Sunday, January 02, 2011

TUTORIAL: Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

I've been offered retail space in Northfield, MN and was looking for very inexpensive display ideas to jazz up a 3"x3" black metal grid display panel and to economize on the space (2'x 5' total). The goal was to find a creative, effective, space efficient idea that wouldn't cost me much dough -re-mi.

I'd been dying to check out a newer thrift shop in Northfield (new to me) and was glad I did. I scored a 2' x 1.5' bulletin board for a buck! The cork wasn't pretty, but that is totally okay, I planned to cover it in fabric anyway. I like the idea of displaying jewelry within frames, but needed something large enough to house a lot of jewelry. This fit the bill. MATERIALS:
-bulletin board
-fabric (larger than bulletin board)
-staples, tacks or straight pins.

1.) To get started you will need a bulletin board. Any size will do. Pick out a fabric you like to use to cover it. Something stiffer or heavier is better as it won't sag or show the pin marks as much as finer fabrics. I used some sort of heavy woven rayon, it reminds be of 'burlap-lite'.

Depending on what you want to use your bulletin board for will help you decide what fabric to use. If you're using it on a wall in a room, think of a fun print that compliments your space. Pictures and notes will jump off nicely. If you are using it for jewelry display like I am, consider a solid color, or a very small scale/monotone print or texture.

I go back and forth as to whether I find jewelry pops better on a light or dark background. It all depends on the jewelry and the lighting. I opted for navy blue this time around. I thought it would make the subtle natural frame pop more and give me that framed jewelry look I was hoping for.

2.) Make sure you have a piece of fabric a little larger than the bulletin board. Once you have picked out your fabric, iron it. Then place it over the board and cut around the edges. IMPORTANT: make sure you cut 1/2"-1" extra on each side as you will be tucking this under to give a finished edge to your look.

3.) Once you have your fabric cut, center it over the cork. I found it works best to start in the center of the longest edge. Fold the edge of the fabric under. Here you get to make another style decision: staples, tacks or pins. I find staples to be quick and to give you a long lasting hold. Tacks are also good. Pins may need to be readjusted periodically to keep the fabric taught. Once you have decided which sharp implement to use, tack down the edge of the fabric in one spot.

4.) Smooth out the fabric and pull it tight to the opposite side. Fold under the fabric edge and tack it down.

5.) Repeat this step working your way from the middle out. Once you reach the corners, you will have to fold down the edges of both sides at once.

6.) As with the long sides, start in the center, fold fabric under and tack. Pull taught to opposite side, fold fabric under and tack. Repeat until all edges are securely tacked down.

7.) Fin!

Here are some pictures of my finished fabric covered bulletin board.

And here it is in action!

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