Patchwork pin board - after

Salvaged bulletin board - before

Pottery Barn Style Tiles

Compare to Pottery Barn Teen's fabulous but expensive Style Tiles

Whenever I speak to my dad on the phone, he always asks, “Miss me?” This past month I’ve been getting concerned emails, so apparently some of you missed me—or at least my weekly blog posts. I’ve missed you too. I think I just needed a break. But I’m happy to say I’m back. I’ll be posting every week again. And sending long overdue responses to your emails and comments (my apologies!). This pin board project started with a friend’s broken, holey bulletin board and some free fabric samples. I just added copious amounts of hot glue and some white paint. It reminds me of Pottery Barn Teen’s Style Tiles—which are $340. Mine only cost me about $7.

How to make a patchwork bulletin board

Alternatively, of course, this look could also be achieved by sewing the fabric pieces together and wrapping the entirety of bulletin board. However, my sewing machine is on the fritz, and I like this method better anyway.


  • salvaged bulletin board
  • cardboard or illustration board
  • 6 fabric squares
  • hot glue sticks
  • finish nails
  • sand paper
  • wood putty
  • white paint (I used Benjamin Moore Aura Steam [AF-15])
  • primer (I used Kilz 2 latex primer)
  • drop cloth
  • thumb tacks


  • hot glue gun
  • hammer
  • nail set
  • paint brush
  • drill and small drill bit
  • utility knife
  • self-healing mat
  • long metal ruler or yardstick
  • pencil
  • iron & ironing board
  • scissors

1. Measure the bulletin board, divide it into six squares, and mark with a pencil. Number each square so you know where each piece goes when you assemble it later.

2. Protect your work surface with a self-healing mat. Using a utility knife, cut along the lines you drew. It will take several passes to cut all the way through.

3. Cut your fabric pieces 2-3 inches larger than the bulletin squares. Iron each piece flat, then determine your placement. (I know. This is not how mine ended up. What can I say? Oops.)

4. Cut out a notch at each corner, then fold over the top and bottom and hot glue them to the back of the square.

5. Then glue down the left and right sides. Repeat for all six squares. Set them aside.

6. Reassemble the frame. I found the best way to fix a broken frame like this is to pre-drill a small hole at each corner (to keep the wood from splitting), then drive in finish nails with a hammer. Use a nail set to drive them beneath the surface, fill with wood putty, then sand smooth when dry. Protect your work surface with a drop cloth, then paint two coats of primer and 1-2 coats of paint, letting dry between coats. I painted the front and back for a more professional look.

7. When the frame is completely dry, insert the four corner pieces first, then the two middle pieces.

8. Measure and cut an illustration board to cover the back of the bulletin board just inside the frame.

9. Moving from left to right, hot glue about nine inches of the illustration board at a time and press down until the entire back of the bulletin squares are covered.

10. Turn it over, trim any loose threads, hang the pin board on the wall, then tack up whatever ephemera you choose.