How to Make a Vision Board

Written by Christine Kane

One of my most popular past blog posts is Vision Boards: A Quick Story. I wrote it months before the DVD The Secret was released. Then John Assaraf’s story of manifesting his giant mansion by using vision boards (in The Secret) popularized the concept. Many of us, however, have been doing them for years. (I’ve been using them at my women’s retreats for about 5 years now.) And the value of a vision board goes way beyond just mansions and gold watches!

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. It’s simple. Really. If you don’t believe me, check out my free ebook on vision boards here.

The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.

For instance, before I ever started performing music and I had no idea how I’d ever get a gig, write enough songs, or assemble a press kit, I drew a picture of myself in a bar with people watching me perform (I’m a terrible visual artist, so I actually had to label the people “people!”). And though it wasn’t the only factor in making it happen, I had a calendar full of bar and coffeehouse gigs by the next year.

My drawing was a kind of a vision board. Vision boards do the same thing as my drawing did. They add clarity to your desires, and feeling to your visions. For instance, at the time I did my drawing, I knew I wanted to play in bars and coffeehouses. (I have since left the that circuit, and I’m performing in theatres and at conferences. But in my early twenties, I wanted to play in bars and coffeehouses. I was pretty clear about that!) Taking the time to draw it out, even poorly, made it indelible in my mind.

There are several methods you can use for creating your vision board. I’ve written about each one below. You can choose which one works best for you, depending on where you find yourself on this path of creating your life.

Supplies you’ll need for creating a Vision Board:

- Poster board. (Target sells a really nice matte finish board. I highly recommend it.)

- A big stack of different magazines. (You can get them at libraries, hair salons, dentist offices, the YMCA.) Make sure you find lots of different types. If you limit your options, you’ll lose interest after a while. When I facilitate my women’s retreats, I always make sure we have plenty of Oprah, Real Simple, Natural Home, Yoga Journal, Dwell, Ode, Parenting, Money, Utne, and an assortment of nature magazines.

- Glue. Not Elmers. (It makes the pages ripple.) I like using Yes! Glue or Rubber cement. Glue sticks are my second choice because they don’t last.

Before you begin your vision board:

No matter which method you’re choosing, have a little ritual before you begin your vision board. Sit quietly and set the intent. With lots of kindness and openness, ask yourself what it is you want. Maybe one word will be the answer. Maybe images will come into your head. Just take a moment to be with that. This process makes it a deeper experience. It gives a chance for your ego to step aside just a little, so that you can more clearly create your vision.

Put on soft music. My favorite music for activities like this is Anugama Shamanic Dream I and Shamanic Dream II. I love these CD’s for massage or any activity where you want to keep your mind quiet.

The Five Steps of Creating a Vision Board:

Step 1: Go through your magazines and tear the images from them. No gluing yet! Just let yourself have lots of fun looking through magazines and pulling out pictures or words or headlines that strike your fancy. Have fun with it. Make a big pile of images and phrases and words.

Step 2: Go through the images and begin to lay your favorites on the board. Eliminate any images that no longer feel right. This step is where your intuition comes in. As you lay the pictures on the board, you’ll get a sense how the board should be laid out. For instance, you might assign a theme to each corner of the board. Health, Job, Spirituality, Relationships, for instance. Or it may just be that the images want to go all over the place. Or you might want to fold the board into a book that tells a story. At my retreats, I’ve seen women come up with wildly creative ways to present a vision board.

Step 3: Glue everything onto the board. Add writing if you want. You can paint on it, or write words with markers.

Step 4: (optional, but powerful) Leave space in the very center of the vision board for a fantastic photo of yourself where you look radiant and happy. Paste yourself in the center of your board.

Step 5: Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it often.

Three Types of Vision Boards:

1 - The “I Know Exactly What I Want” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

- You’re very clear about your desires.
- You want to change your environment or surroundings.
- There is a specific thing you want to manifest in your life. (i.e. a new home, or starting a business.)

How to create this vision board:

With your clear desire in mind, set out looking for the exact pictures which portray your vision. If you want a house by the water, then get out the Dwell magazine and start there. If you want to start your own business, find images that capture that idea for you. If you want to learn guitar, then find that picture. I remember at the last retreat, one woman yelled out, “If anyone finds a picture of a little girl with red hair who looks happy, give it to me!” And someone else yelled out, “I’m looking for a Cadillac!” Pretty soon, a lively trading session began. Following the five steps above, create your vision board out of these images.

2 – The “Opening and Allowing” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

- You’re not sure what exactly you want
- You’ve been in a period of depression or grief
- You have a vision of what you want, but are uncertain about it in some way.
- You know you want change but don’t know how it’s possible.

How to create this vision board:

Go through each magazine. Tear out images that delight you. Don’t ask why. Just keep going through the magazines. If it’s a picture of a teddy bear that makes you smile, then pull it out. If it’s a cottage in a misty countryside, then rip it out. Just have fun and be open to whatever calls to you. Then, as you go through Step 2 above, hold that same openness, but ask yourself what this picture might mean. What is it telling you about you? Does it mean you need to take more naps? Does it mean you want to get a dog, or stop hanging out with a particular person who drains you? Most likely you’ll know the answer. If you don’t, but you still love the image, then put it on your vision board anyway. It will have an answer for you soon enough. Some women at my retreats had NO idea what their board was about, and it wasn’t until two months later that they understood. The Opening and Allowing Vision Board can be a powerful guide for you. I like it better than the first model because sometimes our egos think they know what we want, and lots of times those desires aren’t in alignment with who we really are. This goes deeper than just getting what you want. It can speak to you and teach you a little bit about yourself and your passion.

3 – The “Theme” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

- It’s your birthday or New Years Eve or some significant event that starts a new cycle.
- If you are working with one particular area of your life. For instance, Work & Career.

How to create this vision board:

The only difference between this vision board and the others is that this one has clear parameters and intent. Before you begin the vision board, take a moment to hold the intent and the theme in mind. When you choose pictures, they will be in alignment with the theme. You can do the Theme Vision Board on smaller pages, like a page in your journal.

Some things to remember about vision boards:

- You can use a combination of all three types of vision boards as you create. Sometimes you might start out doing one kind, and then your intuition takes over and shifts into a whole different mode. That’s called creativity. Just roll with it.

- Your vision board might change as you are making it. I was just talking with a friend of mine who said that she had been making a vision board for the new year. The theme was all about what she wanted in this year. Then, as she pulled pictures and began to lay them out, the theme changed into a simpler one about her everyday life and the moments in each day. It surprised and delighted her to experience that evolution. You might find that you have little epiphanies from making a vision board.

Make a Vision Journal

Another option is to use these same principles in a big sketch book. Get a large sketch book and keep an on-going vision journal. This is especially effective if you’re going through many transitions in your life.

I welcome anyone who has created a vision board to write your own experience in the comments…

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Now Available! Christine’s free eBook, The Complete Guide to Vision Boards! Click here and grab it now!

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{516 comments ... read them below or add one}

ana November 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

i was having just another mornig at work untill Kenny skyped me ” Ana lets do a vision boar”,
I had no idea what he was talking about, so i did some reading about it, and I think this project may just change my life.

[Reply]

Trina December 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I am about to start my Vision Board process. I found myself attracted more to words than images (then again, I had just begun with the fashion magazines-ugh). The words ‘spoke’ to me (pun intended) and I thought I might like to scatter them among the images once I have them all. ARe words advisable? Thoughts?

[Reply]

Isabelle Denis December 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm

You might like this. I make my vision board of images and also write positive toughs on there.

You may see a picture of a board I gave as a gift to a friend. Click on the picture and you’ll see a description of how to do this.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.322013674495422.90313.172892402740884&type=3

[Reply]

Liz December 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Hi, i´m just starting a vision board because i´m sixteen and i want to figure out what i want to do with my life, like in every aspect: carreer, health… life in general, this idea came to me in three ways, first my mom once told me that if i made a vision board i could get all my goals and desires; then i saw it on ¨Two broke girls¨ where they make a vision board to get a cupcake store and make it work, and finally i´ve always wanted to make collages i didn´t knew why and now it kind of means i need to explore my creativity to organize my mind and maybe with these new vision board i get to know what i want for me in the future and organize my plans so even the craziest idea becomes reality.

I´m also afraid to hang it on a public place, because i live with my parents and well i don´t want them to see that maybe i hang on the board a picture of a singer and they don´t even know why, maybe i just hang it because i liked the hair (?) hehe, well i´m really afraid of what they´re going to think.

I was thinking that maybe i can make a little one for school, so i can see my goals at every single time of the day… in 2 days we´re going to start a new year, so i hope everyone gets to fulfish their wishes and acomplish every goal they have, if it was not this year, i wish that the next one will be an awesome year for everyone to reach their life goals. :D

Thank you for this wonderful article, it explains everything you need to know about vision boards and also helps to give you an inspiration on how to start.

I´ll return in a half year to post the results :)

FIGHTING ¡¡¡ n_n

[Reply]

Ginny Reply:

Hi Liz. I think you have a great idea about putting your vision board in your locker @ school. I saw a YouTube video about school girls that decorate their lockers with different things like carpet and specially made wallpaper and other cool stuff. What better way to encourage yourself every school day (several times a day) than by putting your dreams up on the inside of your locker! I know that sometimes family members misunderstand even the best intentions and dreams are very fragile things when they are in their infancy. It’s hard when you think your innermost thoughts could be set up for ridicule. I’m sure that your parents want what’s best for you but sometimes it still can be hard. Maybe you can put a vision board up on the inside of your closet door or the back of the door to your room (people rarely look there). Maybe you can discuss your vision board(s) with your parents sometime in the future…when you feel more confident about the direction you see your life going. It’s not like you are trying to hide anything, just trying to grow into a better person.

I am going to take your idea and put a vision board inside my work locker. I might as well use the space for something positive, since I have to be there anyway. Best of luck to you, sweetheart.

[Reply]

nomsa ramathibela January 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm

wow I’m so inspired by this article. i have lots of ideas and dreams but coud not know how to go about implementing. with this simple step by step to live your dreams i know i will make it. professionally, socially, financially, and personally. thank you

[Reply]

AliChan January 30, 2012 at 2:48 am

I think I’m going to start a vision board and a journal. I’m 14 going on 15 and I have a pretty clear idea of what I want. I want to be a chef and eventually own my own restaurant. I’m going to try to get a summer internship at a local restaurant and I think a vision board and journal could keep me inspired to try my hardest. This is an awesome article. Thanks so much. :)

[Reply]

Eva Reply:

That sounds awesome AliChan!

[Reply]

drake March 11, 2012 at 2:12 am

wow,to me what matters in most cases is where am going.and with the VISION BOARD,
i have made awesome achievement including a gold medal at the world of champions.
am 27 years, but my ultimate goal is, i want to retire when am 35years. with the power of the vision board, it will come to pass.
i started using the vision board when i was 23, i have had a fully transformed life.
try it also, your life will never stay the same.
thanks so much.
regards

[Reply]

oxannna March 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I want start a vision board.. is it necessary to use Magazines ? or can i print images instead??? thank you

[Reply]

joseph witcher March 21, 2012 at 3:58 am

I need to start a vison board so that i can get my life, and buisness together

[Reply]

Jeanne July 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I had been looking for magazines and books about travel and the world. Wasn’t having much luck then I found this glorious book about weddings. I found a picture in it of a Cinderella wedding and immediately knew this was the picture for me. I covered my board with zebra cloth from a blouse I cut up as well as plain black fabric and pastel plaid, very delicate fabric of various shades of pink and cream. I put my wedding photo front and center with the words: Imagine, higher calling, intuitions, destination luxury, the best of both worlds, and memories are priceless. I have a picture of a yacht, an Acura SUV, some rock formations from Africa, Australia, and Vegas. I glued silk flowers and greenery across the top in lovely shakes of pink, mauve, white, and blue. I came across stacks of Traveler magazine for 18 cents each. I am pouring over them to choose my favorite dream destinations to add to my vision. My main theme to traveling the world with my soul mate. I love looking at my vision board. It gives me great joy and happiness.

[Reply]

Tiffany July 20, 2012 at 6:45 am

Thanks so much! Love your simple, warm advice!

[Reply]

Ladylike Lore September 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I remembered a tv show that introduced vision boards to me and I really wanna do it. Whatever helps ! The second type of board “Opening and Allowing” made me feel so much better about miself, because I always shift from one goal to another, and end up doing nothing perfect. I guess I just have to learn to balance, and prioritize. Thank you for this article !!!!

[Reply]

Tyson Russell October 17, 2012 at 5:20 am

Great post, vision boards are great for focusing on what you want and making what you want come true. Creating a video of your vision board will make it even more enjoyable.

[Reply]

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[Reply]

DreamBoard November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I think the best vision board maker site is http://www.mydreamboard.me
so go ahed and check it out.

[Reply]

Mark Llego November 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I would like to ask for a permission if I could copy The Five Steps in Creating Vision Board, it would be helpful to my forum post and I will give credits to the author and link back to the site. Thank You!

[Reply]

Mark Llego Reply:

Please see my post here on my forum (http://www.astigtayo.com/Thread-Post-Your-Vision-Board)

Thank You!

[Reply]

Christine Kane Reply:

That’s fine Mark! Thanks!

[Reply]

akshay lohar November 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

wow you got some great tips, i was really looking forward to some effective tips on vision board.
And finally got it from you. now everything seems more simpler than ever.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH !!! :) :) :)

[Reply]

Janelle Jones January 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Thank you for this post. It helped to create a wonderful vision board! I was able to get focus and plan for the year ahead!

[Reply]

Tustiolbots January 20, 2013 at 12:42 am

Hi people! How are you presently right away?

[Reply]

Melissa Ozuna May 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Thank You so much for this article. I love making vision boards…I am going to help my children make their own now! You have written a very nice article to help anyone set up a vision board effectively.

[Reply]

Jeromey June 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I think a vision board with the creative visualization process can really change your life, if used in the right way. Great post Christine.

[Reply]

maria November 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

Christine, this is SO funny!
I found your site researching for my latest project which is actually… illustrated portraits of visions of success, which for me were a step forward after vision boarding… so I had the opposite journey that you did!
Here’s is the project
http://www.mariagilulldemolins.com/epic-success
Lvoed your post!

[Reply]

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