Saturday, 10 October 2009

Covered pin board tutorial

Ta daaaaaa! Here is my very first tutorial, and it's not about clothes for Munchkin, which surprised even me :)

I had the idea for these pin boards when I was looking at the ridiculously ineffective one I bought for £2 from Tesco. It's not attractive or functional in the slightest, and I thought how cool it would be if I could do a little personalised pin board for everyone in the pickledweasel family. Grandma pickledweasel had some cork pot stands from Ikea that she didn't need any more - she'd bought them thinking she could display jewellery on them at craft fairs, but they just didn't work. So I nabbed them and had a play around. This would be a great housewarming present :)

Here's what you'll need:
  • A sturdy cork board of some description, preferably round. I don't know how much the Ikea ones were, but I'd imagine they were cheap.

  • Fabric to cover your board with. You'll need a 2" border, so make sure the piece you choose is big enough.

  • Embroidery thread that co-ordinates with your chosen fabric.

  • Sewing thread.

  • Felt to back your board with. Doesn't have to be matching as no-one's going to see it, but if it's a present for someone you might want to make it co-ordinating.

  • Tailors chalk if your felt is a dark colour, pencil if it's a light colour.

  • Co-ordinating ribbon or ric rac to hang your board up with. I used 11 inches.

  • Fabric scissors.

  • Glue.

  • Marker pen, string and a drawing pin.

Optional: A sewing machine, an iron-on transfer letter.

First you need to draw out a circle on the fabric you're using to cover your board. I used string pinned to the middle of the board with a marker pen tied to the end, and I made the string 2" longer than the radius of the board. When you've marked your circle, cut it out with the fabric scissors.

Now you need to cut your felt circle. For this I just drew around my board with tailors chalk, and then cut out a circle slightly smaller than the one marked. You need a circle that's about 2cm smaller in diameter than your board.

Now sew on your ribbon or ric rac to your felt circle. It needs to be pretty secure, as it'll be holding your board up. I sewed mine using a machine, but a couple of rows of sturdy hand sewing would be fine.

Next you need to work out where to put your letter. Lay your fabric over the cork board so that the border is even all the way round. If you're arty and have the skillz you can draw your letter straight on to the fabric, but I'm a bit pants at that sort of thing, so I used a transfer letter from this book. Either way, you need to make sure your letter is central at the top of the board. If you're using a transfer, iron it on.

Now embroider it! I'm normally lazy and don't use an embroidery hoop, but I did this time as I didn't want the fabric to pull or runckle when I covered the board.

When you've embroidered, iron the fabric so it's nice an crease-free. Place your fabric face down and put the cork board on top, making sure your letter is in the right place.

Now turn it over.

Apply a border of glue to the back of your board - cork is quite absorbent and you might find your glue disappears quickly, so you'll need to re-apply if necessary.

Starting with the top of the board where your letter is, fold your fabric over the back of the board, pulling it tight as you go. You'll need to put more glue onto the fabric you've already folded to help stick down new folds. Don't worry if it gets all messy, it's going to be covered with felt. Just make sure your fabric is nice and tight.

Finally, you need to glue your felt circle to the back. Makes sure you put lots of glue on, and maybe squish it with a big thick book for a bit as it dries.

And then it's done! I've made one for Munchkin (J) and one for mr pickledweasel (D), but haven't got round to mine yet. I love the idea of a whole co-ordinated family of personalised pin boards :)

Leave a comment if you make one with a link to your blog / photos :)


  1. Cute boards! Thanks for the tute :)

  2. These are great. It's a good idea and it's something that I can individualize and embellish in lots of different ways. Thanks!

  3. Emily these are so cute! How clever you are, especially putting the pin in the middle of the cork to draw your circle of fabric! Great first tutorial. Bravo!

  4. thanks for the fast chrostmas presant i made it the day before christmas eve!