Sunday, March 7, 2010

Make a Framed Fabric Covered Message Board

In May of last year I put together a little message board using some fabric, a thrifted frame and some cork.

Today I made another one but this time took some pictures so I could show you how you can make your own.

You will need:
sheets of cork (these can be purchased in various sizes and in rolls, so the amount you'll need depends on the size of your frame)
wooden frame
hot glue gun & sticks
wax candle
ribbon or twine
staple gun or hammer & nails
thin cardboard

First cut your cork down to size so that it fits into the recess of your frame. Cut it slightly on the small side so that when you add your fabric it won't be too snug.

Lay your fabric face down, then lay your cork on top of that. Wrap the edges of the fabric to the back of the cork and hot glue to secure. Make sure the fabric is smooth and taut before gluing.

I had to use a small section of a second piece of cork to make mine long enough for the frame, but a small bead of hot glue between the two pieces secured them together nicely.

If you wish to add a pocket to the corner of your message board, just cut a rectangle of fabric (matching or contrasting) and fold down long edge, then glue other 2 edges to the back of the cork.

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how I achieved a two-toned distressed finish. Start by wiping your frame clean.

I used a very beigey tan colored craft paint for my base coat and applied it with a sponge brush in a very quick and kind of sloppy manner.

Next, rub the edge of your candle along the high areas and edges of your frame, where you'll want the base color to show through the top color.

Wipe away the excess wax flakes then apply your top color.

When the top coat is dry (or even before, if you're impatient like me), dampen a rag and begin to rub away the top coat in the areas where you applied the candle wax.

(The candle wax acts as a resist so that the top color wipes away easily to expose the base color. I chose to use this method instead of just sanding away the top color because it would have been easy to accidentally go through the base color and have the wood show, which I didn't want.)

Use a spray-on varnish to give it whatever finish you'd like, or leave it as-is. (I used a gloss lacquer to seal my frame.)

Put your fabric covered cork into the frame...

... then cover that with a piece of thin cardboard cut to the same size.

Cut a piece of coordinating felt to slightly larger than the cardboard...

...then apply it to the back by hot gluing around all the edges and pulling it taut.

Staple (or nail) a piece of ribbon or twine to the back for a hanger.

Then display proudly!

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