Dad’s DIY {Up-cycled Bulletin Boards}

My wife loves doing art projects with the kids, and even more displaying them. At our old house, we created a simple children’s art display using open frames with clothes pins and ribbon. It worked relatively well in the old space. When we moved to the new house, the art display came along. Because the kids started creating a lot more art, Amber added a few more frames to the art gallery wall. After a while, the frames became overly crowded and cluttered looking. Also, they were crooked on the wall most of the time. Of course eight little hands also rearranged the frames frequently.  It bothered me. I had an idea to streamline the gallery and give each child a designated place for their own work.

Here’s how the art gallery wall looked with open frames.

Children's Art Display using empty picture frames

To create our new display, I began with the following materials:

  • 4 x 8′ plywood sheet, cut into four equal size boards (the hardware store will cut the boards to size)
  • packet of wall hanging brackets
  • roll of batting
  • 3 yards of fabric
  • 2 packages of wood trim
  • painter’s caulk
  • liquid nails
  • 1 large foam floor puzzle (we up cycled a few that we used when the quads were crawling, they were well loved and gnawed so not good to pass down)
  • staple gun with staples and brads

This is the step by step process:

DIY Bulletin board

Lay out all boards on a flat surface

DIY Bulletin board

Draw a line 8″ down from the top on each board (This is the BACK).  You will use this line later to place hanging brackets.

DIY Bulletin board

Flip each board over and draw lines 2″ in from all sides so you have a rectangle drawn(This is the FRONT).  This will show you where to place foam and trim.

DIY Bulletin board

Lay interlocked puzzle pieces on each board. Then, use scissors to cut them to fit into the rectangle drawn on each board.  Finally, use liquid nails to adhere puzzle pieces to each board.  Allow to cure overnight.

DIY Bulletin board

Cut batting to fit over puzzle pieces and secure with a staple gun.  This step ensures that surface is smooth.

DIY Bulletin board

Cut fabric to fit over batting then secure with a staple gun.

DIY Bulletin board

Miter cut trim at 45 degree angles and secure to board with brad nails.

DIY Bulletin board

Once all trim pieces are attached, each board should look like this.

DIY Bulletin board

Using a nail set and hammer, push nail heads into the trim.

DIY Bulletin board

Flip each board over and attach hanging brackets to the backside. Use the previously drawn line as a guide for placement.

Use painter’s caulk on the front side to cover nail heads and fill gaps at the joints.  Finally, use one coat of paint to hide imperfections in the trim.  Enjoy displaying artwork!

It cost about $25 per board to make, and I’m really pleased with the result.

DIY bulletin board display using up-cycled foam puzzles

DIY bulletin board display using up-cycled foam puzzles


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9 thoughts on “Dad’s DIY {Up-cycled Bulletin Boards}

  1. Wow! Looks really good. I may just have to get my husband to snag this idea at some point! At first when I saw the uncovered foam blocks, I was like, “Yikes, where is this going?” But then he covered them with material and that was genius!

    Liked by 1 person

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