After decorating the cork and the frame, don't spoil the effect by using the same old thumbtacks in the same old colors -- yellow, red, blue, green and white. Scrapbooking stores and craft stores have striking thumbtacks in unusual colors and shapes. Options to look for include metallic silver and gold, clear enamel, colorful bead styles and die-cut metal in flower shapes.
You can repurpose old post-style earrings into thumbtacks without making any modifications to the earrings. In some cases, you'll need to file the tip of the post into a point. If you have any mismatched earrings, that's the obvious place to start. Larger, costume-jewelry designs can look terrific. Check out thrift stores and garage sales for more of these. While you're there, look for tie tacks and lapel pins, which can be repurposed in the same way.
If that's not quite enough for you, you can make your own thumbtacks. Borrow a technique from crafty jewelers, and make bottle caps with images set within. You'll need several bottle caps, somewhat flattened, and images (which can be from ads, greeting cards, drawings or anything else) trimmed into circles to fit inside the caps. Glue each image, face up, within a cap. Then fill the cap with Diamond Glaze, a thick, clear, glossy "dimensional adhesive" [sources: DIY Network, Diamond Glaze]. Use epoxy to glue the cap to a flat-topped thumbtack.
You can also use Diamond Glaze without the bottle cap to create smaller tacks that have the appearance of rounded glass beads containing images. Using a craft knife, trim the image into a circle. Then drop a dollop of Diamond Glaze on top of it. Once the glaze has dried, epoxy the bead to a thumbtack.
Many craft stores sell decorative gemstones with flat backs. To glam up your corkboard, affix some of these gemstones to thumbtacks. You can use clear gemstones to create much the same effect as the Diamond Glaze beads -- but with facets and sparkle rather than gloss. Glue old buttons to thumbtacks for a charmingly different approach [source: Allison].
Next up: Bring a touch of yourself into your board.