Upcycling an Old Memo Board

We had a garage sale and it really motivated me to clear out some of the clutter that has accumulated in our house. In the corner of my garage I have a “To-Do” pile. The pile consists of a bunch of crap that I have found or kept just waiting for a makeover. Well my husband made me really reconsider what I wanted and what I really had time to work on. Most of the stuff ended up in the boxes of stuff to sell but there is still a few things that I kept to make pretty and give new life.

The first thing I decided to tackle is a memo board for Harper’s room. I bought it a while back when we first moved into the house. We used to have an office area set up in the living room and it hung over the desk to help me keep bills, business cards, etc. all organized and easy to access. A few years ago we moved the office area downstairs into our bedroom so it lived there for a bit. The style of my house has also evolved into a more grown-up, feminine meets masculine, funky look so lots of things that I once loved have ended up in the garage. Well I still adore zebra pattern stuff it just doesn’t work in my space so the memo board lived in the “to-do” pile for quite sometime.



I started by taking it completely apart. I contemplated just leaving the fabric on and just placing the new fabric over it (yes I am kind of lazy) but ultimately I decided to take it off. It took looks of cutting and tugging to get the fabric removed because it was both glued AND stapled.

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Next it was time to chose the fabric I wanted to use. We painted her walls a really dark grey so i wanted something light and girly. Luckily I had a bunch of fabric scraps left over from Harper’s birthday skirt (click HERE to read about it) to chose from. There is quite a bit of florals in the space so with the help of my sister-in-law and my TMD sisters I went with a strip pattern. That particular fabric is actually an Ikea curtain panel that I hacked. It is thick and durable.


The next step in to cover the board. This board has a thin later of padding. I kept in on there but if you are making your own from scrap wood I don’t think it is necessary  It does give it a softer look though. I have an electric stapler and I hate it. It is not as powerful as I would like but that could be because I probably bought the cheapest one. I had to hammer in each freaking staple which was a pain. I do have a manual staple gun but I was out of staples and too lazy to go to Home Depot. Anyhow… I stapled along the top first making sure to keep the fabric straight and taut. Then I moved to the bottom part of the board. This is you want to make sure to pull the fabric very tight. I started in the middle and one staple on each end then worked my way across. Keep pulling it tight and keeping it smooth. Next was the sides, using the same method. The corners are a little tricky. This board has a rounded corner so I have to fold the fabric over and bunch it a bet to get a good, clean corner.

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Harper helped me to pick out the ribbon… yikes! I We chose a raspberry pink ribbon and it worked perfectly.


To add the ribbon I started by just going straight across the board making an X. I made sure that the ribbon was not twisted and tight. I stapled the ribbon to the back.


With the next pieces I took smaller lengths of ribbon and started in the middle of the top of the board and attached it to the back. That piece then when across to the middle of the side. This continued all around the board until the middle point of each side had two pieces of ribbon stapled to the back.


The end result was a diamondy-type argyle pattern which ended up matching the accent wall on the other side of the room!

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I decided to just go ahead and refuse the orignal buttons but I thought about using some giant plastic sewing buttons or different brooches. Sine I do not know how to recover buttons (and I again I was being lazy) I just went ahead and painted the fabric. I just used a turquoise colored acrylic paint I had in my stash. I painted them before going to bed so that they could dry overnight. Once they were dry I just used hot glue to glue them on and VIOLA! Harper had a new-to-her, upcycled memo board.



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  1. Christina -  April 17, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    That is super cute! Good job.

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