DIY: Recycled Cabinet Door Turned Memo Board

June 28, 2009

I have a dozen cabinet doors leftover from the old kitchen before our remodel, and I couldn’t bring myself to take them to the salvage yard just yet.  I’m glad I waited, because after I gave it some thought, I came up with a few ideas for repurposing them.  The first idea was to transform two of them into memo boards for my office.

Here’s the Before and After:

before and after

I think great fabric makes stylish wall art.  These two memo boards also add practicality, and a place for displaying inspirational images or mementos.  Here they are (unadorned) on my office wall. 

on wall in office

How to Make a Memo Board from a Recycled Cabinet Door:


      1. Cabinet door
      2. Fabric of choice
      3. Quilter’s batting
      4. Ribbon of choice
      5. Staple gun
      6. Nail head upholsterer tacks
      7. Rubber head mallet
      8. Pliers
      9. Picture hanging hardware

Step One:  Remove any hinges or remaining knobs.

remove hinges

Step Two:  Press your fabric to remove any creases.

press fabric

Step Three:  Align your cabinet door on top of your quilter’s batting and fabric.  I used two layers of batting to give it a hint more tufting. 

layer fabric and batting

Step Four:  Attach your fabric to your cabinet door with a staple gun.  Secure corners last. 

staple fabric   corners  

Step Five:  Lay out your ribbon on the top of your fabric covered door in a grid pattern.  Allow extra ribbon to overlap over the sides so you can later secure it to the back. 

lay out ribbon

Step Six:  Use pliers to stabilize your nail head, then pound into wood with a rubber head mallet. 

pliers and nailheads 

Step Seven:  Secure ribbon to back of board with a staple gun.

staple ribbon to back

Step Eight:  After securing all of the nail heads, lay your memo board face down on your work surface.  It’s best to use a towel or cloth between the nail heads and your table to avoid scratching the delicate nail head.   Secure picture hangers to memo board. 

attach hangers

And that’s how these:

pair of cabinet doors

Get turned into these:

on wall

Here’s a look at the tufting up close.

bit of tufting

I’ve just started adding some momentos: 


Oh, and ahem, yes, in the bottom left, that is the dream crooner himself Michael Bublé with yours truly.  It’s a long, funny, serendipitous story about how I ended up meeting Mr. Bublé.  Let’s just say it was one of my favorite life moments EVER !  I think I’m his biggest fan.  Like, bordering on obsession.  Love him.  LOVE.

Stay tuned for more projects recycling my old cabinet doors…

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63 Responses to “DIY: Recycled Cabinet Door Turned Memo Board”

  1. Anonymous says:

    These are beautiful! I wish I hadn't junked those doors from my previous house now….oh well, stalking your blog as I now am, I'm starting to look at things differently. You should have seen me at this new GW I found. I wanted to cry with happiness at all the stuff I found! Oh, and stopped by HD for spray paint, too! :o) Look what you've done.

  2. Amanda-TheEckLife says:

    ahhhh! I now wish I had some cabinet doors- I was just thinking the other day how I could make my own memo board for my daughters room. grat idea!! cant wait to see what else you thought up. I bed a chalk board is in there somewhere :-)

  3. Infarrantly Creative says:

    Great job Kate and the fabric is just scrumptious.

  4. mrosev14 says:

    Another fantastic project! I think I actually might be able to accomplish this one, I'm not so sure about the tufting, but we'll see. :)

  5. Annie says:

    LURVE the pic of you and Mr. Bublé!!! What a treat for you! Someday you'll need to share the story…

  6. Patricia says:

    You got talent gurl LOL!
    Too bad FOX did not have an award show for creative genius!

  7. Evy says:

    Love it! I've loved all your creations so far, and all I can say is that you're a genius!

  8. Kathi says:

    Beautiful! What a great idea too!

  9. Linda says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! And you are right, the fabric makes them! Linda

  10. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    I love the fabric you chose, Kate! :) I might be able to salvage a cabinet door from the trashy people next door (moved out and left the house in shambles). ;) And Michael Buble? What can I say to that??!

  11. Marci @OvercomingBusy says:

    Those turned out fabulous!! Love the fabric.

  12. Jennifer W says:

    They turned out great! You totally ROCK!!! I'm just a little jealous about Michael Buble….I thought I was his biggest fan but I haven't got to meet him yet. Love that pic!!!

  13. Robin Thomas: A Nest With a View says:

    Cleaver girl!

  14. A Touch of Country says:

    I have some old doors in my garage. Thanks for the idea!

    Happy Summer!

  15. tales from an oc cottage says:

    Those turned out just right!! But I am actually in love with your staple gun!!!

    m ^..^

  16. Kristin C says:

    Cute idea, love the fabric! I don't know if you also follow this blog, but here's another idea for salvaged cupboard doors:

  17. Re:Fresh Design Studio says:

    Love this idea! I just can't get over your creativity!

  18. Torey says:

    Will you please tell us the story of meeting Michael Buble? Pretty please? I totally *heart* him too.

  19. sarah m says:

    Beautiful, as always! I have a few old cabinet doors…might have to give it a try. Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  20. The Neppers says:

    Love this idea! I've just recently doscovered your blog, and I'M IN LOVE! Keep the amazing ideas coming.

  21. TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo says:

    Oh my gosh! I am squealing and doing a little happy dance right now! I have two square cabinet doors that we had to take off of the cupboard above the fridge when we got a new one. Now, my friend I know what I will do with them. Yay!
    Thanks for the inspiration {as always}

  22. The Little Jewelry Box says:

    I love this blog~ found you on made by girl:)! would LOVE to link exchange with you! too creative, Ah! Great job!

  23. Rachel says:

    Oh man, I love him too!! Lucky you. Also thanks for sharing your tutorial on the memory boards. I think I'll have to be on the lookout for an old door.

  24. Courtney says:

    Can't wait to see what other projects you have up your sleeve for those cabinet doors! Those memo boards are just too perfect!

  25. Jenny says:

    Those look great with your office walls. I love the fabrics you choose.

  26. Liz @ It's Great To Be Home says:

    Love that you recycled the doors, and the memo boards look fab!!

  27. Gwen says:

    Okay, now I am going to be on the lookout for discarded cabinet doors. The is a great project and your fabric is so purty!

  28. Gwen says:

    I forgot to add….I am so jealous of your photo with Michael Buble. His voice is so dreamy;)

  29. SoBella Creations says:

    What a fantastic idea! Love the fabric choices. Great colors.

  30. To The Moon and Back says:

    This is an absolutely amazing transformation! LOVE IT!

  31. Mrs. Limestone says:

    That looks fab. I love how you paired the fabrics together too.

  32. Marie says:

    Oh my – your cabinets turned into memo boards are absolutely fabulous! And thank you so much for the step-by-step tutorial. It looks like something I can follow and try myself! Thank you for sharing with us! You are so very creative. Glad I found you, as I receive such inspiration from the things you make.


  33. Jen says:

    Love that fabric!

  34. Nicole ~ says:

    I have just discovered your blog, and I LOVE it!! You have such wonderful ideas. I really like how you find inexpensive items & repurpose them, so, so creative. I am so excited to see more!! Have a fantastic week, Nicole

  35. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    What a great idea, those memo boards turned out fabulously! I love them.

  36. Mo..."Mo's Cottage" says:

    Great instructions…Love the board…

  37. Embellished Bayou says:

    What a perfect project! I can't wait to see what else you do with the other doors….what about a chalkboard for one?

  38. delightfuldwelling says:

    Love these! That fabric on both of them is just gorgeous!

  39. Struggler says:

    Kate pulls it off again! I wish I had known about this before buying 2 very boring bulletin boards for our home office…

  40. Melissa says:

    I love love love these! I actually went to Hobby Lobby and got the fabric and some tacks on my lunch hour! I can't wait to get started…will post pics when I am finished! You are so creative! You are also such an inspiration to me!

  41. Jesse Peak says:

    This is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Jennifer Ramos says:

    you are SERIOUSLY better than Martha Stewart….
    p.s. Will be posting your little girl's room soon – havent forgotten.

    Jen Ramos
    'Cards & Prints You'll Love…'

  43. birthday girl says:

    another unbelievable project! who makes these fabrics? it would work so well for throw pillows too!

  44. G+D says:

    Another gorgeous job! Love this idea!

  45. Nicole @ BugaBoos says:

    Love these and I love that fabric! I have been on the hunt for some old cabinet doors for a project and this is a great idea! Thanks for Sharing!

  46. Simply Susan says:

    Excellent job at repurposing those cabinet doors!

  47. Glenda says:

    Thanks to your easy-to-follow tutorial, I turned one of our old cabinet doors into a memo board yesterday!! Lookee:

    Next up is taking another discarded cabinet door and turning it into a chalkboard :).

  48. K. Carlos says:

    So awesome! Thank you! ♥

  49. CGARIG says:

    I understand your fascination with FABRIC and MICHAEL BUBLE’…as I have met him too..hahaha…love the memo boards…TO DEATH !!!

  50. Cathy says:

    Your picture tutorial is very inspiring! Just love how you used old cabinet doors, and love your choice of fabrics. Thanks for sharing!

  51. Sara says:

    LOVE the board and I noticed the tickets and squeeled a little myself—and then I noticed the photo. Michael Buble is not only dreamy to look at but his voice is just like smooth milk chocolate! HAHA

  52. […] on the wall are those memo boards I made from recycled cabinet […]

  53. noodle says:

    Love this! I need to get my DIY life organised…

  54. Chista says:

    seriously, this is just what i was looking for. I have some canvases (about the size of the cabinet doors) that i wanted to do this with for my office. Now i know to use two layers batting and to attach nail heads on ribbon before securing ribbon to back side. I would have probably stapled ribbon to back first! They look great I can’t wait to make these, Thanks!
    ps i am now a follower

  55. […] made other memo boards in the past, like the pair of memo boards I made last year out of recycled cabinet doors for my office, and this other fabric covered […]

  56. roz says:

    These are great! I’ll probably do something like that for my home! :)

  57. Maira says:

    I love Michael Buble and I get to see him this summer, and I am definitely going to make these memo boards. Soon after I finishing painting my dresser.

  58. Julia says:

    Love the idea, but I hate to be the bearer of sad news… Michael is my future second husband, and I am his biggest fan. Seen him 3 times in concert, he is so amazing! How in the world did you get a picture with him!!!

  59. Rose says:

    I just discovered your website today and love your ideas and work. The Buble love connection just made it better! We sat on the front row for his concert for my 10th wedding anniversary…I have a great hubby! Keep up the great work and inspirational ideas.

  60. Andrea says:

    I found your website last week and I love it! I took this idea and instead of using a cabinet door, I used a keyboard desk tray from my daughter’s old desk. I came out beautiful, and the only thing I had to buy were the nail tacks. Thanks for the ideas.

  61. Andrea says:

    ****Oooops meant to write IT came out beautiful! Funny!

  62. Herleen says:

    I love your website. I think I first saw you on Nate show and decided then that you were a genius! I cannot wait to make this, I have an old entertainment center with cabinets that’s sitting on my patio because I knew it would be of good use later on. Thanks for this!

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