I love having an easy way to display my photos, especially from our travels. I’ve seen these memo boards in craft stores and home decor stores and they’re a great way to easily change out photos regularly. My mom showed me how to make these and has done two for our house – one mostly for old postcards in our bedroom (our wedding decor was “old Florida” themed) and one for Graham’s room. What I like about making them instead of buying them is that they’re completely custom, so I can choose the exact fabric and ribbon I want to use. My mother-in-law recently asked me to make one for her, so I thought I’d show y’all how to do it! It’s super easy and often cheaper than buying one.
Here’s what you need:
- A bulletin board (if you go for one that’s bigger than about 14×14 it would be good to have an extra set of hands to help you, but it’s not 100% necessary)
- Fabric (measure your bulletin board, then add 6 to 8 inches to the length and width to make sure you have enough to wrap it around)
- Ribbon (again, measure the size of your board wherever you want the ribbon to go – I’d say go ahead and get more than you think you’ll need. You can always return unopened spools!)
- Batting (about the same size as the fabric, but you can just add 4 inches to the length and width of the board for the batting)
- Pretty pins (optional, but they help keep the photos in place)
- Staple gun
- Safety glasses
Cut the fabric (if you didn’t get exactly the amount you need) so that you’ve got 3 to 4 inches left on all sides when you lay the board on top. Lay the fabric face down on the floor (carpet is your friend for this project), then lay your batting down and give about 2 inches space on all sides of that. Last, lay your board down in the center of the batting and fabric. If you purchased a board that has a hard back, lay it cork side down so that you could use pins in it if you choose.
Side Note: You could definitely use canvas for this instead. The only reason I like the cork bulletin board is that it gives you the option to use pins, where canvas wouldn’t.
Fold fabric over the edge of the board and staple in the middle of the wood trim on one side first, then staple the middle of the opposite side, pulling fabric taut. Repeat on the other two sides. You may need to give it some real oomph to get the staples to lay flush, but if you don’t get them in all the way just use a hammer to tap them in.
Before you staple any more than the four center points, make sure you pull out a bit of the batting from the corners so it doesn’t get too bulky. When you make your corners, try to lay the fabric as flat as possible when you fold it over.
Then, keeping fabric taut, staple all around, about 1″ apart.
After you’re finished, lay the ribbons over the board and cut them to leave at least 2 inches extra on each end. Staple them to the back of the board as well, being careful to arrange the diagonal parts so that they lay flat on the back and creating a basket weave pattern as you go so the pictures can stay put a little better.
If you chose to buy pins (you can get them from the jewelry section at your craft store and they look like the picture above – you can buy pretty little baubles to put on them as well!), press them into the board and, if you get long ones, bend them down on the back with a hammer so they stay.
Trim the excess fabric so that the board will hang easily. If you’d like it to look finished on the back you could buy some muslin and staple underneath, then fold it over. But I don’t usually worry about that because no one will see the back!
Hang, load with pictures, and you’re done! The best part is that you can easily re-cover them as your decor changes (which I’ve done several times).
Here are the other two boards hanging in our house: