In a fit of New Year-inspired organization last week, I purchased a corkboard with the intent to hang it in my office/craft room as a place where I could pin up pretty notes and bits of inspiration. I knew I wanted to decorate it somehow and first considered using fabric to make one like this barkcloth beauty from the T-Party, but I don't have any neat vintage fabric and I was too impatient to try to find barkcloth from an online source.
And then, inspiration struck (as it does for so many of us) in the form of my newly-delivered Pottery Barn catalog! There, on page 99 I found this:
Let's look at that close up:
Pottery Barn's pinboard is covered with burlap with a printed design re-created from vintage postmarks. I knew that I could easily get burlap, so that got me thinking how I could make the printed designs. I'm not a great decorative painter, so freehanding the design was out. I found some ink jet printer T-shirt transfers that I bought on clearance and stashed away, but they were only for white items, so that wouldn't work either. Then I remembered the cute sparrow stencil I bought a few years ago at Urban Outfitters that has been waiting, unused, for a project such as this one!
I bought my burlap at Wal-Mart. My corkboard (just under $9.00 from Target) was 25" x 32" so I only needed one yard of fabric, a cost of around $2.50. I ironed it to remove the creases, then laid it over my corkboard and trimmed it roughly to size.
I know that there's a way to get a straight line in burlap by pulling out one of the strings--I tried that, and I couldn't get it to work. Instead, I used my staple gun to attach the burlap at the edge of the wood frame
and then used a small pair of scissors to go back and trim off the excess fabric as close to the frame as I could. Not perfect, but it worked.
Next, I gathered my stencil and painting supplies. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to do the birds in black or in aqua blue to match the aqua blue-painted cabinet in the office.
I started out with the aqua blue, then did the second bird in black.
The painting was so easy that even my 4-year-old daughter helped! Remember that the texture of the burlap is rough, so a pattern without a lot of fine detail works best.
After the paint was dry, I needed to hide the rough cut edges of the fabric. I did that simply with a roll of black grosgrain ribbon and my hot glue gun.
After I had all the black ribbon on the board, I didn't like how the blue bird looked after all. I didn't have enough fabric to rip it all out and start over, so I ended up using a tiny paintbrush and more black paint and going over the blue paint by hand. That was seriously tedious, and in retrospect I could probably have taped the stencil back over the blue bird and gone over it with the black. The holey texture of the burlap made covering all the blue paint into a real challenge.
In the end you can't really tell and I think it still looks great. I hung it up right away and I can't wait to start filling it up with pretty pictures! The Pottery Barn pinboard was $149--mine was under $12 and I had it done in one evening.
Some additional thoughts I had while I was making this: I wonder if you could use a freezer paper stencil on burlap? I'm still trying to figure out a way to get those postmarks like the Pottery Barn version. Also, I would like to have painted the wooden frame but it was far too cold to spray paint here last weekend, and I was impatient, so it stayed the way it was.
Once I hung my cute cork board I realized that all I had were boring primary-colored push-pins. That just wouldn't do, so tomorrow I'll show you how I fixed that!
I'm linking this post to Kimba's DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land and Show and Tell Wednesday at Blue Cricket Design, as well as Homebody Holly's Pottery Barn Knock-off Party!