February 04, 2012

DIY Zigzag Homasote Idea Board

DIY Bulletin Inspiration Idea Board

I've gotten a few emails asking about the bulletin board from the KCH&G magazine photo shoot. This was a fun and rewarding project. A little prep and research paid off, while trial and error finished the job. I wanted something BIG, and didn't want little bulletin boards put together. When I was a teenager, I had a whole wall of bulletin board, and it was so cool. Now that wouldn't work on my walls because they are textured, so I did some digging and found out about Homasote. Homa-WHA???? you might be asking. The best part of this find is that the Homasote makes this an eco-friendly project because it's made from recycled newspapers! Offices and art studios often use it as dry wall because you can easily put a push pin in it. Some say that you can find Homasote at Home Depot or Lowe's, but my Lowe's did not have it. I  found it easy through the Homasote site and my local lumber yard (Schutte Lumber down on Southwest Boulevard, for any locals out there wondering). It comes in 4 x 8 sheets, and I had the lumber folks cut it down to 4 x 4 feet. I wish I could have kept it 4 x 8 because that's a great size, but my office isn't that big, and 4 x 4 is plenty big. I think it was like 40 bucks.

I decided I just couldn't let it be plain, so I had to patternize it. Just made that word up-- patternize. Why would I want to patternize it when you won't see it with all the stuff on it? Good question. Anyhoo-- I decided on zigzag pattern because I thought it would be bold and easy. I did a little research because I didn't know if I could get solid lines with painters tape on an uneven surface like Homasote. It's got quite a bit of texture to it. I found this great article that explains how to get a solid line. The trick is after you tape everything, you repaint over the tape line so that there's an even surface when you use the opposite color. So, I primed it, then painted the whole thing white, then put the painters tape on, then painted along the tape seams with WHITE paint. The paint seeps into the grooves between the painters tape. THEN, you paint the grey on top of the white, and that is how you get smooth lines. If this doesn't make sense, try reading the article. I was amazed when I took off the tape to find perfect lines. I think I just had one little spot that needed touching up. This is a great trick for textured walls or any surface that is uneven. I'm not going to even try to explain how I did the zigzags, but here's my sketch:

Here's some of the process:
I used 2 different widths of tape, so it looks a little weird.
Here you can see where I painted over the seems in white.
And voile...

You are probably wondering how I hung this sucker, right!? When I read about Homasote, people described it as light. While it may be relatively light, when it's in a 4 foot by 4 foot sheet, it's pretty darn heavy. I could lift it easily, but to hang on a wall is another story. Here's where the trial and error came in. I first tried industrial strength Velcro tape. The guy at the hardware store told me he put a flat screen TV up with it. Well, apparently the Homasote board is heavier than a flat screen. It lasted about 3 days then fell. I had nightmares of being in the middle of my KCH&G photoshoot and having the thing fall. So, I added these thingies, just screwed them in:

with some of this: 
I think this is speaker wire. Random, but it worked.
I first tried using that metal wire that comes with those kits that you hang pictures with,
but it tore in half when I hung it. 
I also added the industrial strength Velcro. My walls are textured, so I think the Velcro may have worked by itself if my walls were smooth. It's been several months, and it's still hanging! 

More on the office chair re-do and the easy valances coming soon!


  1. I need to make a new board for my husbands office and this is the perfect solution!! I am even going to be daring and try painting a pattern like yours- I LOVE how this came out!!

  2. Thanks Lindsay! I'm also working on some that are made out of galvanized steel for the kids rooms- lightweight magnetic sheets. Might end up being an easier project-- stay tuned!


c'mon, don't be shy...