Make a Not-So-Tacky Tack Board

Tack boards are great in a teen’s room, and they come in handy for Mom and Dad, too.
By: Matt Fox
Related To:


This room was designed as an artist’s studio, so large areas were needed for tacking up works in progress. A tack board was built to cover the entire wall. (SHNS photo courtesy Home & Garden Television)

This room was designed as an artist’s studio, so large areas were needed for tacking up works in progress. A tack board was built to cover the entire wall. (SHNS photo courtesy Home & Garden Television)

In a teen’s room, a tack board can provide space for posters, photos of friends and reminders to clean up the room. For Mom and Dad, a small version can serve as a memo board.

Here’s a plan for making one yourself:

Materials and Tools:

Homasote board
utility knife or circular saw
dust mask (if using a circular saw)
staple gun and staples
tape measure
finish nails


1. Measure your wall. (Using a plain wall without windows or doorways makes this project much easier.) Homasote comes in 4-by 8-foot boards. To determine how many boards you’ll need, divide the width of the room by 4. In all likelihood, you’ll have one board that will need to be cut to fit the width of the room. You’ll also need to cut all the boards 1/8-inch less than the height of your ceiling. If you have only a few cuts to make, a sharp utility knife and a straightedge work fine, but if you have to cut more than a few boards, you may want to use a circular saw. Remember to use ear protection, safety glasses and a dust mask for this project.

2. To upholster the pieces, place the front of the Homasote board facedown on the wrong side of the fabric. Cut around the board, leaving enough fabric to fold up and over. Wrap the fabric tightly, stapling as you go. Start in the middle of opposite sides of the board and zigzag back and forth, stapling one edge of the fabric and then the other.

3. To mount the boards, use finishing nails around the edges. Hide the nails, if possible, by pulling the fabric up and over them. If you don’t want to make a multitude of nail holes in the walls, you might try mounting furring strips across the area to be covered. Screw the furring strips into the studs using drywall screws. Note the location of the furring strips and mount the Homasote boards to them.

One caution about Homasote boards: Make sure the installation area is dry. The boards will absorb water and swell. Sheets of plastic foam insulation can be substituted for Homasote boards, but be aware that plastic foam sheets are easily broken until they’re attached to the wall. Half-foam core boards might also be used. They can be found at most craft stores, but sheets generally don’t come larger than 24 by 36 inches.

(Matt Fox is co-author with Shari Hiller of Real Decorating for Real People.)

Next Up

How to Make a Ribboned Window Topper

Adding ribbon to a window topper is easy yet elegant. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own.

How to Make a Mica Hurricane Candleholder

These candleholders make great gifts for family and friends.

How to Make a Living Wreath

A wreath can be made from more than just dried flowers and ribbons. Try living plant materials to freshen your decor.

How to Make Rubber Stamp Art

Use ultraviolet light to make a stamp from a negative, and create a work of art with the stamps.

How to Make a Statue Mold

Use latex, putty and gypsum cement to create an artistic sculpture.

How to Make an Illustrated Ceramic Bowl

Do a drawing on a ceramic bowl for a customized look.

Make a Stamped Pillow

Create a one-of-a-kind pillow with these step-by-step instructions.

Pillow Making 101

Add color, texture and flair to any living space with the simple addition of pillows.

Make an Oversized Shadowbox Facade

Create a focal point on your wall and unite a disparate grouping of objects with a large-scale shadowbox facade made from basic lumber and materials.

Make a Fiesta Flower Wreath

Who says wreaths have to be lush with evergreen leaves? For a fiesta-inspired party, take a trip south of the border by creating a colorful wreath using bright and festive paper flowers.

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.