No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Oilcloth Pocket Board




Both easy to make and easy to clean, this clever board makes an ideal receptacle for outgoing mail and important notes. You can simply tack it onto an ordinary bulletin board, attach it to the fridge, or casually lay it out on the kitchen counter.


  • Homosote
  • Utility knife
  • Oilcloth
  • Staple gun
  • Ruler
  • Binder clips


  1. Step 1

    Using a utility knife, cut a 14-by-18-inch piece of homosote. Cut the oilcloth at least 2 inches wider than the board (the length of the oilcloth should be at least 1 foot longer than the board's width, depending on how many pocket folds you want to make).

  2. Step 2

    Starting about 8 inches from the bottom, pull the oilcloth upward until you make a 3-inch fold; it should resemble an upside-down Roman shade. (It's a good idea to do this with a ruler nearby, so you can make sure the folds are perfectly even.) After each fold, secure a binder clip on each side to hold the fold in place. When you've made all the pocket folds you want, make sure you have at least 2 inches on the top and bottom to fold in back.

  3. Step 3

    To attach it, lay the oilcloth on your work surface with the pocket folds facing down. Place the homosote board, centered, on top. Starting with the sides, remove the binder clips, and pull the oilcloth taught. Using a staple gun, staple the oilcloth onto the board; repeat on other side. Staple the top or the bottom in the same manner, pulling the oilcloth tightly; fold the corners as if you were wrapping a present. For the back, cut one more piece of oilcloth just slightly smaller than the board. Using the staple gun, secure the piece onto the back to cover the exposed homosote for a neat, finished look.

Martha Stewart Living Television



Reviews (30)

  • ambermkeefer 25 Feb, 2010

    Really, diannalee, you have nothing better to do with your time than look stuff up in a dictionary? Why don't you put down the dictionary, and do something constructive with your time? For example, you could make an oilcloth pocket board.

  • dcass3 22 Feb, 2010

    some of us have good reason we can not spell good!
    Dottie C

  • nene355 22 Feb, 2010

    no one has mentioned what you use to post your notes.... tape?

  • Sleipsner777 22 Feb, 2010

    I prefer this over the cork board for use with children. There are no thumbtacks or push pins to swallow or to fall on the floor to end up in a foot or shoe. Plus, there are no holes left in pictures or postcards. Like others here, I too, would recycle either old shirts, sheets, or curtains. Many parents have foam core board stored away after a child's school project has been returned. A good re-purposing for heavy cardboard from boxes! Don't have box large enough? Check with a local appliance s

  • SarahPayetteGarrison 22 Feb, 2010

    I believe homosote is just a thick piece of paper board that has been pressed together (like particle board)

  • PattiL 21 Feb, 2010

    This looks like a fun, decorative, and useful project. I especially like saslee's ideas; many years ago my mom and I made some boards along the lines she's suggested. We framed them with picture frames.

    Way to think GREEN, saslee!

  • saslee 21 Feb, 2010

    Here's a true GREEN way to implement Martha Corps idea...get an old bulletin board, or thick pc(s). of cardboard and old fabric/remnants(lI plan to use my husbands old jean shirt) and follow the same steps...TADA! End result is essentially the same thing but now it's economical

  • buzios 21 Feb, 2010

    what is a homosote?

  • diannalee51 21 Feb, 2010

    Sounds like somebody needs to check her dictionary, obviously Martha's staff has. Taut means "tight" and homasote is spelled correctly in spite of what your spellcheck might tell you.

  • ryenh 21 Feb, 2010

    I am wondering about what difference it makes using the homosote and covering it with plastic covering and using a cork bulletin board that is all ready to use? You can put contact paper on the bulletin board if you want it to look pretty.

  • LucyMaryJane 21 Feb, 2010

    FYI: Grandma Moses painted on homosote board. Used mayo lids as palets. The Bennington, Vt. Museum has a large collection of her work including the mayo

  • klpsnow 21 Feb, 2010

    Great idea but wow Martha and company, you need to check spelling. Taut (taught) and Homasote (not homosote)!

  • ellasc 21 Feb, 2010

    This would be a wonderful project to hold cards as reminders for tasks or scheduling for children. And for us! The cards, once completed, could be placed in the pocket or held with the clip to seperate the ones completed and yet to complete.

    Like this project..will use as a reminder to open or close our vacation cabin for guests.

  • Magreve 24 Jan, 2010

    It is properly known as "homasote" but it is misspelled all over the web (and even by the person in the real store who told me what it was called). You can buy online at ... that was the only site I found that sold small craft-size pieces, as opposed to room-insulating size.

    Homasote is a thick board, into which one can staple or tack things. It can be cut with a knife or a saw. It is kind of like compressed gray paper/fiber board, with a dimpled, rough-like surface.

  • Richmondgal 7 Sep, 2008

    For oilcloth, why not pick up a cheap tablecloth at a dollar store or discount store?

  • ur2creative 6 Sep, 2008

    Just a spelling correction in Step 3: pull the fabric TAUT, not TAUGHT! My son's 3rd grade teacher actually 'corrected' his spelling on this word -- but she was wrong -- he had written TAUT (with this usage), and she corrected it TAUGHT. So this misspelling/misuse always pops out at me.

    Great little project, by the way.

  • LindenBlossom 6 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea, and the addition of magnetic paint underneath is inspired! I just wonder if it is strong enough to work through layers of fabric and paper items. For those of you in the UK (sorry don't know if this is available in the US) check out for the most gorgeous shabby-chic designs.

  • LynneinChgo 5 Sep, 2008

    To anyone wondering where to buy oilcloth:
    Search Martha's past crafts using oilcloth. Readers have posted numerous sites where it can be bought.

  • dorothydori 5 Sep, 2008

    You can get good oil cloth at Hancock Fabric store

  • minquilter 5 Sep, 2008

    This site has really cute oilcloth...a nice quality at a fantastic price!

  • photophil 5 Sep, 2008

    You can buy vintage oilcloth tablecloths on Ebay, since you will be cutting it anyway some that are not perfect, or torn are selling dirt cheap.

  • photophil 5 Sep, 2008

    You can buy vintage oilcloth tablecloths on Ebay, since you will be cutting it anyway some that are not perfect, or torn are selling dirt cheap.

  • KatieAshworth 5 Sep, 2008

    Homosote is a type of fiberboard. I bought mine at Menards.

  • donnastamps 5 Sep, 2008

    I'd like to know where I can buy good quality oilcloth. It seems all I can ever find is the cheap imitation stuff.

  • humblebeefarm 5 Sep, 2008

    oil cloth is the picnic table tablecloth, the one you can wipe with a sponge. any store that sells tableclothes has them. i think i've seen them at home goods, target, walmart etc. they job is to find a pattern that isn't ugly

  • humblebeefarm 5 Sep, 2008

    sherri, i've never heard of magnetic paint! but what a clever addition to this project. i've been looking to do a handmade christmas and i think this project is doable and would make a nice enough homemade gift that would be appreciated

  • carylanne 5 Sep, 2008

    Ok, I know what and where to find Homosote but where do you get oil cloth?

  • sherriwilliamson 16 Jun, 2008

    I clled my local Home Depot and they do not carry Homosote. I emailed and asked for a local distributor. I was sent a message back within and few minutes. I used magnetic paint to cover the board before I covered it with oil cloth. My board is magnetic, and has two pockets at the bottome. Now I have requests to make more.

  • nataliemitts 25 Feb, 2008

    It is fiberboard that can be found at home supply stores (like Home Depot or Lowe's).

  • terkevmeg3 2 Feb, 2008

    What is homosote and where do you get this?