DIY Photo Display Board From Cardboard & Fabric

5 Materials
1 Hour

How to create your own IKEA style photo display board using old cardboard and fabric.

I have two sons and like everyone these days I take loads of photos on my phone of them all the time. I saw an IKEA photo display board for sale second hand in a charity shop and bought it with the intention of printing out more of these photos instead of leaving them to fester on my phone. But as I have two sons and I like to be even handed about everything I also got to thinking how could I make a DIY Photo Display Board in a similar style out of stuff I already have? Here is how! 

The IKEA version I was copying was basically a canvas print with twine stabled to the back of it. If I had a spare canvas or old picture I didn’t want I probably would have stapled the fabric to that, but I didn’t have one to hand so I went with cardboard. I had a large A2 envelope so it was thick and in one piece. You could cut down a larger box to the size you want and/or tape pieces together to get the shape and thickness you are looking for. It doesn’t need to be a rectangle either. You could make this whatever shape you want! 

Once you have your cardboard selected the first step is to cut your fabric to size. I literally laid my spare fabric down on top of my cardboard and cut around leaving about a 5cm excess beyond each edge of the cardboard.

An important step for this project is to iron your fabric before attaching it to your cardboard backing. I laid my fabric pattern side down on top of an old towel and ironed it on the floor as it was a fairly large piece.

I was originally going to staple the fabric onto the cardboard until I realised my staples were too long and they would poke through the other side! So in the end I opted for spray adhesive to attach my fabric to my cardboard backing to make my DIY photo display board. Another option might be strong double sided tape. 

Whatever way you are attaching it the most important part to get a neat finish is how you fold your fabric at the corners. For more images and instructions on folding the corners if you aren't sure how - see the full tutorial here.

Using spray adhesive is fairly simple. I folded my fabric into place first, weighed it down with the sellotape and twine to stop it unfolding and then lifted the fabric where I wanted the glue and sprayed. It only takes about a minute to get tacky and then you just press down firmly.

The next step is to add your twine. Rather than measure it, I just tied it around where I wanted it and cut the ends off after I had secured it with a double knot. I didn’t have any specific distance between the pieces of twine either. I just eyeballed what looked good to me. You can choose more or fewer rows of twine depending on what you are intending to display. I intend to use this for 6×4 and 5×7 photos and maybe some event tickets and other small mementos. 

I also used sellotape to secure my twine in place as otherwise, no matter how tightly you tie it, there is a chance it will move. 

I used rather a lot of sellotape as that is what I had to hand. If you have duct tape or strong packaging tape you could probably use less as it will be stronger.

If you want to see a graphic of the criss cross overlapping pattern I used for my sellotape you can find it on the full blog here.

Because the final board was so light I decided to attach it to the wall with four small panel pin style nails. I actually have another DIY notice board I made that used an old picture frame as the base. 

Because it is essentially hung on the wall with a wire like a picture it tends to get knocked a lot and go a bit off kilter, so I prefer the idea of having this one secure to the wall on all four corners!

Resources for this project:

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Kristen Hubert
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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3 of 22 comments
  • Janey Crisman Janey Crisman on Nov 09, 2019
    This would be a great way to display Christmas Cards!

  • Toni Toni on Jan 15, 2020

    Been trying to figure out something cute yet inexpensive for a birthday board at work... perfect!! Instead of pictures we can use sticky notes or name badges. Thanks for the idea!!!