15 Ways to Unlock the Magic of Pinterest Secret Boards

Today is confession day. As long as we’re talking about secrets, I have one to share. “I’m addicted to Pinterest.” Alright, well maybe that’s not a complete secret if you take a look at my boards. I pin often, but try to only pin the images and ideas I’m truly in love with. I was captivated by Pinterest from the very beginning, and even today, I find myself getting sucked into the vortex of “all that is beautiful and good,” multiple times per day.


Pinterest released their first set of secret boards in November 2012. Each user was given three secret boards to make their own. And one year later, in 2013, Pinterest made everyone’s wishes come true once more when they unveiled another set of secret boards that appeared on users’ profile boards over the holiday season. Best Christmas gift ever!

*2014 UPDATE: Pinterest users are now allowed access to as many secret boards as they would like to create within the overall 350 board limit.

Before I get into why I love secret boards so much, if you’re still wondering what the heck a secret board really is and how to set one up, click here. For those of you who are already using your secret boards, maybe you’re not using them to their fullest potential. Here are 15 ways to unlock the magic of your secret boards, and maybe a few ideas you may not have ever thought of:

  1. Surprise Party Planning – Shhhh. If you’re planning a surprise party for someone, pin décor, food and invite ideas on your secret board, and they’ll never know what you’re up to. Secret boards give you the option to invite friends to pin to the board as well, so if others are involved in the planning, you can collaborate on ideas for throwing the big bash. If you need some party-throwing inspiration, follow my Party Board!
  2. Building Group Boards – If you’d like to start a group board, also known as a collaborative board, you can start it as a secret board, gathering pins and prettying it up before you go live. I recently launched my own Holiday & Events group board, and did just that. I wanted to launch the board with a couple hundred pins already on it, and to do that without inundating my followers with a crazy amount of pins, I prepared everything on a secret board first and then made it public when I was ready. I’m on the search for awesome contributors and need help getting the word out. If you like what you see, follow the board and share it with your friends!
  3. Planning a Wedding – Where was Pinterest 13 years ago when I got married? I spent literally years planning my wedding, and Pinterest would have been a godsend. I love the idea of being able to bounce ideas off of your family and friends. Or how about inviting your maid of honor or bridesmaids to pin your board when they come across ideas for your big day?
  4. Christmas Wish & Gift Lists – This is kind of a no-brainer and one of the reasons Pinterest launches the secret boards when they do. Create a board for each person you’re buying for, or just create a master board to gather photos of the latest toys and gadgets, links to money saving apps, ideas for your Christmas card design, or special recipes you’d like to try over the holidays.
  5. Inspiration for Articles & Blog Posts – Are you a writer or a blogger? There are so many great ideas online that can help get your gears turning and provide some inspiration when you’re in a writing funk. As a blogger, I use my secret boards to plan my posts and often have them categorized by seasons.
  6. Vacation Planning – It’s ok to not want the world to know where you vacation or where you’re planning to vacation. Before we go on a trip I do tons of research if it’s somewhere I have never been before. Pin restaurants you’d like to try, attractions, hiking trails, coupons, bike rental companies, hotels in the area. . .whatever information you think would be helpful while on your trip. Chances are you’ll have your tablet or phone along with you. What a convenient way to access all of the information you’ll need right in one spot!
  7. Outfit Planning – Since we’re on the topic of vacations, do you have a special cruise coming up or trip to an all-inclusive resort? Maybe you’re going on an important business trip or just want to refresh your wardrobe for summer. Pin dresses, swimsuits, shoes. . .whatever apparel item or accessory that catches your eye that you’d like to check out at your favorite stores. No matter where you’re going, you’ll show up looking like a million bucks!
  8. House Hunting and Vacation Rentals – We’ve all been there, right? Emailing MLS listings back and forth between you and your family members when looking for a new home or trying to find the perfect vacation rental. With Pinterest, you can keep the listings organized and invite your significant other or family members to take a look at what you’ve found, easily and in one place.Secret boards are also a great resource to gather information on everything the area you’re looking to move, has to offer. Pin websites of potential schools, community groups, restaurants, stores and other information that will help you make an informed decision on whether or not that particular location really offers what you and your family are looking for.
  9. Bucket List – Bucket lists are pretty personal. Keep them that way. Pin all of your desires, goals and wishes to a secret Pinterest board. It will be for your eyes only, unless, in time, you decide to share.
  10. Planning a Date – Let’s face it. Life is busy and often gets in the way of things that are most important, like keeping romance fresh between you and your significant other. As a parent, I live for date nights and it’s a way for you and your love to really focus on each other. Create a board especially for you and your special someone and pin date ideas or even love notes and quotes for each other. It makes anticipating your next date together even that much more exciting! It’s also the only way I’ll ever get my husband to sign up for a Pinterest account! He just doesn’t know what he’s missing.
  11. Articles You Find Interesting – How often do you pin an article with good intentions on revisiting it later? When you actually have time to look at it, do you find yourself clicking helplessly, trying to locate it again in an overwhelming sea of pins? You and me both. If there’s something I want to read right away or at least within the next week, I’ll pin it to a secret board where I know it will be easy to access and find.
  12. Pregnancy & Adoption – Did you just find out you were pregnant or have you made the decision to adopt? Maybe you’re not ready to share the news with the world yet but you’re so excited you want to start planning and gathering information to prepare for this big event in your life. Secret boards are perfect for this and they’re also great for planning baby showers for the parents-to-be.
  13. Researching Medical Conditions – Let’s face it. Life has its tough moments. If you ever find yourself in a place where you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, it’s just human nature to want to find out everything you can about it. It’s also something most people want to keep it private until they’re ready to discuss with others. Secret boards are a great way to gather information on articles regarding the condition, as well as websites belonging to support groups or hospitals that specialize in treating what you or a family or friend has been diagnosed with.
  14. Launching a Website – Are you starting your own business or blog? Use secret boards as mood boards to plan your color scheme, layout and design. Pin examples of websites you really like and share those ideas with your business partners or website designer.
  15. Weekly Menu Planning – Ok, meals aren’t necessarily a big secret, but does the world really need to know what your dinner plans are each week? No they don’t, but you do. One of my goals this year is to get better with my meal planning. I’m going to designate one of my secret boards as my weekly menu plan and pin recipes and dishes I want to make for that particular week. Those that fail, I’ll get rid of, those that we love I’ll pin to one of my food boards. Then I’ll start all over with a clean slate for the next week. We’ll see how it goes, but it’s a good idea, don’t you think?

One important point I want to make before I sign off. Pinterest allows you to make a secret board public if you choose to do so. Once you make it public, however, you can never change it back to a private board. Just keep that in mind as you start making plans for your secret boards.

What other ways could you use Pinterest Secret Boards? I’d love to hear your ideas, so please feel free to comment below. I’m off to planning my menu for the week! Wish me luck!


  1. Definitely! I have two secret boards right now…but I need to organize them better. Right now I’ve been putting random health things that everyone might not want to see as well as other things. Thanks for letting me know Pinterest has given more secret boards…I just knew about the first three.

  2. Thanks for sharing all the different ways to use secret boards! I use just one to plan certain blog posts – I didn’t really think to use them for all of these different ways!

    • I’m glad you found the post helpful, Becky! I love the secret boards and look for more ways to use them all the time. Thanks so much for visiting!

  3. I made a board to repost pins that Ive actually accomplished in, then I delete the pin from the board its on.

  4. I have a secret board to put pins on when am using one of my accounts but want to pin to the other one. I can then go in later and pin from the secret board to the alternate account. I have the secret board set as a shared board between my own name board and my publishing board.

    I don’t know if I can be logged in to two accounts in different tabs but if anyone knows how I’d live to know.

  5. Great idea with the menu board. I have so many recipes on my recipes to try board that it can get a little overwhelming.

  6. Thank you so much for this post! My husband and I have gone through a lot these past three years as I’ve been diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder and he awaits surgery for an injury he sustained while in the Army. I’ve noticed the secret boards on Pinterest, but I loved three of your ideas specifically for them- to keep track of all the medical information I find related to my condition, as a place for meal planning because I have way too many things bookmarked and pinned to ever find them in a timely fashion- like before bed so my family can eat! I also plan on using one as a tool for setting up and launching a blog eventually. My life has been such a journey- through disability, this rare disorder, unsuccessful brain and nerve cutting surgeries, addiction and recovery, living in constant pain, being sexually assaulted, dealing with depression and fear, and now trying to learn to live again-raising chickens, baking, spending time with my children, and learning about natural healing. Thank you so very much for your ideas on how to organize all the ideas I can’t keep straight otherwise! I’ll be following your blog in the future!

    • Tracy, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. It sounds like you sure have been on a journey. All the best to you and your family in the future. I said a prayer for you today.

  7. Rebecca Baldwin says:

    This may not appeal to everyone, but I use 1 of my secret boards as a memorial page for the people I have loved and lost. I include a photo as I want to remember them. I also note birth dates and date of death. I may or may not include cause. I pin sentiments and other posts that move me. My most recent that I found on Pinterest was a picture that said “I wish there were visiting hours in Heaven”. To which I added, I’d spend them all with my mamaw. Like I said, might not be for everyone, but I find comfort in it, especially when I’m really missing someone.

    • Rebecca, I think that’s a great use of a Pinterest secret board. Keeping memories alive of those we loved and lost. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. The weekly menu planning board is brilliant! I also have been trying to do better with grocery lists and menu plannin, but I always go to the store last minute or when in a hurry. This way I could open up my menu planning board at the store. I think I will list the recipe ingredients in the comment section of every pin so I don’t have to always click on the link.

  9. You’ve got some great ideas here! I am going to do the article, writing, vacation and menu board ideas. And yes…I am taking your advice and pinning this to a secret board! Debbie @ ilovemylemonadelife.com

  10. I use one of my secret boards to keep track of the classes and books I own for sewing, quilting, knitting and paper crafting. I list them and pin the photo of each. This enables me direct access to the website for the class. all I have to do then is log in to my account and turn the page or start the video. It is much easier that trying to remember which crafting website where I have certain classes/books.

  11. Stefanie Snyman says:

    I have a few secret boards, but they suddenly don’t appear at the bottom and I cannot access them at all! Please help!

    • Your secret boards should be visible at the very bottom the page that shows you all of your existing boards. They aren’t necessarily labeled on the outside with a little lock anymore like they once were. If you’re not sure whether or not a board is secret at all, just click on edit and the radio button within the box will let you know if it’s secret or not. If you still don’t see them, think about putting in a help ticket with Pinterest. There’s also a Help section that can be found here: https://help.pinterest.com/en

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