Reading piles of crafty/designy blogs everyday leads to lots of saved bookmarks of things to try out. Making a fabric-covered pin board and fabric-covered thumbtacks has been floating near the top of my mental ‘crafty projects list’ for over a year.

The main problem has been sourcing out the paper board that most people in the States use as the base, homasote. Homasote is a recycled paper board that is used in construction and apparently makes ideal pin board material, as it can be covered or even painted. They had never heard of it at my local Home Depot, Rona or Home Hardware. I contacted Homasote directly trying to find out who they sold it to in Toronto. I was given the name of a place in Rexdale, who carries it in 4’x8′ sheets, but can’t cut it down. The distance and the logistics of it were too discouraging.

Recently, I decided to give up on the idea. I thought I would just go get a ‘regular’ cork board from Staples and just stain it dark grey to keep it from looking too much like a ‘regular’ cork board. I swear, I read somewhere that you can stain cork. Well, when I stained the cork board it started bubbling all over. What! I hauled it down into the basement and put it under some piles of drywall and tiles hoping that the weight over a couple weeks would flatten the whole thing out again. No such luck. I had ruined a perfectly ‘regular’ cork board.

Why was I settling for ‘regular’ anyways?

Every once in a while, i amass a huge list of errands on my day off that necessitate the use of a Zipcar. I went for the biggest car you can get, the Honda Element, so that I could drive around town and just load it up with goodies. After a bit of googling, I located another building supply place in Markham that not only carried the board, but would cut it into manageable pieces for me. The ironic thing? It’s the same building supply place that used to be around the corner from me, literally. I used to be able to walk over, borrow their dolly and haul huge sheets of wood home on my own. I was devastated when they closed that location down. I made the long drive up the DVP and I finally got my Homasote and got to have a little reunion with my old building supply pals.

The rest was a piece of cake. The boards were cut down to 2’x4′. I used two of them for the back of the shop. I have to give credit to Debbie who did all the patchwork and thumb tack covering. They look so sweet!

As for the hanging – always get advice if you don’t know what you’re doing and use the right tools! My guy at Home Hardware set me up with these amazing ‘flush mount hangers’ that can be screwed into the back of the board and then a matching one into the wall and they slide into each other. These are perfect for hanging anything large. He also set me up with the perfect drill bit, anchors and screws.

Here’s the tutorial on doing the pin board and also the fabric-covered tacks. Otherwise, buy one on etsy from Shim and Sons and save yourself the drama.

For me, it was worth it. I feel total satisfaction over conquering this craft challenge. Plus, I have enough Homasote to make a couple more boards.

Now – Any ideas on what to do with a bubbly cork board?

ADDED NOTE: I’ve had so many people ask about where I got my Homasote, so I’m posting it here. If you happen to find another location in the Toronto area, post it in the comments, tons of people are looking to find it!

Rosebank Wholesale Lumber
186 Old Kennedy Road, Markham, ON L3R0L5

Flush mount hanger & finished pin board


  1. Michelle – Thanks! Trust me, I’m so glad this project is done. I love being able to check this one off my list.

    Johanna – It’ll be something to entertain ourselves while ironing fabric! I’ve already started hanging up my inspirational clippings on the boards.

  2. Thank you thank you thank you for posting this (and the fabric covered buttons post)! I came across Shim and Sons’ pin board and tacks yesterday and was looking all over for tutorials on how to make one myself. I’ve made some tacks already and was wondering where you found Homasote because I actually live in Markham!

  3. Hi Jennifer. I meant to post this information before, so thank you for prompting me. I’m delighted this post has helped you out. I got the Homasote at Rosebank. Everyone there is super friendly and helpful. Good luck with your board! Let me know how it turns out.

    Rosebank Wholesale Lumber
    186 Old Kennedy Road, Markham, ON L3R0L5

  4. Thank you so much! Glad I came across your blog, and that it’s based in Toronto too. I absolutely love the things you make!

  5. oh here it is…should have figured you’d be showing us all how to make this cuteness for our very spaces. thanks again.

  6. Thanks so much Karyn for sharing, i have been wanting to make my very own bulletin board for the longest time!!! I agree with Jennifer, i love the fact that your site is based in Toronto!!

  7. I found the best thing to my sister’s birthday… It’s really hard to find cool and still unique.
    So today I saw this thing from ZTARLET on facebook where you can name a real star in the sky and have the certificate and a teddy bear sent to you and pay it by a single SMS. So awesome 🙂

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