Jaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.
As a writer, staying organized is among my greatest challenges.
I am constantly writing to-do lists and short little thoughts that skim across my mind on little pieces of paper. All those notes floating around makes for a decidedly unorganized space, and a scattered collection of ideas.
A while back I was working writing as a buffalo (yes, seriously) and needed a space to keep track of all my little buffalo notes. Digging through old art project materials, I found a used piece of foam core poster board. It wasn’t particularly attractive but tacks and staples worked great in the material. I needed to keep it above my desk so I could glance at the notes when I needed inspiration, and because it was so unsightly, I went on a hunt for some design ideas. After passing over paint, I considered covering the board with brown paper bags, but decided against the option. It wasn’t much nicer than the board itself, and every time I moved a tack, it left a rather obvious hole.
Foraging in my closet I ran across a single pillowcase that I had been unable to part with when I lost its match, and had held onto in the vain hope I would find its mate. Since years had passed with no hope of re-uniting the pair, I pulled it out. I also had a length of ribbon leftover from another project and added that to the pile. I had initially planned to cut the fabric into pieces to cover the board, but, as it turned out, the foam core fit perfectly into the pillowcase, save for an inch wide strip at the top—which, luckily, was exactly the same width as my ribbon.
Quick, easy and cheap organization—make your own tackboard. Phot By Jaci Kennison.
With the foam core inside the pillowcase I ran the ribbon along the top and adhered it with a couple of staples. I ran a very thin ribbon down the center to divide the buffalo notes from my own and voila! An attractive tackboard.
The buffalo has since passed away and though I took down the ribbon in the middle, I found the board so useful I have left it up as a place to store my many otherwise-fleeting thoughts.
If you don’t happen to hoard single pillowcases, check your local Goodwill. Measure the material first, then find your foam core material and cut it to fit. Affix the material to the board with adhesive or staples. Run a line of ribbon or other decorative element along the top to hide the edge, if necessary. Then hang with framing wire. I attached mine by winding the wire around flat tacks in the back, but you could also adhere with glue or staples.
Decorate the board as you like—I wrote my nickname on a used piece of brightly colored paper and tore the edges around it to make it more interesting. You could also use this tactic to label “columns” created with thin ribbon or string. “To Do”, “Groceries”, “Vacation Ideas” and so on. Attach a tiny woven basket (think may-basket style) to the bottom to store your tacks.
This project is great for keeping business cards, grocery lists, inspirational messages and so on available at a glance. A fun and easy project to do with kids, it is a great way to repurpose materials into an economical organizational tool.