Monday, June 13, 2011

Making Memories {French Memo Board Tutorial}

Our niece, Ashley, graduated from high school at the end of May. One of her gifts was a French memo board I made for her in the colors of her dorm {she starts college this fall}. I did not even think to check blogland for tutorials, and I've never made one. I had one that I purchased brand new, unused at a garage sale 3-4 years ago. It was fucshia pink with orange ribbon. Not my style and not the colors of Ashley's dorm decor. I did not take a before picture of the memo board {sorry, I forgot}. I was thinking more about getting the project done in time rather than a blog tutorial. It hit me after I removed the buttons, removed the fabric panel on the back, ironed my fabric and stapled it on there that I should have taken a picture {Oops!}. Since I have been MIA from blogging, I just was not thinking, but you will get photos and the steps below. :) Hopefully the end result will make up for it.

· Inexpensive memo board
· 1 1⁄4 yards fabric of your choice
· Iron and ironing board, optional
· Fabric scissors
· Staple gun and staples
· 5 yards seam binding or grosgrain ribbon, 5⁄8 inch wide, color of your choice
· Covered-button kit with 3⁄4-inch buttons or re-purpose the buttons as I did
· Wire cutter
· Frame hanging wire
· Fabric for backside of board {muslin or cotton sheeting}
· ½ grossgain ribbon to cover staples on fabric on backside of board.
· Fabric glue

1. Remove and discard the buttons and ribbons from the original memo board. Note: If you are using a template board you made, be sure to wrap it in batting and then fabric. I remembered the ribbon pattern as I drew it on a piece of paper so I would know how to place my ribbon {a large "X" and 4 parallel pieces}.

2. Iron your fabric to remove any wrinkles, if necessary. Lay the fabric facedown on a flat surface {if using burlap, you will need to double the fabric so it is not see through}; lay the memo board facedown over the fabric. Cut excess fabric so there is approximately 2 inches fabric overhang on each side of the memo board.

Wrap the fabric to the back of the board, stretching the fabric so it is tight. Using the staple gun, secure one staple at the center of each side.

3. Wrap fabric over diagonally at each corner, and secure with a staple. Neatly fold in the remaining fabric and staple in place. Finish stapling the fabric around the memo board.

4. Turn the memo board face-up. Cut two ribbon pieces a few inches longer than the distance from corner to corner diagonally. Wrap one end to the back, and staple in place. Stretch the ribbon tight to the opposite corner, wrap the end to the back, and staple. Repeat with the second ribbon, forming an “X”. Add four more ribbons parallel to the first ones {this makes a diamond shape when looking at the “X”}, stretching them tight from the mid-points of each side.

I used two different colors of grossgrain ribbon, but you could use all the same color.

5. Insert a staple at each ribbon intersection. I used scraps of 2 inch wide silk ribbon and made five covered buttons, hand-stitching the ribbon to cover the buttons. I attached the buttons with fabric glue hiding the staples at each ribbon intersection. Furniture brads would be another great idea. Because I was gluing buttons on {used fabric glue so they don't pop off like they would if I used hot glue}, I covered the staples at each ribbon intersection with the finished button.

6. I covered the back of the board with fabric I had from a cotton sheet. I used pinking shears to cut it so it would not fray, stapled it in place, and covered the staples with 2 inch blue grossgrain ribbon {I took a photo of the fabric and did not take one of the ribbon covering the staples}. I glued the ribbon in place with permanent fabric glue. The tape on the unfinished board back was to cover where the staples poked through.

Voila! Here's the finished French memo board. {I put the buttons in place and snapped a photo prior to gluing them down}.

Sorry for the lighting in the photos looking so yellow. Batteries were close to dying and I took the photos the evening I made the board as opposed to daylight, which would have made for better pictures! You get the idea...

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As for our niece, the graduate, she loved it!

Remember, keep it simple, keep it crafty, keep it thrifty, and keep it chic!

I'm linking up to these parties this week. Stop by for some creative inspiration. I'll be adding new party links everyday:

Blue Cricket Design's Linky Party Button is not working so here is the link to her post:

Keeping It Simple

The DIY Show Off


Tip Junkie handmade projects



Transformation Thursday


The Shabby Nest



Boogieboard Cottage


  1. Hi there - love the French board - thanks for the how-to...

    Am your newest follower!

    I post about beachy things - maybe I'lll do one of your how-tos and credit you with your blog site sometime!

    Best Wishes-


  2. Your blog is so cute!! I will definitely be following you!! :) and will be watching your blog to learn some new things!! I would love it if would check out my blog and follow me back also!!

  3. Welcome Linda and Brooke! Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comments. I'll be checking out both of your blogs as well. I know they will be amazing.


  4. Great job, Kimberly! I can see why your neice was so pleased. The colors are perfect!

    Thanks for linking to the party last week. I would love to have you join me each week. Be sure to stop by tonight, and see yourself featured.

    By the way, I just joined you as a follower. ;)

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  5. Liz,

    I'm so incredibly humbled and grateful that you would feature me. WOW...what an honor! Thank you very much for the shout out. : )

    I'm a follower on your blog, too. LOVE it.

    Thanks again!


  6. this is lovely. so simple but so effective. love your blog too!

  7. The Mum of all Trades,

    I'm glad you like it and so glad you stopped by. Thank you for your kind words.


  8. Hey Kimberly!
    Cute memo board - I love it! Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog! I just wanted to let you know that when I inherited my first sewing machine I didn't know how to sew either! :) I took one basic sewing class at a local shop and after that I just learned as I went! If you can find a local shop that gives classes I definitely reccomend it!


I appreciate your comments and I read every single one. Comments are moderated in order to prevent Spam. Thank you for spending time on my blog. XO ~Kimberly