Monday, August 20, 2012

Matching Bulletin & Chalk Boards

I've been in desperate need of a bulletin board. Two bulletin boards, actually. But the one I'm showing here on is for my craft area. I also need something to write goals on and update each day or week, like a chalk board. So I got to work.

My mother-in-law has tons of picture frames. She even has a couple of bulletin boards that she isn't using. And she kindly let me have what I needed for my project.

I found the fabric that I'd originally used to upholster our headboard. I ended up hating it on the headboard because there was just too much surface area for the print to look nice. So I reupholstered the headboard last year (which I'll post about later) and kept the printed fabric for something like this. I had planned on making throw pillows with it (and I have plenty left so I probably still will). But then I needed fabric for this project. It's perfect for it.

Here's my supplies.

ancient bulletin board (check out that beat up metal frame around it!)
large picture frame
masonite (or other type of thin plywood type of stuff)
chalkboard paint
paint brush (use a roller for a perfectly smooth finish)
frame hanging hardware
a pen
staple gun (but I should have used a hot glue gun... you'll see why...)
masking tape (to hold things in place when you need it to)

Now, the bulletin board was a breeze!

I cut the fabric a few inches larger than the bulletin board.

I tacked in the corners.

Then I marked every half inch and pushed thumbtacks into each marking, pulling the fabric tight as I went.

I wrapped the fabric around to the back or the board, folded the raw edges under, and tacked it in place.

I put the hanging hardware on.
This bulletin board was tricky, though. The back of it is corkboard as well and wouldn't hold the hardware on very well. Problem solved: E6000 glue and a paint stir stick.

And I was done. It took me about an hour to do all of that (excluding 24 hours for the E6000 glue to dry). So fast and easy!

Do you like how my husband put himself on my chalkboard 'To Do' list (and left check-off boxes for every day of the week)?
How I love him. 

Then came the chalk board. It started out easy, but it got difficult and frustrating. That chalkboard itself was a cinch to paint, but the frame is the part that wasn't so easy. Looking back now, I know what I should have done instead. So if you want to make one of these yourself, please please take my advice and save yourself from the frustration that I put myself through!

I found this tintable chalkboard paint.

I had planned on a black board, but when I saw that I could color it, I just couldn't resist. I spent the extra $4 and got it in "coffee" because I love browns, and it would perfectly match the fabric I was using.

A roller is recommended for painting this stuff, but I like the slightly textured look a brush gives, so I decided to make it look more vintage and risk using a brush, hoping it wouldn't compromise being able to write clearly on it.

As it was drying I got to work covering the frame with the fabric. Here's where all of my mistakes happened.

What I did was use four long fabric strips to wrap around each side of the frame.
What I should have done is cut a rectangular piece a couple of inches bigger than the frame, like I did with the bulletin board, and then cut the center out.

And then the frame itself... I should not have used a rock-hard old oak frame.
And when I realized it was a rock-hard, old oak frame, I should have resorted to hot glue instead of a staple gun.

However, since I'm stubborn and my head is apparently much harder than that frame is, I got a hammer to finish driving in those staples. What actually happened was I squished and bent the staples into the frame instead of driving them in any farther.

One thing I did right was use Fray Check to keep the corners and raw edges from fraying.

So, when you want to wrap a frame in fabric, use a whole rectangle of fabric.
Cut out the center, leaving a couple of inches of width to wrap around the frame.
Lay the frame over the fabric. Make angled cuts in the fabric toward the corners.
Hot glue the fabric into place.
Fray Check the corners.
Install hanging hardware, secure chalkboard in frame, and hang up.

It's recommended to rub chalk all over the board and then erase it before the first use. This coats the chalkboard with a nice layer of chalk dust and helps it erase more evenly.

The next one I make will be so much simpler and I will follow those instructions. It'll probably look better too. Just you wait and see.

Linked up to: Polkadot Pretties


  1. Very cute stuff! I need a corkboard so bad...and this has given me a wonderful idea. I'm pinning it to my crafty crafty crafty Pinterest page!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! That makes me happy! And I'm glad I could be of some inspiration to you. :)