Tag Archives: project

Display Wall for My Children’s Art

Last May, I started a project. I wanted to create a display wall to display the kids’ art. The idea originally came from a photo on Pinterest from this website.

chalkboardwall

 

However, I knew I didn’t want to use chalkboard paint because we currently have a real slate chalkboard in the mudroom and the amount of chalk dust it creates is asinine and I don’t want it constantly mashed into the carpet.

The wall is the hallway that joins Aitch’s and Doodicus’ rooms. In the photo, you can see the doorway to the bathroom that is actually between the bedrooms. This hallway is also right off the living room so it’s highly visible to anyone who visits.

The "before" picture includes my bag of supplies and a toddler potty seat. You're welcome.
The “before” picture includes my bag of supplies and a toddler potty seat. You’re welcome.

Knowing from past trips to the home improvement stores that the cork comes in 12″ squares, I measured the wall for length and then how tall I wanted it to go up on the walls. Simple math: 7 ft wide times 4 ft high meant I needed at least 28 squares. I also bought silicone adhesive, which is why I have the caulk gun. 
2012 006

 

As you can see, each square has a slightly different finish. Originally I considered painting it, but laziness won out. You might also notice that I had to cut around an outlet and a hallway light switch.

corkboard

 

We had left over window trim from when we built the house, which we used to cap the cork board and give it a finished look. A couple of things to note:

  • The corkboard is thin. A standard tack will be longer than the cork is thick so if I ever decide to remove this stuff, the drywall will probably need to be replaced. In hindsight, I could have put down an underlayment of foamcore boards (the least expensive) or doubled up the layers of cork.
  • The package may have said 12″ squares, but they were not SQUARE. I had to do quite a bit of trimming to keep the seams even all the way up and across.
  • The “Every child is an Artist” quote is made up of vinyl letters that I bought from Amazon.

When the kids aren’t paying attention, I’ll replace older pieces with more recent ones. Sometimes they even go hang their own as the mood strikes. I’ve included a list of the supplies *I* used for this project, but you may find yourself needing more or less (obviously). It took a couple hours to glue the cork to the wall, but as I said earlier, it was a year between when I started the project to when it got finished. I am the Queen of Procrastination.

  • Cork board
  • Heavy duty adhesive
  • Caulk gun (for the adhesive)
  • Box knife (and extra blades)
  • Yardstick or straight edge
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Wooden trim (if you want a more finished look)
  • Hacksaw (to cut trim to size)
  • Thumb tacks

Witch of the West

image

My husband helped me with this project I saw in Martha Stewart’s Halloween magazine issue.

My original plan did not include Sparring Partner helping me because that always means a simple project will turn into a production of epic proportion, which invariably turns into me hating my husband for 24 hours. Don’t feel too bad for him as the feeling is usually reciprocated.

I am the kind of person who likes to start projects with only the vaguest of plans. I like to work from a picture or from an idea. SP wants dimensions, weights and formulas. If I want a board cut for a project, I will hold my index fingers out in front of me and say, “I need it to be yay-big.” He will then ask, “Is that 18 or 24 inches? Do you want a 2×4 or 2×6? Does the wood need to be treated? Do you want me to router the ends?” And then I get pissy. Read my mind, man!!

I felt I could tackle this project myself. Except I needed his help going to the home store and picking out a sheet of plywood. Oh, and he didn’t think a jigsaw would do as nice of a job as a rotory saw even though we had access to at least three jigsaws but not one rotory, so he had to pick one out and it requires special bits. He also declared that using conduit and conduit straps was not good enough; he would MAKE the brackets. I’m surprised he didn’t demand that he get to cut down the trees to make the plywood and press it out himself calculating the tensile strength necessary to withstand the autumn prairie winds…

I was adamant that I would use the saw. I didn’t want to have to depend on when he was willing to put aside his own projects to help me with mine. However, after I broke the third bit before making it even a tenth of the way around the template for the witch, I knew I’d have to hand over the new toy. He completed the rest of the witch and the cat using a single bit.

I had the kids help me apply the black paint with rollers. They thought that was fun at first, but black seemed to suck that excitement right out of them. Plus Aitch tripped and fell into the dirt with the wet roller and then proceeded to roll that onto the witch and then back into the tray of paint and to the witch again. I didn’t care but for Doodicus, who takes after his dad, complained how she was ruining it and the bickering and whining was too much. They soon threw down their rollers and went back inside the house.

SP made the brackets as promised, and I wish I could explain his ingenious design, but it would require me to use words like jig, sled, and channeling and really, what does it matter? The end result was fabulous and way better than conduit brackets.

The witch and the cat are now in the side yard. I still have a few minor touches to add, like a broom, lantern and some lighting, but considering I’d never thought I’d get this far, especially before the first of October, I’m pretty happy with how it looks now.