Sewing for the Home ~ Fabric Bulletin Board

on September 24 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 60 Comments

Enjoy Amy’s Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial, her intro and her blogging space: Butter and Sugar.


  • 1 stretched artist’s canvas, any size (available at craft stores or online)
  • 1 piece of background fabric, cut to 2-3” wider than canvas on every side
  • 1 piece of lightweight batting, cut to same size as background fabric
  • Ribbon, ¼” to ½” wide (length depends on selected canvas size and preferred number of “trellis” strips
  • Staple gun

Fabric bulletin boards are an opportunity to showcase not only the mementos they display, but also favorite fabric and ribbons. You could cover a board with novelty fabric, a piece of vintage embroidery (perhaps from a pillowcase or tablecloth), home-dec fabric that coordinates with other linens in the room, or even a pieced patchwork background. Also, linen or burlap would make a nice neutral base for novelty ribbons, printed linen tapes, or festive ric-rac.

So the first step is to select your background fabric and ribbon. For this tutorial, I’m using a tea towel I’ve been saving for a special project, and some gray grosgrain. I altered the tea towel slightly (removed a strip of cats and re-seamed) to make the size compatible with a 16” x 20” stretched canvas.

Next, iron the fabric to remove any creases. Place the batting on top of the canvas, and the fabric on top of the batting. Smooth the fabric/batting layer taut and position as desired. (In this case I want to make sure the towel’s cats and text are centered vertically and horizontally.) Holding the fabric and batting around the edges, turn the project over.

Staple each fabric/batting edge in the center, then turn the board over and make sure you’re happy with the position of the fabric. If not, remove stapes and redo.

Staple gun in action.

First staples.

Then staple the rest of the edges and the corners…

…Tucking corners in as neatly as possible.

Turn the board over. Determine whether you prefer to place the ribbon diagonally or horizontally, and cut strips to fit (plus 2”-3” extra at each end). I like to “weave” mine as I would with a pie crust lattice. Once you’re pleased with their positions, use bits of masking or painter’s tape to hold them in place.

Carefully turn the board over. Following the angles of the ribbon pieces, wrap them around the edges, pulling taut, and staple into place.

Trim any long ends.

Turn the board back over, remove the tape, and hang or display the finished bulletin board as desired.

Other Fabric Bulletin Board Ideas
You can also use fabric to cover cork or foam-core boards. No ribbon is needed for these; you can use regular push pins to display mementos (or make your own push pins with vintage buttons, tacks, and a glue gun). A huge fabric yo-yo would be a charming cover for a circular cork board (you’d simply insert the cork inside the yo-yo before gathering the fabric).

If you prefer magnets, paint a piece of plywood with magnetic paint (at least three coats are recommended), then cover the board with a piece of lightweight fabric, using the stapling method described above. Rare-earth or sheet magnets are said to work best with magnetic paint. Google “magnetic paint” or visit your local home-improvement store to find these supplies.

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60 Responses to Sewing for the Home ~ Fabric Bulletin Board

  1. Kathy A says:

    Great tutorial Amy!! I made mine and now I can help my granddaughter make hers hopefully this coming weekend. I’ll post them on my blog when they are done. Thank You so much for great directions and pictures.

  2. Abintymib says:

    wow, i’m here finally. I’m from Monrovia, Liberia. Nice to meet u all here. I’m interested in jewelry trade , fashion, and different culture. Looking forward to share ideas…

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  8. playwoday says:

    Very nice collection of information on that question. Thanks to the author. I have been looking for such an article since January! Thank you again!

  9. eileensideways says:

    u can cover a piece of sheet metal with fabric; make sort of a pillowcase for it, enclosing ribbons in it before you sew it together. turn it inside out, slipstitch the opening closed. the ribbons can be used for hanging. surround heavy duty round magnets in yo yo’s with a contrasting fabric.

  10. Jan says:

    I made some!
    They are on Craftster, posted 20-Oct-2008, in the Home section. They came out great! Thanks for the Tute!

  11. Judy says:

    Love this tutorial! Judy

  12. Jodie Hickman says:

    Thanks so much for these directions. I am making baby bedding for Stepdaughters baby room and will make one of these out of left over fabric to match the room. It will be a surprise!

  13. Barb says:

    What a fun project. Perfect for a little girl’s room! 🙂 Thanks.

  14. Larissa says:

    Thats really cool. I saw some canvas blocks at the quilt shop I visited on saturday that were covered in kiwiana (nz) gumboot fabric, this would be so much more useful. thanks for the instructions.

  15. Jennifer says:

    So cute! Love it, thanks for the inspiration!

  16. bu&bau says:

    This looks soooo easy!
    and it’s beautiful

  17. Becky says:

    I keep seeing these and I have GOT to make one. I especially love this one with the cats. Thanks for the great tute!

  18. Anna Luna says:

    I made something similar to this using picture frames (without the glass) and foam core. Just cover the foam core, slip it into the frame and staple. Then I used a kit to make fabric covered buttons and made coordinating pushpins. Just cut off the shank and glue on thumb tacks. Sew easy and sew pretty. I’ve made three already! Thanks for sharing the idea with the ribbons!


  19. Lisa says:

    I am so making one of these.

  20. Tonya S. says:

    Can’t wait to get started!

  21. Erin says:

    This looks so fun and easy to make! 🙂

  22. Libby says:

    This gives me so many ideas to build on. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. Amy says:

    My husband has been wanting us to have some sort of decorative board to put photos and such on, instead of having them plastered all over the fridge. This may be just the ticket!

  24. Jessica says:

    I have been wanting to make one of these for awhile now … thanks for the tutorial!

  25. Becky says:

    I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a year! Now I just need to get the supplies and do it!

  26. Megan says:

    This actually looks like the kind of project I could handle, and it may even make some nice Christmas gifts this year!

  27. Jenny says:

    I made one of these from foam board and some left-over material from another project. It only cost me $1 to make it and it is so cute in my office!

  28. Jackie says:

    Great tutorial!

  29. Jill Tanner says:

    What a great project. THanks for the ideas!

  30. Crisanne says:

    I made my daughter one using this same method several years ago. I used her special pins from Disney World at each of the ribbon intersections to help hold them in place.

  31. Linda Gilbraith says:

    That method is so much simpler than mine of covering a cork bulletin board. The artist canvas would be so much easier to put thumbtacks into.

  32. Jenna says:

    SO Cute! i have tried this before, but never on a canvas… makes sense, i have used a wood board, but that is HEAVY… this would be much easier to hang! Thanks!

  33. Stefanie says:

    Oh these will make great gifts this holiday!

  34. jill says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I am for sure making one of these for my kitchen once its painted.

  35. Natalie says:

    I so want to make one of these for my daugthers room. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  36. Oh, thank you for this tutorial! I was always wondering how to effectively do this 🙂 SO cute!

  37. mj says:

    Would it be too matchy if I made one of these coordinating with every room in my house?

  38. Esther says:

    What a cute idea!

  39. Julia says:

    Hi There,
    oh, I just wanted to post MY OWN bulletin board tutorial {it’s slightly different, but the overall idea just the same}. I made my first b.b. some years ago and never took pictures…well,perhaps I should have done to tell ‘I was first’ ;o)
    It’s a great Idea to transiently fix the ribbon with masking tape…sometimes a simple idea is just the best…!
    Greetings from over the pond,

  40. Liz says:

    Thanks for the directions! I want to make one of these for my daughter’s bedroom. 🙂

  41. Lauren says:

    OOOps, erase that last comment (it was meant for another blog)!

  42. Lauren says:

    I like the Green Rectangle Slippers at Kaya’s Closet. Perfect for a girl or a boy!!!

  43. Alissa says:

    Love this idea! Such a quick and easy way to use and display some of your fav. fabric… Cute!

  44. Lauren says:

    I have a cork board that is just begging to be re-done to go in my baby’s room. Thank you for the tutorial : )

  45. Michele Q. says:

    This is lovely and it inspired me to finally cover my board and make it pretty!

  46. Autumn says:

    I need to make one of these for an inspiration board in my craft room. Thanks for the tutorial!

  47. Jan says:

    That is awesome!
    I need one in every room and will just have to make 5 or 6!!
    Thanks for the great tutorial too!

  48. Jenny H says:

    Hey, some nice Christmas fabric with red and green ribbons would make a nice Christmas card holder!

  49. MelissaB says:

    Cute! I made a ribbon board for myself about a year ago and love it – so useful for keeping all the cute pics I get in the mail.

  50. Amy says:

    Thanks for the kind and enthusiastic feedback! In response to Erica’s question, ribbon tends to work best because it has a bit of width to hold the posted items in place. But I think you could substitute twine if you add an extra layer of batting and pull the twine pieces very tightly before stapling.

  51. tanja says:

    I’m just thinking about using an old magnetic board. If the fabric isn’t too heavy, the magnets may work, but the board will look much nicer! Thanks for bringing me to ideas!

  52. shooky says:

    Nice and easy tutorial. I made one a few years ago as a gift and it turned out nice but your tutorial is far better. Thanks!

  53. carmell says:

    Rustoleum has a magnetic paint.

    great ideas!

  54. Christine Bolin says:

    Great instructions. And, I love the kittie towe.

  55. BethieB says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned using the foam core! I just made three of these boards for my house, but instead of using the ribbon, I just glued fabric on foam core and used push pins to keep things on. I love how easy it was to make and use, and now I feel like it’s a “real” project, not some junky thing I just threw up on the wall, lol.

  56. margaret m. says:

    very cool…love the fabric

  57. Victoria says:

    I love the idea of using a canvas as a backing for this project, and especially as I have an old painted canvas that I was about to throw away – but NOW I can reuse it! I am already thinking about the material I will use and hanging it in my office…. Thank you Amy!

  58. karin says:

    Love it! I have just the place in my kitchen for this. Thanks for the clear directions and pictures.

  59. erica says:

    Awesome! Do you think twine or something more string-like would work instead of the ribbon?

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