Make a message board

How to make a family message board with off-the-shelf products

Make a message center

Paint the frame to blend in with your kitchen or to stand out as an accent.

Rob D. Brodman

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Make a message center

  • Shelves

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Communicating with a busy household is much easier when your message center is tailor-made to fit your space and your needs.

Our customized message board combines three different surfaces ― chalkboard paint, magnetic paint, and cork ― with a frame that you paint to blend in with your kitchen decor.

First, identify and measure the best spot for your message board. Then determine how much surface area you need for pushpins, magnets, and chalk.

Pick a frame and design the layout (we made a simple grid). Finally, attach a small tray to keep accessories close at hand. It's a big payoff for minimal investment; our total project cost was $80.


These supplies and dimensions make the message board pictured; adjust sizes to fit your own design.

  • 24- by 36-in. wood picture frame (frames with flat trim work best for attaching the supply tray)
  • Painter's tape
  • 24- by 36-in. (custom-cut) piece of hardboard (1/8-in.-thick fiberboard)
  • Drop cloth
  • 1 can of chalkboard spray paint
  • 1 small can of magnetic paint
  • Small paint roller
  • Sandpaper
  • Divided drawer organizer tray
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps (or large binder clips)
  • 12- by 12-in. cork tiles (¼ in. thick)
  • Paintbrush
  • 1 small can of paint for frame

Next: How to make this message board


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