Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to Make a Fabric Covered Pin Board For Your Studio or Office

Use this pin up board as a design wall, photo display, inspiration board, and any other way you would use a cork board. You will love this simple, easy project, that brightens up your work space, and organizes clutter.

This was my "design wall" after I took down the ugly, tacked-on piece of batting I used to have there to stick fabric onto as I was designing art quilts and making color arrangements. I wanted something I could sink pins into, and certainly something that looked GREAT!

Ding! Ding! Ding!... and in the other corner ring is this monstrosity ...... my cork board: a place to collect images I liked and keep my pattern notes organized next to my cutting table. Not enough room, cork too shallow, ugliness. It's a sewing studio, I don't want to deal with thumb tacks, I want to stab needles into my board to pin things up!

So, to solve my problems, did I head to the art store? The office supply store? Heck no! (No offense, but...) They would probably suggest reams of expensive, stick on cork that was too shallow to hold things on. I tried that in the kids room and it does not stick well on the semi gloss paint, nor does it hold anything heavier than a sheet of paper. I love that cork is sustainable, but it hasn't worked well for me.

I literally went to the hardware store and asked for "something in stiff sheets that I could pin into, like foam, but not the crumbly kind? " And wow, is this ever perfect stuff! Insulfoam comes in large sheets, that are about $2.50 each. In case you are wondering, and this will be matter to some folks, no, it does NOT make a yucky "squeek" sound when you push the pins in later. You're safe.

This does not make it a "Green" project. However, now that you and I know what we are looking for, next time we need a gorgeous fabric covered pin up board, we can stop at a building project and ask for scraps or head to Bring recycling center. (In just a sec, I'll show you how to piece sections together).

Supplies you will need:
insul foam sheets 3/4" thick
and duct tape
thumbtacks- the flat kind are helpful
yardage of fabric you love
nails long enough to go through 3/4" and into the wall
and a hammer

This is the back side of the insul foam. The back side will go against your wall, and the plain front side will be what you pin into.

If you are making a board from several small pieces or you want a MASSIVE pin up board, like I did, butt the sections together and tape them. I found that the boards stayed together without the need for tape on the front side. Yey!

Choose fabric to cover your board. How will you want to use the board? Cover it with items, change the items on it frequently, put only a few choice pictures up, use as a design wall? I went with a beautiful black and white print. I wanted the board to be pretty on it's own, but not too colorful and busy because I plan to put lots of images on it.

Give your fabric a press with the iron.

Center your fabric on the board and make sure it covers the board. You can easily cut down the board to fit the fabric, like I did on this first, smaller board. I laid the foam on the floor and used a ruler and exacto knife to cut into the back, then stood it up to bend the foam, and slid the knife to sever it.

You can make your fabric panel wider as I did on the second, larger board. Sew a strip of fabric along the side of the main fabric to make it wider. Press the seam open and flat. Because of the pattern I chose, you can't see where I've put a seam in! (Just you try and find it.) Good stuff.

Let's put the fabric on already! Now that you've decided the size of the thing, and pressed your fabric relatively flat, center your fabric on the board and put a flat tack in the back of the board to hold the fabric. You'll be working from the back side the whole time. Pin your fabric smoothly along the top edge, and then do an awesome job of both corners. Make sure your fabric is straight with enough wrap room for the rest of the board. Start taping! Tape to the back of the board only. Don't pull the fabric, just keep it straight and flat. I removed some of the tacks as I went, but taped right over some others, esp the corner holding tacks. Really press that tape to the fabric then pull a little as you stick it to the board.

Flip the board to do the bottom side. Now, starting in the center, you will want to pull the fabric taught. Do not over stretch the fabric or it will warp your board. Remember this is foam not a painter's canvas-don't over do it. Keep peeking at the front side to make sure it's flat. Tape. Tape. Tap-ity-tape-tape. (You might love having someone hand you strips of tape, though this is an easy solo project).

Now do both sides, starting in the middle. It was so easy and fast! Now you can nail it to the wall.

Here is my pin up board # 1. I love it!

Here's how it looks with all my cutting table notes and patterns put up.

Look at this HUGE pin up board! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, size does matter!
Second board, I made a larger design wall. I will put my inspirational pictures and objects here, as be able arrange designs for new art quilts and projects here.

I painted and hung a little shelf just for my new blocks from Felt Cafe. She's currently located in Tokyo, where they make these cute little "City in a Bag" blocks. This set is.... can you guess?
Hint: the double decker buses? I adore it and no one can resist arranging the little cars and buildings. Visit her shop to get some blocks of your own, or other cute Japanese goodies. Convo her if you don't find the blocks.

In case you are wondering, the creatures below are some of my stuffy collection, monsters, and Freddy the Frog who I inheirated from my grandma Betty.

Another view of BlissMonkeyStudio. Behind my sewing machine. A rainbow of thread, monkey shelf, hot iron, and bright bags ready for sale. Thanks for visiting. Write and tell me when you make your board and if you found my article helpful.

Happy Spring!


Brandon said...

Very cleaver! OFf to share this link:)


FordBum said...

Cool idea. I'll use this in my design office.

Rachat de credit said...

Thanks it was a fantastic support, now to make a fabric covered pin board for our studio or office is very easy utilizing your advice. Thank you

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! We were thinking homosote...cork...more homosote. The insulation idea is brillant!

Thanks again!

Unknown said...

Thanks! Brillant idea. We were thinking homosote but insulation is so much lighter. Great idea. Thanks