The DIY Bulletin Board of all Bulletin Boards… for Less Than $13!

May 31, 2013 | DIY, Organization

A DIY bulletin board is the perfect way to organize your house! It's much cheaper than buying the pre-made ones, plus you can make them match your decor perfectly. Score!

DIY bulletin board on a wall, from Fun Cheap or Free

We have a big, no huge, no, REALLY-EXCITING-KNOCK-YOU-OFF-YOUR-SEAT announcement coming very soon!!(Just for the record, no, I'm not pregnant again…). I don't want to spoil it yet, but let's just say my house needs to be REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY clean. (Any guesses?)

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Thus, the Page Household has been getting a complete overhaul lately. We have to do it fast, have to do it well, and of course, have to do it on a budget. One of my first projects? Tackling THIS nasty little thing…

Wall with kids' artwork hanging, from Fun Cheap or Free

My really big, empty, random wall of clutter.

The wall has been completely empty the entire 1.5 years we've lived here because it's SO HUGE, I simply don't know what to do with it! It's smack-dab in the middle of my kitchen so I didn't want to start tossing random things up there, I wanted to make sure it was:

  • Practical,
  • Looked good, and
  • We could leave it up forever. (I hate having to do, re-do, then re-do-do projects again.)

Thus, no commitment for the wall-of-vast-blankness.


One day I stuck Hutch's amazing behavior chart up there. A few days later I pinned a preschool art project next to it. Then another.

Next thing you know, it looked like construction paper and glue sticks barfed up a baby on my wall.

Cluttered wall with kids' artwork, from Fun Cheap or Free

Very feng shui, eh? Not.

It was time to do something about it. I went to the web looking for a cute, yet practical (and HUGE because my wall is ridiculously large) cork board. The result?

Webpage showing various cork board prices, from Fun Cheap or Free

I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw the prices. Seriously? $332 for 4×8 board? I'll give that a big heck no.


I decided to get crafty (there's that “C” word again!!) and figure one out myself. This little beauty was my inspiration:

Heavy duty wrapping paper roll, from Fun Cheap or Free

Adorable, heavy-duty wrapping paper that I planned to do something with someday. (Yeah, one of those purchases. Naughty Jordan!)

I headed to Home Depot in search of a large huge sheet of cork board. They didn't have any, so I walked around poking boards with my fingernail trying to find the right…consistency, if you will.

I found this sound-deadening board and figured it would work like a champ:

Webpage showing sound deadening board, from Fun Cheap or Free

It's a composite-type board so it was soft, yet sturdy, didn't easily crumble like styrofoam boards do, it was HUGE (4×8), and best of all? Was one of the cheapest boards out there at less than $11 for the entire board.

boards at the store, from Fun Cheap or Free
(It's the bottom, brown one.)

I found a manly friend to help me cut it into equal thirds…mainly because there was know way in heck-ola I was ever going to fit an 8ft board into my minivan with 3 carseats (as awesome as my swagger wagon is…).

Employee cutting wood for DIY bulletin board, from Fun Cheap or Free

The 3 pieces easily fit with the seat in the back down, just FYI.

DIY bulletin board pieces in back of van, from Fun Cheap or Free

But warning! The board sheds saw dust-looking stuff so make sure to have a rubber mat down if you don't want to vacuum your car.

I brought it home, put the kids to bed, and got to work. I placed it against the wall to try to “place” visually where I wanted them. (Measuring is the worst, it's a huge downfall of mine.)

DIY bulletin board pieces standing up next to wall, from Fun Cheap or Free

I laid out the wrapping paper and lined up the stripes with the edge of the board to make sure it was straight. (Turns out the stripes were REEEALLY easy to work with, so I recommend it for sure!)

Wrapping paper on board, from Fun Cheap or Free

Once lined up, I pulled it tight, and tacked it down all along the edges with good old fashioned staples.

Wrapping paper around the board, from Fun Cheap or Free

This is what the back of the board looks like:

Back of DIY bulletin board, from Fun Cheap or Free

…and the front.

Front of DIY bulletin board, from Fun Cheap or Free

I did that for all 3 boards, then lined them up and secured them on my wall using #10 screws and matching washers.

bag of screws, from Fun Cheap or Free

The manly friend at Home Depot said to use washers so the screw wouldn't go too far into the soft board.

Whatever you say, manly friend!

screws in bulletin board, from Fun Cheap or Free

Turns out we had these screws lying around but I bought some at the time anyway because I didn't want to have to run back to the store. Time is precious with 3 little kids. Anyway, I'm sure any sturdy, long-ish screw would work, so just use what you have lying around.

Moving on… I placed the boards where I wanted them, screwed them directly into the wall, and voila!

Complete awesomeness.

DIY bulletin boards hanging up on the wall, from Fun Cheap or Free


There are a few reasons I chose heavy duty wrapping paper:

  1. It's WAAAAAY cheaper than fabric, by like one million times
  2. The bulletin board is going to get HOLES in it. So why use anything nicer?
  3. That's how our bulletin boards were in school – covered in paper. That way you can change it out inexpensively and cheaply as often as you'd like.

So there you go! So easy!

Now I can pin all my kids' masterpieces up with style and panache.

Kids' artwork hanging on boards, from Fun Cheap or Free

Ahhh… Isn't that much better?

Once the materials were purchased, the entire project took me about 30 minutes start-to-finish. And everything except the paper and board I had on-hand! So not only was it fast, but this project all-in cost around $12…MUCH better than $332 if you ask me.

Definitely give it a try and let me know how YOURS turns out! Share it on Instagram by using the hashtag #funcheaporfree. I'd really really love to see it 🙂

Image with text that reads "easy diy bulletin board" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for even more great ideas?

Happy DIY-ing!


  1. Ali Sperka

    I LOVE this idea! I have 5 kids and 6 pets and my house is always so cluttered with “art”. I can’t wait to start on this project! I don’t think I’ve been this excited about getting more organized in a while. Thank you, Jordan!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      I’m so glad! And really, it’s nearly fool-proof. Post pics on social media and tag me, I want to see how yours turns out! XOXO

  2. Angela

    This has got to be one of the BEST crafty ideas i’ve seen. I’m very excited to try this. I love that I can put one of the boards in my sons room with basketball paper and another in my daughters room with girly paper. I LOVE that we can personalize, it and you’re so right about how detestably expensive the store ones are, this is really amazing, thank you so much for this idea. I love it.

  3. tami

    How have the boards held up? Do you still have them a year+ later? I am a teacher and would love these in my room but I am concerned as to how well they last.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      They are holding up just fine! I should’ve used drywall screws because mine are pulling away from the wall a bit, but the boards themselves seem to be doing great! Granted, mine don’t get used nearly as much as one in a classroom would. But the beauty is that they are easy to replace or re-cover if they started falling apart.

  4. Jason

    “Sheds saw-dust looking stuff” lol!
    This is so awesome nice work! I’m planning on making a large bulletin board and you inspired me with this project.

  5. Shealynn

    Great job! I wish I would have seen/read this before I spent 77$ at Hobby lobby to create4 bulletin boards. I AM so doing this next time!!!

  6. Donna

    Great idea! I’ve been trying to come up with something clever and inexpensive for my craft room. I have some beautiful wrapping paper that I can’t wait to use. Thx for posting!

  7. Catherine

    Hey!! I am definitely going to do this in my apartment. Do you use push pins to pin the papers up? Since it is a board I just wanted to check that I would be able to tack stuff up!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yup! Just good ol’ push pins! I used the cute colorful ones, of course 😉

      • Robin

        Does it hold staples or just push pins? I’m wanting to cover an old chalkboard to make a huge word wall in my bilingual classroom. I thought staples may be safer around small children, but I need to know if they will stay in place on this type of board.

        • Jamie

          Yes, these will hold staples just fine!
          I made a bunch of these into “bulletin boards” for my classroom several years ago.
          Funny, I had forgotten all about until I read this awesome blog post!

  8. Emily Lambert

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! Thank you!

    It looks fabulous!

  9. Sarah

    I love this! I would probably use fabric to cover them so you wouldn’t easily see the holes.

    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Andrea

    I love this idea, but had a couple of questions. 🙂 You mentioned saw dust like stuff. Do you know what it’s made of? Is the dust stuff safe to have around kiddos. Also, how heavy do you think it is? Would I have to mount it into studs? Thanks!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      I would definitely recommend mounting it to studs. Not sure how heavy it is, depends on how big you cut it! As for the dust, it only is an issue when you’re working with it. Once its on the wall I never saw it again. So just do it in your garage our outside and you’ll be fine. Thanks!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes, I would say they probably are. But the beauty (either way) is you can cut them down smaller! You could make it a 6-piece board if you had to, for example.

    • Tori

      I wanna make a “dream board” and I’m probably going to use this idea! Than you so much!! ?❤️

      • FunCheapOrFree

        This would be the perfect dream board! Awesome idea!

  11. Stacy

    Hi! This is so cool and I want to use it in my classroom this year! I have a huge blank wall in the back that needs some love and I am always looking for new spots to display things. Do you have any other ideas on how to secure the boards besides the screws? I am thinking that may not fly at school. Just wondering how heavy they are.


    • FunCheapOrFree

      There are heavy-duty command hooks that might work? You’d need a boatload of them but at least it would protect the wall! You could use the hooks to actually hold the board in place, or you could just use the stickies possibly. Good luck!

  12. Melissa

    Hello! I love this idea for a smallish bulletin board for my office. I’m not super crafty so this may be a dumb question: did you use a staple gun or just a good ol fashioned stapler to secure the paper on the board?

    • FunCheapOrFree

      A stapler OR staple gun should work just fine! I used a gun but I bet a stapler would work just fine. Heck, even got glue – ha! Give it a try and let me know how it goes! XO

  13. Andy

    These bulletin boards really made your wall look much neater and they weren’t too difficult to make. I should try that for my home. Thank you for sharing.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      So glad you like it!

  14. Jamika

    YAY!!! I am so glad I came across this! This is PERFECT for what I need. I am trying to figure out how to get a bulletin board in my schoolroom and this is exactly it! I love this.

  15. Naomi

    Composite board! That’s what I was looking for!
    I’m looking to make a huge wall (4X2 meters) to hang all my work on at the studio, and cork glued on plywood doesn’t seem to last well. Do the pushpins go in well, or do you find the composite board needs another cushion layer for the pins to sink into and hold?
    In the art academy where I studied they used composite boards and they had them padded with something (I think it was plaster), so I’m not sure if that layer was what made it work so well.
    Your reply would really help!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      The composite board isn’t as soft as cork board so you definitely have to muscle it a bit more. But it seemed to work fine for my needs!

  16. Shannon

    Brilliant! I am so excited to try this! I was just about to order 2 huge bulletin boards for my classroom with a big price tag…now I’m going to try this! Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!

  17. Vanessa

    I like this idea as well. Next time try fabric though so you can tape it use push pins without noticeable holes: )

  18. Kat

    Awesome post, awesome idea. Do you think this material, being thicker than corkboard, would take map pins easily? Or might they just bend since they’re thinner than push pins? Thanks!

  19. Wayne

    I like your idea for the bulletin board. The Home Depot & Lowes do not carry “Sound Choice” sound deadening board in North Carolina. Where can I buy it?


  20. Tina

    This is exactly what I have been researching, but the big question is would this be sturdy enough to mount 8×10 framed pictures? Would a small nail stay put?

    • FunCheapOrFree

      That’s a good question. I wouldn’t hold anything too heavy on it, but yes a tack or small nail would hold…but probably not if it had a heavy frame hanging from it. But I guess that depends on how sturdy it’s bolted to the wall!

    • Laura Paschall

      Did you try nails in this, and did it hold up? I am looking for a way to make a bulletin board that I can nail picture hangers to, to display art with wire on the back.

      • FunCheapOrFree

        No, I never tried any nails in it. Sorry that I can’t help you more!

  21. Ben

    May I know what is this board call? I can’t find any in my country (Malaysia). The cork board is too expensive for me as a student.

  22. skyval

    Just to answer some of your questions – this board she used is what all bulletin boards are made of – it’s just fluffy cellulose fiber from trees , like sawdust . When you buy a bulletin board readymade , it has this inside and then a thin layer of cork over it to look pretty .
    It will hold anything a bulletin board will hold .
    When they compress it even further , then it’s called particle board .
    Compress it even more and it’s called masonite .
    It’s all natural wood fibers .

  23. Heather Stone

    Wow, this post is like 3 years old but I’m so happy to find it!! Thank you so much for including the Home Depot link for the board, I hate wandering around big box hardware stores feeling incompetent ?. I’m going to make one for home and one for my room at school (work)!

  24. Ben

    I just went through a whole project to make large bulletin board for school, 10 ft long.

    they don’t carry that material in my area but home depot also has this from “Homasote, Sound Barrier Sheathing 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-1.2 Sound Board”

    30 bucks a pop, but still completely worth it, saving 300 bucks =:D

    i should’ve checked at lowes. hindsight being 20/20…

    i used 1/2″ galvanized J channel to cap the edges, a little PL 3X inside the channel, and i think i’m going to put an”Everbilt 2 in. Zinc-Plated Heavy Duty Corner Brace” over the corners as a protective trim where the j channel ends are a little sharp.

    i screwed through it with pan heads and blue plastic anchors, adding #10 washers to not tear through, but i think i’m going to replace them with tile backer screws, more flush and still a very wide head for tear through protection

    the people at the school decorate over them all the time with paper and mixed media, but honestly, this stuff doean’t look horrible anyways.

  25. JM

    How thick are the boards? Are they thicker than the push pin needles or do you pins penetrate the board completely? Could that be an issue?

  26. Kailee Gregory

    How did the wrapping paper hold
    Up after putting things up and moving them or taking some
    Down and putting up new ones?

  27. Michelle

    Why are you so awesome! Thaaaaannnk you!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Haha! Awww thank you!

  28. kurumsal dijital pazarlama

    Your blog is one of the best I have come across on the internet. The way you present information is so engaging and informative. Keep up the good work!



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