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Faux Nail Head Trimmed Cork Board {Cork Board Makeover}

It never fails that whenever I go in to JoAnn Fabric to buy fabric for a project one of the nice ladies asks me, “Oh, whatcha makin’?” 95% of the time I say that I’m making a pillow. It’s just easier to say that I’m making a pillow rather than going into detail about how I actually intend on using the fabric. So I’m probably known as “the chick who only knows how to sew pillows” at my local JoAnn Fabric. This project is a “pillow”.
 pink cork board 1
This is something that I had been wanting to do for a while but I had to wait until I took a trip back to my parents’ house to get my old cork board. Who buys a new cork board when there’s a perfectly good 12+ year old cork board in their parents’ basement? Not I.

So I brought the cork board back to our house, bought some “pillow” fabric at JoAnn, some thumbtacks from Walmart, and got to work. I started by ironing the fabric because no one likes creases on their fabric-covered cork board.

I sprayed the cork board with adhesive before laying the fabric on top. I smoothed out the fabric with my hands so there weren’t any bubbles. Notice that I left 4-5 inches of excess fabric around the edge of the cork board.

Then I started to push in the thumbtacks. (Push it real good.)

After all 200+ thumbtacks were in place and my fingers felt like they were going to fall off even though I did this over the span of a couple days, I hot glued the excess fabric onto the back of the cork board.

The original cork board hung horizontally but after deciding to put it on a small wall, I moved the little hangy things so it could hang vertically.

That’s it! This project cost me around $12 because I used a 40% off coupon for the fabric. 

Note:  If you plan on taking on the self-torturous task of pushing 200+ thumbtacks into a cork board I suggest spreading it out over a few days. Your fingers will thank you.

Could you see my sparkly thumbtacks in the first photo? No? Here’s a close-up.

Regular thumbtacks are boring so I glued rhinestones onto a bunch of thumbtacks.
Now they are fancy schmancy thumbtacks.

What do you think of my faux nail head trimmed cork board?
Can you tell that they are actually thumbtacks?
Do you ever fib to the ladies at JoAnn Fabric to save yourself from a 5 minute long explanation/Q&A session?

AMAZING Cork Board Makeover! Only cost $12!

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  1. The ladies at my Joann’s are grouchy and they just grunt at me. Hancock on the other hand wants a detailed description.

    Loving the pillow fabric. I can’t even image how bad your fingers hurt. It looks very pretty!!

  2. I absolutely love this and I am going to recreate it for my daughter’s room. We already have a cork board that I originally hot glued ribbon around the edges to dress it up, but this will look much prettier. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Oh, I really love this! You have such pretty taste. And I hate when they ask me at Joann what I’m making, too! I usually lie and say I’m just building my stash. They must think I have gigantic piles of fabric and yarn at home that I just sit around and admire without using.

  4. I really love this and it looks so simple to make! I have a board exactly like this out in our storage closet. I might have to try it.

  5. Love it! I hate it when the lady at Joann’s asks me what I’m making! I feel like they are going to judge me! Ha!

  6. That looks great! I repurposed a corkboard about that size for my daughter’s room. Since she’s four and has a two-year-old brother, I didn’t want to let her have tacks in her room. So it’s a french memo board instead. But I love the simplicity of yours! The nailhead trim is gorgeous! What a lovely pillow 😉

  7. I absolutely love it! I think it’s completely brilliant! So much so that I’m going to make one this weekend 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Omg I love this! The tacks are super cute too. I have a bulletin board in our extra room and it’s just boring and looks a little college-ish. I def need to make it over like this!

  9. I am loving this! I am not crafty by any means but this is something I think I could pull off!

  10. I made a cork board similar to this too… love it! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your rhinestone thumbtacks I am def going to copy you on that one 🙂 so pretty. I once made the mistake of telling the jo-anne’s women what I was really doing with the fabric and she looked at me like I had 10 heads… so now I too am “making pillows” and lots of them!

  11. I love it. I need this for my office. I am with you on the jo-anne’s ladies. I recently bought some foam to pad a camera bag. I honestly told the woman when she asked about my project and she responded that they offered classes I could take “to learn to make something”.

  12. Ha! The last time I was buying fabrics it was for costumes for Burning Man and wow did that open a can of worms at the cutting table! Try explaining a fully functioning city in the middle of the desert of 50,000 people that is participant fueled without any monetary exchange that celebrates art, freedom of expression and music that lasts for a week then disappears. The questions were never ending! I love your corkboard. 🙂

  13. Wow, another super cute project from you! Love it and thanks for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment! Tabitha@ Simplyhomecents.blogspot.com

  14. First off, love the Salt-N-Pepa reference. 😉 I did a DIY cork board really similar to this last year, except instead of using nail heads to trim (which I love the way it looks, BTW), I used grosgrain ribbon to “frame” it out. Oh, and mine has burlap “pillow” fabric. I have it hanging outside of my laundry room as my inspiration board. I keep paint swatches, pics of my furbabies & home decor ideas pinned to it.

    Just came across your blog. Happily following now! Can’t wait to read more!

    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  15. WOW, that looks amazing! I would have never thought of doing something like that. The result is fun AND sophisticated! -katie

  16. Love it, great job!
    Yes. A pillow project is always a great way to get out of a convo at the fabric shop. Once I said I was making a bag, and the many questions that came after- well I was not ready! Then they said “bring it in when you are done!” Ya right!

  17. This looks wonderful, Chelsea. I like the idea of using anything but the real nailhead trim unless one really has too. I have just purchased some faux nailhead to use in my study. Project to follow soon. Very neat work and pretty fabric. I also like the rhinestone touch. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting.

  18. I love it! As far as the JoAnn’s ladies go, I think it’s just a habit that they ask you what you are making. You are probably too young to remember when they would write up the cutting slip. They would have to code it differently if you were making a craft item or clothing (at least in Minnesota) so they could charge you sales tax. So then, when they were asking what you were making it wasn’t that they cared, they were sneakily trying to get you to tell them how you were using the fabric. Now with computers it doesn’t matter what you are making, if the fabric is for crafts or quilting they charge you tax. (Progress)

  19. LOVE!! Love the blingy thumbtacks, fabric…everything! Such a cute way to fancy up a boring corkboard.

  20. Looks awesome, as usual. Everything you do is so great. Thanks for the inspiration.

  21. Looks great! I have an unfinished corkboard just sitting around waiting for this treatment. I guess I could go to Joanns’s for some “pillow” fabric 🙂

  22. Very cute! I have that same fabric at my house. 🙂


    1. What is the name of the fabric?

  23. Super cute! I did the same thing for my son’s corkboard last year…but I ran out of thumbtacks…and finding silver ones isn’t the easiest task!! I adore that fabric too, it’s in my bookshelves! We must be diy sisters from another life! 😉

  24. I love this! That pillow fabric is awesome! I dislike when the ladies at Joanns ask me what I am making. For whatever reason I am usually compelled to just say that I don’t know what I am making. Which I am sure to them seems strange… so I suppose I am the girl who keeps buying fabric for no reason…

    Oh and I made some thumb tacks with little buttons on them because plain thumb tacks often need a pick me up.

  25. That turned out beautifully! I got the same fabric in blue and white yesterday to make a cushion.

  26. That is too funny about the pillow. My JoAnn ladies think the only thing I can sew is a curtain. LOL Love your bulletin board! The nailhead look is awesome!

  27. This is really cute! Great job! I have been looking for inspiration for a bulletin board. My sis n law and I just (only a few posts) started a blog and we are fellow Hoosiers 🙂 Check it out, if you would like. http://www.sevenmonkeysinarow.com.
    Cute blog! I am your newest follower!

  28. I love your cork board (aka pillow)!!! I don’t like it when they ask me what I’m making either… I’m with you… it’s much easier to say a pillow or curtains or something like that! LOL!


  29. This is really, really cute. I love the fabric you chose. And the “nailheads” look great.

  30. That quote is so great! And nice tutorial on the corkboard!
    New follower:)


  31. This is sooo cute and I love your story about JOAnns! ha ha We loved having you link up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday!” We hope to see you back next Saturday with more fun ideas! -The Sisters

  32. What type of fabric is this?! This is the exact print I have been looking for to match the fabric I bought to match my son’s crib bedding. I need to make a duvet cover for my daughters bed.

  33. So cute…So simple! I am soooo doing this! Thanks for sharing.

  34. I love this idea. I’m going to do this to my board in the kitchen. This will definitely make it match our decor better!

  35. I think we are actually the same person. It’s really frightening me right now. When I first clicked a link to your blog, I was like “Yay! A person with the first initial C so I can see their fun girly projects with my initial” (in reference to the lucite tray. Then I scrolled down a bit, and saw that we have the same first name. Weird! We also have similar lineage and the same college major. And apparently the same taste, because you posted a picture of a bag from etsy with a gray chevron pattern, and it looks almost identical to the custom cell phone case I just got from etsy. I know you won’t be as creeped out as me because you can’t see everything I do and like on the internet, but just imagine it as everything you like and do.

  36. I think we are actually the same person. It’s really frightening me right now. When I first clicked a link to your blog, I was like “Yay! A person with the first initial C so I can see their fun girly projects with my initial” (in reference to the lucite tray. Then I scrolled down a bit, and saw that we have the same first name. Weird! We also have similar lineage and the same college major. And apparently the same taste, because you posted a picture of a bag from etsy with a gray chevron pattern, and it looks almost identical to the custom cell phone case I just got from etsy. I know you won’t be as creeped out as me because you can’t see everything I do and like on the internet, but just imagine it as everything you like and do.

  37. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this project! It’s so chic and pretty and that fabric is beyond divine!

    Thank you so much for linking up and sharing!


  38. totally LOVE your corkboard (and your commentary- thanks for making me laugh)!!! Pinned it to save for future inspiration for my home office (and maybe other place too. 🙂

  39. This is really awesome… I’m doing it for my work area promptly.

  40. This is sooo pretty! I especially love the pattern on the fabric!

  41. This is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! DEFINITELY doing this in the coming weeks. Thanks for the inspiration!

  42. This was the first DIY project I have ever done from an internet blog and it worked WONDERFULLY! I had an ugly spray painted pink bulletin board and finally decided enough was enough. I did fib to the ladies at Hancock and told them I was making a pillow. But I also made some sparkly thumbtacks and used pushpins for the boarder too! My fingers STILL hurt 🙂

  43. Hi there! I just came across your post & love the fabric. Do you happen to remember the name of it? I searched online & in the store and cannot find it. Just curious if you remembered…I’m wanting something similar.

  44. Hi! Do you happen to remember the name of this fabric?

  45. I just adore the fabric you used. I have a similar board and LOVE it for all of my baby announcements, thank yous, etc. Thanks so much for linking up to the party!!!

  46. I love this and am definitely going to be doing it to my cork board that I’ve had since I was like 15 {wow 15 years}!! And love the rhinestones on the thumbtack idea too… so cute!

  47. Thanks to you, I made my own covered cork board for my kitchen! Using a rescued cork board from my grandmother’s house, I was able to cover it in a navy and white fabric to match my kitchen. It now hangs by my fridge and holds on my invitations, baby announcements and thank you notes. It’s perfect! (But, my fingers did hurt for a couple days after thanks to those thumbtacks…)

  48. Came to you through Kelly’s Korner today – linked up some tables of my own 🙂 – had this trimmed corkboard project on my “list” for awhile. As soon as I get started on our office reno it’ll get done! Love the way yours came out!

  49. Love it! I’ve been looking looking for something like this because I’m in the process of renewing my old cork board. Now I just have to find the perfect fabric. Thanks for this great idea.

  50. I love this! I can’t wait to make one…when, i get a board. And thumbtacks. And fabric…you get the idea! 🙂

  51. I just pinned this! Great idea…stopping by from Brooklyn Limestone.

  52. This is so classy. I LOVE it. Thanks for sharing!

  53. Love the idea!!! I am trying to make one but am having the hardest time with the spacing and placement of my tacks. How did you get your spaced so well and even in a line? Would love any advice on how you did that. Thanks!!!

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  55. First wanted to tell you your site is so refreshing and i love it!! and I wanted to do this since I saw it while ago.
    I already had cover my cork board for my son but I use ribbons for the edges and I like the idea of the thumbtacks, soooo
    girlll I I just finished it,now for my daughter and my thumbs are hurting!!!! let me tell you I started like your idea but it was only me and my daughter (she did like 3 or 4 and quit)so I spaced it out like a inch and really looks very good with the fabric that my dtr picked.
    Thank you for the inspiration!!!

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