Before & After, House / Office Dressing Room, Storage & Organization, Thrifting, Upcycling, Trash Picking

2 Ways To Be Board

Today I’d like to show you two ways that I was board with my office. Two ways my office board me.

Oh dear.  These pathetic attempts at a board/bored pun are just not working. On to the projects!

I made both a fabric-covered cork board and a fabric-covered whiteboard for my studio.  Despite my best attempts at organization, when I’m working on a project I always have little bits of fabric, sketches, magazine tear-outs, paint chips, and/or receipts cluttering my desk.  While I was designing my Christmas stockings and other initial ideas for Flourish, I taped all these things to my walls with painters’ tape.  But now it’s definitely time for some classier organization.

Enter the recycled fabric-covered cork board:

I wish I’d taken a “before” shot of the corkboard, becuase it was pretty cruddy.  Having hung in my room when I was a child, it was torn up, covered in paint and scribble, etc. It may or may not have had “JH+DB” scribbled all over it.  (Who the heck was DB??)   But it was large, and free, and totally usable – it just needed a quick fabric covering. For those of you still new to the concept of revamping an ugly cork board, here’s a quick walk-through of how I did it:

  1. I painted the frame with a quick swipe of a brown paint sample.  I only did one streaky coat so that it gave it more a look of stained wood than painted wood.
  2. I cut a piece of the Erin McMorris Wildwood fabric to fit the cork area and adhered it to the edges using ModPodge.  I also did a strip of MP down the center to help it hold.  I didn’t want to do the whole thing in MP because I wasn’t sure it would let pushpins through easily. ($4)
  3. I trimmed the board in orange ribbon to hide the cut edges of the fabric. (They didn’t meet the wood trim perfectly.)  ($3)
  4. If anyone knows a better way to trim it out, please tell.  Because I’m not thrilled with how the corners of the ribbon look.

And voila – a custom cork board for $7!

I hung the cork board on the wall using my newest favorite Command adhesive product:  Velcro picture hanging strips.  Trust me, these little guys really do work!  I love using them because – as I’ve stated before – because we rent our home I try to avoid putting holes in the wall. Plus, with the velcro strips, it’s easy to get your frames level – you just peel them off and try again if they’re not quite right the first time!

Command Adhesive Velcro Hanging Cork Board

And voila – I finally have a place to tack up my odds and ends.  I ended up using pins rather than tacks because the tacks seemed to leave holes in my fabric.

Pin for fabric covered cork board

Next up, my pretty and practical whiteboard.  I wanted a dry-erase board because when I’m working out an idea for a pattern in my head, sometimes it helps to sketch it out – and this would be much easier than using paper and a pencil and eraser.  My drawings are horrendous, but they help me think – and that’s what matters.

Custom fabric covered whiteboard dry eraseThis project was extra easy, because I didn’t even paint the frame.  Not yet, at least. I may paint it later if it bugs me.

  1. I found an old 16″x20″ frame, with glass intact, at a thrift store.  ($3)
  2. I cleaned the glass and then put it back in the frame.
  3. I cut a piece of cardboard box to fit the back of the frame.
  4. I wrapped that board in a simpler fabric by Erin McMorris – hoping it wouldn’t be too “busy” behind any writing I did. ($3)
  5. I adhered the fabric to the back of the board using duct tape, because my stapler wasn’t working.
  6. I used more duct tape to hold it all together.  It was late at night, I was tired, and the duct tape was easy. And free.
  7. I attached two hooks to the back top of the whiteboard so that I could hang it.  (More on that tomorrow.)

Voila, a custom and fancy dry-erase board for only $6 and a little bit of work. I love how it turned out!

PS:  Like the custom whiteboard idea?  Check out what Jen of IHeart Organizing did for an easy and cute cleaning checklist!

PSS:  Shared with Someday CraftsThe T-Shirt Diaries.

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  • Reply Whitney at 1:00 pm

    I really enjoy the mod feel of the fabric you chose for the cork board. I am equally enthused and impressed by the dry erase board idea. So clever!

  • Reply Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons at 1:28 pm

    Adorable fabrics!

    I would say to either play around with nailheads for the trim (press them on top of the ribbon) or maybe make/find/buy cute pushpins to put in the corners. OR you can use photo album “photo corners” to finish off the corners of the ribbon and make it look like a giant photograph in a scrap book OR…. um… possibilities are endless =) It’ll come to you! <3

  • Reply jenn at 1:36 pm

    These are so cute! I love the fabrics you chose, and I really like the idea of turning the glass in frame into a dry erase board. Genius! 🙂

  • Reply Abby @ a delightful design at 2:04 pm

    This is all turning out so great!! can you even stand how awesome it looks when you are in there!? Love the fabrics.

  • Reply April in CT at 2:15 pm

    So cute, I love those fabrics!! Maybe make some little flower rosettes out of the same fabric to cover the ribbon corners? Or any small item you could glue in place to cover the corners if you’re not happy with them.

    I’ve been wanting to make a dry erase board like that, the little trees are so stinkin’ cute I can’t stand it!

  • Reply Aurora at 2:18 pm

    Once upon a time I attempted a very similar cork board project, using assorted batik fat quarters and those cork squares you can get in packs of 4. The fabrics were lovely, but the project didn’t turn out to agree with my imagination because the boards wouldn’t stay up. Plus they are so thin that pins and tacks would have gone right through them and into the wall. Not sure what the point is there.

    I’ve been brainstorming this exact kind of makeshift “white”board lately. Glad I’m not the only one and that it does come out very nicely. 😀 Growing up, I’d use my dresser mirror to write notes, and at a friend’s house I stayed in earlier this year they used everything from the bathroom mirrors to the sliding glass doors to the back yard. Glass cleans up way easier than an actual dry erase board, too… They’re prone to staining.

    Jeebus, sorry for the ramble. :\

  • Reply Samantha at 3:49 pm

    I was going to suggest some cute, large push pins for the corners of your cork board also! Or some overly large buttons, or wooden embellishments from the craft store, like your initials or something. I like the way the ribbon looks, so I definitely think you should just find something to put in the corners!!

  • Reply jenn at 4:18 pm

    I’m back, because … I gave you the stylish blogger award over at A Home in the Making! Click over to see it and the instructions to pass it along. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to continued reading! 🙂

  • Reply clickclackgorilla at 3:44 am

    Ooh, neat idea with the whiteboard. Never would have occurred to me that you can use glass with dry erase markers as well. Cuts down on paper use as well I imagine. Hoorah!

  • Reply Robin at 5:04 pm

    Very cute I love these and don’t know why I haven’t made on yet. Great thrifty find.

  • Reply Johnnie at 7:42 am

    Stopping by to invite you to join Thrifty Thursdays. Have a wonderful day. Blessings!


  • Reply Sunny's Life in Rehab at 1:13 pm

    NICE! I’ve been meaning to try the white board idea myself, and I guess this is the month to do it!

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  • Reply Tausha at 10:01 am

    Command strips make Velcro Strips? I had no idea? About how much weight would you say they hold? I am so going to get me some! I have a major issue with hanging things straight on the wall. It’s really bad if you ask my husband. I don’t think I am that terrible, but whatever..
    Thanks for the tip!!

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  • Reply Tracey at 4:18 pm

    Cute board, I’m working on one too. Take a look at the frame of the corkboard. See how the corners meet together?  If you cut the ribbon on that same kind of 45 degree angle they will meet nicely in the corners.

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 5:18 pm

      Tracey – Thank you, what a smart idea! I’m kicking myself for not thinking of that when I made the board. 🙂

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  • Reply Studio Makeover, ContinuedThe Borrowed Abode | The Borrowed Abode at 8:26 am

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