How to make a magnetic memo board look like large wall art with vintage style in an office or entryway using this easy DIY tutorial.
I have no idea if the concept of disguising a memo board to look like a regular piece of framed upscale art has been done before, but it’s definitely a thing now!
As Robert and I were planning the conference room design at The Cottage, I wanted to create some DIY large scale wall art that evoked peacefulness for the ladies at the shelter while also keeping with a functional purpose for posting notes and announcements.
In all of my Google searching, I couldn’t find anything like what I saw in my head, so we decided to wing it while hoping for the best. And it worked!
Without sticking magnet clips on the board, doesn’t this just look like a piece of art?!
Where to Use a Memo Board
It would be a great DIY wall decor project idea to add organization to an entryway, home office, kitchen, playroom, or kid’s bedroom.
We’ve used them in all of those rooms to keep track of our kids’ artwork, birthday party invitations, to-do lists, grocery lists, bills, photo snapshots, and sweet “just saying I love you” notes.
Just customize your notice board in any size to fit your wall using whatever mural, poster, wallpaper, or art decal you want!
Here is the full tutorial below to show you how to make your own DIY bulletin board art yourself.
How to Make DIY Memo Board Art
- 26 Gauge Zinc-Plated Sheet Metal (We used two 24″x48″ metal sheets side-by-side to make a 48″x48″ piece of wall art.)
- Mural / Poster / Wallpaper / Art Decal of your choice (I cut this scenic mural into portions to two coordinating art pieces.)
- Wireless Picture Light (Optional but definitely adds a lot in creating an upscale look.)
- PVC Composite Molding
- Construction Adhesive and caulking gun (Not always necessary but does help if you’re placing two or more sheets side-by-side.)
- Putty Knife
- Fine Grit Sandpaper
- Kilz Original or other oil based primer
- Paint Brush
- Gorilla Heavy Duty Spray Adhesive
- Heavy Duty Work Gloves
- Multipurpose 1 1/2″ #8 self-drilling screws
Step 1 – Mark the Placement
Use a level and a pencil to mark where you want to place your metal sheet(s). We chose to place ours directly between two studs to provide plenty of support since the sheet metal is on the heavy side.
For deciding height placement, a good guideline to follow is approximately 60″ from the floor to the center of the memo board.
Step 2 – Drill Pilot Holes
Use the power drill to make a pilot hole at each corner of the metal sheet (or wherever it will hit a stud) prior to hanging. You could also use heavyweight drywall anchors if you can’t secure to a stud.
Step 3 – Secure Metal Sheets
Definitely don’t skip wearing heavy duty work gloves when handling any kind of sheet metal as you could easily cut your hand.
Line up the metal sheet where you marked with the level in Step 1 and secure them with screws through the pilot holes into studs.
Repeat for the second metal sheet if you’re butting up two or more next to each other to make one large memo board.
Step 4 – Secure Seams with Adhesive
When placing two metal sheets side-by-side, they might not perfectly line up and could bow away from the wall.
To keep them secure, run a line of heavy duty construction adhesive like Liquid Nails along the edge of each metal sheet and press it to the wall. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a putty knife and rag. Then allow to fully dry for a few hours.
If you want to make the memo board extremely secure, you could apply construction adhesive all over the back of the metal sheets prior to screwing them to the wall, but that’s a very permanent decision that requires replacing drywall in the future.
Step 5 – Sand Surface
Scuff the slick metal surface with some fine grit sandpaper to give the board more grip. Sand down any roughness leftover from the dried construction adhesive too.
Step 6 – Prime
If you’re using a pre-pasted or paste-the-wall mural or wallpaper, do not skip this step. An oil based primer is necessary when applying pasted wallpaper to metal. Just brush on one even coat and let dry. Oil based dries much faster the water based primer.
If you plan to use a peel & stick wallpaper or art decal, don’t worry about priming.
Step 7 – Cut Mural to Size
Using the measurements you took from the sheet metal, subtract an inch from the width and height.
Then, mark and cut your mural or poster to the size you need. Plan to leave about half an inch around the perimeter of the metal sheet exposed.
Pay attention to which way the panels are turned and in what order you need to hang them.
Step 8 – Apply Adhesive
Apply a generous, even layer of spray adhesive to the metal sheet(s).
Step 9 – Adhere Mural / Poster
This step is easier if you have a partner to help you. Begin lining up one edge of your mural panel or poster to the edge of the metal sheet. Smooth down that starting edge.
Have your partner lift the other non-pasted side of the panel away from the metal sheet. Using a wallpaper smoothing tool, slowly press the panel into place on the metal while pushing out any air bubbles underneath the paper.
Repeat for the following panel(s) paying close attention to line up the patterns at the mural seam where the panels meet.
Step 10 – Attach Frame
Measure the edges of your wallpapered metal sheet and mark the length on the PVC molding. Use a miter saw to cut the molding pieces at 45 degree angles to make corners in a picture frame.
Secure the mitered molding strips around the perimeter of the metal sheet with a brad nailer.
If you don’t own a power miter saw or a brad nailer gun, you can still get by using a simple miter saw box and hammer.
Step 11 – Hang Up Picture Light
It’s optional but totally the cherry on top. There’s just something about hanging up a picture light above a piece of art that makes it feel special and important.
Plus, since this magnetic notice board is used to hang up notes and documents, it’s nice to have a little extra reading light there.
When using a wireless picture light, I highly recommend opting for rechargeable batteries. If you can’t hardware picture a picture light but want to rely on electricity, you can use this plug-in picture light with cord covers to conceal it.
Peel and Stick Wall Art
Instead of priming metal and cutting wallpaper panels, you could use the faster method of peel and stick wall art!
All of these are vintage art reproductions from archives printed as self adhesive wall stickers that you could place on a metal sheet or a thrifted memo board as a shortcut.
If you have lots of farmhouse signs you don’t enjoy anymore, you can even stick these art decals on top of the signs to repurpose them into a new style.
That’s it! This DIY memo board art really wasn’t too difficult at all. It was a little bit tedious, but that’s always the name of the game when wallpaper is involved.
I got these gold magnetic clips to use on the boards that look so pretty and work perfectly.
This project has me rethinking our own kitchen notice board and command center wall hanging a little bit. Maybe it would be fun to pair it with a dry erase board version by placing plexiglass on top of the art?
Do I dare replace it all with another version of this one? Kind of nerding out over the super functional home decorating possibilities here. Hmm…
More DIY Large Wall Art Ideas
- DIY Large Scale Wall Art from a Shower Curtain
- DIY Wall Art on Scrap Plywood
- Audubon Bird Art Gallery Wall in the Living Room and Free Printable Set
- Antique Painting Mural Wallpaper in the Dining Room
- DIY Designer Knock-Off Textile Art from a Recycled Rug
- Mirror Gallery Wall from Thrifted Frames
- 20 Creative DIY Wall Decor Ideas for Your Blank Walls
In just a couple of days, we’ll share the full reveal of this office / conference room at The Cottage women’s shelter!
Until then, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. But it will all be 100% worth it. I can’t wait!