Monday, November 22, 2010

Pretty cork boards

Hi guys! How are you holding up under the pressure? :) I'm doing well as far as holidays are concerned because we're very low-key on holidays and such and we don't have any family coming by.

Lots of other things on my plate, though. School (the kids), family and church. So I must confess I'm not feeling much like being a blogging champion these days. I'm hanging in there though, hoping it's just the circumstances that make me feel that way. Because I have a lot of decor/crafts going on and I'm sure I'd want to show them off when they're all done :) It's taking a little longer to finish them than I thought originally and I'll try to keep my posts shorter and more to the point for a while, to give myself a break :)

Now over to my pretty cork boards! I never thought you could put the words "pretty" and "cork board" together in a sentence like that because in my humble opinion cork boards are one of the ugliest things you can have on your wall. But oh, so practical!

Since our oldest started pre-K a few months ago I can't keep all the info in my head anymore (WHY do schools feel like they have to send home SO much information on this and that and the other with five reminders and recorded phone calls on top of that, I almost feel like having them take me off the calling list...) And I wanted someplace to display all the kiddie art that's starting to amass around here, in a tasteful way. So what's a girl to do when she's got plenty of paperwork and a cork board would be too ugly to hang?

Luckily, another brilliant blogger came up with an idea for me :) Bryn Alexandra has a great tutorial on all the steps so feel free to check her out as well. I did the cheapo version of hers, using cork boards from the thrift store, drop cloths for the fabric and Dollar Tree thumb tacks for the nailhead trim.
It's up to you to decide but I must say mine came out just as nice as hers :)

I put both cork boards up in the kids' room so I wouldn't have to look at the jumble of papers and such in our communal spaces but the cork boards themselves are nice to look at.

So here's the process I went through.

First I got me a couple of beat up old cork boards at the thrift store. I think they were $5 and $6, but the smaller one was a decent size and the Melissa one was HUGE. They were sturdy and the imperfections on the cork board surface didn't matter since they were going to be covered up by the fabric.

Then I cut out a piece of fabric that was a few inches larger than the cork board on each side. And I ironed the fabric to remove the wrinkles. (I don't have pics of every step but this is simple stuff so I think you'll get it anyway). I used maybe 1/4 of a large drop cloth for this and the leftovers already have or will be used for other projects.

I then sprayed adhesive on the cork board surface and smoothed my fabric out, all the way out to the edges (while still leaving the fabric loose, no attaching to the back yet). And then it was time for the thumb tacks (they were leftovers from my couch project). I followed Bryn's advice to use my pinkie finger for a spacer to get the tacks evenly spaced and it worked pretty well.

The next step involved spraying the adhesive onto the frame part of the cork board and wrapping my fabric as neatly as possible around the corners and stapling it to the back. I ran out of staples with this one but hot glue works fine as well.

 It wasn't too complicated for the most part (maybe it helped that I used re-positionable glue?) And you know me, not too stressed out about the imperfections :) It sure makes life easier :)

And here's the afters. I censured the names, that's what the white blobs are :)

This one in the above and below pics is the one that had Melissa written all over it, you wouldn't know that by looking at it now. And I have a great place to display kiddie art.

As a side note I can mention that the dog images under the cork boards are something I snatched from here and just printed out and framed, just for some whimsy. (They're dog heads photoshopped onto vintage portraits. My husband thinks they're creepy but I think it's because he's into genealogy and secretly wonders what the original people in the portraits would feel about being replaced by a critter). I just kind of liked these bulldog looking dogs and imagine them being a family - dad, mom, son and tutor (their names are Charley, Cordelia, Wally and Mr Bojangles, the latter being the tutor).
I know, I'm silly :)

And this one below is where I hang the important school info. I decided to pretty it up with a small mirror which I just hung with a nail in the cork board.

It hangs just above this small desk.

I've made quite a bit of changes to the kids' room lately but it's all a work in progress so it doesn't look all that spectacular yet. This desk needs to be painted, the desk chair needs a slip cover, the chair next to the desk needs a proper slip cover instead of the old sheet that's covering it now. And on the story goes :)

Most important is that the walls WILL be painted so that there will finally be some color in there, but the budget doesn't allow for that just yet. I will however clean up the all too obvious mess in the kids' room and give you a guided tour of what has been done, sometime soon :) In the mean time I keep on working on the smaller stuff in there, like the cork boards and wall art. Did you like the cork boards, by the way? I think I spent about $20 for both of them altogether, not too shabby.

Ps. Linking up with
Cottage Instincts
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  1. Fabulous! I went to the "real" tutorial to compare, and yours is TOTALLY as pretty, but with $ store tacks and dropcloth fabric in place of the spendy ingredients. It is sooo elegant! I am ripping my cork board off the wall and doing this!

  2. I love how you used the small, oval frame as part of your corkboard. I never would have thought to do this, but it looks great! Very creative...

  3. I love the nailhead detail. I think it classies it up. :)

  4. You are highly skilled at presenting the directions in an easy to follow manner, with plenty of photographs to clear up any confusion/questions. Well done, and thank you for presenting your ideas in a way that lead me to believe that I could actually execute them myself! In fact, you make me WANT to attempt these ideas. VERY well done!


I really appreciate you taking the time to comment because I know you didn't have to. Additional ideas or related techniques are always welcome, the more we brainstorm the better all of our end products will be.
While I try to answer all comments I sometimes don't make it or have your contact info. If you don't hear back from me it doesn't mean I hate you, I just ran out of time (or simply had no way of contacting you).
I wish you a great day!

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