A quick fix-up for the new year

Bulletin board on legs

Some weeks ago my husband decided to walk to meet our older son at the end of his evening shift at the local library. He noticed an old hinged bulletin board propped against a wall in the vestibule and discovered that it was tagged for removal. We were welcome to it if we could take it away, so the next morning when we were out running errands we stopped by and strapped it to the roof of the car.

If there is one thing that comes naturally to our family (apart from bickering and other such family past-times), it is reusing things and giving old things new life, and we’ve often brought home curbside finds and fixed them up. My husband saw great potential in this old-fashioned notice board as a resource in our homeschooling efforts, and he was quite right. As it has legs and is hinged, it’s able to act as a room divider while also serving as a place to organize a variety of pictures, lists and resources.

The front of the cork, intended for pinning items, is still in reasonably good shape, but the backs of the two boards are looking worn and faded. Covering them in fabric that I’ve had lying around for several years (left over from a duvet cover project for one of my children’s rooms) took mere minutes: my husband handled the chisels to gently prise out the boards, I measured and cut the fabric, and then my youngest wielded the stapler as we affixed the fabric to the first board. He decided to move on to playing with the dog while I completed the second board, and we were done before we knew it. My kind of craft project, completed not long after starting!

Old bulletin board with fabric covering

I wasn’t kidding about pressing this great, no-cost find into service as a room divider either; we have a room in the lower level of our home that has been, well, pretty chaotic since moving in two years ago. It has been chugging along in its rag-tag way as a combination playroom/guest bedroom where we also set up our seed trays in the late winter, and can often be found in different states of disarray.

Fortunately both my husband and I became fed up with this state of affairs at about the same time and over the holidays we finally set about doing a big purge/tidy, figuring out storage requirements for the space, and putting up pictures. It’s by no means ‘done’ (a much needed bookcase will be built in to an alcove in the room over the next couple of weeks), but it looks so much better and is now a great alternate space for hanging out. And the new bulletin board/room divider helps to hide any temporary toy messes over in the corner, which makes us happy.

Room with chair and room divider

To finish the project off we’ll want to address the water-stained legs and polish up the wood frame, but this piece is already adding some much needed cheer while also serving a very practical purpose. Time to go pin up those times tables and worksheets!

If you’ve got a favourite or recent second-hand find/fix-up project that you’re feeling good about, do tell!

20 thoughts on “A quick fix-up for the new year

  1. What a wonderful repurposing! So decorative, and useful, too. I’ve brought home old books and also of cardboard to make my chick brooder walls – the boxes that paperback spinners come in are wonderful, being about 5 ft long, and about 2 ft wide – but I’ve never had much of an eye for spotting potential in rejected furniture – you obviously do!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Isn’t cardboard versatile? I love the sound of those paperback spinner boxes. It’s funny the things that we find; for us it has ranged from an abandoned aquarium, to an old tube TV (still going!), and all kinds of bits and pieces, some large, some small. We’ve never jumped for a really big piece of furniture and I was impressed with a friend (who I don’t normally think of as a ‘recycler’ in this way, if I’m honest) who had the confidence to lug home a very worn old sofa from the curb last year. She has now had it restuffed and covered in new fabric, and it’s as beautiful as she thought it could be.

  2. I’m with you – the best craft projects are the ones that are soon finished. And there is no end of uses for a room divider. Taking a quick look around I see many corners of the house I’d like to just block off. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your great find!

    1. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one influenced by how quickly something can be done. I’m so focused on details in my work each day, when it comes time to get something done around the house I need it to be simpler. I guess I know my limitations! Good luck with your own crazy corners!

  3. This is a wonderful project. I really like the snazzy fabric, too. Personally, I wouldn’t do anything with the water-stained legs. I think a little bit of roughness adds character.

    1. Thanks Libby, I value that feedback. It is a little too easy to remove the character from things when we fix them up, so I’m taking that on board!

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