7th House on the Left

DIY BURLAP ART BOARDS

posted by Ashley  /  11 Comments

Let’s just deem this “Kids Week” because I’m back with a How To for the DIY art boards I made for Tiffany and Josh’s playroom makeover. This little DIY project was a little messy (I’ll get to that part in a minute) but it was totally easy and affordable.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Obviously, these aren’t just for playrooms and kid’s art. One of these guys would be perfect in a kitchen or laundry room as a memo board to keep coupons, calendars, recipes, etc. It would also make a great inspiration board in a home office/studio setting. It’s kind of like a “dressed up” version of a regular bulletin board you’d get from an office supply store – but a whole lot cheaper. Okay, enough chatting, here’s the 411…

Here’s what you need…

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

ONE // Burlap (4″ larger than your foam board) TWO // Spray Adhesive
THREE // Foam (“Project”) Board FOUR // 3M Picture Hanging Strips
FIVE // A Large Pair of Scissors  SIX // Duct Tape (optional)

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

First, let’s talk a bit about the foam board. I found four 2′x2′ pieces of foam board at Home Depot that were 1.5 to 2 inches thick for around $5 each. Foam board comes in all different types, but it’s important to choose one that will hold tight to a push pin. The foam board I used is also called “project board”. They also sold it in huge 4′x8′ sheets that can be cut down, but for this project, I thought four 2′x2′ boards would make more of a statement and break up the wall a bit.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Oddly enough, it was really hard to hunt down burlap. I checked Michaels, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore and they were all out of stock or only sold 1′x1′ sections. I finally found it at Walmart for $3 a yard. I asked the saleswoman to cut it in yard-long pieces thinking I wouldn’t have to do any cutting when it came time to attach it to the boards. I still ended up having to cut a good amount of excess off, but the smaller pieces were a lot easier to handle.

To start out, I sprayed a light coat of spray adhesive on one side of the foam board. Once the glue had set for about 30 seconds, I simply laid the fabric down on the sticky surface and smoothed out any bubbles or wrinkles.

If you’re following along, remember: You must, must do this outside and away from furniture, cell phones, cameras (hence why I don’t have a photo of this step), etc. If you get this spray adhesive on anything, it will be murder getting it off. Not only does the spray adhesive go everywhere, but the burlap also sheds like crazy. At the end of this process, my hands were covered with strands of burlap and glue. I looked like Chewbacca. I ended up having to use nail plush remover to get a majority of the furriness off, but even that didn’t remove it all. That being said, it’s probably best to do this entire project outside, away from anything you don’t want “stickified,” as Greg put it. However, once you get the boards on the wall, they won’t shed or anything. Burlap is just messy to work with.

Another thing to note: If you’re using any type of fabric other than burlap, it’s super important to iron the fabric first and get rid of creases and wrinkles. Otherwise, your board will forever be creased/wrinkled. I was using rather rustic burlap and going for a rustic look, so I skipped this step.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

It’s important to trim the fabric after you adhere it to the front of the foam board because you don’t want to accidentally cut too much off and have to go out, buy more fabric, get frustrated, etc. I’m told the same thing goes when you’re upholstering furniture, so we’ll have to keep that in mind for potential future projects.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The rest of the board-making process is super simple. All you have to do is spray more adhesive on the edge of the foam board and tightly wrap the excess burlap over the edge toward the back of the board. Basically, you just wrap it like a big, flat present. It’s that simple. If you feel like it needs a little more hold, you can add small pieces of duct tape to where the edge of the fabric meets the back of the foam board – but that’s totally optional.

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com // #targetinnercircle

We hung the boards about two inches away from each other and used two 3M Picture Hanging Strips per board to attach them to the wall. I love how these turned out and can’t wait to see them piled with lots of art and craft projects.

Sometime last year, I saw these adorable reclaimed apothecary matchstick bottles (I even ended up featuring them on our 2013 holiday gift guide here). I initially thought they would be neat hostess gifts – especially for the holidays – but now that the holidays are behind us, I thought they’d be great to have here and there around the house readily available for my candle-loving self. The only thing is that they always seem to be out of stock. So, feeling the need for an adorable reclaimed apothecary matchstick bottle in my life, like now, I decided to DIY my own version. Let me just go ahead and tell you, this is one of the simplest DIY projects ever.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I started out with a small glass bottle that I found at Hobby Lobby for $2 (it came with a metal string/hook around the top but it easily came off). I took the cork top out, turned the bottle upside down and placed a nice big blob of glass etching cream on the bottom. Be careful not to add too much – what I have in the photo above is the absolute maximum (I was too busy focusing the camera to pay attention to what I was doing). If you add too much it will drip over the edges and etch drip marks on the side of the bottle.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I let it set (on a paper towel just in case) for about 2 hours – which is a lot longer than the directions on the bottle tell you to do, but I just wanted to make sure it was deeply etched enough to strike a match. When time was up, I rinsed off the etching cream in the kitchen sink (followed by a good cleaning of the sink just in case) and cleaned the bottle with a bit of dish detergent to make sure all of the cream was gone.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The cream made the surface really cloudy looking – but not rough. Nevertheless, it was rough enough to be able to strike a match and worked perfectly. If you try out this project and for some reason the glass isn’t rough enough, just add another blob of etching cream and wait another 20-30 minutes. Update: I made another one today and decided to leave the etching cream on all day long (about 12 hours) and it turned out to be much more rough than the other bottles – which makes the match light a little better.

Bonus tip! If you don’t want to mess with the etching cream, another option would be to cut a small circle of low-grit sand paper and glue it to the bottom of the bottle. It’s not as pretty and seamless looking, but it does make lighting the matches extremely easy, and it makes the whole project just that much simpler.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Put the cork back in, add some strike anywhere matches and you’re done – that’s it! Now, a note about the strike anywhere matches: they are extremely hard to find – at least around Richmond anyway. Greg and I checked five stores looking for strike anywhere matches (Lowe’s, Target, Martin’s, Food Lion, and REI) and we couldn’t find them anywhere. We ended up buying 3 boxes on eBay for about $6 (they also have them on Amazon). So, if you’re having trouble finding them in your neck of the woods, try the World Wide Web.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

You can get fancy and easily add a design or monogram to the side of the bottle using an adhesive stencil (which are available at most craft stores) or making your own stencil with painter’s tape, but I just decided to keep this one clean and simple. Add a little tag with some baker’s twine, and these would make for great party/wedding favors.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I loved how nicely the first one turned out that I ended up making three of these for around the house (one for my office, one for the master bedroom and one for the kitchen – the places we burn candles pretty much everyday). I’m also going back to Hobby Lobby later this week to pick up two more (one for the living room and one for the guest room). Like I said earlier, this is the easiest little DIY project ever, so I just can’t get enough.

You know when you have those projects that you start on and you’re all gung-ho on getting that sucker done, then an obstacle comes out of nowhere and you’re back at square one? Well, that’s sort of what happened when we decided to finally get around to tackling the half bathroom. We were all like, “This is what we’re going to do, we’re so excited! Yada, yada, yada…” and then, bam. An obstacle by way of an unforeseen wiring problem with the exhaust fan. We’re still working on that issue (well, my dad is, since he’s our designated licensed electrician). Until we get that figured out, we’re going to move on with another project in this space – more specifically, do something with the 41.5-inch wide wall behind the toilet.

Half Bath Layout / 7thhousentheleft.com

Our initial thought was to put a large piece of artwork on the wall, but after thinking it over (and getting opinions from my family when they were in town last week), we decided that adding shelves would balance the tiny space out and make it feel more “finished”.

Restoration Hardware Inspiration / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Needless to say, there are thousands of shelving options available for purchase out there. Since time was on our side during our 3-day weekend, we decided to tackle a DIY option. While scrolling around Restoration Hardware’s website, I stumbled on these reclaimed wood wall shelves. Greg and I both loved the modern meets rustic vibe and thought it could easily be replicated with some DIY action.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Seeing as how this room is really small along with the reflections from the mirror, it’s really hard to get good photos of the space, so bear with us. Before we took a trip to the hardware store, we mapped out where and how long we wanted the shelves to be with a few pieces of painter’s tape (seriously, we use this stuff for everything but painting). The shelves ended up coming at 30 inches long (leaving 5.25 inches on either side) and 12 inches apart. We decided to go with 10-inch-deep shelves so that they wouldn’t be in the way while using the facilities, but they’d still be functional. At that point, we grabbed our measurements and parts list and headed to the hardware store!

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

We purchased a 10-foot piece of 2″ x 10″ pine and had it cut into four 30″ pieces (even though we only needed three, we’re hanging onto the fourth piece for a possible future project). We also bought six 10-inch-long pieces of 3/4″ galvanized pipe, six 3/4″ floor flanges and six 3/4″ pipe caps for the shelf brackets. Other necessities included a small can of Special Walnut stain, a sponge brush (we bought a few just because) and a can of spray paint (we’ll get to those details in a second).

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

First, Greg made the “brackets” for the shelves. All he had to do was take a 10″ pipe piece and attach a floor flange on one end and a cap to the other. We went with galvanized pipe (you can find it in the plumbing section) because we wanted a good, chunky, industrial-looking pipe. However, for a more inexpensive version, you can go with EMT conduit (which is over in the electrical section).

How to Make Faux Wrought Iron // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once all six brackets were assembled (which took only about 2 minutes), I spray painted them with a light coat of Rust-Oleum’s textured spray paint (in Aged Iron). Once they were dry, Greg covered them in a coat of flat black enamel spray paint we already had on hand.

How to Make Faux Wrought Iron // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The textured base with the combination of the flat black enamel spray paint made the pipes look extremely similar to wrought iron – a tip we’re going to remember if we ever want this look for a future project.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

As you can see, we picked out the ugliest piece of 2×10 framing board we could possibly find because we wanted the shelves to have as much character as possible. Before we started the staining process, we sanded the boards and rounded the edges with a vibrating sander and 120 grit sandpaper. We weren’t looking for perfectly round edges–we just wanted them to look a bit worn.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For the stain, we used Minwax’s Special Walnut, which we already had in our stain/spray paint stash. Greg applied the stain using a sponge brush to ensure it would get down into all of the scratches and nicks we made during the distressing process. We decided not to seal the planks with polyurethane because we really didn’t want a glossy finish of any kind, and we wanted it to look as close as the inspiration shelving as possible, which isn’t sealed. Since a clear coat wasn’t in the plan, we made triple sure the stain was thoroughly dry before we put the shelves in place.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

In the photo above, you can really see the awesome character from the “ugly” wood coming through the stain. Greg was lucky enough to hit a stud for some of the right-side brackets. For the other 18 holes, he used toggle bolts to hold everything in place. These puppies definitely aren’t going anywhere.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For us, the weight of the shelves and the texture of the pipe are enough to keep everything nicely in place. Greg mentioned that if you wanted to make these a little more child-/accident-proof, you could take one extra step during the bracket-building process and drill two holes all the way through the pipes using a drill bit meant for metal. You might need a few extra tools (such as a vise–to keep the pipe from turning–and a higher-powered drill). At that point, you’d just need to attach the shelves with screws through the holes in the pipes.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

We really love the finished product, and it definitely makes the tiny space feel a bit more on the “finished” side. The shelves really help balance out the vanity wall on the opposite side, and we’re thrilled to have some storage to be able to showcase some pretty things.

When it came to adding accessories, I mainly just worked with what we already had on hand, but also took a quick trip to Tuesday Morning. That’s where I found the wire basket, mercury glass lantern and faux greenery ball. It’s probably obvious from the empty mercury glass vase that I’m not quite finished finding a combination of accessories that I’m in love with – so, I guess you can call this a work in progress. I didn’t want to wait until it was “perfect” to post it because I was anxious to show off our new shelves. Oh and the topiary on the top shelf looks like it’s hitting the ceiling, but it’s really just the angle of the photo. It’s actually about 2″ from the ceiling. I hope to find a more modern (and slightly shorter) one in the future.

Aside from switching the accessories around here and there, without making it look too busy, I also plan on adding something to the top of the toilet tank so the shelves won’t appear as being top-heavy for the wall.

DIY Restoration Hardware-Inspired Shelves / 7thhouseontheleft.com

On top of helping the space feel more finished, we’re also pretty thrilled with the price, which was a fraction of the inspiration shelves. If we had purchased these from RH, it would have cost $683 including shipping. All of the supplies for our DIY version turned out to be around $100. Not too shabby.