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How to Build a Message Center

Making a message center out of spare or leftover building materials is an easy and low-cost way to add a custom touch to any living space.

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Foyer and Stairs
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Determine Size

Start by determining the optimum size for your space. Almost any spare sheathing will work, although at least 1/2" thickness to prevent warping is preferred. Using a circular saw and a square or table saw, cut down a piece of sheathing to the desired size. If going larger than about 24" x 36", break up the center into several smaller panels.

Mount Surface

Cork backer usually comes in rolls of 2'x4' and tiles of 1'x1'. If using a rolled cork, unroll it and cover it with a flat object in advance to allow the material to relax. Next, thoroughly shake a can of spray adhesive for at least 60 seconds.

Spray overlapping rows of adhesive on the piece of sheathing. Make sure to evenly cover the surface and be careful not to overspray onto surroundings. Start at one end and evenly roll cork across the sheathing. Work slowly to prevent bubbles in the surface. Overhang on the sheathing will be trimmed off later.

Next staple the perimeter of the cork to secure. Make sure the staples are within 1/2” of the edge of the board. Flip the sheathing over (cork side down) and trim the excess with a utility knife.

Trim the Piece

If using trim molding, cut four pieces to length with a miter joint. Attach the trim to the sheathing using wood screws 1/4" longer than the sheathing. Drive the screws in from the back of the sheathing into the trim. Driving the screws with the board face down or using two small clamps will help keep the trim from moving or pushing away from the sheathing while tightening. If a gap is present, back the screw out and slowly and firmly drive it back it in.

Finish the Project

Now that the board is completed, the trim can be stained or painted. Be sure to mask the corkboard with painter's tape first. The message center can be mounted in several ways. Two panels can be joined with a piano hinge so that space behind the message center can be accessed. An aluminum wall cleat for pictures/mirrors would also work well.

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