Saturday, February 15, 2014

Build-a-Bulletin Board!

Make your own bulletin board

I’m an original person. This carries over to everything I do. My kids have unique names that they won’t find on anything personalized. But at the end of the day, I still need the same things that everyone else does, chairs, a desk, lamps and a bulletin board.

The bulletin board is what I’m going to focus on in this post. I could have bought a bulletin board from an office department store and found plenty of options on sizes and shapes. It would still be the same thing you would find in someone else’s work space. I needed to find a way to make something like that unique. I believe I succeeded.

Hobby Lobby is my home away from home. If I’m prepping any kind of craft, Hobby Lobby or at least their website is where I begin the search.  Since I’m not planning on hanging anything more substantial than some photos, post-it’s or a postcard, the weight and thickness of the cork was not an issue to me. I knew I wanted to have some design options to play with. So I found some small, coaster-sized cork boards. Each package came with 4 and I found circle and square designs, so I bought a few of each.

Next I needed to have thumbtacks but, once again, didn’t want them to be boring. So I decided to make my own. I found some great designed bottle caps at Hobby Lobby that just so happened to be on sale that day. I needed some flat thumbtacks that had a long enough point to reach the depth of the bottle cap easily.

Last to search for was the paper or fabric I wanted to cover the cork boards with. I found a small scrapbook paper pack that went well with the bottle cap design. I purchased some spray adhesive and made sure I had glue sticks for my glue gun.

Prep your work surface. Be prepared for sticky residue and X-Acto knife cutting. All that is left is to assemble them. It’s a fairly straight forward process. The one thing I would encourage if you’re going to try these yourself, is to definitely use the spray adhesive. I considered just using my glue gun. The paper would stick, definitely, but the finish would not be smooth and even. I know if I felt bumps from the glue, even with them hanging on a wall, it would drive me crazy. It didn’t take much to do the boards and afterwards I had a mostly full can of spray adhesive to use on other projects. Definitely more than worth the investment of about $7.00.

There are several ways you can measure and cut the paper to apply it. With the size of the small stack of scrapbook papers I started with there wouldn’t be a lot of extra from using one page. I still have to hang on to what is left because I can always get a stamp or punch of some kind out of even the smallest scraps. Even with that drive, I could stand to lose a few inches on the sides. I picked the papers I wanted to use and made note of any designs I wanted to be sure that made it onto the finished product. I accounted for both circle and square designs to make sure I had these exactly how I wanted.

If I had cut the exact size of the coaster before, I would have messed up and glued it off by a few centimeters that would have made me need to restart. I used an empty box I had laying around the house and worked one piece at a time. I laid the coaster in the box, held the can about 6 inches away and sprayed an even coat of adhesive over it.
Then I went to work on placing the paper. I made sure I got it as even as I could and included the little design details on the papers. Then I laid it aside and continued until all boards have paper attached.

I went through with scissors and cut down the extra edges, using an X-Acto knife if necessary.

Onto the thumbtacks! This was also fairly straight forward. Some of the bottle caps came with a rounded piece of foam that fit inside the back. I glued those into place then glued my flat thumbtacks on top of that. The bottle caps that did not have foam pieces, I simply hot glued the thumb tack onto the back. I learned part way through that if I could find a longer flat thumbtack point it gave me more to press into the board. But mine work just fine with having a shorter amount. 

Then all that was left to do was stick an adhesive patch to my coaster and organize them on the wall as I wanted. Not what everyone would like and it wouldn’t hold up to heavy use, but it’s good enough for me right now.

*One note about the material you use to cover the cork board. If you use paper, like I did, be prepared to see each hold you punch into the paper when you move a tack. Fabric is much more forgiving in this area, but I wanted the colors I could find in the paper pack, plus I already had it at home. Saving money is never wrong!

Show me some examples of different ideas you’ve had for bulletin board designs, I have more rooms to put some in! 

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