After doing a lot of shopping around for a new bulletin board, I discovered that anything beyond the usual boring, tan, unframed ones were very expensive. I also knew that after looking around, I could totally make something cheaper and probably more to my liking. One afternoon of shopping later, and I have a new bulletin board that, while not perfect, is still far better than one I would have spent $100 on at another store. The supplies were pretty inexpensive, and this was something that took all of an hour to complete, start to finish. For this project, you’ll need:
1. Photo Frame
This was the most expensive part of the project, but for $20 (Hobby Lobby often has their frames 50% off), it’s still far cheaper than buying a pre-made bulletin board. I wanted a more substantial frame, and while I could have cheaped out a bit more and gotten one at a thrift shop, I liked that this one was all ready to go without any painting or finding a back for it.
2. Cork Tiles
I tried to find the rolls of cork board to keep the board from having seams, but I couldn’t, so I went with cork board tiles. They were $5, and I even ended up having one left over. I gave it to my husband to put up in his office. So I guess in the end, it was really only $3.75.
3. Grey Paint and Foam Roller
I went with grey because I figured it would work with the black and white thing I have going on. The paint was maybe $1, and the foam roller was $1.50.
4. Picture Hanging Hardware (depending on your frame)
The frame I bought didn’t come with any way to hang it, so I bought a small kit for $3 at Hobby Lobby. I won’t need most of what’s in the kit, but I plan to keep it for future projects. I seem to find myself often needing picture wire and hooks, so now I have them.
5. Miscellaneous Stuff
Other things that aren’t in the picture were a plastic plate for the paint, scissors, packaging tape, and a flat head screwdriver. These things I already had around the house, and were obviously free for me.
Total Cost: $30.50!
Once I gathered my supplies, off to work I went! It seriously took about an hour, and was far easier than I thought it was going to be.
Office Decor Project #1: Bulletin Board
Step 1: Remove backing and glass from picture frame.
I didn’t need the glass for the frame (obviously), so I took off the backing with a flat head screwdriver. You could use a butter knife too if you don’t have a tool kit. But honestly, you’re an adult – go buy a small tool kit. It’s nice to have around. The glass is sitting in my closet for now, in the event that I need it for a future project.
Step 2: Add cork board tiles to the cardboard backing from your frame.
Since my frame isn’t conveniently the same size as my tiles, I had to cut one of them in half for them to fit. Affixing them to the backing took a little trial and error. I originally tried to use the foam sticky pads that came with them, but they didn’t seem to work very well. So I ditched them and used mailing tape to put the tiles together, then used more tape to stick them to the cardboard backing. It’s not the way I probably should have done it (I didn’t have any glue…oops), but I can always go back later and glue it to the backing if I want to.
Step 3: Paint the cork board with acrylic paint.
I decided to go with Pewter Grey, which I originally worried was too dark, but now that it’s in the frame and on the wall, I think it worked. It took two coats with the foam roller and the entire bottle (cork is pretty absorbent). Also keep in mind that when using a roller, it’s not going to get the paint into all the cracks and crevices – if you want better coverage, a regular paint brush would probably be better.
Step 4: Reattach the backing to your frame, and hang up that bad boy!
Since my frame didn’t have any hanging mechanism on the back, I added a self-leveling hanger on the back (the ones with the jagged teeth on the bottom that the nail fits into…I had to Google what it was called). Then all I had to do was replace the backing with the cork tiles on it, and hang it up.
One trick I use when hanging heavier frames – I use a 3M Command strip on the bottom of the frame to keep it from moving around. I do this for pretty much all of my heavier frames now – it keeps them level, and prevents people from knocking them off the wall if they bump into them. Or if your cable box is right outside your living room wall, and the cable guy likes to violently slam it shut, shaking your photos off the wall. You know, the usual….There you have it – a $30 bulletin board that is a pretty good foil for an almost $100 one. I really like the size of it for my wall, and that it has a more solid frame than most cheap bulletin boards.
I also worked on another project that afternoon, but I’ll share that with you some other day. Right now, I’ve got some lesson plans to work on, and a ton of paperwork to do!