2 inches of fabric to wrap around the back of the board.  You will need enough to staple.  Cut the felt the same.  Iron the fabric.  I didn’t iron the felt.  Cut the corners of the fabric such that when you fold over and staple there won’t be too much fabric on the corners.  A little L-Shaped cut off all four corners – just won’t cut past the board itself – not really possible with the board lying on top of the fabric.  Don’t worry, you won’t screw it up.  I don’t even know if you really need to do this – it just makes it easier to staple the corners.

2.) Staple the fabric to the board: Lay the fabric down on the floor then lay the felt on top of it, then lay down the board.  Start on one side and wrap the fabric around then staple it about every few inches.  This is tricky since it’s better to use two hands on the staple gun.  No worries – you can always hammer the staples in more later if you need to – this is what I did.  Staple all around doing opposing sides first to pull taut the fabric as much as possible.

3.) Time to put the tacks in: First, measure out how many tacks will fit on your board base on how wide and long your board is.  I had a 2×2 board so I had 24 inches to work with on each side.  I wanted to put the tacks about 1 inch away from the sides and 3 to 4 inches of space between.  So, I did some fuzzy math and came up with 7 tacks across and 5 rows of tacks from top to bottom.  I placed the tacks 3.75 inches apart on the width which meant 7 tacks across and 5.5 inches apart on the height which meant 5 rows of tacks.  This left an inch around all the sides and enough room for pictures, envelopes, stuff like that.  I pencil marked the first row of tacks using a ruler and pencil and the start of each of the rows of tacks, but I kind of eye-balled the rest.  You will not be able to erase the pencil marks later (just fyi). It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s what I tell the girls – art is art – the beauty is in the imperfections.    Hold the tack in place with the pliers and hammer away!  Those pliers are important b/c if it gets cock-eyed – that’s how it will go into the board.  Make sure to hold it straight.  I have a few crooked ones though and it’s fine!  Again, art is art!  Yes, I do consider bulletin boards art..  :-p

4.) Zig Zag away the yarn: Tie the yarn into a knot around the first tack you want to start from.  I just started from the upper left most tack.  Then, this is where the creative part comes in – you can zig-zag however you want.  Ever been to a work out or dance class and they say it’s time to free-style?  And everyone’s all excited dancing around like maniacs – well, that’s where my eyes get big and I look around dumb-founded – it’s frightening!  It’s kind of like that to me when someone says that with art b/c I’m not creative at all.  But I managed to come up with something and I don’t think you can really go wrong with it.  Then, when you are done, tie a knot around the last tack and you are done.  I went through and pushed all my thread down so that it’s flush against the board, but I’m not sure if that’s really necessary.

5.) Hang: Put pictures or Christmas/Birthday cards behind the yarn and hang on the wall – I always use Command Picture Hanging Strips!


The one on the left is the one my daughter did – I like hers better.  Here signifies the difference in the two minds – mine is chaotic – hers more organized.  :-p



Update:  I had to use a french cleat to hang these b/c they kept falling off the wall (professional, eh?).  I’m no longer fond of command strips – I’m starting to think it’s just a matter of time before the other stuff starts falling.  :-/  I used Liquid Nails to glue the french cleat to the back of the tackboard (it is hard to get it level this way though we just used some wall putty (the blue stuff used to stick things to the wall and shoved that in the french cleat space to level things out – a hack, I know – unless you can find a better way to level it) and then there is a level to hang the other part of the french cleat to the wall.  They cost about $8 at Home Depot and the one I got holds up to 60 lbs.

Hanging Wall Files

To organize my girl’s school papers, I spray painted some hanging wall files that I found at Wal-Mart and hung them on the wall with the girl’s names on them.  We get so many papers from school though – I’m not actually sure this is going to be useful.  There’s a trash can located directly below this for when it overflows.  :-/WallFile

Charging Station

With all the electronics in the house, we decided we could use a centrally located charging station to get them all charged at once.  We kept losing power cords and devices, etc.  We figured our office would be the best place to create a charging station.

Our office is right off the kitchen.  It’s really supposed to be a formal dining room, but we figured we didn’t really need 2 dining rooms since we are currently using our breakfast room as a dining room.  My husband’s parents had given us a record player shelving unit when we got married and we figured that would serve this purpose really well.  It has a little pull out shelf.

I found the box at Hobby Lobby and had my husband drill some holes in it (I want to learn how to use his drill, but haven’t taken the initiative yet – one of these days.  He’s tried to show me how to use it once before but I dazed in and out while he was talking and missed half the lesson.  :-/ ).

The cords are held in place – or the reason they don’t slip out is due to binder clips.

Also, at Walmart, we found an extension cord that had 4 USB ports on it, so I taped that to the back of the shelving unit – this allows you to plug in 4 devices at once.  This is a necessity since there is only 1 plug available behind the shelf.

What you will need:

Extension cord with 4 USB ports
Decorative box with separate compartments
Binder clips
Strong tape or I used those command picture hanging strips b/c then it’s removable

Here are some pictures:

ChargingStation3 ChargingStation1 ChargingStation2

Magnet Boards Collage

Magnet Board CollageI’m a tiny bit obsessed with magnet boards.  Here’s a magnet board wall collage I created to keep my kid’s school work organized (using the clips) and also to display notes, weekly menu, etc.

I found these picture frames at Joann’s for $10 each – they were on sale 50% off which they do pretty frequently – just have to wait it out for the deals.  The 2 at the bottom though I could only find online in black so I spray painted them bronze to match the other 2 frames (found bronze spray paint at Home Depot).  I bought a piece of 2′ x 2′ piece of foam insulation board at Home Depot for the center piece.  I found all the fabric at Joann’s fabric – it goes on sale all the time so I waited for the sale.  The hardest part is having the patience to wait for all the sales! :-p  So, the 2 on top are a combination dry-erase/magnet boards and the one in the middle is a pin board.  The 2 on the bottom are just magnet boards (no glass on front for dry erase).  When you put the glass on front, the magnetic part is not as strong so you can only hang light stuff like pictures and cards.  I took the glass off the bottom ones so that they could hold some heavier school papers, artwork, etc.  Also, I hung these as I hang everything these days using Command Picture Hanging Strips – they are a life-saver – I no longer have to wait for my husband to hang things.  Those suckers work really well and don’t leave big ugly holes in your wall – woohoo – win win!

To make these:
1.) Prepare the sheet metal: Get some sheet metal at Home Depot in the plumbing/duct work area (about $9/sheet).  You will have to cut these to size with metal cutting scissors (sheet metal shears – you can get these at Home Depot also).
2.) Prepare the fabric: You will need to cut out the fabric to size – leave about an inch extra on each side to fold over and lay it out pattern side down on a flat floor – make it as smooth as possible.  Be sure to iron the fabric if it’s wrinkled.
3.) Stick the fabric: You will need to spray the adhesive glue onto the sheet metal and place it on the laid out fabric.  Then spray the back edges of the sheet metal and gently pull the fabric on each side and stick it to the metal.  Tada!  Now, just place the fabric covered metal back in the picture frame and there it is!  For the foam board, you just spray the board with the adhesive and stick it to the fabric the same way you did the sheet metal.  You might need to smooth it out a little bit more – it seems to get crinkled a little easier – so I flipped it over and got all the crinks out before folding the edges over.  Note: More recently I have done without the gluing for the dry erase magnet boards since the glass holds it in fine and this way I could switch out the fabrics if I wanted to, but you have to make sure you iron especially well b/c wrinkles will show.
4.) Make the magnets and pins: To make the magnets, I just walked around Joann’s craft section and found some cute felt things and necklace charms, etc that matched the decor then I hot glued some super strong magnets to them (also found these magnets at Joann’s).  To make the pins, I did the same – just hot glued the cute things to the pins.  I love these – I went bezerk and made some for my girls’ rooms and for our dining room – I’ll have to post those as well!  :-p

Things you will need to purchase from the store:
Cute things to put on magnets and pins
Spray adhesive
Picture frames
Super strong magnets (I think they are actually called that)
glue gun and glue sticks

Walmart or wherever:
Gloves (for cutting the sheet metal – it is sharp! I just used my leather ones I wear in winter)

Home Depot:
Metal cutting shears (tin snips)
Sheet metal (make sure you don’t buy aluminum – bring a magnet and make sure it sticks before you buy)
Magnet clips (found these in the check out aisle) also Walmart and Target has some too.
Piece of foam insulation board for pin board (Found this in the insulation aisle at Home Depot – literally, in a box in the middle of the aisle).  It’s the perfect size 2′ x 2′ so I didn’t have to cut it or anything.





Here’s a pic where I didn’t glue the fabric down:


Final Product:

Magnet Board Collage