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Message Central Pinboards: Large & Wrapped or Small & Framed

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"Where did I put that...?!?" You fill in the blank with any of the myriad of items that seem to go missing on any given day. Sew4Home friends and fans seem to never get enough of our clever storage solutions, so we have a new one for you: pinboards with pockets! We've created a companion set. One is large (a full 24" x 48") and simply wrapped; the other is smaller (16" x 20"), beautifully framed and finished with a decorative hanging bow. Both designs feature the wonderful new Silent Cinema fabric collection by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics. And, here's the best part... well, maybe not the best part - the best part is probably the beautiful Silent Cinema fabric, but equally cool: these are super-duper lightweight and easy to handle and hang, because the inside is construction-grade rigid insulation foam board.

We found our INSULFOAM® board at our local Home Depot. But, just about any larger home improvement type store should carry it. I outlined everything below, but keep in mind we used two different thicknesses of board. The larger pinboard is ¾" and the smaller pinboard is ½".

To learn more about Jenean Morrison and her brand new Silent Cinema collection, check our our Guest Tutorial.

BIG thanks to our friends at Free Spirit for providing the brand-spanking-new cuts of this great collection. We are always excited when we get fabric "hot off the press." BIG thanks as well to The Ribbon Retreat for providing all the grosgrain accent ribbon.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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NOTE: Our amounts are generous and allow for fussy cutting. Also, the cuts are sized specifically for the two foam boards we purchased and cut, as well as the frame we purchased. Width and height decisions shown are based on best use of the design not necessarily the most economical use of the fabric. If you're unsure or wishing to conserve, carefully look through the cutting instructions to judge how much of whichever fabric you choose may indeed be required.

24" x 48" LARGE WRAPPED PINBOARD

  • ONE 24" x 48", ¾" thick sheet of INSULFOAM® rigid insulation foam board
    NOTE: The standard size of these sheets is 24" x 48", but it does come in various thicknesses. You will use one full sheet.
  • 23" x 47" piece of heavy white craft paper to finish the back of the pinboard
  • 1½ yards of 44" wide thin white flannel
    NOTE: You will use the entire piece of flannel; if you're worried about the cut, get 1¾ to be safe.
  • Fabric for top left and top right corners: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Pink Iris by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Fabric for bottom left and bottom right corners: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Orange City Lights by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Fabric for bottom left and bottom right pockets: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Orange Sunrise by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Fabric for center panel: ¾ yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Gray Featurette by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Fabric for center panel's center diamond accent: ¾ yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Pink Intermission by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • 3 yards of 5/8" wide coordinating solid grosgrain ribbon: we used Flannel Grey Grosgrain from The Ribbon Retreat

16" x 20" SMALL FRAMED PINBOARD

  • ONE 24" x 48", ½" thick sheet of INSULFOAM® rigid insulation foam board
    NOTE: The standard size of these sheets is 24" x 48", but it does come in various thicknesses. Get the thinner type. You will cut the 16" x 20" piece from the full sheet, leaving you quite a bit extra... from which you can make MORE pinboards!
  • ONE 16" x 20" art frame, in the "open back" style built to accommodate a ½"- ¾" thick canvas
    NOTE: We found ours at our local Michael's, however, you could also look at second hand shops or garage sales for old framed art, remove the art and replace it with your pinboard. It is important that you look for the "open back" style frames as the cheaper sets of poster-type frames are very thin and will be unlikely to fit the ½" wrapped foam board.
  • Approximate 18" x 22" piece of heavy white craft paper to finish the back of the pinboard. The actual size will depend on the width of your chosen frame.
  • 1 yard of 44" wide thin white flannel
  • Fabric for top left and top right corners, and bottom middle panel: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Pink Iris by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Fabric for top middle square, and bottom left and right panels: 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Pink Starlet by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Fabric for bottom pocket: ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric; we used Silent Cinema in Gray Featurette by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • 2½ yards of 5/8" wide coordinating solid grosgrain ribbon for accents: we used 5/8" Flannel Gray Grosgrain from The Ribbon Retreat
  • 4 yards of 2¼" wide coordinating solid grosgrain ribbon for pocket accent and hanging ribbon and bow: we used 2¼" Flannel Grey Grosgrain from The Ribbon Retreat

BOTH BOARDS

  • 7/16" decorative upholstery nails: we used two on the large board and four on the small board
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics: we used Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP in #230 Silver
  • All purpose thread to contrast with accent ribbon: we used Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP in #1440 Shrimp
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors and rotary cutter and mat
  • Box cutter
  • Large T-square: optional, but very helpful
  • Fabric-safe spray adhesive: we used Aleene's Crystal Clear, Acid-Free Tacky Spray and Elmer's Craft Bond Spray
  • Clear packing tape
  • Tape measure
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

24" x 48" LARGE WRAPPED PINBOARD

All cuts include the amounts needed to wrap around the ¾" foam board.

  1. From the thin white flannel, cut one piece 53½" wide x 29½" high.
  2. From the fabric for the top left and top right corners (Silent Cinema in Pink Iris in our sample), cut TWO pieces 20¼" wide x 16¼" high.
  3. From the fabric for the bottom left and bottom right corners (Silent Cinema in Orange City Lights in our sample), cut TWO pieces 20¼" wide x 16¼" high.
  4. From the fabric for the bottom left and bottom right pockets (Silent Cinema in Orange Sunrise in our sample), cut TWO pieces 20¼" wide x 23¼" high.
  5. From the fabric for the center panel (Silent Cinema in Gray Featurette in our sample), cut ONE piece 17" wide x 31½" high.
  6. From the fabric for center panel's center diamond accent (Silent Cinema in Pink Intermission in our sample), carefully fussy cut the full main medallion motif plus ½" on each side. In our sample, this yielded a 13" x 13" square cut.
  7. Cut the 5/8" ribbon into TWO 20¼" lengths and TWO 31½" lengths.

16" x 20" SMALL FRAMED PINBOARD

All cuts include the amounts needed to wrap around the ½" foam board.

NOTE: You see a lot of thirds in the cuts below don't you? That's because we have an odd number of panels on a board that is even in size. There aren't third markings on most rulers, so what do you do? One-third is almost exactly 11/32" - a little under 3/8", which means two-thirds would be about 6/8" or a little under 3/4". Do the best you can. You can always center and fudge a bit when you do the final wrap around the foam board.

  1. From the thin white flannel, cut one piece 25" wide x 21" high.
  2. From the fabric for the top left and top right corners, and the bottom middle panel (Silent Cinema in Pink Iris in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 10⅔ x 10⅔" squares
    ONE 7⅔" wide x 13⅓" high rectangle
  3. From the fabric for the top middle square, and the bottom left and right panels (Silent Cinema in Pink Starlet in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 7⅔" wide x 10⅔" high rectangle
    TWO 10⅔" wide x 13⅓" high rectangles
  4. From the fabric for the bottom pocket (Silent Cinema in Gray Featurette in our sample), cut ONE 27" wide x 15" high rectangle.
  5. Cut the 5/8" ribbon into TWO 21" lengths and ONE 27" length.
  6. From the 2¼" ribbon, cut ONE 27" length; the remainder will be used for the hanging bow.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

24" x 48" LARGE WRAPPED PINBOARD

  1. Press all your cut pieces so they are nice and flat.

Construct the side panels

  1. Place the top right piece and bottom right piece right sides together. Pin along the width.
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open.
  3. Fold the pocket piece in half widthwise, wrong sides together. Press well.
  4. Place the pressed pocket piece, right side to right side, on the bottom of your right sewn panel. Align the bottom and side edges of both pieces. Then, using your see-though ruler, make sure the top folded edge of the pocket piece is parallel with your panel seam.
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  5. Machine baste the pocket piece to the panel along both sides and along the bottom, staying approximately 3/8" from the raw edge.
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  6. Measure approximately 5½" from the LEFT raw edge of the panel and draw a vertical line from the top of the pocket to the bottom. Make sure your use a fabric pen or pencil that will wipe away with water.
    NOTE: I say approximately, because you can also determine it based on the design motif. Feel free to make the pocket division slightly larger or smaller in order to cut through your design motif at a logical point.
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  7. Increase your stitch length and stitch through all layers from the bottom of the pocket to the top, following your drawn line. If possible, use a lock stitch rather than a backstitch at the top of the pocket for a neater finish.
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  8. Repeat these steps to create the left panel. The only change will be that your pocket division line will be approximately 5½" from the RIGHT raw edge of the panel.

Construct the middle panel

  1. Our center accent is for decorative purposes only, to take advantage of the beautiful big medallions of Silent Cinema. You can skip these steps if you choose not to apply a center accent.
  2. Turn under ½" on all sides of the fussy cut center accent piece. Press well.
  3. Position the pressed piece in the middle of the center panel. We used the lines of our Silent Cinema Gray Featurette to exactly position our piece. Pin in place.
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  4. Edgestitch in place around all four sides.
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  5. Carefully pivoting at all the corners.
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Assemble the panels

  1. With right sides together, pin the right side panel to the center panel. Stitch together using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open.
  2. With right sides together, pin the left side panel to the center panel. Stitch together using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open.
    NOTE: Before stitching in place make sure that the top edge of your two pocket panels are exactly even on either side of the center panel.
  3. Find your two 20¼" lengths of ribbon. Place one length along each horizontal side panel seam from just over the center panel seam to the outside raw edge.
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    NOTE: You can simply pin in place prior to stitching, but I recommend adhering the ribbon to the fabric with either a fabric adhesive spray (this is what I did) or an adhesive tape, like Steam-A-Seam.
  4. Re-thread your machine with contrasting thread in the top and bobbin.
  5. Stitch the ribbon in place, using either two lines of edgestitching or a wide decorative stitch. I chose to use a decorative stitch on these horizontal ribbons.
  6. Find your two 30½" lengths of ribbon. Place one length along each vertical center panel seam from the top raw edge to the bottom raw edge. Adhere with pins or a spray or tape adhesive.
  7. Stitch the ribbon in place, using either two lines of edgestitching or a wide decorative stitch. I chose to use two lines of edgestitching for these vertical ribbons.
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  8. Here's a close-up of how the two lines of ribbon look at their intersection. Press all the ribbons well with low heat.
    Click to Enlarge

16" x 20" SMALL FRAMED PINBOARD

  1. Press all your cut pieces so they are nice and flat.

Construct the top panel

  1. Pin right sides together, then, using a ½" seam allowance, stitch one 10⅔" x 10⅔" square to either side of the 7⅔" x 10⅔" rectangle. Press seams open.
    Click to Enlarge

Construct the bottom panel

  1. Pin right sides together, then, using a ½" seam allowance, stitch one 10⅔" x 13⅓" rectangle to either side of the 7⅔" x 13⅓" rectangle. Press seams open.
    Click to Enlarge

Assemble the panels and add the ribbons

  1. Pin the top panel to the bottom panel, making sure to carefully align all your seams. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open.
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Find the two 21" lengths and one 27" length of 5/8" ribbon.
  3. Place the 27" length of ribbon across the middle horizontal seam, centering it over the seam from side to side. As above, adhere with pins or a spray or tape adhesive.
  4. Re-thread your machine with contrasting thread in the top and bobbin.
  5. Stitch the ribbon in place, using either two lines of edgestitching or a wide decorative stitch. I chose to use two lines of edgestitching.
  6. Place one 21" length of ribbon along each of the two vertical seams, extending from the top raw edge down, stopping about 2-3" from the bottom raw edge. The ribbon doesn't need to go all the way to the bottom because it will be hidden behind the pocket. Adhere with pins or a spray or tape adhesive.
  7. Stitch the ribbon in place, using either two lines of edgestitching or a wide decorative stitch. I chose to use two lines of edgestitching.
  8. Here's a close-up of how the two lines of ribbon look at their intersection. Press all the ribbons well with low heat.
    Click to Enlarge
  9. Fold the pocket piece in half widthwise, wrong sides together. Press well.
  10. Find the 27" length of 2¼" ribbon. Press the ribbon in half. Encase the top folded edge of the pocket with the ribbon.
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  11. Edgestitch in place through all layers.
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  12. I used the same gray thread I used for all my construction and a standard stitch length for this line of stitching.
    Click to Enlarge
  13. Place the pressed and edged pocket piece on the right side of the bottom of your finished panels. Align the bottom and side edges of both pieces. Then, using your see-though ruler, make sure the top folded edge of the pocket piece is parallel with your horizontal panel seam.
  14. Machine baste the pocket piece to the panel along both sides and along the bottom, staying approximately 3/8" from the raw edge.
  15. Divide the pocket piece into thirds by drawing a vertical line directly below and in line with the center of the vertical ribbons.
    Click to Enlarge
  16. Increase your stitch length and stitch through all layers from the bottom of the pocket to the top, following your drawn lines. If possible, use a lock stitch rather than a backstitch at the top of the pocket for a neater finish.

Wrapping the boards

I am showing the wrapping steps on the smaller pinboard because getting that big one in the photo frame would have required a crane! The steps are the same. Be prepared to get a little sticky. Make sure your work surface is covered with paper, but don't use newspaper as the newsprint can run off on your fabric.

If you have a helper hanging around, it's nice to have an extra pair of hands with the glueing and wrapping - especially on the bigger board.

  1. Cover the plain white side of the foam board (the side without the writing) with spray adhesive.
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  2. Place the cut flannel piece over the the foam board, making sure it overlaps all four sides evenly.
  3. Flip the board over and spray the one side of the flannel that is extending beyond the foam board.
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  4. Wrap that edge tightly around the board and flat against the back. Press it in place with your hands.
  5. Repeat to wrap the opposite side. Then, repeat to wrap the top edge and, finally, the bottom edge.
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    NOTE: It's important to go in this order to get a nice smooth and even wrap: side, side, top, bottom. You could go: top, bottom, side, side. Do NOT try to go out of order: bottom, side, top, side.
  6. Lay the flannel-wrapped board against the wrong side of your completed fabric panel. Center the board so your fabric panel extends evenly from each side. You should have approximately 3½" - 3¾" extending to make your wrap. 
    NOTE: You don't have to spray the flannel with adhesive. The flannel is "grippy" and the taut wrap around to the back in enough to keep the fabric in place. Skipping the adhesive under the decorative fabric also helps insure a smoother finish.Click to Enlarge
  7. Repeating the same wrapping style you used for the flannel, spray each side of the fabric panel and wrap them around to the back.
    Click to Enlarge
  8. Then, wrap up the top and bottom.
  9. Flip your frame over to the back and drop in your wrapped pinboard, gently pushing it down into place. (Skip this step is you are doing the large, unframed board.)
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  10. From the front, insert a decorative nail at each ribbon intersection.
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  11. Secure each side with a strip of packing tape.
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  12. Cut a piece of craft paper just slightly smaller than the back of your frame (or just slightly smaller than the board itself in the case of our large wrapped pinboard).
  13. Apply spray adhesive to all four sides of the back of the frame (or the back of the board), and carefully and evenly apply the paper to cover all the "mess" for a nice finish.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: The spray adhesive will look wet for awhile and may bleed through the paper, but it dries quickly and any darkness or discoloration from the bleed-through will disappear.
  14. We made a lovely ribbon hanger with a generous bow to hang our framed board.
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Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Project Concept & Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

Section: 

Comments (15)

gloria3133 said:
gloria3133's picture

I just finished the smaller one of these pin boards. Thank you for the clear instructions.  It came out nice.

Susan T said:
Susan T's picture

I love this pin board espically the fabric choises. It is beautiful. I plan on making the smalle one framed as I live in a small apartment and this will be perfect. I hate papaer hanging on my refrigerator it is sloppy looking . Thank you for Sharing !!

Evelyn Stamey said:
Evelyn Stamey's picture
So cute and such a good idea--can't wait to make it!
alicia.thommas said:
alicia.thommas's picture
Hi Eva H. That's a good question and we should have addressed it. The foam board has a plastic film on it that holds tape very securely. We used thumbtacks with fishing line between them, then taped over the thumbtacks to hold them in place. It would probably be better to use a screw or nail (not so long it goes through the foam). And of course you could use picture wire if you wanted instead of fishing line. From there, you can just hang from a picture frame hook on the wall (or two hooks). The back isn't beautiful, but no one will see it. Ours sample is still hanging and feels sturdy.
Eva H. said:
Eva H. 's picture
Hi, it is so gorgeous! I am going to make one this weekend. Just a question: how did you hang the bigger board?
ladycrafts said:
ladycrafts's picture
Thank you so much for this project. I have some vintage windows that I would like to turn into a message/pin board but didn't know what I could use to cover the glass sections without having to smash it out and put plain board inside the panes. This pinboard material will work wonderfully.
dragicap...made by me ... said:
dragicap...made by me ...'s picture
Fantastic,original idea.If you do something ,do it diferentlly,I like it !!!
dragicap...made by me ... said:
dragicap...made by me ...'s picture
Original idea! Fantastic! If you do somethnig ,do it diferently, i like it!!!
wordygirl said:
wordygirl's picture
Gorgeous fabric--this is the first time I've seen it. Thanks!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Shabana -- FatQuarterShop also ships internationally. Check out our new Shopping Directory section too.
elsah said:
elsah's picture
this is wonderful and I've been needing one, thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial!
roseytheriveter said:
roseytheriveter's picture
Shabana: I use Moda fabrics, or Fabric.com. These are awesome, easy to use fabric sites. Hope this helps.
shabana hameed said:
shabana hameed's picture
smilies/smiley.gifi just love ur site...i have learned a lot of sewing tips and ideas from u, thank you a lot...keep up ur good work.i don't get most of the material type that u use, from where i am located, so can you pls suggest any good fabric store for purchasing online as i have never done an online shopping..smilies/sad.gif once again thank you so much for being a good tutor.

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