Thursday, July 30, 2009

Custom Corkboard

I finally decided that I needed to hang some type of art display in the dining room to display the kids' artwork. Until we rearranged their bedroom, I had a wire line with mini clothespins to hang their current projects but the youngest kept walking off with the clothespins and the eyehooks I used to hang the wire line were not so sturdy. I knew I wanted some type of cork board and since I was hanging it in the dining room I wanted to dress it up a bit.

Photobucket


I measured the spot I needed to use and settled on 3'x3' for the board dimensions which also meant I could not buy a ready made corkboard to cover. No big deal, I thought, I'll just glue some cork tiles to a piece of plywood and then cover it in fabric. While it was no big deal I did have to get creative to find a sturdy solution for hanging the board. I chose to screw bolts through the front of the board under the cork layer and used d ring hangers hung onto screws placed in the studs.

Here's the hardware. Half inch long bolts with matching nuts, D ring hangers and plastic hinged screw covers (more on those later). My plywood is 1/4" thick and I test fitted the bolts at the hardware store to be sure they cleared the wood and then had sufficient length for the d ring hanger, screw cover and finally the nut without portruding too much. Did I mention I had a good bit of help at Lowe's from a wonderful employee?

Photobucket


My 3'x3' piece of plywood which I had cut at the hardware store from a stock piece. They do this for free so it saves me the hassle of having Mr. Maricucu pull out the table saw.

Photobucket


First, I found the studs on my wall and marked the placement of the board on the wall. Then I measured from each side of the board to where the studs were located then placed those markings on my board for the bolt placement. I also placed the markings two inches below the top edge of the board to account for the length of the d hangers and the space I'd need to staple the fabric. I used a level to be sure that the board would hang straight and yes the edges on the board's cut side were a bit ragged but I sanded them smooth later on.

Photobucket


Once I'd marked the bolt placement I drilled a hole the width of the bolt and slipped the bolt from the front of the plywood to the back. Since I was glueing the cork to the top of the plywood I sunk the bolt as much as I could but without cracking the wood.

Photobucket


On the back of the board I slipped a d ring hanger onto the bolt as well as the screw cover, then the nut. Mr. Maricucu held the nut with needle nose pliers since nothing else would fit around the nut with the screw cover in place, then I gently tightened the bolt with the drill.

Photobucket


Finally we pressed the screw cover closed. It's just a little plastic hinged cover I used as extra insurance so that the exposed end of the bolt/nut combo wouldn't scratch the back of the wall. I hate painting so anything I can do to save the walls is wonderul.

Photobucket


Fastener done, secure and it's not coming out of the plywood. On to the cork. I bought packs of 12"x12"x1/4" plywood squares in packs of four. I ended up buying three packs (total of 12 tiles) to have the nine I needed for the board so I'll likely use the three leftover tiles in my sewing room.

Photobucket


I did a dry run on the plywood to see how tiles would fit and I'm glad I did. I realized the best way to glue them on would be starting with the middle tile and work my way out. There was only about a 1/8" of exposed plywood on the outside edge around the cork which would be covered with the fabric.

Photobucket


I'm definitely not a handy person but I've been watching enough home improvement projects to know that Liquid Nails would be the best adhesive for the cork. This low VOC formula is even less stinky than the E6000 I used for the magnetic spice tins.

Photobucket


I squirted some long thin beads of liquid nails on the back of the cork tile. About three tiles in I realized this was wayyyyy too much adhesive since I'd gone through about half of the tube. So the next cork tiles had a bead only around the four edges of the tile.

Photobucket


I began with the middle tile and worked my way around the to outer edge cork tiles. The liquid nails has a bit of give at this point so you can slightly smush tiles around to be sure and keep the edges butted up tight.

Photobucket


Once all the tiles were glued I noticed some of the corner edges were not laying flat in the middle so I added a bit more adhesive and taped the intersections down with some masking tape. You'll see that in a picture further below.

Photobucket


Finally the cork was glued and ready to cure overnight so I found the heaviest flat thing in our living room to weight it down - the baby/dog gate. I just love products that are multi-taskers.

Photobucket


This is the only photograph I took during the daytime. It's the true color of the short napped chenille upholstery fabric I used to cover the corkboard. Why take most of my pictures at night? Let's just say that projects involving screws, construction adhesive and staple guns are best started when the helpers are asleep.

Photobucket


Now it was time to cut the fabric. I smoothed the fabric on my floor and placed the board right on top. Then I cut the fabric around the board leaving about 6-8" extra for wrapping.

Photobucket


I flipped the board over, double checked that my fabric was right side down (yes I almost had a mishap) and began stapling in the middle of each edge. I just pulled the fabric taught, stapled a few inches of fabric then moved on to the opposite edge of the board and did the same until all four edges had been stapled in the center sections. Next, I continued stapling the edges all around avoiding the corners.

Photobucket


Once the edges were stapled I finished off with the corners. It's hard to explain but I just miter tucked the corner fabric in and stapled that secure then flattened the extra fold of fabric on top, pulled it as tight as I could, then stapled it down. You can see I got a little happy with the staple gun but I didn't want to spend all this time on the board and have it come apart on me, or you can just blame it on my OCD. Take your pick.

Photobucket


Here's the back all secured - that sucker's not coming off. You can see where I stapled a bit higher around the ring hangers and just notched the fabric out for that section. After all the stapling action I cut the excess fabric off leaving about 1" extra beyond the staples.

Photobucket


That's it! It's done and ready for action. I threw a few papers on there with the only pins I had around this house, my fabric pins. Eventually I'd like to make some fabric covered button thumbtacks like these in some fun prints, but for now this works.

Photobucket


Also, I'm contemplating the next step. You can see the sort of plain dining room curtains right next to the board. I purposely chose a textured but solid fabric for the board because I hope to eventually spice up the curtain situation and I'm thinking of making a modernish patchwork table runner. If I decide to gussy up the cork board I might iron on some solid black fabric "W"s in various fonts for our last name initial or maybe just one strip of a printed quilting cotton. Not sure yet and I'm not going to rush it for now. We're just happy to have a place for some photos and artwork for now.

Photobucket

2 comments:

Lowell said...

This is awesome! Paul is going to be so happy when I present him with this project. :)

Marielle said...

I hope that's a good thing right? LOL

Or is that more like when I go around saying, "we need to do X, Y and Z" and the hubbyman says, "I hear a lot of 'me' in that 'we'"