Corkboard Tiles

Like probably every parent alive, I am drowning under “art” done by my children.

And, of course, once a single solitary crayon mark has been made, that paper is suddenly infinitely precious. Woe be upon the parent who is foolhardy enough to try to sneak it into the recycle bin.

That, combined with the large blank wall in our playroom, meant that when I saw this on Pinterest, I immediately decided I could do something similar:
(via Decor8)
This one uses clipboards, which I wasn’t really interested in, and I didn’t need QUITE that many (although Ella might beg to differ). 
A few bucks of corkboard tiles later, we went from this blank wall of boring. . . 

to this:

Also, I cleaned up the top of the shelf, so. . .you know, that helps too.

If you want to hang your own, you’ll need:

  • 12″ x 12″ cork tiles (I bought mine at JoAnn Fabric for $6.99 for four (and then used a 50% off coupon). I also looked at Michael’s, Target and Wal-mart and these were the cheapest).
  • Painters tape
  • A measuring tape
  • A pencil
  • Adhesive (they came with my cork tiles)
  • Hammer
  • Small nails
I measured 15 inches above the shelf and marked it along the whole length (if I did it again, I’d probably do 12 inches instead, but I’m reasonably happy with 15″ too). Line your tape up along those lines. 
Repeat 15 inches above so you have two parallel lines of tape. 
Put your adhesive on the back of the first tile and then line it up against the bottom row of tape and press in place. Measure three inches across and mark with your pencil, then hang up your next tile. Repeat with remaining two tiles. 

Now hang your second row (above the first row). I did exactly the same thing, except I also lined my tiles up against the bottom tile and then slid them upward to be sure they were as symmetrical as possible.

Once they are all in place, pound one small nail through each board to hold them in place (I didn’t do this and when I came home from Zumba last night, three of them had fallen down, which broke the corner off of two of them. . . I’m totally thrilled about this. Which meant I was pounding nails at 9:15 p.m. last night to get them all back up and to keep them from falling off again).

Remove your painters tape and voila! Plenty of space for all your child’s amazing artwork.

Of course, the minute I finished, Ella went and scrounged up 8 ratty pieces of paper and said “I’ve got art for all of them!”

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  • Reply Señora H-B March 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Love this idea! I had the same tiles above my desk for awhile and had the same issue with the adhesive. You'll definitely need to keep us updated with Ella's artwork.

  • Reply Nina March 21, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Love this idea….It breeds creativity.

  • Reply Maren T. March 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Love it! Ps this is probably common knowledge but where is the shelf from? It's the perfect combo of toy storage and picture book storage

    • Reply Janssen March 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      It's the EXPEDIT from IKEA (we have three of them!).

    • Reply Maren T. March 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks I was guessing ikea was the culprit but wanted the assurance from you to take out the guesswork

  • Reply Paige Flamm March 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I love this idea! Are you guys planning on filling in the holes before you move out of your house? Or are you hoping your landlord doesn't care? We've yet to hang a picture in our new place out of the fear of filling them when we leave, or is it not even that hard?

    • Reply Janssen March 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Super easy! Just get some putty and fill in the holes. 30 second project 🙂

  • Reply Kristi March 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I am loving the app "Keepy". I take a pic of it, record my kid talking about it and…into the recycling bin it goes (most of it, the actual super special ones I keep of course) 🙂

  • Reply Becca March 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Brilliant! As usual! We've got on big boring wall in T's room that I can't figure out what to do with. Again, problem solved.

    Now I just need you to develop an app where you can text me what I should have for dinner every night.

  • Reply Hohmann Family March 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I really like this idea! Now for a place to do it….

  • Reply Megan B March 21, 2014 at 9:09 pm


  • Reply Sanja T March 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    This is such a great idea. Even an entire room full of the cork tiles wouldn't be enough for all the art kids make.

  • Reply Peaceful Reader March 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I love this idea. By the time she is in elementary school you might have to add a few more squares. Groovy Girl once found some "art work"of hers in the kitchen garbage and she had a bit of a fit!

  • Reply kimmie March 22, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Such a cute idea, though I'm wondering about how secure those push pins are? They look like they're longer than the actual corkboard, so are they sticking out? I'd be afraid of the pins falling out after awhile and getting lost on the floor only to get stepped on by tiny feet.

    I've given up trying to save our kids' artwork because it's just one big jumbled mess of paper (my son especially likes to cut things out so it's like tiny tiny scraps of paper here and there) so I've been taking pictures of all my favorite artwork and planning on inserting them into my annual photo books 🙂

  • Reply Celeste March 22, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Even I can tell that that new camera is hugely amazing. You're "everyday" photos aren't so everyday anymore! P.S. Sorry about my non-cute "myplate" preschool handout that I noticed Ella put up.

  • Reply Mari Reads March 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    What a wonderful idea. Love this! Need to do this in the little girl's room.

  • Reply Wani Cullen March 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I love this idea! Simple yet fun. So rad!

  • Reply Kayris March 24, 2014 at 11:44 am

    We had cork board tiles in my kids room, but over time they started to warp and the pins would fall out. After I caught one of the cats trying to eat one, I took them down and was horrified by all the pin holes in the wall. Now I have a huge sparkling and painting job to do. My MIL gave me two large bulletin boards with hard backs that used to belong to my husbands brothers. MIL never throws anything away, like ever. Sometimes it comes in handy, because these two boards are in perfect condition and also really huge.

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