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Designing and Making Your French Memo Board to Use with Jewelry and Other Trinkets

Updated on September 5, 2014

This is MY perfect French memo board

Rearrange jewelry for a new look
Rearrange jewelry for a new look
A different corner
A different corner

Newly decorated bathroom

After removing the old wallpaper from the walls and ceiling of a bathroom, we decided to paint it. I could not go through another search for the perfect wallpaper. We had found it once after months of looking and there was surely not another to be found. In case you are wondering why we needed to remove the wallpaper, our roof leaked after several hours of very large and hard hail which broke our skylights and ruined our roof. Now we have a metal roof but not every solution is perfect. The metal may aid in resisting wildfires, however.

At first, I was not sure what I wanted on the outside wall, which only had a window and a grab bar affixed to the same wall. Different options were considered; i.e., a picture, a mirror, or plaques, but none of these were appealing. Then, I received a beautiful card and remembered my stash of cards that were too nice to dispose of and some were filled with memories. Eventually, it occurred to me that I could put a memo board on that empty expanse and affix the cards to that board. I hunted on line and in stores for one that would look good on that cat grass green expanse. The ones I found at that time were covered with soccer balls, wine bottles, action figures, and kitchen items ... none that would work for me. At last, I decided that I must design my own.

A Valentine

Steps to success

A few years earlier, my husband had made a valentine (see picture) that would hold necklaces and other jewelry. It was absolutely beautiful and practical. He used plywood for a foundation, cut it in a heart shape, covered the front with the thin flat packing foam (the smooth and slick material not the soft and spongy), and left the rest up to me. I had parts of a dress from the fifties with a black background and the nicest roses all over it. I bought some black lace and it was ready to go. We covered the foam with the dress material, tucked it around the back, super glued that, framed the heart in lace, super glued that, and used vintage decorative nails placed randomly.

Some of the 'nails' can be the small cup hooks while others shown are brass nails without a head but a nice decorative round piece that keeps necklaces secure. I purchased these at a hardware store in the nail section but also had some unusual vintage ones from long ago.

The bathroom memo board project

Finding a fabric with appropriate colors was difficult but I located an end of drapery material that was just perfect. I had white lace with straight sides but it didn't look good on the fabric so I soaked it in tea until it turned into a nice antique ecru color.

My husband agreed to put everything together -- the rectangular plywood piece, covering it with the smooth packing material, the fabric, and the lace -- that is, if I didn't attempt to supervise or even watch. He did an excellent job with that and then attached kraft paper to the back for a finished look. The nails and cup hooks can be tricky when trying to insert them into the plywood but I managed to do that.

When I had the memo board on the wall with birthday and other cards tucked under the lace, it just didn't look right. That was when I opted to use jewelry instead, it worked so well on the heart. I searched through my boxes and found bracelets, brooches, necklaces, and lapel pins that were an excellent and attractive addition. What fun that was!

Additional hints

  • These eBay boards are attractive but I wanted to have several colors in earth tones. If you can find one ready-made that meets your needs, it certainly would be worth your time and money to buy it. When I made mine, there were not the choices available that there are now.
  • You can see that when 'nails' are placed were the trim crosses, they are above each other. If you are hanging a necklace, it would cover the one below. You can put bracelets over the hook. I also use hat pins. corsage pins, and lapel pins, placed anywhere that works well, and hang my longer pieces over these.
  • I also change some of my jewelry according to the season and the holiday. For example, I use bronzes for the fall, holiday pins that honor that date, and I even have a couple of rabbit pins for Easter. Of course, I leave my favorites up most of the time.
  • It was when I was going through my own vintage jewelry and garage sale finds that I found out the value of some of the pieces using the the books below.

A camo board

The colors on this board are more accurate and I just hung some items on it.
The colors on this board are more accurate and I just hung some items on it.

A memo board for him

We made this memo board for one of our sons. He has not decided what to hang on it but it could be military items or something of that nature because of the fabric pattern. One could be designed with fabric to correspond to a hobby and pins relating to this hobby would be attractive. The possibilities are endless.


I hope you enjoy making your memo board or buying a great one should you choose that option. Now that I've written this hub, I have an idea about designing one for a very good friend.


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