i’ve had this project up my sleeve now since last summer. i dilly-dallied, procrastinated, forgot about it, didn’t have the right tools, etc etc etc. aka i made up a bunch of excuses. glad i got that off my chest.
i found this glorious huge vintage-y empty picture frame at the old luckett’s fair in august for a hefty $10 and decided i wanted to transform it into a cork board for the blank wall by jesse’s side of the bed so he could pin up all the cards i’ve gotten for him (i love buying cards even more than i love making them, ha) over the past few years. in addition to lining the frame with cork, i wanted to cover the cork in burlap and make a crisscrossing pattern in lace so he could just slide the cards into place. jesse loved the idea, i loved the idea, everyone loved the idea.
my first order of business was to procure some cork. i measured the frame and then checked out amazon. turns out they had a cork roll that was the exact same width as the frame: what luck! it would be too long but i figured that was good in case i made any errors (which i was bound to do of course). once the cork arrived i realized i’d have to get some burlap and some lace, and this is where i ran into problems. i’ve had burlap sitting in my cart on etsy for about 3 months and i just never pulled the trigger. other things kept taking precedence over this project and i kept saying “oh i don’t have any burlap yet. i don’t have enough lace.” more excuses.
cut to one chilly january morning while jesse was out of town. i decided i would finally make the frame into a big bulletin board and have it hanging up by the time jesse got home. so i hauled my butt off to joann fabrics and bought up some supplies: burlap, craft glue, wood glue and lace trim. once i got home i unrolled the cork and thought “hmm.. i probably should have unrolled this months ago so that it could flatten out” but i pressed on. i started to trim the cork to the size of the frame and it started ripping. turns out the cork was so thin that every time i put a little bit of pressure onto it, it would rip. ugh.
i finally got the cork to approximately the right size (with only one small tear) and got started cutting the burlap so that i could essentially wrap the cork with it like a present. however, when i went to glue the burlap to the cork, it wouldn’t stick! after a few more failed attempts, i threw up my hands in frustration, left a giant mess on the living room floor, and sat on the couch and pouted.
later that day i cleaned up the mess, threw away the cork, and brainstormed different ways to make my vision come to life. i decided to staple the lace to the frame and then staple the burlap behind the lace, and then use clothespins to hold the cards to the lace. once i bought a staple gun, i got right to work and the project only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, thank god.
i played around with how i wanted the lace to lay on the frame, and decided on two corners of lace and then two stripes of lace across the frame.
it’s very important that the lace be really taut across the frame so that it doesn’t sag once you pin the cards to it.
not pictured: a quick ironing of the burlap to help it lay flat. (turns out it gets a little wrinkled and lumpy if you ball it up in frustration and shove it under your desk.) make sure to pull the burlap as tight as possible, staple away, and then trim the excess.
admire your handiwork. ignore the thought in the back of your mind that you should have ironed the lace as well. no one has time for that. tell yourself that the clothespins and cards will cover that up.
i also covered the clothespins with a red and white patterned washi tape to add just a little extra pizazz (yes, pizazz).
so there you have it, the finally finished cork board that i’ve been talking about for 6 months.
lessons learned: when in doubt, use a staple gun. and always iron your burlap.