Photos courtesy Stephanie Staton
This burlap bulletin board can be a rustic addition to your farmhouse kitchen, office or living room and can be customized to suit your room’s color scheme and your personal taste. For this craft, we offer three ways to get the look you desire, but don’t be afraid to take these basic instructions and add your own creative touches.
- corkboard (any size)
- base fabric (4 to 6 inches longer and wider than board)
- burlap (4 to 6 inches longer than board; width can be altered to your preference)
- staple gun
- fabric cutting board
- printer and paper
- thumbtacks (optional)
- felt and double-sided fusing(optional)
- acrylic, multi-surface or fabric-safe paint; paintbrush; and cardboard (optional)
Step 1: Cover board with base fabric.
Before you begin, iron all fabrics.
Lay base fabric facedown on flat surface and center cork facedown on top of it. Starting at one end, pull the fabric over the edge of the board and staple fabric in center, 1 inch from the edge. Move to opposite side, and pull fabric taut, stapling in center, 1 inch from edge. Work your way across each edge, pulling the fabric taut and stapling—stop about 2 to 3 inches from each corner. Repeat on remaining sides.
Once the fabric is secured, tuck and fold it in on itself for a clean edge at each corner and staple in place.
Step 2: Attach burlap runner.
(Tip: You can use burlap as your base fabric in step 1 and skip this step.)
Cut your burlap a little wider than you’d like the finished product to be for the runner that will span the length or width of your bulletin board. Pin the burlap along the back of one side of the board and pull taut. Pin the other end of the fabric to the back of the board’s opposite side.
Place a fabric cutting board between the burlap and base fabric, use a cutting guide or other straight surface to trim burlap for cleaner edge, if desired.
Staple the burlap in place along the edge of the board, or use multiple pins to secure in a place and allow you to adjust the fabric later, as needed.
Step 3: Select and prepare stencil.
Download one of the livestock stencils below, and scale it to fit your bulletin board. Page-scaling options will vary by printer, but you can often find them in the “Print” or “Print Properties” menu of your PDF reader. Select “Tile All Pages” if scaling beyond the size of one page, and print.
Carefully cut along the edges of the image on each page—depending on the project you select below, you will save either the inside portion of the image or the outside portion. Once all the pieces are cut, align them and tape together. (This step might be tricky if using the outer portion of the template. Consider numbering the pages or laying them out as you cut for reference.)
Step 4: Design your board.
Select thumbtacks in a color that coordinates with your base fabric or that stands out against the burlap background. Temporarily tack the inside portion of the stencil in place with a pin, and outline it with thumbtacks. Remove paper template and display your functional artwork.
Iron double-sided fusing to the back of the felt, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave paper on reverse side of fusing until you’re ready to iron it to the board.
Place the inside portion of your stencil on the paper backing—remember, the image will be the reverse of how it appears on your board—and trace with a pencil. Cut out the shape using sharp fabric scissors, remove the paper backing, and iron in place. Display your functional artwork.
Place a piece of cardboard or other heavy material behind your burlap to prevent paint from seeping through onto your base fabric. Position outside portion of trimmed stencil to your liking, and pin in place.
Use a stencil brush to stipple paint onto burlap—do not use brush strokes because they will cause the fabric to matte. Let paint dry completely before removing cardboard, and display your functional artwork.
Also check out these stencils that can be adapted for bulletin-board use: