One of my projects for Christmas was to give my daughter’s room a pink makeover into a more mature room for her. She is six and a half going on 40 and has long since outgrown her makeshift toddler room. I scoured all the local places for a French-style corkboard for months prior to Christmas without any luck. Most people looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to describe it, so I set out to make my own! Sadly, I wasn’t able to carve out any time to make it until this past Wednesday when she spent the night at my mother’s. She’s seen it and we cannot wait to put it up on her wall.
I made this before New Year’s and, up till I had to stop for the buttons, it took me roughly two hours to do. It would have been done in an hour if I’d had a power stapler and the buttons. LOL
You can find all of the photos for this project in order here.
- corkboard – the size of this will determine the rest
- fabric – single layer, enough to cover the corkboard plus three inches to the width and length, thin cotton works best but you can use any thin, tight weave fabric
- quilt batting – the inexpensive kind if fine, low loft is easiest to work with
- grosgrain ribbon in two sizes – 1/4 inch for across the board, 3/4 inch to cover the sides or you can use a feather boa for a more stylish, girly look; you will need to measure your board
- upholstery tacks OR lots of big buttons if the corkboard is thin – use thick plastic buttons or metal ones if you can find them for contrast
- staple gun – I suggest a battery powered one to spare your hands
- large needle and thread – waxed thread is great, but make sure the needles and the thread will go through your button holes
- Elmer’s glue or PVA and a paint brush
- brown kraft paper or decorative paper for cover the entire back of your corkboard
- fuse-able web (thermal bond) and an iron
Staple the batting to the corkboard on the sides making sure to pull it tight across the board. Do not worry about the look of the staples all over your board, you will cover the staples later. Corner the batting so that you can wrap the corners only, like you would wrap a package, and staple it around back.
Trim the batting so that it does not wrap to the back except where you have stapled it at the corners.
Repeat the process with the fabric. Make sure the quilt batting is flat underneath your edges; smooth the batting as you go. Staple on the sides and the back to keep it tight.
This is where it is important to use a tight weave fabric. If your weave is loose it will pull free form the staples and you will also be able to see the batting underneath.
Again, wrap the corners like you would a package making sure to cover the batting.
Lay one layer of ribbons in one direction then repeat the process in the other direction. Staple on the sides and the back to keep it tight. Staple one end then pull it gently across to the other side. The fabric might buckle a little so loosen up slightly before stapling the other end in place.
UPHOLSTERY TACKS OR HOW-TO GET AROUND A DILEMMA
Ok, the corkboard I found was inexpensive so it had a thin cardboard backing on it. The dilemma was the fact that I couldn’t bend over the upholstery tacks without ripping through it. I picked Logan’s brain for a solution and he came up with a fabulous one: Buttons!
[The following is in theory as I won’t be doing this till this weekend. ]
Large metal or, in this case, pink plastic ones. A large needle, a thimble and some gloves to protect your hands.
Poke a hole through your board with either the upholstery tack (like I did), an awl or your needle. Poke your holes first. Thread your needle and run it through one button on the front, through the corkboard, and through ANOTHER button on the back. Sew the buttons on through each other and pull them down tight enough to poof the fabric and batting on the front. Tie off on the back leaving about four inches of thread. Wrap the loose thread around the button then stitch it through a hole or another thread on the button before trimming to secure it. Repeat the process through all the places where the ribbon crosses itself on the front.
The button ribbon anchors will make more sense once I have posted the visual. I will add the rest of this after I’m able to get the buttons and finish it! More very soon.
COVERING THE BACK
Once the buttons are in place you can work on making it pretty by covering all those staples up!
Using double-sided adhesive for bookbinding, regular double stick tape, or upholstery tape, tack down the fabric edges. You have already trimmed the batting by this point so it won’t be in your way. Make sure to smooth your fabric out as you go so you don’t have ripples under the paper.
Take a paint brush and some Elmer’s glue, or PVA if you have it, and glue the kraft paper down over the back of your board. This hides all your unsightly staples and the fabric edges.
COVERING THE SIDES
Cut a length of fuse-able web (thermal bond) the length of one side; you can do this one side at a time or all in one length of ribbon. If you do this in . Take the wider ribbon and iron it into place on the side of the board using the fuse-able web in between the ribbon and the board. Repeat for each side.