Friday, July 20, 2012

My Awesome Pottery Barn Knock-off Bulletin Board

My bulletin board looks so much better than Pottery Barn’s for a fraction of the cost.  I’ve wanted one forever on the wall behind my computers in the sunroom.  My friend, Veronica, and I have had many discussions this past few months about my bulletin board, looking at a ton of pictures, discarding ideas, including frames and collages, and I kept returning to a simple bulletin board, because if you know me at all, I tend to overdo everything, and I knew whatever I decided on would be stuffed full of treasures, so the more simple the bulletin board, the better.

On my blog entry of June 30th, I posted about what I was going to do, and it all came together really nicely.  John and Deanna were visiting over the 4th, so John picked up my “Document” fabric from The Fabric House in Nashville.  (Yes, they take phone orders if you are interested).  I had picked up my Designer Tack Bulletin Board at Menard’s, the size is just a bit smaller than the Pottery Barn Bulletin Board, theirs measures 48 x 36”, mine measures 48 x 32”.

It was stifling hot the morning that they put it together for me, but my guys are troopers, they sweated it out, with me sitting in a chair giving them specific instructions and taking pictures.  Here’s how it played out…

After a trip to the local Lowe’s, hubby purchased 1” x 3” strips to make a frame for the board. 


Then he reinforced it with additional strips in the center so that it would be stable, cut plywood to fit, here you can see how it’s looking so far.

Note:  When you mount the plywood to the inside of the 1x3” frame, you have to indent it from the top side so that when you place the Designer Tack Bulletin Board on top of the plywood, the mount is flush.


Next came the sanding to smooth out all the edges of the raw lumber.


Then they fit the bulletin board inside the frame, making sure that it fit correctly.


The next step was gluing the bulletin board to the plywood. This was accomplished with a glue gun and a tube of Liquid Nail. After John applied the adhesive, he took the smooth edge of a box to smear it evenly over the surface.


Then you put the bulletin board on top of the glue and at this point you drag out everything heavy that you own and put it on top of the board so that the glue adheres evenly.  Then you go away and leave it to dry.


And this is my granddog Izzie, she had nothing to do with this, but I thought you would all enjoy a picture of seeing her cuteness.


Next we had a bit of a hiccup.  It happens, there were no instructions, we just made this up as we went along.  I thought that we needed foam behind the fabric, why I don’t know, but after we put foam on the board, I could quickly see that it would have made it too cushy and that wasn’t the look I wanted, so we discarded the foam.  Bad picture, sorry Sad smile


At this point, yours truly actually got up out of her chair, put down the camera and pressed the fabric and the guys started stapling it to the board.  I’m getting excited now, because it’s all starting to gel!  Did I mention how great this fabric is?  It’s 54” wide, so no seams, it’s woven fabric, it has texture and body, and it only cost $16.49 a yard.  John bought a yard and a half, but I think a yard and a quarter would have been plenty.  The extra fabric did allow us to position the script exactly where we wanted it.


If you’ve never upholstered anything before, it’s not that hard.  You have to cut your fabric so that you don’t have a lot of overhang, and the edges are finished by folding the fabric envelope style, it’s something like wrapping a present, and the whole thing is accomplished by using a staple gun.


First you staple the middle of the top, then you staple the middle of the bottom, then you continue to stretch and staple the entire top and bottom of the board.  Then you turn it sideways and do the same thing – staple the middle of top and bottom, stretch the fabric so it’s taut and staple the entire sides.  Then you fold the ends envelope style, hiding all the raw edges, and fold it and staple it so that when it’s hung, the folds are on the top and bottom so that they aren’t visible from the side.

This sounds difficult, it isn’t, once you start doing it, you will get the hang of it quickly.  And of course when we finished it, we had to date it, because that’s what you do when you create your personal masterpieces.


And now it’s time to put it on the wall, and I know, you’re all thinking, oh it looks okay I guess, what’s the big deal…


Well, dear hearts, it’s not the bulletin board, it’s what you put on it.  And here it is, the finished product, well not exactly finished, as bulletin boards are always a work in progress, arranging and rearranging as the seasons change and your family grows.

Without further ado, drum roll, please for Jan’s better than Pottery Barn’s bulletin board.   TADA….  (click pictures to enlarge)




You be the judge, which would you rather have?  The one above from Pottery Barn for $170 after shipping, or Jan’s for $60.  I know, I know, I’m highly prejudiced, but I just love it!!!!  Even though I have stuff plastered all over the script, I think that the lettering just gives it another dimension. 
If you’re wondering what the ruler thingie is at the top, hubby got it at a tag sale, it’s an old  lumber grading stick.  I was selling it on eBay, decided it was just perfect for my board, so I stopped the listing and confiscated it to anchor my snapshots.  I have a ton of picture frames, so I used some of them, too.  I found all kinds of things around the house to use, it’s fun to see what you can come up with.

This was such a fun project, it was just like the old days, Larry and John working together.  Next we’re going to be heading to Nashville, as Deanna wants a crown built for above her bed, they’re going to drape gauzy fabric around the bed and anchor it with the crown.
So that’s my bulletin board, if anyone is interested in making it and has questions, just send me an email.

Happy Crafting…

~ Jan

Savvy Southern Style


  1. LOVE IT! I've been looking for an idea for above my desk, and this is SO it! Thanks for sharing, yours is way better than Pottery Barn's, by the way. :^) Better than any I've seen, hope to get time to give it a try before long. Maybe a different version for the wall of my sewing room,, what ideas you've started!

  2. i'm so glad you like it, i think it's really special, too. please pin it on pinterest if you don't mind, i could use the traffic. i want others to enjoy this, too. it's really a super bulletin board!

  3. I pinned it because I love it! Way better than pottery barn!! I want that material :)

  4. Very nice! Pinned too ;)

  5. I am really impressed and glad to see how easy it will be. I am going to pick up the supplies tomorrow. Am pinning now.

  6. Your is by far the cutest! I just love it!

  7. Yours is way better than PB....I love it! Going to pin as well!


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