Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY Fabric-Covered Bulletin Boards

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Do you want bulletin boards that stay nice all year with no fuss?  Make your own fabric-covered bulletin boards that stay in new condition for years and flex with the seasons.

Items to Gather:

  • 1 - 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 3/4" thick insulation board (you can purchase at your local home improvement store) 
  • 54" - 60" wide twill or other tightly woven solid color fabric.  You will need 1 yd. for every 30" length of board.  For an 8 ft. x 4 ft. board, you will need approximately 3 yards.
  • stapler
  • glue gun
  • supplies to anchor to wall (screws and anchors, drill, screwdriver)
  • scissors to cut fabric


1.  Cut your insulation board to the size bulletin board you want (you can usually have your home improvement store cut it for you).
2.  Cut your fabric 4" - 6" larger than your board on each side.
3.  Use stapler to tack each side of the fabric down, approximately 12" apart.
4.  Wrap fabric at each corner like a gift package, cutting a triangle out of the extra bulk as needed. Use glue gun to secure fabric at sides and corners and finish with staples.
5.  Attach to walls with anchors or screws and enjoy!

Other Tips/Suggestions:

You can make a bulletin board to custom fit any size space that you have in your classroom.  Pick a color that complements your overall classroom theme and ties your bulletin boards together.  I have them in different sizes in my room to fit the available spaces.  The insulation board is very light and easy to work with.  See one of my bulletin boards below decorated at Christmas and changed for Spring.  The Ocean board at the top of the post is also the same bulletin board.  I promise you will love these boards and they last for years!

Have fun,



  1. This is a fabulous idea! It could give new life to old cork bulletin boards, too. I would be sure to get fade-resistant material. And this would not have those little torn bits that paper backgrounds gather as the year wears on. However, my calculations tell me that I would only need 3 yards of 60" wide material to cover a 4' X 8' board. There would still be 6" of overhang all around the board.

    1. You are right on the yardage. You need more if you make 2 or 3 boards out of one sheet. Also, fade resistant is important if it gets natural light. The board shown has been used for 3 years and moved every year, so these really last. I left mine up for the teacher coming into my room and made new ones this year for my new room, so they are really easy to make. Thanks for your awesome comment.

  2. These insulation boards are great to create room decor too! Just draw whatever shape you want ( you can freehand or project an image on it and trace.) and cut out with an exacto knife. You can then paint it with tempera paint. It looks great, is easy to hang, and lasts somuch longer than paper. It is much cheaper than buying sets too. I have used this to turn my door into a barn door for a country theme and made animals to hang on the wall. This year I plan to make wall hangings of science tools.

    1. Wow! That is a fantastic idea. I am thinking of other ways to use these insulation boards from your suggestion. Thanks for the ideas. I would love to see your barn door.

  3. My classroom does not have bulletin boards in it, so this is a great alternative for me! Did you find that the insulation board is relatively cheap? Also, do you think command hooks can hold up the board?

    Thank you for this inspiration, Pamela!

    Miss A's Kindergarten

    1. The insulation board runs $10-$15 for an 8 ft. X 4 ft. Board. I have tried double stick Velcro but the sticky side did not stick to the fabric well. That may be the same problem with command hooks. You would need the sticky side to stick to the fabric without pulling off. I also would not try that method of attachment with a board over 4 ft. X 4 ft.

  4. I'd never thought of using the insulation board like that; I always just staple my fabric directly ON the cork bulletin board. I'm curious: do you leave each bulletin board intact when you take it down (so that you can quickly/easily put it back up again next year), or do you re-do your boards every time? Insulation board is probably cheap enough that you could buy several and keep bulletin boards "on hand." What a sneaky way to be able to change decor quickly and easily! :)

    ~Mrs. K. from The Teacher Garden Blog

    1. Where I have a cork board I just put fabric on the cork. But I only had one dork board in my last room and none in my current room. I had three of these boards in my last room. The nice thing is that you can cut them to fit the size you have available and maximize use of your wall space.

      I have recovered boards to change the color but generally I leave them intact when I move them to another wall or room. The board shown, I have used for three years. I usually change the border each year but pick a neutral theme so I can leave it all year and just change what is on the board.

      Another tip is to make the holes where you will screw the board to the wall with an awl before mounting, so the screw doesn't pull or tear the fabric.

  5. Do you find it hard to keep thing "on" the board. I found my staples fall out easily. Maybe you have a suggestion or let me know what you do?

    1. The staples do pull out of the insulation board easily. That is where the tightly woven fabric not only provides a beautiful background but additional stability. From the pictures you can see that I put kids artwork on them. I also use one for my word wall and student of the week board.

      Staples do pull out easier than on cork board but I do not have things fall off. I am able to pull the student work off without a staple remover so I make less tears in their work. One thought is that you could hot glue s thin piece of cork over the insulation boards before covering it and that would increase the hold. I haven't done that. It I may look for some thin cork on the roll to try that with. The beauty is, that you never have for redo your boards after you make the unless you want to change the color. The think cork may be worth the little extra investment.

  6. I use fabric for my bullentin board. I like that it doesnt fad, rip or tear and it last for years. A great investment.

  7. This is a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing this! I feel like my one bulletin board is not enough in my room but stapling things to the wall is a big no no! Thank you!


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