A foray into upcycling // fabric noticeboards

DSC_0353Last year our neighbours moved out and for reasons unknown left behind enough furniture, decorations and one particularly tragic looking teddy bear to fill the garden. As lots of perfectly good yet abandoned stuff was slowly ruined by the autumn weather, I salvaged a couple of cork noticeboards that were beginning to warp in the rain. I was tempted by a lovely set of brass fireplace tools despite currently lacking the necessary fireplace. I’m glad I resisted; I wouldn’t want them to become a symbol of thwarted ambitions if we ended up transporting them from home to home, never acquiring a fireplace. Besides, we are trying to avoid excessive consumption in the form of unused items (even if they’re second-hand).

The boards were enough. Due to the rain damage they didn’t look like much on the walls, so I took the opportunity to develop my newfound upcycling skills and turned one of them into a fabric noticeboard (skip to the end for how I did it). Foraying into upcycling, I’ve enjoyed beginning to look at things differently – no longer just damaged or some aspect disliked, but full of potential with a bit of time, effort and glue.

I wanted the noticeboard to be something different in our flat. I love having photographs and pictures around the flat, which act as snapshot of a moment (a photo from our wedding, a picture found in a charity shop…). This noticeboard is a different way of storytelling –  an ongoing reflection of our current adventures, time with friends, thoughts… It is now something constantly changing in our home, not only a reminder of things done but an inspiration to keep spending time with friends, visiting new places, and to value capturing these adventures – through postcards, tickets, photographs. It’s a souvenir of our current lives.

How I made it:DSC_0337 DSC_0342I adapted a pattern for making ribbon-striped bulletin boards from fiberboards in Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

To make a flat surface from the warped cork I covered it with layers of newspaper (wanting to use something we already had in the house). When making draft excluders I’d read that newspaper shrinks over time so I made sure to add a few extra layers, taping them in place. Then it was simply a matter of covering all that ugliness by staple gunning the fabric over it, followed by the ribbon (making sure to stretch them before stapling them down).

I just need to find time to do the second one now!

On the noticeboard: postcards from recent travels; tickets and vintage cards from museums visited; photos of family visits and holidays; cards from friends. 

Today’s Soundtrack: Capucine // Wandering

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