DIY Display Board – Show off Family Memories

DIY Display Board – Show off Family Memories

I have a DIY Display Board and free printable you’ll love! Everyone in the family has something to be proud of; an award, artwork, school work, certificate of achievement, photos of memorable times, race medals, special trips or experiences, etc, etc, etc. Why not make your own ‘Hall of Fame’ board?

Like any proud parent, I have my kids artwork and pictures scattered around the house. Once they start attending school and playing sports, they’ll bring home school work, awards, more artwork, and so many other things they’ll be proud of. Then there’s all the fun and memorable things we do as a family that deserve a little spotlight in the home. Displaying photos and mementos for a while keeps the memories alive and gives us an excuse to talk about the fun times we’ve had together. Some of you warrior moms and dads run marathons, triathlons, and those crazy obstacle course races to get those cool medals. Your family deserves to brag a little with this DIY Display Board.

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!
Show off those family memories!

Your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, and probably most hardware stores sell those awesome pre-cut 2′ x 4′ boards. Good news, that is the perfect size for this DIY. Yea! They’ll have it as plywood, MDF, and maybe craft boards too. The size and thickness you choose is really up to you. Lighter weight is probably better, but if you already have one on hand, go with it. Also, MDF isn’t as easy to patch as real wood. So if you plan to add hooks or nails to the board, that you’ll change later, you may want to choose real wood.


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Disclaimer: Make sure to always read the directions for any products or tools you use while building. Always check for square and double-check those measurements too. Read the full disclaimer.


Cost to Make the DIY Display Board

Depending on the type of material you choose, the wood will cost between $15 and $25. So much better than the store prices for a display board this large. 🙂

Painting the DIY Display Board

Whether you go with MDF or Plywood, you’ll want to start with a good primer. I used Zinsser 123 on mine. If you are using wood, give it a light sanding first. I used 120 grit to smooth the board and edges a bit. Then I dusted it off with a clean cloth and applied the primer. I allowed that to dry before adding a second coat. After the second coat dried, I applied a thick coat of my white acrylic craft paint. You can use latex or chalk paint too. I liked acrylic for this since it dries so quickly and I can easily touch up any marks or dings with it as time goes on.

I also added a faux shiplap look with my grey Elmer’s Paint Marker. Measure every 6 inches to make 3 straight pencil lines across the board. Then lightly go over those lines with the paint marker. It doesn’t have to be too perfect for this shiplap look. I did 2 coats with the paint marker. Finish up the board with 2 coats of your favorite polyurethane. I used Rust-oleum’s Ultimate Polyurethane in a Matte finish.

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!
Tracing the pencil marks with the grey paint marker and centering the print out.
Framing the DIY Display Board

I used 1″ x 4″ Select Pine for my frame. My ‘The Home Team Hall of Fame’ printable (download at the bottom of the post) is designed for a 4″ high board. You’ll need 2 8′ long 1″ x 4″ boards to create the frame. You’ll also need to open my printable in Adobe Reader so that you can print it as a Poster. This prints it to scale across multiple pages. You can see the highlighted settings below.

How to find, layout, resize images for your DIY art and furniture
Choose ‘Poster’ and ‘cut marks’ before printing your image in Adobe.

For my sign I made 45-degree miter cuts on my miter saw and rabbet cuts with my table saw to set the board into the frame. I used Elmer’s Wood Glue and clamps to connect everything together. I really need to write a full post explaining how to make this type of frame. The math behind the rabbet cut is a bit too long and complicated for today. But luckily, you can easily use flat brackets to connect your glued frame to your board. You can also make a simpler frame, with just straight cuts. Like the one I used on my Kids Kitchen Menu Board.

Give that frame a coat or your favorite stain or paint. I used Minwax’s Special Walnut for the DIY display board. After the stain dried, I added 1 coat of my polyurethane.

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!
The chalk transfer before and after tracing with the white paint marker.
Finishing Touches to the DIY Display Board

To add the text to your frame, print my PDF above from Adobe Reader ‘as poster’. Line up the pages and tape together at the cut marks. Cut it down to about 4″ high to line up on your frame. Use white chalk to mark all over the back of the text. Turn back over and carefully center your text on the frame. Tape it down to keep in place. Then trace over the letters with a pencil or pen. This will transfer your chalk to the frame. Go over the chalk with a this Paint Marker. Make sure it is completely dry before wiping away the chalk dust with a slightly damp cloth. Fill in the text and give it a second coat to finish.

I used 8 15/16″ screw eye hooks and a very fine twine for this board. I didn’t want to attach too much to the DIY display board to keep it as versatile as possible. 4 rows, 6 inches high lets me hang small and larger items with clothespins and clips. I love the way this works with so many different items. If you have heavier items, like medals, you could add a long drawer handle or towel bar to hold all of those cool medals!

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!
Close up of the hooks and twine.
Hanging the DIY Display Board

With a board this long, I always use 2 sawtooth hangers. Remember to attach those to the actual board if it’s heavy, like mine. You don’t want a glued frame trying to support the weight of that board. I also used wall anchors and screws for this board. My board is a bit heavy, since I used the 1/2″ plywood. I wanted to be as safe as possible, so wall anchors were the only choice for me.

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!
At home in our game room with my DIY Planets of Star Wars Subway Sign.
Optional Shelf for the DIY Display Board

So, I haven’t done this yet, but I can see wanting this in the future. You can easily add a shelf to the bottom of the frame.  I’d use a 1″ x 6″ board attached with an L-bracket. This would be a great place for all those trophies kids bring home. 🙂

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!

This DIY Display Board is your family 'Hall of Fame'. Keeps your kids artwork, race medals, certificates of achievement, vacation mementos, photos, and special family memories in one place. You could even add a shelf to display trophies!
Don’t forget to Pin Me

How about another DIY gift for those awesome kiddos? Try this Super Easy DIY Kids Sit & Spin Toy.

You can make your own easy DIY kids sit & spin toy. And it's pretty easy with pre-cut wood rounds and galvanized pipes and flanges. I've even included the free Captain America Printable as a download.


Email Subscribers can download the “The Home Team Hall of Fame” Printable Here. It is designed to work as described above, with a 4″ wide wood frame. See instructions above.

Save this PDF to your computer, then open in Adobe Reader. Opening in your web browser will not give you the option to print as a poster. 🙂


Feeling inspired? Want to make your own? Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!

12 thoughts on “DIY Display Board – Show off Family Memories

  1. This is such a great idea! I have the perfect spot for one in my basement, thanks so much for the inspiration!

  2. Great tutorial, and such a useful idea!

  3. Great idea! It would help in the paper clutter to have a place to hold special memories and accomplishments. Visiting from Dishing It and Digging It party.

  4. oh, I love this project!! great idea! & thank you so much for linking it up to Waste not Wednesday Link party!

  5. Such a fun project. Special memories and such would be great there. Thanks so much for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It.

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