Sunday, October 7, 2012

DIY Cork Board Makeover

My desk tends to be a mess of post-it notes and scraps of paper stuck to any object that happens to be within my eye line. So I figured it was about time to get my act together and organise the mess.

I have a pile of old cork boards that I've had lying around waiting for me to put them to use, but they were looking kind of worse for wear. This tutorial is on how to fancy up your cork board so it looks great empty or full.


  • Cork board - you can use an old one or buy a new one.
  • Sandpaper
  • Adhesive remover (if you need to clean off any blue-tak or tape) - I use tea-tree oil, smells great and works like a charm
  • Acrylic paint in the colours of your choice

Step 1

Prepare the cork board. If you are using a new one, you will still need to sand down the edges to make sure the paint will adhere properly.

If you are using an old one it's time to get rid of any old staples and sticky things. I also did a light sand over the cork to smooth out any bumps that had appeared from years of thumb-tacks.

My old cork boards - definitely in need of a make-over

Step 2

Mark up your template. I used a geometric design made up of equilateral triangles (very popular at the moment). 

Don't worry about getting your trigonometry textbook out - you can download templates off the internet. And so you don't have to Google it, here's one I prepared earlier...

Step 3

Start painting! I went with a monochromatic palette - but you can use whatever colours you like. My tips here are to keep the colour scheme simple - either 2, 3 or 6 colours and work in a hexagon, keeping track of what colours sit next to the others. I created the design I wanted first in Photoshop so I knew what colours would be going where which I highly recommend - you can do this as a sketch on some paper, but having the basic pattern laid out will make things much easier in the long run, believe me.

Here's some tips on creating the design I used...

I also painted one colour at a time. This was because I was mixing the colours as I went and wanted to make sure they were all consistent. This method can make it more confusing to keep the pattern, so if you are doing this definitely have a mock-up of the pattern handy.

If you feel like you can't paint within the lines, use some masking tape. Though you will have to wait for the colours to dry before you start on the next one. A hair-dryer can come in very handy if you are feeling impatient.

Step 4

Paint the border a complimenting colour. You may have to use 2 or 3 coats to get it smooth and consistent. Allow to dry and you are finished!

Enjoy your crafting everybody.

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