In this post, we take a deep dive into the many uses of corkboards, including a variety of corkboard DIY projects and corkboard ideas for crafters and novices alike. Learn how to spice up a corkboard for a personalized look and how to practically make the most of corkboards.
We’ll cover the many uses for corkboards, how to stick things to corkboards, step-by-step DIY projects, and what to put on corkboards in the home, kitchen, office, or classroom.
Cork is an extremely versatile material. It’s used in bottle stoppers, insulation, the center of golf balls, and bulletin boards, just to name a few. Cork is waterproof and fire-resistant, and it’s also naturally sustainable and renewable. But where does it come from?
Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree. The Earth’s foremost cork oak forests are found in North Africa, Italy, Southern France, Spain, and Portugal.
The cork oak (Quercus suber) is unique in the plant kingdom, as its bark can be harvested without damaging or killing the tree—the bark is able to grow back. Think of it like shearing sheep or alpacas. Cork can first be harvested off the tree about 20 years after the sapling is planted. The cork fully grows back and is harvested again about every ten years until the tree is roughly 200 years old. After that, the tree is removed, and two more saplings are planted in its place.
- Corkboard Uses and Characteristics
- Corkboard 101
- Framing a Corkboard
- How to Cover a Corkboard with Fabric
- DIY Family Calendar Board
- Corkboard DIY Wall Art
- How to Use a Corkboard: Uses at Home
- What to do With Corkboards: Ideas for the Kitchen
- Corkboard Uses in the Office
- What to do With a Corkboard: For Teachers/Classrooms
- What Should I Put on my Corkboard? — Corkboard Accessories
Corkboard Uses and Characteristics
It’s a good thing that cork is so renewable since it’s used in a wide variety of crafting and building materials, as well as a number of different applications.
Some common uses of cork:
- Bottle stoppers
- Vibration dampening
- Sound dampening
- Load bearing and weight distribution
- Golf ball and baseball cores
- Inside safety helmets
Cork is Light and Buoyant
Cork is buoyant, and even large corkboards aren’t overly heavy to carry. This is helpful when you are moving houses, offices, or classrooms. No matter how big your board is, it won’t weigh you down. It can easily be moved from one room to the next.
Cork is an Insulator
Cork is a natural, acoustical insulator, which makes cork a desirable building material. This insulating quality is also helpful in large, echoey office spaces. Putting up a large corkboard or corkboard wall will help minimize traveling sounds in an office.
Cork is Flexible
Cork is flexible, which is why it makes such a great bottle stopper. 🍾 It’s a very malleable material that becomes more flexible the thinner the cork is. Corkboards are often backed by a stiff material to keep it straight, but cork also comes in rolls capable of covering a wall like wallpaper.
What Sticks to Corkboards?
Most glues, adhesives, and stickers will stick to a corkboard. You can use two-way tape on the cork to stick it directly to a wall or to add features to the front of your board. Craft or wood glue will work to stick things directly to the board if you want something to stay there permanently. If you only want something to temporarily stick to your board, use any type of pin or tack.
What to Put on a Corkboard
There are a wide variety of things to put on a corkboard, which is what makes them so useful and versatile. Light, paper items can be easily attached to a corkboard using adhesive or push pins. Heavier items can be attached using glue or by hanging hooks on the board. What you use your corkboard for is completely up to you.
What to put on your corkboard:
- To-Do lists
- Chore charts
- Places visited
How to Hang Things on Corkboards
The best part about corkboards is you can use them over and over again without leaving noticeable holes. Tacks and push pins are most commonly used to hang things on corkboards. They easily push into the material and can be moved around at any time. You can also add push pin clips or hooks if you wish to hang items on the corkboard itself, such as documents you don’t want to poke holes in or clipboard storage.
Corkboard DIY Ideas
There are many ways to design a push pin board yourself to make it more personal or to help it stand out. The simple cork style is attractive on its own, but you can spice it up in a number of different ways, including framing the board, covering it with fabric, painting it, or adding decorative accessories.
Framing a Corkboard
A framed corkboard is a simple and classy option. A simple or more decorative frame makes a huge difference to the look of a corkboard on a wall at home or in the office. You can buy pre-framed corkboards, but it’s also quite simple and satisfying to do it yourself. Plus, when you do it yourself, you can tailor the framed board to meet your home decor or office branding.
Second hand stores, garage sales, or online buy and sell websites are great and affordable options for finding frames you can repurpose with a cork interior.
How to Cover a Corkboard with Fabric
It’s easy to achieve a custom aesthetic by covering a corkboard with fabric. Below you’ll find instructions for how to cover wooden frame corkboards with fabric for a professional finished look. Leave the wooden frame exposed or, if desired, use painter’s tape and scrap paper to protect the cork while painting the wooden frame a color that matches your fabric choice.
Below we include two options for covering your corkboard:
- Version A is a more permanent version that uses glue spray adhesive, which will create a sturdier finish that will last longer.
- Version B is a removable, impermanent version that is ideal for those who have a corkboard in their classroom or office that they are not allowed or able to make permanent chances to. Version B is also an easier solution for covering larger corkboards, as it will be easier to handle and attach a large piece of fabric using staples than with spray adhesive.
What kind of fabric should I use?
- Type: We recommend using a 100% cotton fabric such as quilting fabric or Kona cotton. Decorator fabrics are also a good solution if the fabric isn’t too stretchy and the surface is not too textured (sequins or faux fur, for example, will not work very well).
- Print: We recommend staying away from stripes, plaids, or any other prints that have an obvious grid, as these types of prints can be harder to line up perfectly. Instead, go for a multidirectional or omnidirectional print without an obvious “direction.”
Supplies needed for both versions:
- Corkboard with a wooden frame
- Fabric, large enough to cover the surface of the corkboard
- A long ruler
- Something to cut with, such as scissors or a rotary cutter with cutting mat
- Spray starch
- Iron and ironing board
Supplies needed for the permanent version (version A):
- Spray adhesive
- Hot glue gun
- Corded trim (we used clothesline cording with a nylon center)
- Optional: Lighter (for carefully fusing, or burning, the ends of your corded trim so that it doesn’t fray)
Supplies needed for the impermanent version (version B):
- Stapler that opens flat
- Flat trim (we used 3/8” wide ribbon)
How to get started (both versions A and B):
Instructions for the permanent version (Version A):
1. Spray the back side of the fabric with spray adhesive, then lay the fabric down onto the corkboard and smooth into place. Tip: it may be useful to grab a friend for an extra set of hands on this step. Tip: Spray adhesive is generally repositionable 2-3 times before it adheres permanently, so if you didn’t place the fabric just right, you can probably try again!
Instructions for the Impermanent version (Version B):
DIY Family Calendar Board
Transform your corkboard into versatile family calendars. A cork calendar can be adjusted month to month, saving you from buying a calendar every year. With a cork calendar, you can pin any notes, reminders, or events as needed, and you can move them around as dates change.
- Measure out five rows and seven columns for your calendar, leaving space at the top for the month and days of the week.
- You can paint the calendar lines, draw them, or tape them.
- Label your boxes Sunday - Saturday at the top of your corkboard.
- You can purchase numbered tacks or make your own numbered tacks to place in the corners of each calendar box.
Keep a stack of Post-it notes or small note cards nearby to write out different calendar events or reminders. Specialty push pins can be used to signify important dates, such as holidays, birthdays, or appointments.
Corkboard DIY Wall Art
Corkboards are incredibly versatile, and there are countless ways you can dress yours up to match your own style. The material can be painted, cut, and manipulated to suit just about any crafting project.
Make Your Own Corkboard
If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can make your own corkboard out of old wine bottle corks. Start saving them soon, because you will need quite a few. You can glue wine corks together in various patterns to form a board that functions the same as an actual corkboard. This look is busier than a regular corkboard, but it acts as a piece of personal wall art if you use all of your own wine bottle corks.
How to Use a Corkboard: Uses at Home
Push Pin World Map
Travel map corkboards are a trendy addition to any home or office. They look great on their own, or you can use them to record your travels. The simplest way to create your own corkboard map is to pin a printed world map to a corkboard. You can use flag tacks or country tacks to denote all of the places you’ve been.
If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own world travel map by cutting it out yourself. Purchase a roll of cork and trace a world, country, or city map onto it. Cut the cork into the shape you want. You can also stencil the map parameters directly on the corkboard itself.
Photo Boards: How to Stick Photos to Corkboards
Corkboards make excellent photo walls in the home. You can display any number of photos on them and rearrange them however you’d like. It’s easier to add or remove photos on a corkboard compared to framed photos that might be hung on a wall.
You can neatly arrange photos across the entire board, randomly pin them, or hang them using push pin clips. There are no rules when it comes to photo corkboards. Arrange your photos however you’d like and have some fun with it.
What to do With Corkboards: Ideas for the Kitchen
The kitchen is the busiest place in a house. Everyone makes at least one kitchen stop a day. So, this room might be the best place to hang your family corkboard.
Throw in a little DIY, and you can turn your kitchen corkboard into an organizational tool. A kitchen corkboard can be used to hang a kid’s chore chart, track family memos, save important documents and invitations, or manage family schedules.
Corkboard Chore Charts
Turn your corkboard into a chore chart for either your kids or everyone in your home. The chore chart can keep track of who is responsible for what chore and if that task was completed. The kitchen is a perfect spot for this since everyone will see and be reminded of the chores they are responsible for.
Add a bit of fun with star-shaped tacks to represent a job well done.
Corkboard Calendars and Schedules
A kitchen corkboard can be used for calendars or schedules. Read above in our DIY section to learn how to create your own corkboard calendar. As the busiest place in a home, the kitchen is an ideal spot for a calendar, as everyone will see it. Use push pin hooks to hang important documents, receipts, reminders, invitations, or anything else the family needs to keep track of.
Corkboards can also be used for crafting personalized schedules, such as a meal schedule or exercise schedule for the week.
Corkboard Uses in the Office
Corkboard Office Calendar
Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Corkboards make great calendars. A big, office-wide calendar will keep your employees informed and involved in office life. It’s a simple way to keep track of holidays, birthdays, and other important office events. Pin important dates on the calendar for everyone to see. The office-wide calendar will provide a full perspective of what’s up and coming so that the team can adjust accordingly.
Corkboard Office World Map
A corkboard world map in an office lobby or meeting room is a stylish feature and conversation starter. You can denote where in the world businesses or clients you’ve worked with are located, where different members of your team are from, or places people on your team have visited for work or pleasure.
If you purchase a cork wall covering roll, you can turn an entire office wall into a corkboard. This not only gives you more space to post information but it also creates a unique look and feature wall. You can use it for posting office information, brainstorming sessions, planning meetings, or displaying projects.
Corkboard Agile Wall
Agile teams often meet on a daily basis for a standup meeting that gets everyone on the same page about what was completed, what needs to be completed next, and any possible roadblocks that could occur. This meeting is best supported by an agile wall that clearly displays the flow of work and top-priority tasks. Large corkboards or corkboard walls provide an adaptable canvas for agile teams to plan and prioritize.
What to do With a Corkboard: For Teachers/Classrooms
Paper Covered Corkboards
You can buy big sheets of paper that will cover a cork bulletin board. The paper, or even bristol board, will be thin enough that you can still pin other things on the corkboard overtop of the colored paper. Look for paper that’s colorful, fun, and engaging.
Involve the entire class by asking them what color boards they want in the classroom. Have a vote to engage students and to establish a space they feel a part of.
Fun Borders and Themed Corkboards
If you don’t want to entirely cover your board in colors, you can add colorful or themed trim around the edges. Adding a border is super easy to do and provides a dash of fun for the classroom. There are hundreds of different border styles, from plain colors to shapes to holiday themes, such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or graduation.
Choosing a monthly theme can keep things interesting. You can base the theme on what time of year it is, upcoming holidays, what the students are currently learning, or a classroom-wide vote.
Corkboards are flexible and versatile, which makes them perfect for engaging students. Get them involved in the classroom using a corkboard for tasks, chores, announcements, birthdays, congratulations, or questions. Let them take part in designing and organizing the corkboard using sticky notes and question cards. The more you can get everyone involved, the better!
What Should I Put on my Corkboard? — Corkboard Accessories
While there are plenty of DIY corkboard projects, you can also purchase practical and fun accessories for your board. A range of hooks, clips, and playful pins are available both online or from local office or craft supply stores.
- 30 Piece Push Pin Hooks
- 15 Piece Push Pin Clips For No Holes Paper
- 32 Piece Wooden Push Pin Clips
- 300 Piece Assorted Color Round Thumbtacks
- 400 Piece Colored Flag Travel Map Push Pins
- 30 Piece Decorative Butterfly Push Pins
- 30 Piece Decorative Flamingo Pineapple Cactus Push Pins
- 30 Piece Decorative Rose Push Pins
- 24 Piece Decorative Floral and Bees Push Pins
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