Easy message board for a dorm room

I love taking old things and giving them new life, so we are at Goodwill on the hunt for a frame. We’ll be using it to make a message board. It is similar to a white board and is great for encouragement, grocery lists or general silliness between roommates.

The supplies needed for this project are fabric of any color, spray adhesive, spray paint of any color and your second hand frame. You will also need either the original picture from the frame or a mat board, found at Walmart. You can cut your mat to the right size or buy it in the correct size originally.

Step one is to remove the original photo and glass from the frame. Set both of these things aside, as you will need them later on. You need to sand down your frame to remove any nicks or scratches put there by the previous owner. Once you’ve sanded and removed all the dusty residue, it’s time to spray paint! You can chose any color you like to match your room, but I suggest avoiding high-gloss or matte finishes. I used high-gloss and it clung to every imperfection I missed while sanding. I would recommend a regular semi-gloss finish for better results.


While that is drying, you can begin working on the inside. Start by measuring the mat board piece that you have. Then, add two inches to each side (but not the top and bottom) and cut your fabric. You want the extra fabric on the sides so that have something to grab onto to pull it very taut. Keeping the top and bottom the same size will ensure that your corners don’t get crinkled. Following cutting your piece of fabric, I suggest ironing it. I skipped over this step, but I wish I hadn’t. My final product has unsightly wrinkles in it and I regret not taking the time to iron them out.

Once your  fabric piece is smoothed out, you are ready to attach it to your mat board. If you’re using your original photo, be sure and flip it over and glue to the back so that you can’t see anything through the fabric. Spray your adhesive onto the board and then carefully lay your fabric down on top of it, being sure to smooth any air bubbles. Use your extra fabric on the back to pull everything taut and to ensure that there are no wrinkles.

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Once that is completely dry, you can begin to put the final product together. Put the glass back into the frame and then the board, just like you would with a  regular picture. To secure everything into my frame, I used glazier points. These are small pieces used in the framing world to secure photos into their frames. To use them, simply hammer or push them into the back of your frame with the small points sticking up.

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Now you have made a completely unique message system for your dorm room! This project is completely customizable for your unique style, so be creative and have fun making this uniquely yours!


Inspired by: Craftaholics Anonymous and Drawings Under The Table

How will you customize this project for your room?


One thought on “Easy message board for a dorm room

  1. This is a craft I definitely want to try. My awesome roommate and I would love to have a cute message board to leave each other notes on. Your step-by-step instructions are extremely helpful and make the project sound fast and simple. I can’t wait to try it with my cool roommate because she’s the best ever!

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