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My parents-in-law needed a message board, and it needed to be a specific size. So it was hard to find something off the shelf. I decided that hubs and I would make one for his Moms birthday.It was fun and turned out pretty cute!

We needed something that was 32″x34″ and I needed it to be light weight. So we went with a thin piece of plywood, and cut it to size. We picked moulding to go around the border, cut it to size, glued and clamped it.

Now I needed a solution to cover up the ugle plywood. I came up with an idea to use paper bags, mod podge, and stain to make the wood look aged and leathery.

First I tore the pages up and rolled them up into balls.

I them smoothed them out, but not too much, you want it to stay wrinkly. Then you put a thin layer of mod podge under and over the paper, let it dry. Probably best to wait till the next day to add your color.

Trim the paper from around the edges. Use your stain of choice to add some color, I used a rag and rubbed it into the paper. The variation in color occurs on its own, due to the different layers of paper and the mod podge.

I wanted different sections on my board. I wanted a spot for a calendar, dry-erase board, cork board, a place for mail, pens, and magnets. These sections could be any size, you could have as many or as little as you like. I used flat pieces of moulding, cut them to size, glued and clamped. And then I waited, again….

 Next up, wood filler and a fresh coat of white paint! I used a frame for the dry erase board, used some pretty paper and glued it down. Used a ready made cork board and glued that in place.

I used some more ready made pieces – a mail holder, pen holder, and magnetic strip. But they were a little boring, so I dressed them up a little.

I used magnets for the calendar section, so that it would be easy to use. And then it was complete, and I was very excited to give a gift that we made!

If you try any of this out I would to see your project! There are all kids of applications for the paper bag technique. Some people even use brown paper on their floors!