So I made my noticeboard! It was acutally super easy and only took a couple of hours. I think
if I was doing it again (I might make another for my sister), I would be a little more accurate with the measuring and marking for the ribbons, and would als
o finish the back with some nice fabric and trim (I won't show you the back of this
one, but it's pretty agricultural!).
What I used:
- piece of MDF: the stuff I used is 5mm thick which is not too heavy to hang but sturdy enough to withstand the stapling and other stuff without warping
- cork tiles: these were surprisingly hard to find..! I found some self adhesive ones which were actually quite spenny (£11 for 4, each tile 12" square). They can be easily cut to size with a penknife. You need enough to cover your MDF.
- batting: I got the cheap polyester fluffy stuff you buy from big rolls in John Lewis. Again, enough to cover your MDF.
- fabric to cover: I chose a shocking pink cotton velvet. Lush!
- Ribbon: to make the webby bit at the side to slip envelopes etc into. I think grossgrain is probably better as it won't stretch but will see how this stuff lasts - I used some satin ribbon I had in my stash.
- Tools: a staple gun (awesome) - it was about £15 from Peter Jones, hammer, ruler, flathead screwdriver (for getting out staples if you make a mistake), and some upholstery pins (the kind you see nailed into the trim around chairs and stuff)
I found it easiest to work on the floor for most of the tim
e. You need to start with your piece of MDF flat on the floor so it is easy to affix the cork.
Glue on your cork tiles. The tiles I used were self adhesive but if you can't find those, you could just glue them I guess - someone in a DIY store would be able to recommend the right kind of adhesive for glueing cork to wood. Out of luck rather than by design, my bit of MDF was almost exactly two feet wide, so I didn't need to do too much
hacking of the cork... I don't think it really matters if you don't get the cork right up to the edge of the MDF as the whole lot gets covered by batting and fabric anyway.
Cut your batting to size. I wanted to use batting so the noticeboard had a nice soft squishy quality - fabric straight on top of the cork would have been quite flat and also the batting fills out the fabric a bit I think. I was pretty haphazard about cutting the batting too - I don't think it needs to be super exact. I just put the batting on top of the cork (the two surfaces sort of stick together because the cork has sticky-out bits which snag on the fluffiness of the batting) and cut around it. I stapled the four corners to keep the batting in place while I was putting the fabric on.
Stapling the fabric. Again I was pretty rough and ready here... though you probably want to keep the fabric and the MDF on the straight grain I guess. Make sure the fabric is as bit as the MDF with at least two or three inches to spare on each edge. I found it easiest to do one narrow end first - lay the fabric on top of the batting and then turn the whole thing over, and fold the narrow edge over onto the back of the MDF and staple. I stapled about every three inches.
Then do the other short end - pull the fabric so it is nice and taut but not overstretched. Then do the long sides in the same way.I folded the corners in the same way I would wrap a present, and put a staple over the corner folds. I was almost tempted to just leave it how it was without ribbon - looks pretty cool I think!
I wanted one side of the notice board to have ribbon webbing on it for putting letters in and stuff. Draw a vertical line with chalk where you want the division to be (I actually just pinned a ribbon on for this as per the pic, but marking this line would have been better). To mark the lines for the ribbon, I drew lines about 2.5" apart at 45 degrees with chalk.
I then stapled the ribbons over the lines where they crossed the vertical line (mine were a bit long, but I trimmed them afterwards), and then on to the back of the MDF (being careful to let the ribbon follow the shape of the edge of the board). Once I had done all of the ribbons going one way, I did those going the other way using the same method. I then stapled a wider piece of ribbon over the vertical line (I only stapled this on the back, where the ribbon wrapped over the edge and on to the back of the MDF) and tapped in the upholstery pins where the ribbons crossed. You don't need to do this every place the ribbons cross especially if you want to leave bigger spaces for letters, but it is good to make sure the vertical piece of ribbon is secure. Et voila! I hung it using some little screw in hooks (I used two on the back of the noticeboard) with picture wire between them, then a good old fashioned nail in the wall. You could actually just leave it propped up on a desk though.
I think it's ok for a first attempt - but most of all, it will be useful!