Top 10 Ways to Dress Up Your Boring Corkboard


Dress It

A layer of fabric could quickly -- and inexpensively -- revive this faded corkboard.
A layer of fabric could quickly -- and inexpensively -- revive this faded corkboard.

Covering a corkboard in fabric is one of the cheapest, fastest and easiest ways to revamp it. A corkboard covered in faded denim makes a room casual and friendly. A velvet corkboard announces your inner diva. Suede or leather-look vinyl adds class and richness; tapestry-style fabric gives a room a sense of classic tradition.

Iron or steam the fabric, according to the manufacturer's directions. With scissors or a rotor cutter, trim the fabric to fit the frame. Mask the corkboard's frame, and then spray the cork evenly with spray adhesive. Be sure to open a window and turn on a fan; the fumes from spray adhesives are not good for you. Press the fabric into place. You may want to use a roller to smooth out any bubbles.

Not every fabric has a good weight or opacity for covering a corkboard. Jersey knits will be almost impossible to stretch evenly, and the unevenness will show. Some lightweight cottons, linens and rayon will show the cork beneath. Other fabrics, such as silks, will pull or snag at the first contact with a thumbtack. With a heavier raw silk, though, in which slubs and irregularities are an attractive part of the texture, pulls might not be a problem.

At fabric stores, look for remnants -- the marked-down leftover pieces of fabric too small to be used for apparel or major projects. Some stores carry interior design fabrics as well as apparel fabrics. These textiles are designed to stand up to heavier use, and the color palette may be more likely to match your decor. Because the fabric is heavier, it is also more expensive than most apparel fabrics, so again, look for remnants.

Covering a corkboard in fabric means you can trim the frame with fabric trimmings: ribbons, beads, fringes, feathers, tassels, rhinestones -- the sky's the limit. Try running a slender trim along the inside of the frame. However, don't overlook the striking combination of fabric within a wood or metal frame.

On the next page, we'll look at a low-cost, temporary way to achieve a similar effect.