Corkboard doesn't have to be purely utilitarian.

How to Use Corkboard for In-Home Decor

by Kristine Lofgren

Poor corkboard -- far too often it gets relegated to a wall over your desk where it is buried under memos, soccer schedules and grocery lists. Underneath that utilitarian exterior, though, is a versatile design superstar just waiting to get out. Cheap, adaptable and functional, cork can transform any space in your home.

Frame It

Instead of using a framed corkboard to collect paper, use it to collect pictures. Think of a piece of cork as a ready-made photo collage space or a wall-mounted scrapbook that you can use to document your kids as they grow. The key to getting this look right is to organize the pictures in clean, formal manner. Line up pictures in rows by color or chronologically, or use 4-by-6-inch candid snapshots of family members to form a border around an 8-by-10 inch formal print. Hang it on a wall in the living room or hallway as you would any other piece of art.

Form a Wall

Corkboard isn't just handy; it is also a beautiful material on its own, lending warmth and texture to any space. It also happens to be durable, so it can withstand the abuse that growing children can dish out. Cork comes in rolls or tiles, which you can use to cover an entire wall, top to bottom. Add floor trim and molding to the wall to make it look like an original part of your home. Hang pictures on the cork wall as you would on a traditional wall, or let your kids decorate it however they want without your having to worry about nail holes in the wall. And remember to just cover a single wall in a room to avoid the recording-studio effect.

Kitchen Doors

Corkboard and kitchens are made for each other, but don't let the old kitchen standby go the way of boring and traditional. Mix it up by making the cork a part of the kitchen itself. Use a thin sheet of corkboard and cut it to fit the exterior of a cabinet door. Trim the cork so that it sits on the inside face of a cabinet door frame. Glue the corkboard in place; use it to display recipes, report cards, crayon art, or, yes, even grocery lists. Use a door that both you and your children can reach easily.


Just because most corkboard comes in a rectangle shape doesn't mean you have to keep it that way. Use a utility knife to trim corkboard into kid-friendly shapes like dots, stars, moons or triangles and create a shape collage on the wall of your child's room. Keep each shape under a foot in size and use several of them together for more impact. Stick them to the wall using double-sided tape and arrange the boards in a pattern, such as stars surrounding the moon or dots in a big circle. Leave the cork just like that, or stick a family picture, an image of your child's favorite cartoon character, or a letter cutout on each board.

About the Author

Kristine Lofgren specializes in interior design, Web design, photography and gardening. She owns an interior design business in Salt Lake City. A graduate of Salt Lake Community College's interior design program, Lofgren is pursuing a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Utah.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images