Select Region
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions
Home DIY: Message Board

Home DIY: Message Board

A step-by-step guide from Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours

As an anti-list maker and avid forgetter-of-all-things, I’ve had to change my ways now that I’ve got a toddler in tow. I wanted a message board that looked good whether it’s blank or packed with messages, so I worked up this project. These wood panels are available in many sizes in art stores and their depth allows you to rest a chalk marker on the top for writing. Remember that you must use photocopies from a laser printer. (An inkjet print will bleed when it hits the liquid Mod Podge.) You can just bring the book to the copy shop or lay the template directly on the copy glass. Because you don’t glue the graphics down until later, you can move them around until you get the composition you want.

Time: 1 hour
Learn: How to decoupage wood surfaces
Remix: Use this decoupage technique for keepsake wooden boxes or recipe boxes


  • Wood panel, 18-by-24-inch with 2-inch cradle
  • 400-grit sandpaper (optional)
  • Rag
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Base coat paint (optional)
  • Foam brush, 4-inch (10cm)
  • Laser printer
  • Graphics (Template 1Template 2)
  • White paper (standard weight, not cardstock)
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Chalk marker


  1. Prep the wood panel if it is rough by sanding with 400-grit sandpaper. Cleaning off wood with a wet cloth will raise the grain. Best to use a soft rag that is either dry or moistened with rubbing alcohol that evaporates quickly. Prime and paint the panel a solid color if you like, using a large foam brush.
  2. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the surface and sides of the wood panel with a foam brush and allow it to dry.
  3. Photocopy the graphics provided or design your own. Use a laser printer to print the images on white paper and then cut out the graphics with scissors.
  4. Position graphics in place to create a composition. I chose to space the graphics at least 2 inches inside the perimeter of the panel and then space them evenly from one another, but you could bunch them together as well. My composition means I will be writing my list over the graphics, but I chose this design so the board would still look interesting when there was no writing on it at all.
  5. Place one of the graphics facedown on scrap paper and use foam brush to coat it with Mod Podge. Then quickly place graphic back in position. Use foam brush to coat the front of the graphic with Mod Podge, stroking from center to edges. This will adhere the graphic and ensure a smooth surface.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all the graphics are adhered in position.
  7. Paint several coats of Mod Podge over the entire surface and set it aside to dry for at least 24 hours.
  8. Use a chalk marker to write your messages and wipe them off with a damp cloth when needed.

message board for the kitchen      

make it yours cover Reprinted from Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours. Copyright © 2017 by Christine Schmidt. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.


Find More DIYs and How-To Guides

Get Family Activities in Your Inbox


Christine Schmidt


Christine Schmidt, author of Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours, is an artist and the founder of Yellow Owl Workshop, an San Francisco-based paper goods company. 

See More

Featured Listings: