How To Make A Fabric Covered Memo Board

Step-by-step instructions for how to make fabric covered memo and display boards just like the expensive ones you see in home decorating catalogs and boutiques.

Most of us spend more time than we'd like shuffling, sorting and managing PAPER. Bills, receipts, reminders, invitations, momentos and photos clutter our lives. A fun and colorful way to bring order to all this paper chaos is with fabric covered memo boards. These boards are especially good for families with small children because they don't need pushpins, which can fall off of traditional corkboards and pose a danger to little ones.

For each fabric covered memo board that you wish to make you will need:

a wood-framed corkboard from a discount or office supply store (any size you like), OR a retangular piece of 1/4-inch plywood (cut to the size you like);

polyester baby quilt batting (approximately one inch thick) cut to the same size as your board;

fabric cut to 4 inches wider and 4 inches longer than your board. Knits and fine fabrics - like jersey, satin or gauze - aren't appropriate for this project. Any relatively sturdy woven fabric will work, so choose what you like - gingham, calico, chambrey, denim, twill, shirting, upholstry fabric, burlap or even velvet;

Spool or two of ribbon - satin, grossgrain or fabric - coordinated with your fabric (use wider ribbon for larger boards, thinner ribbon for smaller ones).

Buttons to hold strips of ribbon in place on the front of the board;

Craft glue, empty margarine tub and large disposible sponge craft brush;

Straight pins, needle and thead to match your fabric and ribbon;

Staple gun;

Picture hanging hardware.

Place the board frontside up on your work surface. Put about 1/4 cup of craft glue into the empty margarine tub. Brush a generous coat of glue onto the front of the board using the sponge craft brush. Center the precut batting onto the glue-covered surface and firmly press it down to ensure that the entire batting is glued to the board. Set aside the board and batting to dry.



Place the fabric rightside up and lengthwise on your work surface. You will be making a diamond pattern across the fabric using strips of the ribbon. The number of ribbon strips you'll need depends on the size of your board. Unless you're making a very large or very tiny board, you'll probably need eight or ten strips of ribbon. Cut the ribbon strips the same length as the longest side of the piece of fabric.

Position four to five ribbon strips diagonally across the surface of the fabric from the left side to the right side. The ribbon strips should be at about a 45-degree angle and about four to five inches apart. Position the remaining ribbon strips diagonally from the right side of the fabric to the left side across and on top of the first set of ribbon strips. Again, the ribbon strips should be at about a 45-degree angle and about four or five inches apart. The ribbon strips will form a diamond patern.

If necessary, carefully adjust the ribbon strips to make the diamonds straight and even. When you're satisfied with the placement of the ribbon strips, pin them to the fabric with the straight pins. Pin each ribbon strip in at least three places to keep it in place, keeping the fabric and ribbons as smooth and flat as possible.

Keeping the fabric and ribbon strips as smooth and flat as possible, use the needle and thread to hand-stitch a few stitches at each point where the ribbon strips cross in the diamond pattern, stitching both ribbon strips down to the fabric. This will help keep everything in place while you attach the buttons. Next, clip the ends of the ribbon strips even with the edge of the fabric, then stitch the ends of the ribbon strips to the fabric about 1/4-inch in from the edge.

Sew one of the buttons at each point where the ribbon strips cross in the diamond pattern. Be careful to keep the fabric and ribbon strips as smooth and flat as possible to avoid bunching and puckering the fabric as you stitch. When all of the buttons are sewn on, remove the straight pins.

Turn the fabric over, with the buttons and ribbons down and the wrongside of the fabric up. Take the board and turn it over, batting-side down, and place it on top of the fabric. Center the board on the fabric, making sure that there is the same amount of fabric around all sides of the board. Fold the top edge of the fabric over the top edge of the board and staple it to the board using the staple gun. Place staples one inch from the edge of the board and one inch apart. Next, fold the bottom edge of the fabric over the bottom edge of the board, pull taut and staple as above. Continue with the left and right sides, attaching the fabic to the board as above. Fold down and flatten each of the fabric's corners and staple to the board. Next, center and attach the picture-hanging hardware to the back of the board.

You can use these memo boards anywhere in your home or office. The ribbons hold the items on the board, so you don't need pushpins. Just slip an item beneath a ribbon and that's it. Make boards using fabrics that match the decor of your child's room, your office or your kitchen. Make one for a friend's new baby, matching her nursery colors and using teddy bear or bunny buttons. Tap into your creativity and have fun!

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