Bulletin board!

Filed under Decorating


A few years ago, I was flipping through what would soon be the last issue of House and Garden ever published when I came across an article on designer Thomas O’Brien’s Manhattan apartment. I was totally enamored with O’Brien’s ability to blend the upscale and the casual to make a space that was at once homey, luxurious, and beautiful. The thing that I found most incredible, though, was how he used mere magazine pages as artwork by simply tacking them in an artistic way to his walls.

Here are some of the images from the shoot (via Habitually Chic):

I had attempted something like this at my old apartment above the desk in my bedroom:

Daniel absolutely hates bulletin boards with a burning passion, so I knew that something similar was out of the question when I moved in with him. He won’t even allow us to put magnets on the refrigerator! Seriously— what kind of person doesn’t like magnets? After months of trying to convince him to at least allow a bulletin board, I finally was able to force persuade him. The deciding moment was when I presented him with the idea of not a tiny little bulletin board that hung on the wall, but an oversized one that leaned against it, almost like another wall itself. Why Daniel would be okay with this but not a smaller, less conspicuous board was beyond me (the boy’s brain works in mysterious ways), but I took what I could get.

For a material, I chose Homasote, an insulator of cork-like consistency that Martha Stewart Living often suggests for DIY bulletin boards. It can be picked up in very large quantities (you can only buy it in like 8×10 foot pieces) from the Home Depot for about $30. I ended up having the nice people at Home Depot cut mine down to about 2.5×6 feet.


Once you have your Homasote purchased, it’s a good idea to back it up with something as it will undoubtedly bend and bow if allowed to lean against the wall itself. To do this, I had Daniel fashion some scrap wood into a sort of frame for the back of it. So handy!


Once the board of Homasote is securely backed, it’s a good idea to cover it with something. Mostly because it’s not terribly attractive on its own, but also because it smells like a combination of feet and ass. For real, I don’t know how Martha Stewart can endorse a building material that will make your office smell like there are dead animals hiding in it. Covering it definitely helps. Also, spraying with ample amounts of Febreze. Because I am absolutely incapable when it comes to construction and power tools, I had Daniel staple a large piece of canvas (purchased in the painting section of a hardware store) around it.



Once that was completed, all that was left to do was tack some things up! In order to do this, I used some vintage upholstery tacks that I purchased with Daniel at a junk shop months ago.



And that’s it! All-in-all, if you have any skill whatsoever when it comes to ordering around employees at Home Depot and maneuvering a staple gun, you should have no problem assembling a lovely, oversized inspiration board like this one. It turned out pretty well! And the smell does go away!





  1. Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh, this is sweet. I was lucky enough to hear a lot of kvetching about that bulletin board, so I know that this end result is really the product of love.

    (And I love bulletin boards, personally…as long as they’re big.)

  2. Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    looks great! i have a big bulletin board too, and an inspiration wire, so i’m with you on this one.

  3. Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Love love love. Have to say – think I am totally going to steal this idea of making a big ass bulletin board instead of a small-ish one. Go big or go home!

  4. Kate
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    A silly (also: unrelated) question, but: any recommendations for simple, stylish, inexpensive curtain rods? IKEA and Target have both failed me.

  5. Kwon
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Were those the tacks from your first thrifting date? If so…. ADORBZ

  6. Posted December 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    This looks sick. Love it. The upholstery tacks really add that extra something too.

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