Thursday, March 15, 2012

Inspiration Board

Here is another spring break project I've completed--what I'm calling my inspiration board.

The idea is to hang fabric swatches, ribbon, paint chips--whatever happens to inspire me for a new project. It includes a pencil cup and a notepad for sketching down ideas, and also little containers with clear windows for holding beads, buttons, and other knick-knacks. I hung it above my sewing machine so that I could also use it to hang pattern directions and to hold notions from my current project.

I found the original idea for this board on Pinterest, but of course I had to add my own touches. Let me walk you through my process.

Here's a list of my supplies. A bulletin board, fabric, Velcro, pencil holder, containers with clear lids, and decorative bottle caps. Not shown are some pushpins, ribbon, and a notepad.

First, I removed the frame from the bulletin board so I could cover the cork with fabric. This was not an easy task. My husband ended up having to use a hammer and screwdriver to beat the thing apart. I would highly recommend using just a plain corkboard without a frame, or buying one with a removable frame. I just happened to have this on hand and decided to make it work--which it did, but it took way more time and effort than necessary.

Anyway, I stretched the fabric over the board and glued it around the edges. I would also recommend spreading a thin amount of glue over the entire surface of the board before placing the fabric on, something else I failed to do. Hindsight and all that.

Here's the view from the back...

...and here's how it looks from the front:

So nice and smooth.
A note on the fabric: I intentionally picked something very subtle with a small pattern. I wanted some design to it, but I also did not want it to distract from any swatches I would be hanging on it. A fabric with bright, bold flowers, for example, would really throw off the look of some delicate lace. I didn't want my inspiration board to end up hindering my design process!

After attaching the fabric, my hubby and I pounded and glued the frame back on, but, as you're going to be smarter than me and not have to go through that process, I will spare you the details.

Now I was ready to add all of my little elements. I had found these super cute bottle caps at Hobby Lobby and fell in love with them. I wasn't sure at first how to use them, but ended up deciding to try using them to make decorative push pins. It worked so well, and was very easy. I simply adhered a pushpin to the back of each bottle cap with a dab of hot glue.

So cute. I plan to take some of my husband's old beer bottle caps and make them into pushpins to use on the bulletin board in his garage. Aah, the projects never end. One project just ends up inspiring more! (Update: Check out this post on the beer bottle cap pushpins!)

Next, I got the little containers ready. I didn't want to just glue them onto the fabric because they were going on sideways, and trying to put little pieces in a sideways container that was affixed to a board sounded like a bad plan. So I put some Velcro on the board and on the containers.

This way they can hang up there and I can see what I have, but they are easy to take down to fill or empty.

I did attach the pencil cup with a good amount of hot glue, because I thought the weight of it when filled with pencils would be too much for the Velcro. How adorable is this with its little ribbon? The ribbon on this project was actually an afterthought, but I happened to come across it at Walmart and saw how it matched my bottle caps perfectly. I love how it ended up tying everything together!

Finally, I put some more Velcro on the board to use with the notepad. The original idea I saw showed a little notepad just stuck in the pencil cup, but I wanted mine more accessible. I liked the idea of making a sketch and leaving it posted, so that I could see it and quickly jot something else down if I needed to. Yes, I could just tear that page out of the pad and pin it up, but this way I don't end up with endless loose papers.

So there you have it, my inspiration board with all of its handy little details! It is very functional, but also looks fantastic!

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