Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DIY Bulletin Board Refashion Tutorial #2

Yesterday, I showed you how to redo an old, boring bulletin board and make it something fun for you to hang on your wall.  Unfortunately, the first one I made didn't match my all.  (Click here to see the DIY Bulletin Board Refashion Tutorial #1)  So, I went back to the drawing board.

After seeing this at Hobby Lobby,

the wheels started turning.  I loved the shape, though I wanted it wider, and I loved the idea of a pattern on it, so I came up with this version.

Here's how I did it:

Bulletin board (MDF backing is fine, but no hard wood or you'll need to get a band saw or something similar)
Box cutter
Sharpie marker
Paper and tape
Fabric (I used an oatmeal colored linen-type fabric that I found at Walmart for around $2.50/yard)
4 large tea bags (optional)
Bucket and hot water (optional)
Freezer paper
Iron/ironing board
Spray bottle of water

Step 1:

Find a shape that you like (I did a google search for frame outlines - you need it to be a jpg or gif file, no png's).  Upload your picture to  It's this AMAZING website that allows you to blow up pictures to any size you want and print it out - for free!  I blew the shape up to the size I wanted my bulletin board to be, printed it out, taped it together and cut out the shape.

Step 2:
Lay your shape on top of your bulletin board and trace around the edge with a Sharpie.

Step 3:
Using your box cutter, cut out your shape.  I was trying to do this in a way that I didn't have to buy any special (or expensive) cutting equipment.  It worked, but the edges weren't as crisp as if I had cut it with a band saw or whatever it's called.  (I obviously don't know tools very well...hence my desire to stay away from having to use them ;P)  But since you're covering this with fabric anyway, it doesn't really matter.

 Step 4 (Optional):
Tea-stain your fabric.  I poured hot water from the faucet into a bucket, added 4 large tea bags to it, threw my fabric in there and set it out in the hot Texas sun.  If you don't want your fabric to have any splotches of color, wait until your tea steeps sufficiently to add your fabric - I kind of liked the splotched look - gave it some personality.  Let your fabric sit for about 1 hour, then throw it in the dryer.  Iron it for crispness when it comes out.

Step 5:
Lay your fabric on the floor and place bulletin board on top.  Cut fabric around the board so that you have enough left to staple to the back.

Step 6:
Get your stapler, lay it out flat and start stapling like you would onto a bulletin board hanging on the wall.  For any corners or curves, cut the fabric and pull it tight before stapling to get the cleanest edges.

Step 7:
Cut off all excess fabric from the back and turn it over - you now have a beautifully covered bulletin board!

I did not get any pictures beyond this point because I honestly wanted to shoot myself during this stage.  My printer decided to hate me and jam about 20 million times, and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth on my part - not something I exactly wanted to photograph for posterity.  So, sorry - I'll have to paint you some word pictures.

Step 8:
Find a graphic that you like and print it in mirror image if it isn't there already.  I found some really pretty graphics for use at Free Vintage Digital Stamps and The Graphics Fairy.  The Graphics Fairy actually already has them in mirror image for you, so AWESOME!  If your printer doesn't have this option, or it's not easy to find this option, go to  It's a free photo editing website and you can flip your image by uploading it and selecting: Edits - Rotate/Flip - Horizontal Flip.  Save it and you're good to go :D

I used this picture for mine: 

And flipped it at to this:

Step 9:
Upload your picture to and figure out how big you need it to be.  Save the PDF.  Here's where it gets tricky and kind of time-consuming, because you're going to make your own transfers.

Step 10:
Cut freezer paper to the size of a piece of regular printer paper (8 1/2 x11), and tape around the edges to said piece of printer paper - this is for your sanity, so that the thin and annoying freezer paper doesn't jam your printer.  MAKE SURE THE SHINY SIDE IS UP!!!!  Print ONE page at a time just to avoid jams and such and to make sure that your image doesn't smudge (of course, this is a collage, and I totally smudged and messed it up many times, but you can't really tell - which is so great :D)

Step 11:
With your bulletin board on your ironing board, spray the section you are working on with water so it is damp - not soaking.  Have your iron set to medium low (around 4 on mine) without steam.  Line up your image where you want it to go and iron it down to the board.  The freezer paper will make it stick, helping to avoid smudges while you burnish the image.  Rub the back of a spoon all over the image, pushing firmly, so that the ink will really sink into the fabric (If fabric is too wet, the ink will run, hence the reason why you only want it damp - it'll actually sink into the fabric without running).

Step 12: 
Peel off the freezer paper and VOILA!  You have transferred a portion of your image!  

Step 13: 
Repeat steps 10-12 for the remainder of your picture, making sure you line things up carefully before ironing them down - once you do, it's a done deal.  

I actually ironed some different sections in different places because I wanted it to have more of a "collage" feel - and I had some blank spaces I didn't like.  Do whatever you think looks good.

Step 14: 
Spray the entire surface with aerosol hairspray to help image stay put.

Step 15: 
Hang that puppy up on the wall!!

Now - how to hang it...I totally jacked this part up.  The backing of the board was of such a material that it basically just peeled off whenever I put anything sticky on it - ruining the sticky stuff, I might add, because then there were bits all stuck to it.  

First I tried the wall velcro - fail
Then I tried duct tape with wall velcro on top - fail
Then I used push pins to hold the duct tape on with the wall velcro on top - that got it to stay on the wall, so I left it like that.  I'm sure there's a better way to do this, but I'm not clever enough to figure it out.  Any suggestions???

Thanks for stopping by!  

***I fully recognize that any amount of intelligence or creativity I have is a gift from God.  What I have been freely given, I freely give.  But if you choose to use these tutorials to sell items from, I would ask that you consider joining the Let Justice Flow Initiative, where you commit to donating either 10% of the total purchase price of each item, or designate a specific item for sale where the entire purchase price is donated to an organization that helps fight injustices around the world.  There are specific groups listed to give you an idea on the LJF page.  And feel free to snag the LJF button and put it on your page or etsy site.  Thanks!!***

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