17 Sep 2012

Other Pin Boards Will Be Green With Envy

I've had an idea floating around in my head for a while that we needed a pin board in the kitchen. Someplace that we can keep receipts, coupons, photos, etc without cluttering up the fridge.  Practical, right?  The other reason is because Fin feels that it's one of her missions in life to remove everything from the front of the fridge.  The determination that she has means that we have to move all of the important things up to the top of the fridge, and it all ends up squished together and pretty much useless.

I had some cork left over from another project, so I figured I'd just slap it into an old frame and poof - a new cork board for us.  Of course, things always work better in my mind.  I went hunting for an old frame in my frame closet, but couldn't find one that would fit the space where it needed to go.  I had one old frame (an Ikea Ribba) that didn't have any back that fit.  Ok, no problem.  We'd just have to make a new back.

The frame was natural wood, which didn't go with what we had going on in the kitchen.  So, I hauled out my silver spray paint and gave it a couple of coats.

Amazingly enough, it actually looked like it was metal.  Man, I love spray paint. 

Then I asked Mr. Swell very nicely to cut me a piece of backing for the frame.  The plywood we had on hand was too thick, so we used a piece of beadboard we had left over from the kitchen island redo.  If you decide to tackle this project and you have a frame that has a back, just use it - it'll be strong enough for the cork.

Then it came time to measure the cork.  I used rolled cork that I bought at Rona for about $10.  I had used a good chunk of it for another project, but thought I had lots left. Again, in my head I figured I'd just roll it out and it would fit.  Nope.  No go.  It was way too small.  A cork jigsaw puzzle ensued.  I glued the cork down to the back of the beadboard using wood glue (gorilla glue would probably be a better idea), and then flipped it over and clamped it down to the workbench overnight to dry.   Sorry, no pictures....

But, here is what it looked like after drying.

Obviously I couldn't leave it like this.  Even if I did cover the horrible seams up with a bunch of receipts, I worried that the cork would start peeling up at the seams.  

No problem, I'd cover it with fabric.  I had some green fabric left over from the kitchen curtains that was nice and thick, and wouldn't show the brown cork through.  I ran down to the basement to find it.  Crap, again.  I had 2 pieces and they were both too small to stretch over the cork.

What to do now?  I was pretty much ready to scrap the whole thing and run to Wal-Mart to buy a ready made cork board.  But, I had already done some work and cut beadboard, so I didn't want to waste what I'd used.  After a bit of chocolate eating brainstorming I came up with the brilliant idea of doing pleats.  Brilliant, right?  I think so!  The pleats would hide the seam in the middle where the 2 fabric pieces joined, plus I figured it would add a bit of visual interest.

What I didn't think about when my pleat brain wave struck, was that creating pleats was going to require an iron and a bit of math - 2 things which I don't love.  

I sort of flew by the seat of my pants for the next part, but I will attempt to explain it.  Basically, every 4 inches I folded up the fabric, and then folded it back down leaving a 1 inch overlap.  Then I ironed the heck out of it.  My fabric ironed really well and formed a nice crisp line.  This wouldn't work with flimsy fabric as it wouldn't hold a line very well.

I kept ironing until I ran out of fabric.  Since it was late at night when I tackled this, I can honestly say that it took me over an hour to get the ironing part finished.  I am anal about things being even, so I measured each side and the middle before I ironed each fold, which was pretty darn time consuming.

See how the pleats hid the seam? All I did was then just slide the top piece under the bottom piece to hide the raw edge.

I straightened everything out and then used the staple gun to staple each pleat (just to hold them in place).  Then I flipped the whole thing over and stapled the heck out of it.

Here's how the front looked.

Then I crossed my fingers and hoped that it would still fit in the frame.  Luckily it did.  But....I had another problem.  The little metal pieces that were supposed to fold down to hold the back on (you know, the ones that totally hurt your fingers and cause you to swear while trying to put a picture in an Ikea frame) were too short! There wasn't enough metal to fold over the multiple layers of fabric and the beadboard.  

A farmer fix ensued (a farmer fix, for those of you who don't know, is just making do with what you have....it usually involves duct tape - but not this time).  We used some left over panelling that we had on hand and just sort of shoved it in, and then screwed an L-bracket into the frame and the panelling to hold everything into place.  The beadboard and fabric aren't actually attached to the frame at all - they are just held into place by the panelling.  A little messy, but it worked.  We also screwed a sawtooth picture hanger onto the frame so we'd have some way to hang this sucker.

I wanted to hang the pin-board on the gable piece beside the fridge.  Since it was made of the same stuff as our cabinets (MDF I think...) I didn't want to drill into it.  I found a Command Hook at Home Depot that had a little hook on that fit perfectly into the sawtooth piece.  Easy peasy.

All along I thought the pleats would just be for visual interest, but once it was on the wall, I realized that the pleats were actually very practical.  Instead of having to pin everything on the board, I could just slot things into a pleat and they'd stay.  Really tall things or heavier paper needs to still be pinned, but the pleats work great for holding photos and clipped coupons. 

How about you?  Have you ever had a project that seemed like a disaster half way through but then recovered to be even better than you imagined?

p.s. can you tell I got a new camera half way through this post? I am still learning it, but wow....what a difference!  I'll work with it for a while and then tell you all about it.



  1. I think this might be one of my favorite projects that you have done. It is so useful...I definitely need something like this.

    Chocolate seems to soothe and bring me a lot clarity in the midst of things going awry as well, Im beginning to think it should be included in every tool kit. :)

    -Erica F

    1. Thanks so much! If i had chocolate in the tool kit I wouldnt get anything done....Id just sit down and eat chocolate.

  2. Hi Kelly: You were so resourceful to figure this project out as you went along--I think that shows your huge creativity and tenacity to get it done! What a lovely pinboard you created--I like it a lot!

  3. Thanks Athena. It really was a go with the flow sort of project....but I love when it works out better than even I expected. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. What a fantastic idea and I LOVE the color you chose!


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