Ashley's Office DIY Decor


A long time ago, I made an “inspiration board” of sorts and loved it, but as time went on, the needs for my office space changed, and so did my style. I didn’t get rid of the old one, though! My necklace collection was overtaking the top drawer of our bedroom dresser, so I ended up adding some cup hooks in order to turn my old office inspiration board into a new necklace storage solution for our closet. (I’m putting a reminder in my phone to post a photo of it on Instagram later!)

Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard

After moving the old inspiration board to the master closet, there was a big ‘ole blank space on the wall. Rather than filling it up with artwork, which was my first idea, I decided that I wanted to hang another inspiration board. However, this time, I wanted something bigger and a little more on the simple side. I stumbled on this one from Pottery Barn, but I thought the $169 price tag was a little too much for something I could easily DIY for a fraction of the price. Besides that, I was really itching to do a DIY project because had been a while. A loooong while.

This is probably one of the easiest DIY projects we’ve ever done to date. It’s fast, simple and you definitely don’t really need any super handy DIY skills.

To get the ball rolling, I ordered a 48″x 36″ bulletin board (this one) on Amazon for $34 and some change. (It was $34 at the time, looks like the price went up a few dollars.)


I also picked up two yards of upholstery-grade linen from Hobby Lobby. I went with the simple, natural linen because I didn’t want anything too busy. Also, I thought it would blend well with the wall color I have now, as well as pretty much any other wall color if I decide to change it down the road. I went with the upholstery-grade fabric in hopes that it will help keep pins in place and prevent snagging from pinning and re-pinning.

Even though the Pottery Barn-inspired pinboard doesn’t have nail heads, at the last minute I grabbed a package we had stashed in our “hardware drawer” and held them up against the linen to get an idea of what it would look like. I didn’t hate it, so we rolled.

FYI: I did this project over the course of a day or so in between a lot of other to-do’s (with Greg’s help here and there because his arms are a lot longer than mine, haha) – which explains the change in lighting for the how-to photos. All in all, this project could probably take less than an hour, if you did it all in one “sitting” (so to speak).

DIY Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard / DIY Inspiration Board

This is where working on a large kitchen island was a huge help. I started out by rolling out the batting and laying the cork board right on top. Then, I just cut around the board about 1″ away from the edge.

DIY Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard / DIY Inspiration Board

Yep. That’s a picture of Duck Tape. We weren’t quite sure how to temporarily secure the batting and fabric around the edges until we were able to attach it permanently, so we used what we had on hand.

DIY Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard / DIY Inspiration Board

I know this looks super messy, but there was a method to my madness. The batting was so thin that using staples while we were still working on the board would have torn right through it. On top of that, I wanted the batting to be a smooth as possible against the cork board so Duct Tape was a good option for evenly-tugged edges. 

DIY Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard / DIY Inspiration Board

Don’t pull the batting too hard, or you’ll risk tearing it. You just want to get it tight enough that there aren’t any folds, wrinkles, etc. Ours turned out nice and even, thanks to our strange-yet-effective tape method.

DIY Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard / DIY Inspiration Board

Since the duct tape did such a good job with the batting, I decided to roll with it for the fabric as well. The whole time, I kept having to remind myself that no one was going to see the back of it. For good measure, and peace of mind, later on I went back with a heavy duty stapler and secured the fabric, batting and tape the the board.

Neither Greg nor I have any experience (at all) with upholstery, so we did the best we could with the experience we do have: wrapping presents. When it came to the corners, I just treated them like I was wrapping a present to get neat, crisp, tight lines.

DIY Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard / DIY Inspiration Board

Now for the time sucker of this project – the reason such a simple project takes an entire hour – the nailheads. In order to keep them evenly spaced – because if you know me, you know that if just one was off, it would bug the mess out of me – I took a metal ruler and used the width as the guide. I put a nailhead in right against the ruler, then another right up against the other side and hammered them in just enough so they would stay and slid out the ruler. To keep them marching in a straight line, I just used the edge of the cork board as a guide.

Once every nailhead was in place, it was time to hang it…

Hardware needed for hanging an inspiration board. /

We gathered some D-rings, a picture-hanging set (mostly for the wire), and a few picture hangers. We tend to use the D-ring + wire method around here because it means only using one nail, rather than trying to make sure two nails are completely level. It also makes hanging and re-hanging the piece a breeze. Last weird-lighting photo… promise!

How to Install D Rings /

Adding the D-rings is a cinch. Just measure a reasonable distance from the top of the piece (we used the metal ruler you’ve seen in other pictures), and attach them to the back of the frame with the included screws. Greg used a manual screwdriver and drove them in with brute force, but if you’re worried about the frame splitting, you might consider drilling some pilot holes first.

Pottery Barn-Inspired Inboard /

Voila! I love how it fills up the wall space so well! For you fellow-borderline-OCD people out there: yes, it looks to be off-centered. That’s because it is. We ended up hanging the board and positioning the cabinet over the left, closer to the corner, to make room for curtains in the near future. (“Near future” as in as soon as I find some I like.)

Pottery Barn-Inspired Pinboard

I love the nailhead detail and it was worth the extra time it took!

Installing D Rings /

As soon as Greg got the board on the wall, I grabbed a box from the cabinet that I’ve been stashing anything paper-like that I thought was well-designed, or special notes that I wanted to keep and started pinning. Like, actually pinning. Not adding things to a Pinterest board.

DIY Pottery Barn Inspired Pinboard /

I can’t wait to fill it up with more pretty papers, samples and things that can inspire me while I work. We’re another step towards a happier, more productive office space!

Flea Market Find / Sugar Mold Pen Holder /
When people see it, they always ask, so I figured I’d mention it… I found this sugar mold at the Nashville Flea Market. (AKA the BEST Flea Market I have ever been to. Ever. We actually picked one up for a friend of ours and I kept saying that I should have gotten one for our house. While Greg was going to go “check something out”, he went back to the booth to pick one up for me. Yeah, he’s a keeper.

Best Frames Ever! /

Since I already had the picture-hanging hardware and hammer out, I went ahead and hung the Elizabeth Mayville print I bought for my office space forever ago. I love this print and this photo doesn’t do it justice. I put it in a frame I picked up from Target. I feel like I’ve said this a million and one times, but I’m going to say it again… these are the best frames ever. They’re affordable, the thickness of the frame is perfect and the size of the mat is on point. It makes any piece of artwork look even better. Before my office is said and done, I’m sure I’ll be bringing in a few more of these. In case you’re wondering, (My print is 11×14, so I bought the 16×20 frame matted for 11×14 version.

Speaking of my office… We’ve been working on another cool DIY project in this room, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys soon. Hint: it may or may not be a massive corner desk! We just have a few finishing touches to do here and there, and we’ll be posting about it as soon as we’re done. (Hopefully next week’s post, but we shall see!)

If you don’t already, make sure you’re following us over on Instagram for house happenings and updates in between posts. @7thhouseblog

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  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Nice job, Ashley. Snazzy!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Love this!!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I need one of these in my guest room/craft room. This is perfect!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I actually like yours more than the Pottery Barn version! Well done!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks, Cara! It was about $90 less expensive, so that’s good to hear, haha.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2016 at 8:24 am

    WOW! I love how yours turned out. So nice! Oh I want one now! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  • Reply
    July 24, 2016 at 2:55 am

    The nailheads really work! They look great. Glad you clarified the off-centered hanging, I had a little twitch starting…

    So, you kept them evenly spaced with the ruler, but how did make sure you didn’t have an extra wide or extra narrow gap at the end of the row? Or, another way, how did you know where to start?

    • Reply
      July 24, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      I just did some quick calculations and started in the corner and worked my way to the other corner. Thankfully, all ended up well!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    LOVE IT!!! I may have to make one for my office!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I like that idea of thought, what a great job you did!

  • Reply
    Galveston Steve
    October 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I love the tacks/pins used around it. They give it the perfect look!

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