Friday, August 5, 2011

Homemade Linen Pinboard and Photo Display

Remember a while ago, I posted about a DIY Photo Display? Well, it's something that I've been wanting to do for a long time, but I wanted to cover an entire wall and couldn't find anyplace that sold bulletin boards in the large size that I needed. Pottery Barn sells big linen pinboards, but at $150 each, it would easily cost me over $1000 to cover my wall. Soooo...I made a wall-to-wall linen pinboard myself for about $100!

Darren and I are not handy people (we wish we were!). So, the fact that we were able to do this project speaks to how simple it really is. The only downside is that the boards are so huge and unwieldy that it's really a 2-person job. Other than that, it was a breeze! I'm thrilled with the results and am excited to share my tutorial with you:

Before: my little photo ledge looked a bit pathetic against that big blank wall.

1. Start off with a big sheet of Homasote.  This is compressed recycled paper that is commonly used for soundproofing.  It's the same size as a sheet of drywall (4 feet by 8 feet) and can be found at Home Depot or lumberyards for about $25 per sheet.  It's not heavy, but it is very big.  Because my wall was so large, I used two entire sheets.

2. Drape your homasote with the fabric of your choice.  You will need 3 yards of fabric to cover an entire sheet of homasote.  I chose white linen and this was the most expensive part of this whole project. It cost me about $65 for all of my fabric.  I've seen people do this with patterned fabric too and that can be very pretty, but it's hard to line up the pattern with the edge of the board.

3. Using a staple gun, staple the fabric to the board.  I used binder clips to hold my fabric up as I stapled.  When I got close to the binder clip, I would remove it and stretch the fabric with my free hand while stapling with my other hand.  Make sure you are pulling the fabric as you go, to ensure a smooth surface.

4. Once the fabric is all stapled, trim off the excess fabric so that you don't have a bunch of loose fabric in the back.  Then, flip the homasote board over and pre-drill holes where you want the screws to be.  I made three holes along the top and three on the bottom.

5. Line up the board against the wall exactly where you want it to go.  This can be very hard if you are using a huge board, like I am.  To manage this, I decided to use my dining table to hold up my board and pushed the board flush up against the wall.  Using the drill again, drill through the holes on the homasote right into the wall.  You are marking the wall where the drywall anchors will go (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this).  Put the homasote board back down and install drywall anchors.

6. Put the homasote board back up, right back in the exact spot where you had it last against the wall.  All the holes should now line up with the drywall anchors.  Screw the board in using drywall anchors and finishing washers (optional).  Once you line up one hole, all the other ones should be a breeze.

Drywall anchor and finishing washer.  I intend to cover these up with photos.

Voila!  Here's the finished project!  I love how it easy it will be to add and change pictures.  Plus, I won't need to spend money on frames every time I want to print out new pictures.  We often have guests over and I think it will be fun for people to look through our family photos and see how we've changed over the years.  I'm looking forward to making new memories to add to our new photo wall!


  1. LOVE it! What do you use to pin the pictures on the board?

  2. Wow, I love this! Can I hire u to do this for us?

  3. Kannitha - I used standard black pushpins from Amazon. They were dirt cheap. I print out most of my pictures at Costco, where you can get them made with a black or white border. The pushpins blend in with the black border.

    Helen - If I had the time, I would totally take you up on that. We did a lot of this when the kids were sleeping at night.

  4. Wow! Looks like an image from a magazine! Mily, you are my inspiration. I can see your blog much to catch up on.


  5. awesome! that's amazing... you are so creative! I can't wait to see it.