Up-cycled Message Board

Made from an old wash board

I love using items that were meant for one purpose and turning them into a new more useful item for our home. I really love old wash boards, but don't really have the room to display them in our home unless they are functional. So I decided to replace our aging country style message board with this up-cycled version that better fits the vintage feel of our home. Here's how it was made:

Message Board Instructions Made from an Old Washboard and Vintage Cheese Box


  • Wash board with magnetic board
  • Box or container the width of the wash board (to hold mail)
  • Scrap wood the width of washboard
  • 4 - 1-1/2" cup hooks, stainless steel
  • 2 or 4 - "D" ring hangers
  • Assorted screws
  • Drill bit the same diameter as screws
  • Glue or silicone adhesive
  • Blackboard (optional)
  • Cork board (optional)


Clean the washboard well with soap and water, if necessary. If the wood is dry you can wax, stain or paint it, as desired. I chose to leave my board natural after washing it with Orange Glow. Murphy's Oil Soap would work well also.

How to make a message board from these items.

Cut a piece of wood to go between the slats of the washboard. This wood is where you will put your cup hooks to store keys. It will also help strengthen the washboard in case it is a little wobbly like mine was. We used wood from an old pallet that closely matched the color of the wood on the washboard. Pre-drill the holes for the screws before you attach the new wood to the old washboard. This is important when working with aged wood so that you don't split the wood when you attach the pieces with screws.

Attach D-Ring hangers to the back of the washboard. I chose the better looking side to be the front of the message board. Pre-drill the holes for the screws that will attach the d-ring hangers so that you don't split the wood.

How to make a message board

Decide how you want to attach the box that will hold your mail. I decided to make my box removable, so I attached small d-rings to the back of the box so that I could hang it on screws that are in the wash board. If you want it to be permanently attached, then pre-drill holes through the box into the wood of the washboard before attaching the screws. You could also use a vintage bread tin in place of the vintage cheese box that I used.

How to make a message board

At this point, you could be finished, or you could add a small chalk board like I did to the top of the wash board just below the logo. I happened to find one the perfect size at a craft store, but you could make one to your specifications by painting a piece of wood with chalk board paint. Alternately, you could add a piece of cork to the wash board or glue several rows of wine corks to the board if you have a tendency to use push pins. I've used vintage bottle caps as magnets to hold notes and messages to the magnetic washboard.

How to make this message board from an old wash board and vintage cheese box.

Wash boards can be expensive at antique stores, but I was lucky enough to find this one for $12 at a country store that sells new and old items. The cheese box was about $10, the chalkboard $4 and the hardware about $5, of course you may have what you need around the house already.

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