If you have a designated mudroom space, consider yourself lucky. We, unfortunately, do not. If you find yourself in the same boat, you’ll appreciate these inexpensive mudroom ideas that help maximize a small entryway. Our garage mudroom makeover includes a DIY cork message board, an upholstered bench, and a black and white color scheme.
Before we get started, let’s set the scene. The layout of our house has many amenities that are perfect for a family of five. However, a true entryway is not one of them. Neither the front or garage door areas have a spot for coats, shoes, or backpacks. Also, the hallway leading to our garage, which is the most used door by our family, is very tight and narrow.
It was not until recently that this became a problem. When we moved in, our kids were little, and we put their shoes on at the stairs or in the car. Plus, no one had any backpacks. This year everyone is putting on their shoes, and we have two in school with all the stuff that comes with that milestone. It was time for a change. This was our previous mudroom solution: a shoe rack on the back of the garage door.
It worked for several years. Now, there are four people crowded in that small hallway trying to put on shoes and get backpacks on, stepping over each other to get to the door. Then when we come home, they will sit right in front of the door to take off their shoes, again blocking anyone trying to come in the door. The hallway isn’t getting any bigger, so I needed another space. Our garage area was the best solution, but obviously, it needed face-lift.
Garage Mudroom DIY Projects
Making this mudroom more efficient meant adding items that would help our daily routine. Placing a message board in this space will give additional paper storage for all the papers that come home from school.
Another need for a mudroom is a place for people to sit to put on shoes. However, because the particular area isn’t large, saving space was an issue. We also wanted a kid-friendly spot to hang backpacks. Last thing to consider: this area is in the garage. It is going to get dirty. I tried to use items that will clean easy or older items that can be re-purposed. This will keep the project inexpensive, plus there isn’t a worry about something special or new becoming ruined.
Repurpose an Inexpensive Mudroom Bench
For this DIY, we repurposed a small utility shelf that we have had for years. I like the open space under it that could be used for additional storage or baskets. Since it looks like a shelf we had for years, we spray painted black. We also lined inside with contact paper. It’s easier to clean and added a little style.
Now it’s time to create a comfy seat for that bench.
For this project, you will need:
- Foam (I used the sort you might put on top of a bed and folded and cut it to the size I needed. I wanted a cushy bench, and this was more cushion for less money.)
- Plywood cut to the dimensions of your bench
- Fabric large enough to wrap around your foam and plywood
- Staple Gun
Cut the foam to the size of your bench.
Cut a piece of plywood the size of your bench.
Cut your fabric to a size large enough to wrap around your foam and plywood. Leave space for staples.
Wrap the fabric around both layers and staple to the plywood, using a staple gun. This was a two person job for us. The fabric needs to be pulled tight. Wrap the corners like you would a present.
Flip and finished!
Craft a DIY Cork Message Board
Next was the message board. This will be functional, but I also really wanted to change the look of those old cabinets. If you don’t have cabinets, this would be great hung above the bench, or to the side of where you hang your hooks for backpacks and jackets.
I decided to remove the doors on our lower cabinets for easier access to the backpacks. I also choose to line the interior of the lower cabinets with contact paper and added utility hooks for each child’s backpack.
To create your own cork message board, you’ll need:
- Foam Board
- Rolled Cork
- Fabric (enough to wrap around your foam board, cut to your desired size)
- Optional* Decorative nail-head trim (I used it to make the board a little more dressy), Spray adhesive
Measure and cut the foam board to the desired size. I am using two foam boards for each message board because I wanted it to be thick. I am adhering the message board to the cabinets and would like there to be enough board for the thumb tacks. I stuck the foam boards together using spray adhesive.
Cut and apply the rolled cork. Since this will be used over and over, I didn’t want the foam board to crumble under the fabric, and I am hoping the cork will help. The cork board alone is REALLY thin, it almost ripped and tore as I was applying it. It could not be used alone, for this purpose.
Cut your fabric 1-2 inches bigger than the board. Pulling tight, fold and staple the fabric on the back of the board. Fold corners as you would a present.
Step Four (optional):
I applied rolled furniture tacks to the outer edge of my board. It’s just a fun decorative accent. My kids even helped. The tacks come in a long roll, and you just stick the pointy tacks into pre-made holes. It was very simple. Then when I was finished with a line, I just bent the roll until it broke apart. At the corners, I tucked one under the other and applied some pressure with a hammer.
Then hang and pin away!
Need another dual purpose space? Check out my guest room/office combo.
Almost finished, it’s time to put it all together. Most of the items used in this makeover were re-purposed. I switched out the rug from our back hallway and added another black rug so no one would have to walk on the garage floor without shoes. To hang the message board and hooks for jackets and hats, I used Command Hooks and Frame Strips. Inside the top cabinets, I have storage for extra out of season shoes and my bag.
Then just to make it a little cozier out here I hung some welcoming art and even a little pillow.
This is a useful, attractive addition to our home. Hopefully, it is something you can apply to your home.