Thursday, September 6, 2012

Giant Bulletin Board Tutorial

Before Julia left for college, I had a Tool Time Tuesday inspiration! I thought she would need/want a bulletin board and something large to cover up as much of those cinder block walls as possible. So off we went to Home Depot!

Step 1: Shopping.  We bought a 4'x8' sheet of foam insulation. It is light weight and relatively inexpensive (about $10). As we were wandering around the store trying to find it, a very helpful man asked what we were looking for. When I told him, he asked, "What are you going to do with that?!" I was tempted to answer, "None of your business," but I explained and he led us to the foam.

I assumed that a 4'x8' sheet of foam would not fit in my minivan, so I asked the nice man to cut off 3 feet from one end, which he wouldn't have done if I had been cheeky earlier. That did the trick, but you might need to cut more to fit it in your vehicle.

We also bought a canvas drop cloth (under $10) and a can of spray paint (Valspar Exotic Sea). We already had some Command Poster Strips.

For about $30, we have enough supplies for three large bulletin boards!
You can tell we're in Home Depot from the reflection of the orange shopping cart!

Step 2: Cut the foam to the desired size. Julia's is 2 feet x 5 feet. This is easily done with a straight edge and a utility knife on the garage floor. This left us with two extra pieces: another 2x5' and the 3x4' that was cut off in the store.

Step 3: Cut your canvas a few inches larger than the foam, all the way around. (Iron the creases out of the canvas if your grandmother is watching.)

Step 4: Stretch the canvas around your board and tape to the back. We used teal duct tape! Try to make your corners neat, like wrapping a gift. (This step may require supervision from Grandma and brother's girlfriend!)

Step 5: Take another silly picture! (optional)

Step 6:  Take a break to attend the American Idol concert. Visit with Rhode Island's Erika Van Pelt after the show. (optional but so cool!)

Step 6: Design a border pattern.  Draw it on freezer paper, cut it out and iron it to the canvas. Freezer paper is only 15" wide, so we taped two lengths together. It is waxy on one side and will stick to fabric when heated with a hot, dry iron. This will mask off the part you don't want to paint. If you want a straight border, you could use tape instead.  How about stripes?  Oooo.

Step 7: Take it back out to the garage and spray paint the border. We don't know why the freezer paper bubbled. It may have something to do with the foil layer on the foam insulation. It didn't affect the outcome. (Try to not get spray paint on your new white socks.)

Step 8: When the paint is dry, peel off the freezer paper and reveal a *perfect* border.  There was a little paint leakage under the freezer paper. Perfection is overrated.

Step 9: Embellish as desired.  Julia had the brilliant idea to paint a black line at the edge of the border. It gave the whole piece a Seussian vibe and covered most of the spray paint leaks. (Try to keep your hair out of the paint!)

Step 9: Hang the board in your dorm room using Command poster strips. This was actually our plan B. Plan A failed and the board fell off the wall. So Julia had to rehang it using 5 poster strips across the top and it seems to be holding well. Five strips may be overkill, but we don't want it to fall again. (College students living in dorm rooms need an assortment of command hooks!)

Step 10: Take photos of your awesome new bulletin board in your dorm room. I should have taken photos with the good camera on move in day, but I was too busy trying not to cry. Julia had to take these with her phone.

If you make one, I'd love to see it! Email photos to me at tinastitches (@) gmail (dot) com.


Archie the wonder dog said...

Just the thing to brighten up those bare walls!!

sophie said...

I have been planning to use the insulation sheets to make a buletin board for the studio .... nice to see that it will work beautifully. I hadn't considered painting a border on the canvas and I LOVE how it looks--I will likely steal that great idea.

You said you had enough for 3 ... will you be making the other two?

Ms. C said...

What a great idea!