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Friday, January 28, 2011

How To: French Message Board

I had sitting in my collection a 16x20 frame that I got at a garage sale sometime last year for super cheap (50 cents!!!!) . It was beautiful and ornate and I couldn't wait to use it but I hadn't since had any luck figuring out what exactly I wanted to do with it. . . .until about 2 weeks ago.

I knew I wanted it in my room because my room colors are burgundy and gold. At first I wanted to put a picture in it (cuz I just love, love, LOVE pictures!) but because it didn't come with any glass (I believe it previously held a canvas painting and I didn't want to buy another glass), I ruled that out. Then I wanted to cut wood or put cloth in it to frame some lettering or a quote. . .but I didn't act upon it so it never got done. I had always wanted to make a french message board so at last, I finally decided to make my long-awaited french message board and frame it! (In this Tutorial, I will show you how to make a French Memo Board to hang with or without a frame)

Ok, so the next step was to figure out how I could make this project for as free as can be. If you had built up your arsenal to a pretty decent size as I have, then completing projects with things you have on-hand will be easier. The thing is, I don't want people to say "Well, it's inexpensive to you because you had all that stuff on-hand and I don't". Well, there will always be something that you dont have on-hand, I just try to make it easier by utilizing materials (for my projects) that most people in the good ole' U.S. of A. have laying around the house.

K, now that that's over with, my materials are:  2 (or 3) pieces of cardboard (cut to fit my frame), fabric (enough to cover the front of the board and 1-2 inches behind it) and ribbon (a good amount, this is the material that you may not have on-hand). I also used a staple gun for assembly. I wanted to also mention that if you had any batting, it would be great to use on this project. (oops, forgot to put my frame in the pix)

You want the ribbon and the fabric to be pretty (or decent) because that is what will be showing on your board. And just because you dont sew, it doesn't mean you don't have fabric laying around your house! You could use pillow cases, bed sheets, curtains, a towel or maybe even clothing! Be creative!

Step 1:  If you have batting, wrap it around the 2 pieces of cardboard, pull it taut and staple it on the back. (I didn't use batting because I didn't have any and wanted to make my board as free as it could be. If I had had any though, I would definitely have used it.) The batting will make the ribbon "taut-er" (if that's even a word) and will hold your notes and pictures more securely. Next, wrap fabric around the 2 pieces of cardboard (or batting if you used any). Make sure you pull it taut so the front is nice and smooth. The 2 or 3 pieces of cardboard
is so when you staple the fabric and ribbons to the board, it won't poke through the front. Trim excess fabric.

Step 2: Start Laying out your ribbon on the board and cutting them out. (Do not staple yet!) Make sure there is at least 2 inches of ribbon that reaches around the back of the board.

Step 3: When you have all the ribbon arranged nicely, Staple the 2 longest ribbons to the board (it should look like a big X).

Bring the Ribbon around (pulling it taut) and stapling it to the back of the board. Trim the excess ribbon.

Step 4: After stapling the X, start stapling all the ribbon going one way. Make sure it is taut! Eye the spaces in between ribbons to make sure they are straight.

Step 5: After stapling all the ribbons one way, start going the other way but. . .weave the ribbons over and under the already stapled ribbons (like those paper quilt patterns you did as a kid). Rub your hand over the front part of the board. If you feel any staples poking out, just lightly pat it down with a flat object. If you used at least 2 pieces of cardboard, it should be thick enough to hold those staples (and fabric and ribbon securely) without poking out the other side.
Step 5: This is the last step for those of you that want to hang your memo board without a frame. With another piece of ribbon, make a hanger and staple it to the back of the board. Voila! a homemade french memo board for as free as can be!

Step 6: Finally, I placed my memo board in my frame. Make sure you cut the cardboard to fit the frame exactly. Try out the "fit" before you actually make the memo board. I hung my memo board in the perfect place in my room. It looks Awesome!

Shucks! almost forgot to show ya'll just how FREE this project was!

Cardboard=Umm, FREE!
Fabric (on-hand)=FREE
Ribbon (on-hand)=FREE
Frame=50 Cents 
French Memo Board Total=50 Beautiful Cents!!!

Now that's as free as can be! *;)


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