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Make a Desktop Reminder Board

Make a Desktop Reminder Board
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Desktop Reminder Boards are miniature bulletin boards designed for your own personal use.  They are small enough to be placed on your work desk, a countertop , or shelf.  Some people use Reminder Boards to remember certain tasks they need to get done that day– i.e. to complete an assignment, to remember a staff meeting, or to return a phone call.  Other people use Reminder Boards for lighter purposes– i.e. to remind themselves of things they enjoy or are looking forward to.  For this purpose someone might post photos, memorabilia or other ephemera that is cheerful to look at throughout the day.  The boards can be customized to fit your personal needs and style.

A Reminder Board, ready to use

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasA Reminder Board, ready to use

When making these boards I like to create a few custom tacks.  Regular tacks can be a bit dull, so I like to add character to the ones I use on my boards. You can glue buttons, letter tiles, and small laser cut wood images to your tacks.  Laser cut wood images can be found at your local craft stores or online at places like Artchix Studios (

Gathering items to make customized thumbtacks

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasGathering items to make customized thumbtacks

Materials needed:

  • Photo frame
  • Decorative paper
  • A sheet of cork or foam board (the same size as photo frame)
  • Buttons, letter tiles or small laser cut wood images
  • Flat tacks
  • Super glue or E600 glue


  1. Remove the glass and backing from the photo frame.  
  2. Place a piece of thin foam board or cork into the frame (in place of the glass).  In a pinch you can also use matte board or recycled cardboard.
  3. Add a sheet of decorative paper over the board or cork if you like.  I usually trim my paper a bit smaller on one side to store my extra tacks there, but the design is up to you.
  4. Attach the back of the frame.
  5. As you will see, without the glass in place, you can now access the board easily.
  6. Use your glue to adhere flat tacks onto your buttons, letter tiles, or other chosen objects.
  7. Allow the glue to dry.
  8. Start tacking items to your Reminder Board!
Another Reminder Board, ready to use

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasAnother Reminder Board, ready to use

Reminder Boards are easy to make and they are wonderful gifts for family, friends,a child’s teacher, and coworkers.  You can personalize the board to match the interests and style of the recipient.

A Reminder Board in my art studio

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasA Reminder Board in my art studio




Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling.

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