Saturday, March 6, 2010

Message boards...

After running some errands today, I stopped in a few shops at Lakeside and Glenside.  The first stop was Feathernesters, a really cute shop with crafty items and a tea room.  I love everything in there but didn't buy anything.

Then I went next door to Pass It On Consignments, a store that just opened on Tuesday.  It's not a junk shop, an antique shop, or a thrift store, but a wonderful combination of all these.  They had some great old furniture for good prices, and little handmade items, along with some vintage products that are hard to find, like these Welch's juice glasses from the 80's.  I was going to buy a couple for Bonnie, but she wouldn't separate the set, so I left them behind.

I noticed the owner had a stack of applications for booth space sitting on the counter, so I asked some questions about selling items.  I've been looking for an outlet to sell message boards, and have an Etsy shop set up, but I think it would be awesome to sell them locally, too.  She gave me some info, and I came home motivated to whip some up so I can show her my work.  I bought a bunch of canvases a few weeks ago on the cheap, so I have plenty of materials to make at least 10 boards.

After running a few more errands and heading home, I lugged everything I needed downstairs and got to work on my first board.

Here's what you need:
-stretched canvas boards
-fat quarters or bigger of random fabrics (needs to be about 4 inches longer and wider than the canvas you buy)
-quilt batting, cut to the size of the fabric
-ribbon to match your fabric (yardage varies based on your canvas - 2 yards should be plenty for 16x20 board or less)
-brads to match your fabric and ribbon (you'll need 13 brads, which is inconvenient because they usually come in packages of 12, although you can modify the project to use less - stay tuned)
-crafting staple gun and staples
-1 nail

The great thing about these is you can use any fabric, ribbon, and brads for whatever look you want, whether it's for a holiday, kid's room, kitchen, etc, there's something for everyone out there.

Let's build one, shall we?

First, place your canvas on top of the fabric and batting and trim it so it is 2-3 inches wider and longer than the canvas:

Fabric should be on the bottom, oops.  Here's how it should look:

Then, anchor 2 sides of the fabric, so you don't pull too much on one side and run out of room on the other side:

Then start pulling the fabric along one side, stapling about every 3/4 inch.  Stop when you get a few inches away from a corner, and fold the fabric on an angle, pull tight and staple:

Here's how it looks all stapled:


Now, it's time to add our ribbons where you'll put your coupons, notes, to-do's, etc., once the project is all finished.  Start in the middle, going from top left to bottom right corner, stapling the ends of the ribbon on the back of the canvas:


I like to do 5 strips of ribbon going each direction, but that's how I run into the problem of needing 13 brads, and only being able to buy 12 or 24.  You can cut it down to 3 strips in each direction, just leave more room between each strip:
one direction finished

both sides done

Once your ribbon is all finished, it's time to add the brads.  I use a long nail, about the diameter of a pen's ink cartridge.  Use the nail and a lot of elbow grease to punch a hole at each ribbon intersection, going through both layers of ribbon along with the canvas.  You'll hear it when the nail has punctured the canvas, and sometimes it takes a lot of twisting and pushing, but it does work.  Once you have your hole, push your brad through:

Once all the brads are through the nail holes, separate the tails of the brad to anchor them.  The back of your canvas will look like this:

And you're's the front.  Voila!

One down, 9 more to go.

Here's hoping the store will like them, and if so, here's hoping customers like them too! :)

EDIT:  I forgot to share the awesome Longaberger display they had at the consignment shop.  They had an old mattress with all the fluffy stuff taken out so it was just the springs...and they had baskets hanging from the springs.  Awesome.  Here it is:

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