Fabric cork boards are a beautiful way to display family photos, quotes or keepsakes without resorting to your standard photo frames or magnets on the refrigerator. These easy to make boards are fantastic gifts for a loved one, especially if you can provide the pictures already attached, but they’re also a fantastic way to spice up your own living space as well.

Do you want to create a beautiful handmade gift for a loved one and you’re not sure what to do? Or maybe you are looking to create an easy fabric cork board bill holder for your office wall? Than let me show you just how easy, fun and inexpensive it is to complete this project in really no time at all.

My mother in law loves raising chickens and her house is decorated everywhere with cute roosters and hens. So when my mother came across some lovely chicken-themed upholstery fabric she knew I could make something perfect with it. 

After staring at the fabric and just willing inspiration to hit me, I started to think about what my mother in law found important in her life. Among her spiritual beliefs, her love of health and body and homesteading she also adores her family. It occurred to me then that a lovely fabric cork board picture frame would be perfect!

Always Shop Your Personal Stash First

With a basic idea in mind, I started to write a list of the supplies I needed to complete this project. I absolutely hate having to make double trips to a store so I do my best to get it all done in one shot.   After creating the list I took inventory of what I already had to see if I had what I needed. I’m glad I did as I didn’t have enough hot glue sticks! The horror! A trip to Michael’s was necessary for a few materials but thankfully I was able to use a coupon to keep the cost down. 

I like a neutral background that will compliment any decor

Since Christmas was coming up, I decided to also make my own mother a fabric cork board as thanks for awesome chicken fabric she provided. Upholstery fabric is really durable and while slightly more expensive than other fabrics it’s the best kind for this project.

Materials needed

  • Fabric
  • Corkboard
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Spray Glue
  • Fabric scissors 
  • Thumbtacks 
  • Ribbon 
  • Batting (optional)
  • Sewing pins (optional)
  • Chalk or fabric pen
  • Yardstick or Ruler
  • Pictures or Notes 
Cork board, fabric, hot glue gun, scissors, thumbtacks, spray glue, ribbon
Gather what you need to get the project done

Cut your fabric to size

Since my mother was kind enough to purchase the fabric ahead of time I knew exactly what size cork board I should purchase. If you don’t have the fabric at home, just make sure you get enough to cover a few inches past your board on all sides as you’re going to be gluing the fabric to the back and you need enough fabric to work with. 

Cork board sitting on top fabric and traced with chalk
Lay the board on the fabric and measure where you want to cut

Lay the fabric face down on a flat surface and measure around the cork board leaving several inches on each side to allow for gluing. Then, with a yardstick or a ruler carefully draw a straight line around the entire cork board with a piece of yellow chalk. Drawing around the cork board in this fashion leaves clear straight lines for you to cut across. Definitely follow the advice to measure twice cut once. You don’t want to waste any fabric. 

Fabric laid out face down with scissors and a yard stick on top
A yard Stick helps when measuring and cutting

Note: Pay attention to the pattern of your fabric. While making my mother in law’s I didn’t worry about position as much as I did with my mother’s fabric but I did want the chickens to be facing right side up. All fabric is different so be sure to place the cork board exactly where you want it prior to outlining. If you want your cork board to hang, be sure the fabric is facing the right side up! First, decide if you want it horizontal or vertical and find the holes in the back, this will let you know which way to play the fabric. 

Attach the Fabric

Alright, it’s time to get sticky. Grab your spray glue and find an open space to work because you do not want to breathe this in or accidentally get it everywhere. 

Flip your cork board right side up and situate your fabric. To help keep it taut I tucked one end under, sprayed the cork board surface, and then quickly and gently smoothed the fabric into place making sure there were no wrinkles. This glue dries really quickly so try to work efficiently. Once it’s dried you can flip it back over with the fabric now facing down.  

The back side of a cork board with the edges of the chicken fabric glued down
Leave enough room to glue the edges of the fabric to the back of the cork board.
The back of the corkboard with the French patterned fabric with the edges glued down.
Pull each corner tight and make sure to glue in-between each fold.

Fold the fabric carefully and run your glue along the cork board folding as you go because hot glue turns into cold glue really fast. Continue all around the board so the fabric is attached all around. Do one side at a time so you can tuck the corners in nice and neat. 

Add some flair

Time to add some embellishments so let’s flip the board over one more time and start working on decorating it. A ruler placed along the edge of the cork board acts as a perfect guide when placing thumbtacks. You can run them across without any breaks in space but I liked the look better spaced out slightly. Reserve some thumbtacks for later when pinning your ribbon to the board. 

A 12 inch ruler sits on top the cork board as a guide for placing the tumbstacks
Thumbtacks make a great accent for your board

Ribbons Ribbons Ribbons

You’ve got your fabric on, you’ve got your bedazzle going so now its time to place your ribbon.

The ribbon laid out in the desired pattern ready to be pinned

Play with the placement of the ribbon just make sure to lay it in way that will hold pictures, mail, jewelry or whatever it’s intended purpose is. It’s also important to leave several inches of extra ribbon when cutting so you can glue them to the back of the cork board.

Once you have your ribbons placed you can use thumbtacks or sewing pins to hold them in place while you carefully pick up and turn over the cork board to glue the extra ribbon into place. I made sure to leave a few inches of ribbon to glue so they wouldn’t come undone.

That’s it, you’re all done creating the board. Now just set it aside for a bit and let the glue set. 

Hot glue gun gluing ribbon into place
Pull the ribbon tight and secure with glue

The Sentimental Touch

That’s it. You’ve done it! The cork board is complete and I know you’re loving it.

All that’s left is personalizing it with pictures of your loved ones to remind you what’s good in life. You can also print out quotes that inspire you or an image that brings you peace. I’ve been thinking of making one for myself that will let me hang my jewelry off of it or maybe some other cute decorations like coin pursue or scarves. The idea is to create something beautiful to look at so have fun with it and create something that’s going to add tranquility to your space. 

If this as a gift for someone, collect some photos of their family and give it to them with pictures already in place!