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Thursday, April 14, 2011

How To: Make A Burlap Bulletin Board

As you may know from some other posts, my husband, Judd, is a landscape architect. Recently, he expressed interest in having a few bulletin boards to put in his studio. And, since I love a project, I volunteered to make them for him. I wanted to use something with a natural feel given his profession. I thought burlap would give just the right amount of texture and earthiness.

The bulletin board project was really easy. However, make sure to iron your fabric before you get started. I forgot and had already stapled a good bit before I thought about it.

Other than an iron, here are a few things you will need to get started.

  • cork board (I used an old one Judd’s mom sent with him to college)
  • fabric (in this case, burlap)
  • scissors
  • staple gun
  • staples
  • tape measure


To measure your fabric, lay it out so that it covers a few inches past each side of the board. Make sure you will have enough fabric to pull around to the back side and staple. Then cut where needed. If you want to be really exact or particular use your measuring tape to make sure you have the same amount on each side.


In an attempt to “keep it real” here at TLP I’ve included the picture below. Things are not always as pretty as they appear in blogland. As you can see here, I work best when sitting on the floor, between our dog and my husband, in our living room. We were watching a movie in our less than spotless house. My apologies for the shadow in the pictures. Cole’s dog fanny was casting a shadow on my project. You would think that the sound of a staple gun in use would be enough to wake him. Nope.6

The next step is to staple the fabric to the back side of the wood frame starting in the middle of each side. Make sure to pull the fabric taut. Save the corners for last.


Fold each corner to ensure that it is sharp and flat. Play with the fabric until you get each corner just the way you want it. You can think of wrapping a present when folding the corners. It is kind of the same concept.13

When all staples are in place, trim the excess fabric from around the corners and along each side.15

It should look a little neater when you are finished. 12

Flip the board over to make sure it is smooth.


Now you have a few options on how to dress up the board a bit. You can keep it plain, just the way it is, if you like a more simplistic look.


Or you can use a piece of the fabric that you trimmed off of the back to make a burlap bow. I attached the bow with a flat push pin.20


Or you can use the same piece of trim to add a stripe down your board. Although I thought the bow was cute, I’m pretty sure that was not the look Judd was after. :) Below is what I decided on for his pin up board. There were four flat push pins left in the board from when Judd had it in college. I decided to re-use them as nail heads running down the strip of fabric. I stapled each end of fabric on the back of the board and evenly distributed the “nail heads” on the front.22


He can use this little detail to wedge in photographs, notes, etc without having to poke a hole in them. I hope he likes his board. What do you think?


  1. Abby that's a really cute take on a burlap cork board. The little details you added really set it apart from all the others.


  2. Tell Judd I prefer he use the one with the bow. Thanks.


  3. Super cute! -even the dog butt- :) I bet some twine/raffia style "ribbon" tied around the board like a package would be cute, functional, AND guy approved. :)

  4. Love the bulletin board! Thanks for all the tips! It may be coming to my house very soon!

  5. Super glad you posted this!!! Justin has a bulletin board that he loves but I hate it because it's a friggin bulletin's so not nice!! But I can totally make it nice this way and I will love it! Random question....where can you get burlap??

  6. Thanks everybody for the positive feedback. I still have to make a few more for the studio. One is going to be rather large and I will have to make it from scratch (without a pre-made cork board). We'll see how that goes. I hope this post is something you found useful too.

    And Charles, I'll make sure to tell Judd your recommendation. ha.

  7. Oh and Marcie, I bought the burlap at United Textiles in Bessemer, AL for $2/yard and I had a coupon. Very affordable. Also, I know places like JoAnn's and Hancock Fabrics have burlap as well.