Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy and Inexpensive Large Inspiration Board

This is a long post, so if you're looking for Thrift Share Monday you can click on over! Thanks for stopping by.

I'll go ahead and admit that this is not a magazine worthy, top-quality project.  Maybe if I was a better photographer I could pull off a more "finished" look but I decided to share anyway.  I'm posting it because if you're tight on time and your decorating budget is nil, this is actually still doable.  A large board can help cut down on clutter while at the same time bringing impact to an empty wall or focus to a room.

This project can translate to an office, a kid's room, a family room, etc.  I'll go through the process with photos then list the price and materials breakdown at the end.

1. Take a look at your wall space and decide on the approximate size you'd like your board.  I had 7 1/2 feet of empty wall space with 8 ft. ceilings and my board is about 40 in. square.
2.  Lay out your foam board. Depending on your desired "final" size, you may have one solid piece of board or 3 or 4 pieces.  As you see below I used 2  20"x30" boards and then cut another board in half lengthwise. I used one 10"x30" piece (top right) and then made another cut for the 10"x10" piece (top left).  Foam board is easily cut with an exacto knife or straight blade (or frankly, a sharp knife from the kitchen).

Clearly, a solid rectangular piece is easier but I wanted a square! My Hobby Lobby also sold a 3'x4' piece that would work perfectly.
3.  If you have multiple pieces simply square them up and then use duct tape to join into a solid piece.

4.  Lay out your chosen fabric. I used burlap. (Call your craft or fabric store first to be sure they carry burlap). Burlap gives some texture to your space and doesn't compete with anything you may add to your board.  As a bonus it's also inexpensive (about $3 a yard in my neck of the woods).

5.  Just place the fabric on top (or underneath) of your board and cut an extra 2 inches around the perimeter. 

6.  With your fabric on the floor and the solid white side of your board against the fabric, begin to tape your fabric to the board.  I recommend starting at the opposite centers to be sure your fabric is smooth and even over the board. For example, if your board was a clock you would tape at 12 and 6 o'clock, then at 3 and 9 o'clock.  Work outward from those points.

7.  As you approach the corners, fold the fabric over the corner and tape (basically on the diagonal). Then, pull the fabric snug to those edges and tape, making a neat fold on the back of your board.

I warned you this method wasn't anything fancy!  If it makes you feel better you can add a long piece of tape to the back edges to make it look slightly more finished.  Honestly, who cares? This will be hidden against the wall and no one will ever know that the back looks sloppy.

I used Command Hanging Strips for this board.  Three strips can hold 9 lbs and my board isn't anywhere near that heavy.  It solves the problem of rigging up a wire on foamboard (is that possible?) and saves your wall from nail holes.

8.  Attach Command strips to the back of your board. Here's a little trick: cut a single Command strip in half to make a gripping set. This way you can use one pack of strips and spread them out on your board for better coverage.

9.  Make pencil marks on your wall to ensure you are able to place your board exactly where you want it!

10.  Remove the cover from your Command "pairs" and then press your board onto your wall space.  I recommend another set of hands and eyes to help with this step, especially if you have a large board.  Be sure to apply pressure for several seconds at each attachment point.


3 pieces of 20x30" foamboard - $4.50
1 1/3 yds burlap                      - $4.00
duct tape                                 - $0.50
Command Strips                     - $4.00


Exacto Knife
measuring tape

Hindsight's 20/20:  I'm planning on making another board this week and this time I'll use the thick foam board (1/2") I saw at my craft store.  A store bought bulletin board can also be covered with fabric, but an extra large cork bulletin board is a good deal more expensive than the foam board version.

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