From grocery lists to your kids' activities, you'll be on top of it all with this affordable project from the special organizing issue of Martha Stewart Living.
Photography: Krause, Johansen
The Martha Stewart Show, February 2012
Start by painting a large wooden picture frame (without the glass).
Have galvanized steel (this will allow you to use magnets) and 1/4-inch-thick plywood cut to fit inside back of frame. Lay out linen or other fabric (enough to cover the board) on a flat surface; stack metal, then plywood on top. Wrap fabric around to back, pulling it smooth, and staple it to wooden backing.
Screw curtain-rod hardware to front of board, making sure rod stands out enough from the surface to accommodate roll of paper.
You will need a metal ruler with a hole in one end; drill a hole in the other end. Attach ruler to board with screws. Secure board into picture frame with metal clips.
Attach to wall using two triangle hangers. Thread roll of paper onto rod; pull down paper and slip the end behind the ruler.
For a pencil holder, screw a metal drawer pull into the front of the frame, centered at the bottom (as shown).
A message board is invaluable in the kitchen. This DIY version is fitted with a paper roll for lists and reminders; a metal ruler keeps the paper edge in place and serves as a paper cutter so you can tear off the sheet.