Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tutorial: Fabric Bulletin Board

I found this project to be quite easy - it probably would take about 1 hour (plus cursing time for glue gun burns... and the hunt for the glue gun in the first place...) - so, if you have all materials on hand, a short time ;) You can read more about my own bulletin board here.

If you'd like to make a little something to brighten up your sewing room, kitchen, child's room, whatever, and/or something to display pictures - this is PERFECT. Ready? (sorry in advance for dark and grainy-like pictures, I took them at night and Picasa wasn't able to fix them much).

-Foam board (whatever size you wish - can get at any craft or office supply store) - mine is 15x20 inches, so that's what I'll be measuring from for this tutorial.
-Batting cut to fit foam board (I know you sewers and quilters have this on hand!) And even if you don't, you can buy some from your local Walmart or Hobby Lobby. It doesn't *have* to be the more expensive kind quilters sometimes use.
-Several strips of fabric for the front - this is a great way to use scraps! Or vintage sheets! You can also choose to cover the board with one solid piece of fabric, which would make this project almost no-sew, except for hemming the back fabric piece. Up to you though!
-One solid cut of fabric for the back of the board - or technically, if you're being really thrifty, you don't even need to put fabric there, but I did, in case you could see the back somehow - and I wanted to hide the ribbon and fabric from the front that gets glued there.
-Glue gun, and glue sticks for said glue gun
-Ribbon - at least 3/4ths of an inch wide, but a little bigger is better. You will have to decide what you need according to how big your board is going to be - for my board, I needed just over 3 yards. You can get different colors for an even more creative design. I found mine in the dollar bin at Michael's.
-Push pins - the little flat ones, silver or gold colored. Those worked the best for me (I tried others).

1. Heat up that hot glue gun and glue the batting to one side of the foam board (becarefulbecarefulbecareful - I was not careful enough). The hot glue should stick right away to the batting - you won't have to let it dry, but you'll have to let it cool down before you proceed.

2. Sew your strips for the front together. I used a 1/4th inch seam allowance. Because I had a 15 x 20 inch board, I made my whole front piece 18 x 23. You could even go a little bigger than that - you want to be sure the fabric will fold over to the back and stay there, with glue. But the possibilities are endless for the design of your front!

3. Center the big piece of fabric on the front of the board and flip it over. Or, just lay the fabric face down and center the back of the board on it - that would be the easy way :)
(My board was redone, so there are still fabric and ribbon scraps from before on the back - in case there is any confusion!)

4. Hot glue the fabric to the back of the board. You should pull on the fabric a little to make sure it is as tightly against the board as possible before gluing it - one side at a time, of course!

5. Now you have fabric attached to the front of your bulletin board! Yay! Next, you'll cut your ribbon. You'll need six pieces. Measure the diagonal length of the board across the center, add 4 inches, and cut two pieces of ribbon to that length. Then, you'll cut 4 pieces of ribbon the same length. I made mine off center a little because as I was cutting my ribbon, I realized that I just barely didn't have enough =P I would say - those 4 pieces should be half the size of the diagonal ones. That SHOULD fit, but measure and check before you cut. If you have any questions about this, you can ask me - I know this was a bit more confusing than I intended. I somehow lost my little paper with all my ribbon measurements :( Also, make sure you have a little piece of ribbon for the loop at the top - so you can hang your bulletin board from a nail :) - at least 6 inches long.

6. Hot glue the long pieces of ribbon to the back of the board - in other words, stretch the ribbons where they are supposed to be, pushpin or pin them, and then glue them one at a time - ONLY to the back. The hot glue easily seeped through my ribbon, and because I was nursing wounds from the first burns still, this step took longer than it should have. When done, push the push pins to the center of the ribbons, as I did in the picture above.

7. Now for the little ribbon - you should hot glue one end to the top, back of your bulletin board, loop it around (and when the other glue has cooled), hot glue the other end down. You want to make sure all the ribbon gets glued down BEFORE you put on the back fabric (for obvious reasons).

7. Now, you'll hem the fabric you are using for the back of the bulletin board, because this will be hot glued to the back of the board, like so. After hemming, you can glue the edges! I also swirled some glue in the middle before gluing the edges, but you don't have to.

CONGRATS! You have your very own fabric bulletin board! :) See, that wasn't too bad, right?

These bulletin boards are perfect for slipping pictures in between the ribbons! Because the foam board is not a *legitimate* bulletin board, it is possible that tacks will not stay as well. Just a warning. You can always do this with a real bulletin board, too, but this is the cheaper way :)

If this tutorial works for you, I'd love to know! Please leave a comment or question and I will answer!

Big finish reveal tomorrow... :)

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  1. A very helpful tutorial, Jess; thank you.

  2. Dear Jess,
    I absolutely love your blog. Your tutorials have helped me be an amazing quilter; in my mind. You've taught me how to like put pictures on fabric and even make a bulletin board :o I'm set for life! Keep blogging so I can be such a great quilter like you.
    ~Your loving sister <3


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