Building a Custom Memo Board

March 12, 2010

I cannot keep track of all of the school calendars, memos, and tiny pieces of paper that bombard me on a daily basis.  I live for memo boards as a place to display all those reminders of things I need to do or people I need to call.  If it’s not staring me in the face, I’ll just forget about it.  Memo boards help to keep me sane organized.

Back in January, I mentioned the need for more organization in my mud room.  Actually it’s not really a mud room, just a wee hallway and closet back by the garage door.  I like to pretend it’s loftier space than it is and call it a ‘mud room’.

The easiest way to make a memo board is to find a bulletin board in the size you want and cover it with fabric.  Well I’m a troublesome creature and after a search, I couldn’t find a frame in the exact size I wanted, so I decided to just build a tall narrow memo board to fit the hall space.

custom memo board

 

 

nail heads in memo board

 

Supplies:

2’ x 4’ thin plywood from Lowes or home improvement store

Fabric and batting to size

Ribbon

Trim molding

Caulk or spackle

‘D’ Ring hooks

Nail heads

Finish nails

Tools:

SkilSaw

Mallet

Staple gun

Pliers

Hammer

Sawhorses (optional)

Building a Custom Size Memo Board:

Cut your thin plywood to your specification with a SkilSaw.

cut board

Cover your wood with batting and fabric, then staple all around.

staple fabric pair

Next, measure and align your ribbon on your board.  Once you have your diamond design, secure the ribbon to the back with staples.

making a memo board

Use pliers to hold your nail heads in place, and pound into board with a mallet.  Secure ‘D’ ring hooks to the back, then hang on the wall.

nailheads and d rings

Cut your molding to the size of your memo board and secure to wall with finish nails.  Fill any cracks or damage from nails with spackle or caulk.

fill with caulking

To the hallway, I added some color to plain wall hooks with some craft paint.

craft paint

hand painted detail hooks (2)

Voila ! A ton of organization on a narrow strip of wall !

custom memo board

Have a fabulous weekend everyone !

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62 Responses to “Building a Custom Memo Board”

  1. Julie in TX says:

    I love memo boards! In college I made one out of faux leopard print fur with hot pink cording! It was fantastic and totally fitting at the time!

  2. Nancy says:

    Kate, you are fabulous! Your blog is the first on my list and if I am short of time, your’s is the one I go to everyday. I envy your energy and creativity. These memo boards are gorgeous and your post from yesterday is now in my favorites. Keep up the good work.

  3. I haven’t made one (yet), but the thing I really like about yours is that they’re puffy looking (the boards with the ribbons). Not too much, but just enough to give some dimension. Good stuff!

  4. Love what you did. A great way to keep organized.

  5. ashlina says:

    sweetie. i have seen so many of these boards made DIY style and yours hands down is the best! my favorite. great job!!!! and thanks for sharing the lovliness…

    happy weekend!

  6. Jaime says:

    Ok first i love the memo boards, i am going to have to make one of those.
    Second i love that you put that Youtube video on your blog. I have been on a major Jason Mraz kick lately so i was abnormally excited when me and the boys saw him on Sesame Street, too cute!!

  7. Great project! I made something similar with a chalkboard that is made of sheetmetal so things can be put up with magnets. Love, love, love the bejeweled magnets. Definitely have to make some of those!

  8. that’s really fun! i was just thinking today that i needed to find a good tutorial on a message board- i want to make one in my daughters’ room to fill an old window space… thanks for the tips!

  9. Mari Larkin says:

    I love your boards…and oh would I ever love to have a few too. I especially love the magnetic ones. I’m drooling! Great job. Maybe, just maybe some day if I ever get inspired I will make one. Or maybe I just need to pray one of my uber talented friends would make one for me. With lots of pink and light green and blues. Just like my blog colors. Love, love, love! Thanks for sharing how.

  10. Heather says:

    They look great! I made a similar memo board for my home office but I haven’t hung it up yet. Where did you find those awesome brads? I’ve been looking for something similar for a different project!

    Thanks,
    Heather

  11. Tiffany says:

    Where do you find those gorgeous fabrics?!

  12. Kate says:

    Oops, sorry ladies –

    Heather – brads from Michaels.

    Tiffany – fabrics from Joanns.

  13. Juice says:

    I love love love these! Is it just me or do I smell a giveaway? I’m sure there are many of us who would love to have a little bit of CG at home… ;)

  14. Love these, especially the first one! Thanks for sharing. :)

  15. Sue says:

    This would have solved so many issues when my kids were still home. Now, I can keep things pretty organized with a simple desk calendar…but a few years ago, it was crazy at our house. We had post it notes everywhere!

  16. Karena says:

    Kate you are too much!! I would love to make one of these to put next to my desk!!
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  17. Kristin says:

    I love this, I made one but it didn’t turn out nearly as nice as yours, time for a redo. Have a great weekend
    Kristin

  18. Lacie says:

    I love both of these so so much I think I could use one downstairs and the other upstairs, it looks like its time to go to home depot lol

  19. Theresa says:

    LOVE THIS! I’ve been wanting to make one for my little sisters bedroom. Thanks for all the tips!

  20. Tausha says:

    I am almost positive that this is the most beautiful memo board I have ever seen.
    I love the little hooks below as well!
    You rock girl! (as always)

  21. Melanie says:

    I love to be organized and this is a great way! Love what you did.

  22. Love both of those projects! I think the magnetic board is particularly inspired – magnetic sheeting has GOT to be less expensive than that magnetic paint – great thinking! Hmm, I have a blank area in my laundry room that might need some attention…

  23. Meredith says:

    How the hey nonny do you have time to do all you do? I love this project.

    And I, too, like to rename things to make myself feel better. My back patio is always the “terrace”. My small home, a “cottage”. My husband? The Lover.

  24. Heather C. says:

    I’ve actually made a memo board for my daughter but honestly, nowhere near as fancy and awesome looking as yours!! I’ll have to try making one like you did. They are AMAZING!

    And that Sesame Street song… haha! I’ve been hearing it for weeks now as my little ones watch Sesame Street every day! I heard the geese last night! I do believe they are back!! Woo hoo for Spring!

  25. Raru says:

    Hmmm … that’s was really good :))) Love what you did, really!
    Wish you a lovely weekend.
    Thank you for the inspiration.
    xoxo,
    Raru

  26. Never made one but I do love them and now I think you may of just inspired me to give it a try!!
    Have a great weekend!

  27. Alison says:

    Your memo boards are perfect! I am going to have to try this. Thanks, you always have the best ideas!

  28. These are too cute! I have a few memo boards around the house, but I’ve never made any myself. Have a great weekend, Kate! :)

  29. Brittany says:

    I have not attempted the memo board yet, but I did make a pretty fabulous magnetic board for my daughters room, using your instruction. It’s HUGE, so that all of her creations can adorn her wall instead of my kitchen floor(which is what happens when she puts them on the fridge and baby brother pulls them all down).

  30. I just made two French memo boards last month – one I gave to to my mom. For hers, I sewed an antique mother of pearl button at the x’s. Since the basis for the board was a painter’s canvas, that was easy to do. I use regular old quilt batting and a nice piece of fabric I found in the remnants bin at JoAnn Fabrics. Both came out so cute!

  31. Nice! I like the simple, yet glam magnets. If I could guarantee that my 2 year would stay away from them, I’d make some too. As usual, your crafty skills have me impressed! :)

  32. alaurajane says:

    I have always wanted to make one, but just haven’t yet….. but reading your how too I just might give it a go…. yours are so pretty thank you for showing us all how….. have a great weekend.

    hugs;
    Alaura

  33. Traci says:

    Yes! I love magnet boards and have them for sale at my Etsy shop!
    You can see my tutorial at http://beneathmyheart.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-first-video-tutorial.html.
    Love your boards!!!

  34. Nick says:

    Wow! Impressive!! The memo board looks so elegant, yet functional. Great job. I blogged about my memo-board-making experience here: http://thecozychateau.blogspot.com/2010/01/custom-memo-board.html
    Cheers!

  35. Megan says:

    Loved this! I have a narrow hall as my “mudroom” but I still didn’t have the space for something like that. I just posted about my long cabinet in my kitchen that I painted with magnetic and chalkboard paint. Hope you can check it out!

  36. Swapna says:

    I love your ideas… each time I visit, I am inspired… Love all the memo boards..thanks..

  37. helen says:

    ialso made a memo board, but without batting – i just use pins to secure everything. Yours look great

  38. helen says:

    I didin’t mean without batting, I meant without ‘ribbon’ oops … i should not post before my morning tea

  39. Tracey says:

    I was looking for a hostess gift for family we are visiting this summer–the magnetic version is perfect. They have a stainless steel fridge, which is not magnetic and miss hanging things in the kitchen.

  40. Pam Fitz says:

    Hi Kate! Love your new “mudroom”! I made a bulletin board here:
    http://bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-my-last-post-i-showed-you-my-new.html

    Love the magnet board idea!

  41. Tiffany says:

    My very first decor project (at the age of 11) was a memo board. I used the circular saw to crockedly cut a piece of plywood, covered it with purple fabric and nailed it to my bedroom wall. It wasn’t the best looking memo board, but functional and I was so proud of myself. I tend to repurpose bullentin boards though.

    I love the glam magnets, I’m filing that away in my future project files.

  42. Girl – you are KILLING me! Amazing….love, love, love it. My memo boards are rather paltry compared to these – I’m working on it. haven’t gotten my House DIY groove back yet but Spring is here and I’ll be back in the game. :)

  43. I actually had a lot of fun making a fabric-covered and framed cork board for my old home office. I used old posters from work, in a way which might surprise some people. Now when I look at that old blog post, I’m shocked and horrified at how uncoordinated my office looked, but – live and learn, right? :) http://theborrowedabode.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/custom-corking/

  44. Rita Mira says:

    I do memo/photo boards using fabrics and felter fabrics.
    You can find them by looking http://www.fadasprincesassonhos.blogspot.com and search for Molduras.

  45. Diana says:

    I haven’t made one yet. YET! ;)

  46. I LOVE your memo board! I love how it’s big enough to hold lots and lots of items :) I honestly think my brain has just up and left me some days (babies do this to you, apparently), and I really need a big memo board like this. I just made a different style of memo board last week…blogged about it here:

    http://myhouseofgiggles.blogspot.com/2010/02/vintage-frame-memo-board.html

    And I love it….for pictures…but I really need something like the one you made for mail, etc.

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

    Tracey

  47. Brandi says:

    You make me wish I owned more power tools. And that’s just AWESOME.

  48. Mom2ian says:

    Oh dear. someone must have turned me in. I so need to organize the memo board in my kitchen. I’ve been batting the idea of making one for the past week. Hmm. Maybe I can get it done this week with ready cut plywood. Thanks for the tutorial.

  49. Lisa says:

    Hi, What a fantastic board! I too made one, well not actually “made” but re-purposed a G.W. find. I have the power tools and am too lazy to use them, I am that bad.

    http://www.popcornserveddaily.com/2010/01/my-kitchen-desk-area.html

    Love the board.
    Love the blog.

    Have a great day!

    Lisa

  50. Beautiful! You are so crafty!

    Here is a memo board I did for a client. http://simplifiedbee.blogspot.com/2009/08/custom-ribbon-message-board-for-tween.html

    I love the jewel magnets you made too!!!

    xo,
    cristin

  51. Love it! Especially the blingy magnets :) Girls gotta have some bling!

    I did a revamp of a boring standard 3 section memo board, as seen here:

    http://vintagedutchgirl.blogspot.com/2009/09/wall-organizer-with-pinch-of.html

  52. gayla says:

    ooh! i used that same fabric from your magnetic board (the brown kind of quatre foile one) to recover my piano bench (but mine is in avocado green)! i’m going to take this to mean i must have fabulous taste since i chose a fabric that you chose! hehe.

    i love the bling magnets, too–so cute!

  53. Marija says:

    I just really love that you hung it right above the hooks. Why haven’t I ever thought of that?! You can bet I’ll find a place to do that around my house! Thank you! Marija (fellow lawyer turned designer turned blogger :)

  54. Pam says:

    Very nicely done…

  55. Beckie says:

    Beautimous my friend!

  56. Gosia says:

    This is lovely! And, I’m very impressed with your chain production of memo boards. How do you find time, is beyond me.
    Hugs.
    Gosia

  57. Jamie says:

    OH I love these. I love your style by the way. I just found you. I think you need to adopt my poor house! LOL

  58. Trinity says:

    I also love making memo boards, but I do it a little differently. I like to use a painter’s canvas from the local craft store. They are great because they are all framed in! I lay batting, fabric & ribbon and staple it all on. I use decorative buttons to anchor the ribbons and hand sew them into place right through the canvas! I then hot glue a piece of thick interfacing on the back just to give it a finished look. Finally, I attach picture hanging hardware right into the wood frame and it’s done!

    The canvases come in all sizes and make the project quick. I love your magnetic board–great ideas!!

  59. […] boards are just one of life’s necessities, at least for me.  I have a giant custom memo board that I built earlier this year for the mud room, that one is for all the *stuff* I need to remind […]

  60. […] Skilsaw is fantastic for building stuff (like a custom memo board) around the house or cutting thick pieces of wood in a straight line.  The jigsaw is my new […]

  61. Michelle says:

    Did you use the liquid nails to attach the magnets to the gems?

  62. Kathleen says:

    You didn’t mention how you secured the frame to the actual board…or did I miss something? Thanks so much! I love your work!!

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