DIY: Memo Boards


Nerdship, let me make a confession. I like to collect things. (Shocking, I know.)  And for ages, I’ve been collecting buttons (or badges, if you’re British). I put them on my jackets lapels, my messenger bags, and on occasion, my scarves. I’d dump the plastic fishbowl out across the front counter of Hot Topic and paw through all the buttons until I found the exact Green Day/Ramones/weird vampire one that I wanted, thumbing my nose at the annoyance of the girl at the register.

As I got older I wore my buttons less, but at every concert merch stand, every museum gift shop, I still bought buttons.  They just lingered in a drawer for ages and I finally decided to figure out a way to display them – a memo board.  After spending hours in a Etsy browsing black hole, I realized it couldn’t be that hard to just MAKE my own board.  So I googled it and here we are.

I can never do anything in a small way, so instead of just making one, I decided to make one for me, one for my sister, and three smaller ones as Galentine’s Day gifts.  My BFF Sarah came over to help me because honestly, crafting is more fun when you do it while debating the merits of Tom Hiddleston’s face and wishing that the Marvel producers would give Hawkeye his own movie.

But I digress.  MEMO BOARDS.

Obviously, there are tons of places to get cool fabrics – Etsy, Spoonflower, etc., but since I was looking for something specific, I ended up getting all the fabric from For Sew It Seams on Etsy.  I got all the other supplies at Michaels, but you could get them almost anywhere.



What You Need:

  • A pair of sharp scissors

  • A staple gun with spare staples

    • Do not get this at Michaels. They wanted to charge me $70, which is crazytown.  I ordered this one on Amazon and it was perfect for this project.

  • A needle and thread to match your fabric/ribbon

  • A ruler or a tailor’s tape measure

  • A canvas of your chosen size – I made two in 16 x 20 and three in 9 x 12

  • A package of quilt batting – you’ll cut this to match the size of your canvas

  • Your choice of fabric – whatever size your canvas is, you’ll want to cut your fabric with about 5″ extra on each side for folding/stapling.

    • For a 16 x 20 canvas, you’ll need fabric sized 21 x 25 and for a 9 x 12, you’ll want to measure a 14 x 17 piece.

  • Ribbon, ⅜” size and at least a 6′ roll, just in case

  • Five buttons

  • Tacky glue

  • Flower wire


First, measure and cut the quilt backing.  The package I bought had more than enough for all five boards I made today.



Next, measure and cut your fabric. I used a tiny safety pin to attached the measuring tape to the edge of the fabric and it finally stopped slithering onto the floor.



Once that’s done, you want to gather your pieces and layer them. Fabric, print side out, on the bottom, then the quilt batting, and finally the canvas.




Now it’s time for fun with the staple gun.  Pull and fold the fabric edges taut around the canvas frame and staple at least three times.  Leave the corners loose and once all four sides are stapled, you can fold the corners down and staple those.  Depending on the size and thickness of your fabric, this might take one or two staples.


Grab your ribbon and measure a length long enough to make a diagonal line across the canvas.


Put a tiny drop of tacky glue on the corner of the frame – this will help keep the ribbon from slipping before you staple it.


Repeat that on the opposite corner.  Then you want to get another strip of ribbon and make an X.


For the diamond, I found it was easiest to measure just about 6″ from the corners.



Buttons! Each of your five buttons go at the places on the front of the board where your ribbon crosses.


Sewing the buttons on took up the most time on this project, which was both weird and frustrating because I kept stabbing my fingertips with the needle.

Last, the flower wire.  Unspool at least enough wire to fold it double, plus some extra, and measure 4″ from the corner.  Staple the looped side first and give it a gently tug to make sure the wire holds.  Then stretch the wire across the frame and staple again.  Loop and curl the loose ends.


And then you’re done!


This one is for my sister – she has a thing for owls.



BFF Sarah did a variation on the five button pattern.

Here’s all of them together-ish:


Mine is the dark blue one.  I didn’t bother with ribbons and buttons, since I planned to cover it with buttons.  Which I did:


Overall, it took about four hours to make all five of these.  (There was a cupcake break in the middle.  Crafters need sugary fuel.)  Cost-wise, I spent about $70 total for all the supplies and material, which isn’t that bad considering I’ve seen similar boards on Etsy for $25 – $30 each.  These would be great gifts for birthdays and Christmas and the smaller ones could even work as bridesmaid’s gifts.


Happy Crafting, Nerdship! If you are feeling crafty and decide to make one of these awesome Memo Boards – send us a picture (either by email, sharing it on our Facebook Page, or by Tweeting it to us!)

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