Building a Cork Board from Scratch

I love building with my hands with anything and everything. It’s a great hobby of mine. One day I noticed my wife had those pesky sticky notes and papers stuck everywhere on her desk and watched them regularly lose their stickiness or end up floating around on the back of her computer and books. So I decided to build her a cork board to pin all her notes.


I was able to find all my items around the house, so it made it a quick project.


Here are a few supplies and tools I collected before I got started.

- Remember to read the directions on all labels before beginning - 




  • Small Disposable Paint Brush
  • Rubber Cement
  • Collection of Corks
  • Penny Nails ¾" - 1"
  • Local Tree Branch - (I used Maple)
  • 12" x 12" x ⅜" Board
  • One Brass Hook (optional, I’m going to hang keys off the hook)
  • Bricks or Shoes or Books (used for holding corks in place to while rubber cement drying)




  • Ball-pein Hammer
  • Coping Saw (used to cut the cork with precision)
  • Small Hand Saw (used to cut the branches)
  • Work Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Hatchet (used to shave a smooth surface on the branch)


Time Frame:

Construction time is based on your skill and tools. It took me 1 1/2 hrs to collect and build the whole project minus the dry time. You could be quicker or slower. There is never a rush; the fun is in the build.

Dry/cure time: 24 hr

Once tools and most of the supplies are collected, it’s time to begin the project.

Cutting the Frame

Find two of the straightest branches around 2" - 3" thickness from a tree branch pile. Pick out the best looking sections of each limb to use as the frame of the backboard. After arranging the branches into a beautiful frame, make measurements and mark the desired length. Using the hatchet shave off one side of each branch creating a flat surface, so they marry flush with the backboard, this is easier and safer when you shave each branch before cutting into smaller pieces. Then cut each piece with the hand saw. I choose to leave two branches a few inches longer to keep the natural ends and allowing space for a hook to hang keys.

Building the Frame

After each branch piece is cut to size, use the paint brush apply rubber cement to the front edge of the board and the flat surfaces of each branch. I’m using two 6 x 12 x ⅜ in boards for my backboards. I had them handy. Placing the project face down, press the backboard firmly against the frame to marry the two surfaces of glue. Now begin nailing the backboard to the frame with the ¾" - 1" penny nails.

Note: Glue will take several hours to cure entirely, but the nails should secure it enough to continue the project as long as there is minimal handling.

Adding the Corks


Adding the corks and filling the framed space is the most enjoyable part of the project. Arrange the corks in whatever pattern you like. I choose to do a two horizontal cork and two vertical cork pattern. Because there offset of some sections of the branches, the use of the coping saw to cut the corks to match in the tight spaces is best. Once the pattern is established, its time to glue. Use the paintbrush to apply the rubber cement on the surface of the board and three sides of each cork.  Add one cork at a time to match your pattern. As more and more corks were attached, the surface tension forces the corks to pop up. To counter that use a flat heavy object to press the corks against the backboard forcing the rubber cement on each surface to marry well (Bricks or shoes or books work well).

Letting it Dry

I did most of my project on the back patio and then in my sunroom. When the project is entirely done the glue needs time to cure at a warm temperature, so I left it in my sunroom overnight. The temp fluctuated from 65 to 90 in 24 hr period. -It’s best to read and follow all directions on all labels before beginning.-

All Done:

After the 24 hr period install the hook if you want one and a picture frame wall hanger on the back of your new corkboard and enjoy!