How to Build & Install Removable Corkboard Walls

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Easy, step-by-step instructions for installing corkboard walls perfect for an office or kids’ room. This simple cork wall DIY project is inexpensive and can easily be removed when no longer wanted or needed!

Welcome back to our third week in the $100 Room Challenge!

I’m so excited to be participating in this season along with our host, Erin from Lemons, Lavender & Laundry, and many other fabulous bloggers.

If you’re just joining us, you can catch up on my son’s room makeover (in just one month and for less than $100) in the following posts:

WEEK 1 – THE BEFORE | WEEK 2 – DIY LEGO TABLE

I’m posting every Wednesday in January with the big reveal on the 29th!

Let’s begin by looking at our mini-project list progress:

  1. Paint the green wall
  2. Remove the loft bed
  3. Build and install a new bed
  4. Organize the closet (which includes sorting through his clothes and all their books)
  5. Sort through and purge the non-LEGO toys and stuffed animals
  6. Install the cork wall
  7. Organize the LEGOs
  8. Final decorating!

I know last week I mentioned we’d be building Andrew’s bed over the past weekend, but our entire family got sick so plans had to change…

Instead, we’ve installed his super cool cork panel wall!

I also spent some time going through his clothes and donating anything he’d outgrown. So #4 is halfway there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a look at the room as of now:

The bed will stay where the mattress is sitting and I’m still not sure exactly how the cubby shelves and LEGO table will arrange when all is said and done…

As Chris would tell you, I tend to decide those things on the reveal photo shoot day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can see the cork wall tucked behind his door on the left of this picture:

So far we’ve spent a total of $85 ($36 on lumber for the bed and $49 on the cork wall) out of our $100 budget.

The cork wall could have been cheaper if we were willing to adhere the cork directly to the drywall, but we wanted it to be easily removable in the future so we spent a little extra to build it on plywood.

Speaking of the cork wall, I’m super excited to share with you all the details for how to make a cork board wall so let’s get to it, shall we?

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DIY Cork Wall

For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:

DIY cork board walls materials - plywood, cork roll and spray adhesive - sitting on a concrete floor.

How to Make a Cork Board Wall

STEP 1: Cut your plywood.

Begin by measuring the wall you want to turn into a corkboard wall and then use a jig saw to cut your plywood to fit exactly on the wall.

Our wall was almost a 4’x8′ area (same size as a typical sheet of plywood) so Chris only had to trim a bit off the bottom and a notch for our door trim.

If your wall is larger than one sheet of plywood, grab as many pieces as you need.

Many home improvement stores also sell smaller “craft” size pieces of plywood so you could use this to make one that’s more like 2’x4′ if that’s what you desire.

Once the plywood is cut to size, test fit it to make sure it’s good to go.

Here’s how ours looked when we test-fit it:

Plywood board test fitting on a wall for a cork board wall.

If needed, make small adjustments using sandpaper or your jig saw until it fits nicely.

STEP 2: Glue on the cork board.

Next you’re going to glue the cork rolls onto your plywood.

If your cork wall is wider than one roll of cork (like ours) then you want to measure and mark the center point so your seam ends up centered on the wall.

Man standing over a piece of thin plywood marking the center line with a long level.

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Next, spray a 2′ long section with your adhesive and then use your J-roller to roll the cork out onto the plywood, adhering it carefully along the center line.

Man spraying adhesive onto thin plywood before sticking on cork for a cork wall.

The reason you do this in small sections is because you only have about 60 seconds until the adhesive is ready and at its maximum ability to adhere.

Man rolling a think layer of cork onto a piece of plywood using a J roller.

Continue spraying and rolling small, 2-3′ sections until the first half of the plywood is covered.

Man spraying a second section of plywood with adhesive to roll and adhere more cork onto it.

Leave any extra cork overhanging the edges for now – you’ll trim that up later.

Then, do the same thing on the second half, being careful not to get spray adhesive on the cork already installed.

Man spraying adhesive onto plywood against a folded up piece of paper used to protect the cork on the plywood.

We used a folded up piece of paper to protect the installed cork as we sprayed near the center line.

As you’re installing the second cork roll, make sure to line up the center line first and use the J-roller to roll it in place before setting down and rolling the rest of the cork panel.

Close up view of J roller rolling the seam between two sheets of cork.

And always roll it towards the center to prevent a gap from forming between the two cork rolls.

STEP 3: Cut away excess cork.

After the cork is adhered to the plywood and you’ve given it an hour or so to dry, turn the board over and use a box knife to cut away the excess cork.

Close up of hands using a box knife to cut away the cork overhang from the edge of the plywood.

STEP 4: Attach your corkboard to the wall.

Lastly, use your drill to hang your cork board on the wall using screws and decorative washers.

We placed screws in every corner, and then about every 2′ around the perimeter.

Chris also placed two into studs in the middle of the board.

If needed, use a stud finder to locate your studs.

Screwing into the stud gives it much more stability.

Finally, hang your artwork or office reminders and you’re done!

I just love how Andrew’s turned out!

And he was ECSTATIC over hanging his mementos on that corkboard wall. ๐Ÿ™‚

Things to consider when making a cork board for the wall:

How thick does a cork board need to be?

I don’t think it needs to be very thick – especially if you’re putting it on plywood!

Ours only ended up being 3/32″ of cork and then 1/4″ of plywood.

But the tacks went into it just great!

The best way to evaluate is to make sure you have enough thickness in your corkboard walls to support the depth of your tacks.

How do you hang cork board without nails?

As you saw in our tutorial, we hung ours with screws so it would be easily removable in the future!

If you’re not doing an entire wall and wanted to hang a smaller DIY cork board, then you could also use 3M command strips!

As promised, here are the printable instructions:

DIY Corkboard Walls

Make a removable wall of cork in your office or kid's room with this simple tutorial!

Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $50

Instructions

  1. Use your jig saw to cut your plywood do the exact dimension of the wall you're wanting to cover.
  2. If your wall is wider than one 24" wide roll of cork, then measure and mark the center line on your plywood.
  3. Spray a 2' section on one half of your plywood and adhere the cork roll to the plywood using a J roller to roll it out.
  4. Continue spraying and adhering 2-3' sections until the first half is covered.
  5. Spray and adhere the second roll of cork using the same method, making sure not to get spray adhesive on the first side's cork and being careful to align the center line first and foremost all the way down.
  6. Turn the plywood over and use a box knife to trim off any excess cork around the edges.
  7. Hang your corkboard walls using screws around the edges (in the corners and ever 2' around the perimeter) and into two studs in the middle of the wall.
  8. Hang your artwork or office items on your new cork wall!

So, what do you think?

Ready to tackle a cork board for the wall in your office or kid’s room?

I hope this simple DIY tutorial for how to make a cork wall was helpful!

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

And be sure to check out all the other amazing $100 Room Challenge projects here:

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9 thoughts on “How to Build & Install Removable Corkboard Walls”

  1. Rachel, this is a fabulous idea. I just might have to steal if for my office. I have so many post-its and notes everywhere. It would be nice to have a whole wall to keep them on.

    Reply
  2. Wonderful idea to make it removable. You will thank yourselves one day. So much better to think ahead and great use of this space. He will enjoy that for years.

    Reply

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