Somebody put a cork in us, because we’re done with our latest swift and simple DIY project. We wanted to create a convenient little bulletin board in the kitchen to keep favorite recipes and meal ideas on hand (and on our mind- anything in a recipe book is so far out of sight that it’s immediately forgotten). But we also didn’t want our collection of clippings to clutter things up in the kitchen.
Our solution? A hidden pin board that we created in around ten minutes for under $5. And all we needed were a four-pack of cork tiles from Target (snagged for less than 5 clams) and a bunch of push pins (which we already had in our junk drawer). The cork tiles came with little self adhesive squares for easy hanging, so the entire process was fast and furious.
Here’s what we started with: a blank interior door, a pile of cork squares, and a stack of recipes and easy make ahead meals that we’re constantly forgetting about:
In minutes I had my first tile up on the door. Other than making sure that the cork square was super straight before sticking it on, this step was no sweat.
I decided I wanted a bit of space between the tiles, and determined just by holding them up that three squares would fit perfectly on the door with a little breathing room between ’em. Houston, we have a pin board.
Then I just got to work pinning up all of the forgotten recipes, meal ideas, and food related paraphernalia that we used to collect and neglect. Finally they have a proper place right in front of my face.
The result is an inspiration board of meal ideas and recipes that remind us of their presence every time we reach for the spices or the olive oil. I even see it in the morning when I’m making oatmeal so I have time to think about what we could have for dinner waaay ahead of time, which is actually a novel idea (no more forgetting to defrost things). And it’s also a great place to pin shopping lists or grocery store coupons so they’re all in one spot.
We even toyed with the idea of painting the inside of the opposite cabinet with chalkboard paint to create a message center for jotting down notes, reminders, and even shopping lists- but we actually wondered if the fumes from the paint were the best idea in such a contained space full of food (maybe there’s no VOC chalkboard paint, which would definitely make us reconsider).
But even without the chalkboard, you gotta love that the whole cork square project was easy, efficient, and super inexpensive. Plus it can be adapted to display anything from chore lists for your kids to extracurricular schedules that usually clutter up your fridge. Kitchen organization never tasted so good!
fanTASTic. I will be doing this as soon as I get my hands on some cork tiles. No more list of meals for the week on the fridge. (Because I’m a total nerd and plan out every meal for a week before going to the store. Otherwise I end up forgetting items, or even better, forgetting how the items I got are supposed to go together.)
Yeah! Me Too! The simple things I never think of!!!
fantastic is right! awesome idea. can’t wait to share this one…
I love it! I use these in my bathroom & closet for outfit ideas I find in magazines. I peruse while brushing my teeth in the morning to figure out what to wear!
After reading this post, I’ve already decided that I am going to get to work on this when I get home from work this evening. I have hand scribbled recipes, print outs, and magazine clippings that I don’t have anything to put them in. This is a perfect solution, and I love the idea of hiding it away! Thanks guys!
Totally cute! Just beware falling tiles. I have those exact same corkboards from Target and the adhesive is, um, not so great. But I was hanging a bit heavier stuff, like a calendar, so this may be just fine.
Great idea and so easy!
I had the same “falling tiles” problem. Let us know if yours hang on OK. My tiles came from Staples, but look the same as yours.
You could use a dry erase board and marker on the opposite door, fume free. I actually know some teachers who use shower tiles as dry erase boards in their classroom.
Along similar lines, one cupboard door has trash pick-up holidays, library hours, hours for my banks, recycling guide lines and hazardous waste collection guidelines. I’ve also used “Command hooks” to hang my 1/2 tsp and tsp measuring spoons inside the cupboard with my herbs and spices. Inside my pantry, I have more “Command clips” with my shopping lists for different stores.
So far, the paper stuff has been managed with tape but your cork boards look much better. Adding cork to my Target list.
I agree with Kristen. A thin dry erase board board mounted inside looks pretty and you would not have to worry about dusty chalk residue getting into your food. Similar to dry erase board idea/shower tiles is The Write Plate. http://www.writeplate.com Instead of buying one of these pricey plates from that site, I went to TJ Maxx and found a large, square plate with similar edges to it for much less (it looks better without a ribbon on it anyway!). It sits in a book stand on my kitchen counter, but I am going to figure out a way to mount it to my neutral backsplash tiles.
Rachel of One Pretty Thing says
Fabulous! I’ll be linking to this in The Daily DIY.
I’ve used these exact Target cork tiles for a similar project before – I covered 4 with some simple fabric and hung them in a horizontal row above my desk. Right now I’m using them to house postcards from my favorite travel destinations. I’m sort of painting that room so it’s in shambles right now, but I’ll send you a picture sometime! I love the idea of using these in your kitchen cabinets.
We’ve done this too, as I hate seeing ugly, but useful things like lists, calendars and reminders on fridges!!! Things like this, must be hidden away.
Also, the inside of our medicine cabinet is magnetic, so I leave reminders, “BEFORE WEIGHTLOSS PHOTOS” and other personal things.
I’ve done the same thing in our kitchen. One door has recipe ideas, one door has takeout menus and one door has family photos. It’s a great way to declutter the front of your fridge.
Just may have to do this too. You make a great case this helping to keep oneself out of a food preparation/ dinner idea rut.
not related to cork but what are your favorite gifts to give for the holidays? I am sure you have wonderful gift ideas. happy early early holidays.
I wonder why I didn’t think of this. I’ve been trying to figure out where to put my corkboard/dry erase board in my kitchen as there isn’t really a good spot.
Along the same lines: I typed up a list on the computer and printed it out of all the phone numbers for the utility companies, etc, so we don’t have to go digging for them if we have a problem with the cable bill or the power goes out or whatever. I taped it to the inside of the cupboard by our main phone so they are just right there. On the inside of the other cupboard I hung one of those 3M removable adhesive hooks and hung our ring of “spare keys” on it, so when we need to unlock the gate to take the trash out or go get the mail, I don’t have to dig my “regular” keys out of my purse. Ooops, now everyone knows where the keys are for when they break into my house. :)
I think I will definitely do this. Great idea!
I love it , I do have chalk board paint on the inside of my cabinet door it works well and looks great , my understanding is that the paint I used is low VOC .
So glad you guys enjoyed this quick and simple lil’ project. We’re definitely using our recipes and even remembering to shop for the right ingredients these days so life is good. As for the cork squares loosing stickage, I can assure everyone that the type that we picked up were the floppy, light kind (not the rigid thicker kind) and those little adhesive squares are like liquid nails- they’re up there for life.
At Target there are a few different kinds of cork, so if it helps we snagged the cheapest 4-pack we saw (around $5 as opposed to a thicker option which was $8). And as for all the marker board and chalkboard comments, we’re actually finding that the pin board is sufficient for pinning up shopping lists and reminders thus far, so the message board might not even be necessary… but when it is, we’ll have a flurry of ideas- thanks guys!
p.s. Oh and Lindsey, we have about a million favorite gifts for the upcoming holiday season, so stay tuned for everything from DIY prezzies to cheap and fabulous finds for all!
heading to target now!
great, yet simple, idea! thanks for the inspiration!
I was planning on hanging some corkboard inside my cabinets, too. Thanks for the easy tutorial!
I have this in my kitchen as well. SO useful!
LOVE this idea! I went home last night and told my husband about it and he was a huge fan as well. My fridge is so cluttered right now and since we’ll officially be home owners in exactly three weeks, this sounds a perfect first DIY project in the new house.
I used Wallies repositionable chalk board (like contact paper) inside my cupoards to write my grocery list. Also hide my son’s school lunch menu inside the cupboard.
You can make your own chalkboard paint in any color you want with as few VOC’s as you want…
love it! it seems that a pin up board is always needed, but not always wanted to be seen. great idea and location! i will have to do this.
Love this idea! You can probably find pre-cut chalk boards (like the cork) and just stick it on the other side. This idea would be perfect for the inside of our pantry door, too!
Found via One Pretty Thing–I love this idea and I know it would work brilliantly for me as well.
This is going to sound stalker-strange, but I am a neighbor! I have long admired your house–I thought the trellis looked very deliberate, perfectly balanced, and I love the white pumpkins you put out for Halloween.
Internet design rockstars in my own ‘hood!
They sell chalkboard stickers. They can be pricey but keep an eye out. You can remove them. You could easily put one on the inside of your cabinet. I have used chalkboard paint on my kitchen walls. It didn’t stink even when it was wet. I bought it rather cheap at Lowes. I love it and no one knows it’s chalkboard paint because it now comes in different shades.
http://www.wallnutz.com/search.php just an example…I’m sure you talented peeps can find them cheaper somewhere.
Pam Harris says
Thank you 1,000,000,000 times for this post. I found this hiding place on the back of my cabinet doors several years ago for lists of what spices I have in the freezer, that pie crust recipe I always use, emergency substitutions,… but never thought of using cork board as a way to attach them. Way better than the scotch tape I have been using! I can’t wait to get started.
I found the post as a link on OnePrettyThing this morning – I will be back!
Brilliant!!! Thank you for the great idea!
thanks for this great idea, i am off to target now. i hate having to hunt for recipes of things i make often, so this is a great plan!!
I absolutely love this! I wanted to put a cork board on the end of our pantry cabinets but my hubby disagreed with the placement, and even more so, the cluttered look. He will have no argument about this, and if put it inside the right cabinet, he probably wouldn’t even notice for a while. I have already written it down in “my brain” (which you can see here, if you’re interested. http://scrimplythrifty.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/my-brain-book/ ) And this addition in the kitchen (and maybe laundry room)along with the other great ideas noted here, like command hooks for keys, will also be a great way to keep my ever so human brain better organized. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this valuable find!
i loved this idea and did it in my own kitchen except now i am having the problem with the falling tiles. i was wondering now that you’ve had yours up for awhile, if you have encountered this problem yet? any suggestions?
So sorry you’ve got a case of falling cork! We haven’t experienced this ourselves (probably due to the fact that we picked up the extra light, thin cork from Target- they offer two types and the lighter thinner kind seems more apt to stay put) but we do have a few suggestions for ya.
1. You could try purchasing some of those 3M self adhesive pads (sold everywhere from Walmart to Target) instead of relying on the less sticky self adhesive pads that come with the cork. They should do the trick for good, especially if you apply some pressure to them for 30 seconds or so after stickage (which is usually recommended in the directions).
2. You can also grab some caulk adhesive or Liquid Nails for a more permanent solution (but what potential buyer wouldn’t want an in-cabinet cork board? Again just be sure to hold the cork in place with some decent pressure while the glue dries for a strong bond. Good luck!
sherry – thanks for the tips. i’ll definitely check out the 3m adhesive pads.
I love this….I’m getting a new kitchen this month, and have promised myself not to clutter the fridge with “important” stuff. This idea will work great for me! I also like it for the Medicine chest…so I won’t for get to take my meds! Thanks!
Do you use special pins, though? I’ve wanted to do this for ages but Hubby is concerned that we’ll stab the daylights out of our (oak, now painted glossy white) cabinets.
We just used regular clear push pins but they only sink into the cork about a centimeter so they don’t even go through the back of the cork into the cabinets at all. Unless you’re really using some brute strength they should hold things up just fine at that depth without harming your lovely painted oak cabinets! Hope it helps.
in some other feedback on this, Jen, someone suggested a tot stapler, which works great and is the right length for the thinner cork… i keep it on the shelf where my cork is, so i’m “armed and ready” at all times!
All right…I’ll just have to tell Hubby that one place he should refrain from using his super-manly brute strength is with the cork boards. ;) Thanks bunches!
I’m going to Target this weekend and have the cork on my list of things needed. I’m going to start with one in the kitchen cabinet and then maybe putting one on my craft closet door. Thanks for the GREAT idea!
Hey Sherry! This is a great idea to keep track of recipes. I still stick to my recipe folder for recipes and notes ‘cos I have so many of them. But I like your idea of using cork boards to hold things up in the kitchen.
Do you think i can use this idea to arrange my necklaces? Think it will hold up?
Also, I was hoping to attach the cork boards on my bedroom wall (I have a rental) and I am afraid they might damage the wall/paint. Do you have any ideas about what I could use to cause the least damage to walls?
Good question about the jewelry hanging idea for your bedroom! I actually think the adhesive squares that come with the cork might damage a bedroom wall because they could peel the paint or even the drywall. That being said, there are lots of other ways to hang jewelry on the wall without doing as much damage. How about using a simple frame but taking out the glass and adding the cork inside the frame? That way you have a big square of cork on the wall that you can pin things to with only one nail hole to worry about! Happy hanging…
This is pretty much the coolest idea ever!! I am going to Target right now to get started on mine :) Thanks!!
Oohh! I see this being super helpful. Maybe one board for bills, one for recipes, one for the to do lists. It could totally free up the mess on the fridge! And that “hot spot” mess on my counter, which seems to gather in an area that’s the first thing you see when you walk in our door :) I might need to add a basket for incoming mail, and a cup for keys.
As always, you guys have the best ideas!
Thanks Sherry for your input! Will be trying your idea soon. I need some serious jewelery organization.
Good luck with your framed cork project! We did a similar thing for a vintage map (which we stick pins in to track all the places we’ve been together), so here’s that link for reference:
Hope it helps!
I’ve been wanting to do something like this, thanks so much for the idea and easy directions! I’ll have to stop by Target today…
~Jamey in Kansas City
what a great idea! then when you’re looking in your cabinet you can get ideas about what to make!
Quick question, I know this was posted a while ago, but I’m a new reader so you’ll have to forgive me for rummaging through your archives…
Seeing as I live in an apartment, do you think the little adhesive squares that hang them would work for easy removal as well? Or do you think it would leave some nasty residue or take paint off the cabinets? Just wondering before I ruin something.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Glad you’re making your way through our archives! Our modification for this project to ensure that it’s residue free for renters would be to snag Command Picture Hanging Strips (by 3M sold at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, etc) and use them to hold the cork squares in place instead of the stickier squares that come with the cork. The beauty of the Command Strips is that they release without leaving a mark (with a simple tug of the strip when you’re ready to move) so it should be foolpoof. Hope it helps!
My old neighbour and I were toying with idea of doing this in our old cabinets! We both love creative cooking ideas and lived in base housing at the time where we couldn’t permanently change anything.
She ended up doing her kitchen table top with whiteboard paint instead, which was awesome since she has two small boys. You can see the finished project at her blog, http://geekdetails.wordpress.com/
Given how you were concerned about the potential dangers of using chalkboard paint in your cabinet, I wondered if you could use whiteboard paint instead and found this site, http://www.ideapaint.com/ which says it doesn’t contain formaldehyde or produce any harmful gasses once it dries.
It would be really great to have inside a cabinet to jot down all those little things you need to pick up next time you go shopping!
Hey Sherry- Great idea! You can make your own chalkboard paint with your favorite paint (no VOC included)! Here’s how:
Start with flat-finish latex paint in any shade. For small areas, such as a door panel, mix 1 cup at a time.
1. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with a paint stirrer, carefully breaking up clumps.
2. Apply paint with a roller or a sponge paintbrush to a primed or painted surface. Work in small sections, going over the same spot several times to ensure full, even coverage. Let dry.
3. Smooth area with 150-grit sandpaper, and wipe off dust.
4. To condition: Rub the side of a piece of chalk over entire surface. Wipe away residue with a barely damp sponge.
Hope this helps! You’ve inspired me to do more with my home! Thank you!
Verrrrrry interesting indeed. Thanks for the tip!