Ultimate Guide: How To Make Vision Boards That Work (updated for 2020)

White Picket Fence

Energy flows where attention goes! Are you ready to get your energy flowing where it will serve you best? You’re about to discover:

  • What a vision board is
  • How to make a vision board
  • The secret to making it actually work!

Vision boards can be a powerful tool to help you visualize and then manifest what you want to bring to your life. Your vision board should depict how you want to feel.

It’s not just about goals, which are measurable things you achieve. It’s more about the energy around your dreams, and you becoming the person who attracts that energy. The joy is in the journey!

Are you a person who lives by SMART goals and maybe you think the power of visualization and intangible energy is bogus?  SMART goals are a good thing, but vision boards are for creating intention – which is bigger in an indefinable way.

It’s all about inspired action. And when you get inspired to take action, watch out because it’ll be effortless and powerful!

What exactly is a vision board?

In a nutshell, you intentionally choose images and words that depict your desires and dreams, and then you paste them on a poster board. You then use it as a daily visual tool to help you focus on what you want.

Pasting pictures on a poster board might sound like a kids project, but it’s a process that, with the help of your imagination, creates intention and clarity. In the end, it’s a tool to remind yourself of what you want to create in your life and to help you focus on those desires.

Vision board made of images and words

Why Do You Need a Vision Board?

A vision board can be the first step in purposely bringing the things you want into your life because it makes you think about and create an intention for what you want.

When you intentionally choose images to place on your vision board, there are thoughts behind each image. Those thoughts create powerful feelings because they can drive the results you want to see in your life.

Vision board expert Christine Kane sums up the process something like this: Images trigger thoughts.. thoughts create feelings… feelings cause actions… actions cause results… results prove your thoughts.

The joy is not just in the final product. Each step in the process is important.

It’s a process of imagining what is possible for you, and then creating an intention which you use to muster up good feelings every time you look at your board.

Vision board

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Vision Board

Consider taking the time to create your vision board as your much deserved self-care time.

It’s a time to get in touch with yourself, identify your dreams, and focus on attracting those desires into your life. Treat this project as something special that you’re doing just for you.

Let’s walk through the steps so you can bring your vision to life. It’s really quite simple and I find it therapeutic.

What Do You Need For a Vision Board?

The supplies you’ll need to create a powerful vision board are minimal and affordable. You may even have the items in your home right now.

Time: Amidst our busy lives, we often don’t take time to focus on ourselves. It’s important to really set aside some “self-care” time to work on your vision board.

The upfront thinking part of the process is important, so having some quiet (or maybe your favorite music) helps you end up with a perfect board. Clear your calendar and some space to make your board.


  •  You’ll definitely need a scissors and glue (I prefer a glue stick because it’s fast and there’s no mess).
  • For words and images, you can use:
    • Magazines (I went to a local thrift store and bought magazines for a mere 25¢ each.)
    • Newspapers
    • Postcards
    • Markers
    • Images found on the internet and printed.
  • You can also include small trinkets such as a:
    • ticket stub
    • feather
    • seashell
  • The board itself can be any size.
    • Poster board is really nice because it’s inexpensive, comes in many colors, and holds up well.
    • I created my first board using a photo frame mat. Most of my dreams were family-oriented, so I placed a family photo in the middle.
    • This year I used a canvas which is still relatively inexpensive, but can be easily hung or leaned against something.
    • Basic construction paper works, too.

Collection of magazines to make a vision board

To get started quickly and conveniently, you can purchase items online. You might consider a vision board kit that comes with everything you need.

Click image to view on Amazon:

Unleash The Power – Before You Start

In order to create the life of your dreams, you need to know what you want. So when you make a vision board, you first need to get clear on what you want in your life. What does your future look like? Think about things that make your heart go pitter-patter!

IMPORTANT: Spend plenty of time on defining intention and getting clarity.

Some people have a hard time with this step because they realize they don’t know what they want. Others want everything and need to give extra attention to clarity.

The thinking is a really important part of creating a vision board. Notice how you feel when you think about what you want to create in your life. You want to create good feelings!

Here are some questions that might spark some ideas for your vision board:

  • Are there places you would like to travel?
    • Maybe a beach vacation?
    • Or is an adventure vacation more your thing?
    • Do you want to experience other cultures?
    • Does exploring your own country excite you?
  • Is there a luxury kitchen or bathroom remodel you would like?
  • Where do you want to live? What location and what style house?
  • Is there something you want for a relationship?
  • What things do you want – and it’s ok to want them! You need no reason other than you want it.
  • Do you have any hobby, education, job, or career goals?
  • Where are you spiritually, and where do you want to be?
  • What are new professional or personal skills you want to develop? This is a big one for me this year. I’ve already planned a few personal-interest workshops.
  • What are your financial goals?
  • What are you dreams related to your family, career, health, and friends?

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Related Reading: Click image to view on Amazon

Collect the RIGHT Images and Words

Collect words and images that inspire you and represent your desires and dreams.

In addition to things you want, the images should depict how you want to feel. Each and every image must be motivational and also bring about positive, good feelings.

You might have a specific words, quotes, article clippings and affirmations. Be selective so you end up with the perfect vision board. (Read my post about mindset and why feeling good is important.)

It’s just as important to purposely choose what to NOT put on your vision board. Make sure these things are your desires, and not just something that family or society thinks you should do.

This step in the process is where I get excited and really dig into it. I notice a theme in the type of images and words that I’m attracted to.

Sometimes I cut out an image without knowing why, but it’s purpose becomes clear as I look at everything I cut out. Some cutouts don’t make my final selection.

It’s all very fun as this part of the process makes me feel excited and motivated.

Put It Together!

Creating your vision board is your much needed me-time and should feel special. Put on some music, get comfy and start pasting!

There’s no right or wrong way to layout your images. Go with whatever your intuition thinks looks good. Get your creative juices flowing and roll with it! Make a collage or a cool design – anything goes as long as you like it.

You might want a general vision board that includes goals and dreams from all areas of your life. Or, maybe you want to focus on one particular area such as a relationship, pure enjoyment, career, or… anything!

Keep it simple or embellish it with stickers and artwork. Whatever makes you feel good is what you should do on your vision board.

Perfect example of a vision board.

Place It In The Perfect Spot

For your beautiful vision board to help bring your dreams to reality, you must hang or place it somewhere so you’ll look at it every day. Create a sacred space to display your board where you can pause and enjoy it.

Seeing it every day will spark thought about each item and will help align your brain with the outcomes you most want to attract. You’ll be reminded to think the way you want to feel.

Each time you look at your vision board you’re doing a short visualization exercise.

My friend hung hers in her bathroom. Her vision board is front and center so she can ponder her dreams as she begins and ends her day.

I have mine on the bedside table. I just made another board that I have on the desk shelf in our home office.

Vision boards are personal in that they’re filled with images and words that are about what you want to focus on and create in your life. Keep your board in a place that is very visible for you, yet is also kept as private from guests or family members as you prefer.

If it’s too personal to let anyone else see it, make it part of your daily morning routine to look at it. Set a reminder on your phone to help get you into the habit.

The Secret to Making Your Vision Board Actually Work

To get your vision board to actually manifest your dreams, you must look at your vision board regularly – preferably a few times per day.

Think and visualize with purpose so you think the way you want to feel. Don’t keep score on what you have or don’t have. Instead, allow yourself to feel like you will when your dreams come true.

As you use your vision board to visualize your desires, be aware of how you feel. If you feel worried or overwhelmed, steer to more gentle thoughts, such as:

  • I’ve got some good things going and I’m getting closer to the things I want.
  • “Things are always working out for me.” ( ~Abraham-Hicks)

With your vision board in mind, pay attention to opportunities that come your way. Be willing to take conscious action when you are inspired to do so.

Listen to your intuition for guidance.  When opportunity knocks, you might need to take a chance and step out of your comfort zone a little bit.

For example:

  • If you pasted images of a healthy body, then take notice of books, recipes, educational opportunities, and people who have your same desires.
  • If you pasted images of a dreamy home in a dreamy location, then start making your current home a wonderful place by de-cluttering, organizing, and rearranging.

Energy Flows Where Attention Goes: You attract in your life what you think about most of the time. What you focus your attention on grows, and your energy and actions flow toward it.

RELATED READING: Read my post The Law of Attraction Made Simple to learn more about visualization and how the universe is ready to help you attract good things to your life.

You’re Ready to Make a Vision Board – Just Do It!

Big or little, take action steps toward your dreams.

The responsibility for bringing your vision board to life is yours. I hope this ultimate guide for vision boards has shown you how to make a vision board and also motivated you to take the first step.

If you’re like me, a vision board will be your new quarterly or annual tradition. You may also enjoy reading 31 FREE Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 10 Minutes.

What do you think? Please leave a comment with your thoughts about vision boards, and thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog today.

Vision Board Example

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Vision board

29 Replies to “Ultimate Guide: How To Make Vision Boards That Work (updated for 2020)”

  1. Oh wow! What a good throwback memory. As an assignment when I was a senior in high school, we had to make vision boards…it was fun and I kept it up all through my college years! It was a really inspirational piece to look up to. I think this would be a good activity where my toddler can definitely help out putting it together!

  2. I LOVED this post! It IS a fun process from the thinking about it to, choosing the magazines to look through, to pausing to reflect on what feels good, to taking me time, to putting it together AND to using it as a tool to remind ourselves of what we want to create in our lives. Such a great job of pulling it all together to show us what a fun and valuable tool this can be for creating the life we love to live. Fun. Fun. Fun. Thanks Ellen.

  3. I’ll probably do this after the move. In my twenties I did something like this, only it was like a road map. It was the road I’ve been on and the road I wished to take. I wish I knew where that was! Thanks for the motivation.

    1. The road map sounds interesting. Some people accomplish something similar with a journaling exercise. All good ways to help us get where we want to be.

  4. I really enjoy the process of putting together a vision board, the reflection and the dreaming of the future. I love your questions to help spark inspiration, so helpful to get ideas and get the creative juices moving. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice words. I’m glad you found inspiration. Vision boards really are an invaluable tool!

  5. I love creating vision boards! It’s easy to create them on Pinterest, but there’s something amazing about cutting stuff out of magazines and gluing it to a poster board! Great post!

    1. I’m right there with you! I think cutting out and pasting gives more time to the thought process. Good input, thank you.

  6. This is a great reminder and motivator to use Vision Boards. My Instagram account has become my vision board. I save favorite posts of what I love — beautiful interiors, motivational words, nature — and that is my happy place. It’ll be interesting to see what manifests from all that.

  7. I haven’t done one in years! I no longer have the stacks of magazines that I once had around the house. I think that I will have to settle for a digital version this time around.

    1. I haven’t done a digital but I think it would be fun. The trick is to look at it every single day.

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