$5 for 3 months. Save 83%.
$5 for 3 months. Save 83%.

Hobbies: Stay organized with a French message board

Shari Hiller

Being organized is key. It makes a day run more smoothly and can keep you from pulling your hair out!

I use my French message board every day. I glance at it for all my important phone numbers, a list of my hundred user names and passwords, special humorous comics that make me feel better and some photos of the people who mean a lot in my life. Sure, cork and dry erase boards can work, but I wanted mine to be a little bit prettier. It’s all in the details, right? If you are as crazy about the details as I am, I’ve got the message board for you!

Materials List:

Homasote board

Utility knife

Straight edge

Quilt batting

Fabric of your choice





Staple gun

Hot glue gun

Tip: Homasote board is a handy material to use for the base. It can be easily cut using a utility knife and a straight edge. Or, contact a lumberyard to find it and ask if they will cut it to your dimensions.


1. Cut the Homasote board to the required size, if you couldn’t have it professionally cut. And remember, a memo board can be any size you like. Just so it fits the space well and offers plenty of room for notes!

2. Cut a layer of quilt batting larger than the size of the board, so you can wrap it around the edges and staple it tightly to the back of the board.

3. Cover the board using a decorative fabric of your choice. Any large fabric store will have a selection of suitable fabrics in a fairly wide range of colors and prints.

You’ll need a large enough piece to cover one face of the board, plus about 3 additional inches on all four sides. A 24-inch square memo board, for example, would require a 30-inch square piece of fabric.

Lay the fabric on a hard surface, a table or the floor, and carefully place the memo board with the batting side down onto the center of the fabric. Make sure you’ve positioned it so you have an even amount of fabric overhang on all four sides. Pull the fabric up and over the memo board on one side, and staple it to the back of the memo board. Move to the opposite side and repeat, gently pulling the fabric taught. Smooth it and stretch it slightly, but not so much that you distort the fabric’s weave.

Once all four sides are done, work the corners, easing in the folds so the front looks flawless. Cut away the excess at the corners and along the sides.

4. Like I said, it’s all in the details! Stretch coordinating satin ribbons on the diagonal and attach them with staples to the back of the board. On the front of the board where the ribbons intersect, staple the intersection down tight through the ribbons and the front of the board.

5. The finishing touch is the buttons. Start by wrapping thread through the button holes to make it look like you’ve stitched the buttons directly on the memo board.

6. Using your hot glue gun, attach buttons over the stapled intersections of the ribbons. If you like, use brown mailing paper or wrapping paper to finish the back.

7. Attach a substantial hook along the top edge in the center, or add two evenly spaced along the top edge so the message board doesn’t end up crooked on the wall.

Shari Hiller and Matt Fox host the PBS television series “Around the House with Matt and Shari.”