How to Make a Fabric Message Board

Magnetic pin board
Anke Schuetz / Getty Images

You can make a bulletin board for your wall or locker that will hold special messages, notes, and even photographs. You can choose the size, shape, and colors. Make it as elegant or playful as you like.

The best thing about this message board is that it acts like a regular bulletin/tack board, but you don't have to use pushpins of any sort. This message board is decorated with strips of ribbon. You can tuck your photos, letters, and other items behind the ribbon and it holds them snugly in place until you remove them.

You can customize the colors and the dimensions to create a useful project that fits wherever you want it. These also make great gifts! Start out by gathering the supplies you need and then read the assembly directions.

Here are the basic supplies you will need to make a message board, along with some extra items you might want to try.

  • Sheet of Styrofoam
    I used styrofoam that was 3/4 of an inch thick. Thin enough so it was easy to cut but thick enough to be sturdy.
  • Piece of Fabric
    The fabric should be approximately 3-inches larger, on all sides, than the desired finished size of your message board.
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun
    This is definitely the best choice for adhesives since it dries so fast; however, be very careful. It is easy to stick a finger in the hot glue while you are trying to pull the fabric tight. Regular craft glue can be used if desired.
  • Ribbon
    The amount needed will depend on the size of your message board.

    Of course, you will need a few tools: a sharp knife, scissors, and a ruler.

    With the above items, you can make a simple message board. The items below are optional.

    • Buttons, Ribbon Roses, etc.
      These can be glued onto intersecting pieces of ribbon just to add some decoration.
    • Tacks
      While you do not need to use tacks with these bulletin boards, you certainly can if you like. To dress them up a little bit, glue ribbon roses, buttons, or other small items onto the push part of the tack.
    • Magnet Sheet or Strips
      Magnets work great for smaller message boards that will be hung in lockers or on refrigerators.

    Now that you have all your supplies together, let's make a message board!

    Measure the spot where you want your message board to hang. The wall message board I made was 20" x 24" and the locker message board was 6" x 9". Use a sharp knife to cut your styrofoam to the desired size. Cut a piece of fabric so it is approximately 3-inches larger, on all sides, than your styrofoam piece.

    Lay your piece of fabric face down on a hard surface. Lay the styrofoam, centered, on top of the material. Glue the fabric onto one of the long edges of the styrofoam, let cool. Glue the material onto the opposite side, pulling the fabric tight so it is smooth on the front side.

    Fold up and glue the two shorter ends like you are wrapping a gift - fold down the top flap, fold in both sides, and then fold up the bottom. If you like, you can then cover the back with another piece of fabric or felt to cover the raw ends; however, this might make it harder to hang.

    Once the fabric is glued in place you can add the ribbon as you please! While the ribbon is not mandatory, it is functional! Messages and photos can simply be tucked between the message board and ribbon to hold them in place without leaving holes from tacks.

    The best technique for larger boards is to make a grid pattern, spacing the ribbon a few inches apart. Put a dab of glue on the ribbons where ever they intersect to hold them down. With smaller boards, you might just want to add the ribbon in the corners. Experiment to find the design right for you!

    You can also decorate your message board by gluing on buttons, ribbon rose, etc. To make these items useful you can glue them onto tacks!

    For my smaller, locker message board, I covered the entire back with a magnet sheet and it works perfectly. To hang your message boards on a wall, simply place a few nails or screws in place and gently push the board onto them so they poke through the styrofoam.