How to Make a Bulletin Board

Three Parts:Building the Bulletin BoardDecorating the BoardMounting the Board

Making a crafts project and an organizational tool at the same time is a special feeling. Have fun adding your own touches as you go along, then tack on a gold star to reward your productivity.

Part 1
Building the Bulletin Board

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    Choose the backing. Corkboard is the traditional material for bulletin boards, but can get pretty expensive. Bristol board, foam board, or sound dampening board are all cheaper alternatives. You can even use thick cardboard, as long as it's sturdy enough not to tear.
    • Test it before you start building. Pin a few sheets of paper onto the board and see how well it holds.
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    Fit it into a frame (optional). The frame will not be visible after this project is done. However, a frame makes it easier to attach the batting and fabric we'll be adding. It also provides a little protection, which may be worth it if children will use the board.
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    Cover with batting (optional). Thin batting (padding) adds a softer touch and allows for three-dimensional designs. Attach as follows:[1]
    • Lay the board face down over the batting. Cut a rectangle of batting about 2–3 inches (5–7.5cm) larger than the board.
    • Pull one corner over the back of the board. Attach with a hot glue gun, fabric glue, or (if a frame is present) a staple gun.
    • Repeat with batting around the whole board, pulling taut before attaching. Trim off excess batting.
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    Iron a piece of fabric. Select a decorative fabric larger than the bulletin board. Cut out a piece about 4–6 inches (10–15cm) larger on each side than your board. Iron this until it is completely flat.[2]
    • You could use an old piece of clothing or a plastic tablecloth instead.[3] Wrapping paper is another cheap option, but tends to tear pretty quickly.
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    Cover the board with fabric. Lay the board face-down on the backside of the fabric. Pull the fabric around and attach to the back of the board, just as you did with the batting. Pull taut as you go and check the front frequently to avoid wrinkles.

Part 2
Decorating the Board

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    Decorate with ribbons. A criss-cross ribbon design is a popular look, especially over batting. Wrap ribbons in rows at a 45º angle to the board, gluing or stapling to the back. Repeat with ribbons slanted the opposite direction to make a diamond pattern. Pin the ribbons in place at every point where two ribbons cross.[4]
    • Sewing buttons over each intersection makes an extra cute look.[5]
    • Of course, you can arrange the ribbons however you like. For instance, vertical ribbons could divide the bulletin board into areas used for different purposes.
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    Turn it into a tufted bulletin board. If you attached batting to your bulletin board, you can mimic a soft, tufted comforter. Here's how:[6]
    • Nail a piece of plywood to the back of the board. (See Tips for alternatives.)
    • Nail small, short nails through the fabric and onto the plywood. Place them in a diamond pattern. Make sure they don't penetrate the plywood.
    • Cover the nails with upholstery tacks, or glue decorative beads over them.
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    Add laminated decorations. Laminate a piece of fabric or construction paper. Cut out letters or shapes and pin them along the top of the board.
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    Tack on writing material. Add index cards or blank paper for writing notes. For aesthetic variety, cut the paper into circles or use paper in several colors.

Part 3
Mounting the Board

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    Screw the board to the wall. If you own the house or have permission from the owners, screw in the board for a secure fit. Fit each screw through a washer before screwing it in, to prevent it crushing the soft board.[7]
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    Hang from wall mounting squares. If you don't want to damage the wall, stick on a wall mounting square, or several if your board is large. Wait for the adhesive to cure, for however long the label suggests. Stick on the board and press firmly.
    • Bulletin boards are usually too heavy to hang from adhesive putty.
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    Hang from a hook or nail. You can purchase strong adhesive hooks if you don't want to puncture the wall. Punch two holes in the bulletin board and thread strong wire, twine, or ribbon through both. Double knot on either side and hang over the hook or nail.

Tips

  • If you don't want to attach plywood, nail the holes with a small block of wood behind the board instead.[8]
  • If your batting or fabric ends up with wrinkles, redo the corners. Attach both sides separately. Fold excess fabric on one side over and around, pulling taut. Bring final portion of excess fabric under the fold and attach to the board.[9]

Warnings

  • A large bulletin board can be a fire hazard, especially if it includes batting. Keep all candles and heat sources away from the area. Consider spraying the fabric with fireproofing spray.
  • Young children should ask for help with scissors, pins, and hot glue.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pins or glue
  • A shirt or a piece of fabric
  • markers (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Cardboard Crafts | Teacher Resources