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All About

Bulletin boards and message centers

Explore 25 projects, 9 articles, 2 galleries, 10 videos, and more

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There’s always a lot going on in the kitchen -- collected recipes to try, grocery lists to write, maybe a postcard from a favorite restaurant. (The downside of many stainless steel refrigerators: Magnets don’t stick.) The panel here is a wooden art board, available at art-supplies stores; we customized it with a metal sheet to hold magnets and coated it with chalkboard paint for jotting down notes. Leather straps are used to hang it, and as a sleeve to keep a piece of chalk within easy reach.

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More is more when it comes to kids’ creativity: They’re prolific artists -- and they work on a larger scale. (They would never settle for 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper when 11-by-17-inch is on offer.) In the playroom at Martha’s, a double-height bulletin board made from Homasote -- an affordable fiberboard used for soundproofing -- covered with fabric provides ample space for art by her grandchildren, Jude and Truman, as well as by visiting friends.

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The school permission slip. The envelope that needs to be posted. This back-door bulletin board organizes all of that -- and saves you precious time in the last-minute scramble as you head out the door. Ours is a basic store-bought corkboard that’s been painted and outfitted with a ledge and rod (to hold larger mail), plus cup hooks (for keys). Keep the family’s monthly calendar here, too, for at-a-glance reminders of doctor appointments and meetings.

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The family command center gets a modern upgrade thanks to Day-Glo Plexiglas. A sturdy pegboard base proves perfectly suited for sorting mail, displaying photos, and storing small items. Watch the full how-to.