Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Re-Imagined Message Board / Command Center

I've had this idea in my head for a long time. Sadly, making stuff has been going at a snail's pace for me lately so what should have been a relatively short and easy project ended up getting dragged out over the better part of a month.

Message Board Makeover


I started out with a sort of command central-ish wipey board that I got from (Target? Meijer? Walmart? - - I canNOT remember right now, but they sell similar stuff at a lot of places and I got it ages ago) and a chunky barnwood-like frame that I had sitting in my attic. It used to house a print that I liked, but didn't *love* and somewhere in our last move the glass off the front broke. Rather than reframing the original print, I decided to use it for something else.

(Originally I was thinking about putting some cup hooks on it and making a little DIY necklace holder. I still think that would have been a fun idea, but clearly I had another idea I liked better.)

Sidebar about this project:  I had been using this wipe board in its original state since I got it several years ago.  It worked perfectly in the kitchen in our last house and we used it to jot down daily reminders for events as well as chores and meals we were making that week.  In our "new" (we've been here 2 years!) house, we put it in the kitchen as well . . . and somehow it has been majorly underutilized and not even terribly noticeable off in a corner of the room.  In other words, it just wasn't doing its job anymore.  Recalling the functionality of it and wanting to get that back, I had to come up with a new plan.  Hence this whole project.

Here's what the board looked like in its original state (if anyone is interested I was able to find it on Walmart's website here):
Another sidebar: While I didn't have a problem with using the board as-is previously, the place I wanted to move it to near the front door did not have a space wide enough to accommodate it without the whole wall looking awkward.  Because it was going to be visible to every person who came over to my house I also wanted it to fit more into the decor.

Without going into too much pictorial detail (oftentimes I tackle projects when I get choice moments to myself during the day.  It doesn't leave a lot of time for photo documenting usually) . . . here's what I did:
  1. Flipped the whole board over and jimmied the little pin board part (that black abyss on the right) off the frame.
  2. Found a screwdriver or pliers or hammer (can't remember now . . . a plunger?) and pried the little wood divider that separated the wipe board section from the pin board section.  I slipped the wipe board section out.
  3. The frame was still intact so I hung it back up in the kitchen where it used to hang and clipped some of Little Miss's artwork in there.  I figure it will be a nice rotating art installation of her recent projects.  :)
  4. Dug through my paints (not that there are a ton, but I had to find them!) and found some black acrylic which I used to touch up the now raw-edges of the wipe board.  I was going to cover them up, but I didn't want any yucky edges peeking through and this was a quick step to ensure that didn't happen.
  5. Played around with a few different ideas of how I wanted the final board to look and what I wanted it to accomplish.  One part of the original board that we never really needed much was the pin board, so I opted to eliminate that idea completely (my new frame wouldn't fit it anyway) and dreamed up a fabric-covered pocket.  As the hardware on my frame was already set to hang vertically, I decided to just work with it and opted to put the wipe board up top and the pocket underneath.
  6. After I settled on where I wanted the pieces to lay, I took a piece of foam core board and cut it down to act as the stabilizing base of the pocket.  
  7. I scavenged my scraps and found a piece that I had used EONS ago to make a messenger bag (as in, I had my friend make me a messenger bag from it because at the time I did not know how to sew).  It fit in well with my decor as well as my rustic frame so I went with it.  I had some mustard-y home decor fabric sitting in my stash that I pulled to use for the inside of the pocket (as the decorative piece wasn't terribly stable on it's own).
  8. I used a piece of piping thick enough to fill in the gap between my board pieces and the frame and covered it with my mustard fabric for a little contrasting color pop.
  9. Keeping it simple, I stitched a few lines to make 2 small pen pockets and 1 larger mail pocket.  I finally have a place for my Netflix envelope!  :)
  10. Had I cut my pieces big enough I would have done this next part differently, but as it was I had to work with my mistakes so I just grabbed some packing tape and secured the bits that did overlap to the back of the foam core board that I'd cut for the pocket.  It wasn't pretty, but it was also not going to be seen so I didn't really care.
  11. Hot glued the piping snug to the inside edge of the frame.  Mr. Skooks rummaged up some wood glue and glued the wipe and pocket board pieces down.  We gave it the proper cure time.
  12. DONE!
And here are some *really crappy* pseudo-process shots for the more visual learners out there:
Empty Rustic Wood Frame
An old rustic frame that I salvaged after the glass broke.  Don't ask me how it happened.
Message Board Makeover Supplies
My magnetic wipe board piece I pried out of its previous frame, the pocket section I made out of some patchy fabric and foam core board, and a length of thick piping cord covered in some mustard-y fabric.
Piping in Frame
This is what it looked like after I hot glued my piping into the edges of the frame.
Message Board Pocket Detail
Clear as mud?  I made a pocket section out of fabric (not concerned too much with how the backing looked) . . . my fabric was patchy to start out with so perhaps it's not totally clear where I stitched it down.

Message Board Makeover
Poor lighting abounds in my house in the winter time.
So there you have it!  It is now fully functional and practically slaps me in the face when I walk down the stairs in the morning and every time I leave the house.  In other words . . . IT WORKS.  Perfect.  :)


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