Making a Window Frame a Bulletin Board

Way back in November, I purchased this window frame with the idea to make it into a bulletin board for my desk in the bedroom.  The paint already matched perfectly, so I was excited I did not have to paint it.  But like many projects, it got pushed to the side with the wedding planning, wedding, and school.  It did not get touched again until a month ago.  At that time, I made the hubs hang it up because it had been sitting in the hallway for almost 5 months now and I was tired of having it take up space on the floor.  So then, it sat on the wall untouched for about a month.  But not anymore, I finished the project over the weekend!

So here is the original window frame hung up, but untouched:

window frame, bulletin board, diy

I bought this pack of cork board from Michaels:

window frame, bulletin board, diy

It came with 4 squares of cork board and some adhesive stickers.

Next, I measured a few of the window frames.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

They all seemed to be the same size, so I cut all 4 squares of cork the same size.  To mark where I needed to cut, I used a Sharpie.window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I tried several different methods to cut the cork board from children’s scissors, craft scissors, and an Exacto knife…  The Exacto knife cut the best, so I cut the cork board with that.  And I just sort of eye balled cutting a straight line with the two marks I made to mark the measurements.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

The cut did not go all the way through the cork board, so I bent the cork in half along the cut to completely separate the cork board.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, as I mentioned earlier, the pack of cork board only came with 4 squares, but I had 6 window panes to cover.  So I used my scraps to make the other two pieces of cork.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

The first thing I did was cut off the long skinny piece and tossed it.  Then, I was left with 4 rectangles the same size.  I took 2 and put them together with the 2 sides that were not cut touching each other because they were smooth and would glue together better. window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I used a piece of cork board that was already cut as a guide and I cut these two pieces.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I glued them together with glue.  I used Beacon’s Advanced Craft Glue because I had it on hand and I find it works on everything.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

And just pressed the two pieces together for a few minutes until they were secure.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I didn’t want the seam to show, so I used leftover fabric from the curtain and pillow projects I did in the bedroom to cover 3 pieces of cork, including the 2 ones made out of scraps.  I just laid the piece of cork on the fabric and glued the edges of the fabric down on the back of the cork.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I took all 6 of my pieces of cork and put the little sticker adhesive that came with the package on all four corners and stuck them each in a window pane.window frame, bulletin board, diy

And here is the finished bulletin board:

window frame, bulletin board, diy

And the Budget Breakdown:

  • Window Frame-$11
  • Cork board package-$6.60, regulary $11 with 40% off coupon
  • Fabric-$0, leftover from other projects

Total:  $$16.60

What do you think?  I think it turned out great!  I can’t wait to pin a bunch of stuff up there.  Have you guys made a bulletin board lately?  Or made a window frame into something else?  I love the window frame trend and seeing what everyone is making them in to!

First Dance Art

I have seen this project idea all over Etsy and Pinterest and fell in love with it.  However, certain stores on Etsy were starting at $75 for the size I wanted or for around $25 you could get the print with the lyrics and your picture, but then you would have to go buy the frame still.  So I thought I bet I can do that for much less.

The first thing I did was pick out the frame.  I waited until Hobby Lobby was running their 50% off wall frames sale and then, I went frame shopping.  I thought a 16×20” frame with an 8×10” picture would be too big and I would not have enough lyrics to fill the mat, so I decided to go with this 15×17” frame with a 5×7” picture.

wedding, first dance, diy, michael buble, wall decor

Once I got home, I decided how big I wanted my words to be printed on the frame.  I decided about a ½ inch would be enough room for me to write the words big enough to read and enough to fill up the mat.  So, I marked each ½ inch all the way down the mat on both the left and right sides and down the middle very lightly in pencil.

wedding, first dance, michael buble, diy, wall decor

wedding, first dance, wall decor, diy, michael buble

Then, I started off writing the lyrics very lightly in pencil as well.  But I could quickly tell that plan was not going to work.  The pencil was smudging all over the place and once it smudged it did not erase as easily, so I scrapped that idea shortly into the project.

I erased one word at a time and then rewrote the word with a fine tip scrapbook pen.  Since it was a scrapbook pen, it was acid free and should not harm the picture over time, so my grandkids should be able to enjoy this little project.

wedding, first dance, michael buble, diy, wall decor

Here is a picture of the mat once I was done adding all the lyrics:

wedding, first dance, diy, michael buble, wall decor

I made so many mistakes writing those lyrics.  I had forgotten the word “falling.” However, I noticed it by the time I had only written one more word, so I thought it couldn’t be that bad if I whited out just one word.  And unless you get up close and personal with the frame, you can’t really notice it either.

Then, I missed the word “swimming.”  You think I would have learned my lesson after the first time!  But this time, I did not notice it until I had written, like, an additional 3 whole lines worth of words, so I decided to live without swimming.  We will just have to deal with, “You’re like a pool on an August day,” instead.  It is still the same idea and looks better than 3 lines whited out.

And, I am a little upset with how the lyrics written on the part of the mat where the picture is cut out turned out.  My straight lines get all sorts of funky during that section.  So a tip for those of you trying to recreate this project would to be mark ½ marks along the inside of the mat where the picture cut out is too.

And then, towards the end, the chorus repeated itself, so I got confused where my place was when I was writing the lyrics and wrote the wrong chorus, but it turned out for the better because it helped fill out all the mat with lyrics.

So after I finished with the lyrics, I taped my picture to the back of the mat with four pieces of tape.  I used scrapbooking tape because it touches the picture so you want to make sure your tape is acid free, so it doesn’t ruin the picture overtime and you can keep this project for years to come.  And then, I put it in the frame.

When I turned it around to look at it, I realized I had made yet another mistake and one that is definitely noticeable to everyone and not just those who know the correct lyrics!  I used the entire mat when writing the lyrics on it; however, a slim amount of the mat is covered by the frame when it is in the frame, so a part of my lyrics are halfway covered in certain spots!  So if you are going to try this project yourself, please mark how much of your mat is covered when inside the frame, so you do not make the same mistake!

So here is the finished project:

wedding, wall decor, first dance, michael buble, diy

wedding, wall decor, michael buble, first dance, diy

And here is the budget breakdown:

15×17” frame-$14, regularly $28, but they were having a 50% off sale

8×10” picture-$1.50

Scrapbook pen-free, already owned

Total: $15.50, much less than what they were going for on Etsy!

I am a little upset with how it turned out.  I still like it because it reminds me of our lovely wedding day and how much time we spent rehearsing our first dance, but I wish part of the lyrics weren’t covered.  If it starts to bother me too much, I can always go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and buy a piece of mat board and have it cut down to the size I need and redo the project.  And even if I buy more mat board, it will still be less than what it would have cost on Etsy!  I think I will live with it for a while and see how much it still bothers me overtime before I redo it.

What do you all think?  Should I redo it?  What do you all do with your wedding pictures to display them?  Do you do anything special or just a wedding album?  What was your first dance?  Ours was Michael Buble Everything!  Love that song!

*You can check out how I saved sentimental items from our wedding and put them in a shadow box here

Making Sentimental Wall Art

So after our wedding, we had a lot of stuff I wanted to be able to keep and cherish forever, but I didn’t know how to do it without keeping it in a drawer and forgetting about it.  Until, I saw this pin on Pinterest.

wedding decor, diy

So, I gathered all the stuff from our wedding that I wanted in our shadow box and got busy.

wedding decor, diy

And here is the lovely Wilson with the shadow box.

wedding decor, diy

Then, I arranged everything just the way I wanted it and got it ready to be pinned with sewing pins.

wedding decor, diy

And here is the final product:

wedding decor, diy

And the budget breakdown:

  • Shadow Box from Michael’s–$20, I think it was around $40 with a 50% off sale
  • Sentimental Wedding Items–FREE

Total:  $20

What do you all think?  Did you keep some stuff from your wedding?  How do you display it?

My First Time Sewing

So, I received a sewing machine over two years ago for Christmas, but I never took it out of the box.  To be honest, I was scared of it.  My only other experience sewing was in 7th grade in FACS class where we made patchwork pillows and my was a hot mess.  It had holes every where and that was with help from the only girl in the class who had sewed before.  But I asked for a sewing machine anyways because I had big plans for it once I got over my fear of it.

Well the other day, the time had come for me to get over my fear.  I had bought my material and had researched how to sew curtains in Singer’s The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing and my favorite DIY blog Young House Love.  I took the sewing machine out of the box.  But I did not know what to do next…

Thankfully, my sewing machine came with a DVD Instructional Guide that showed me how to thread the bobbin and thread the machine.  Although all sewing machines are a little different, the concept is the same, so I included a How To Video for those other beginner sewers out there.

So after I got my machine threaded and ready to go, I was on to the next scary step…  Measuring and cutting the fabric.  Even still, this is always my least favorite part because I am scared to mess up because once you cut it is final.  So after a lot of stress and research online, specifically the two references mentioned above, I decided what would work best for me was to buy 5 yards of fabric, cut it in half, and hem the 4 sides.  A great tip I have learned is to use tile grout or a rug as your reference to cut a straight line.  But since I was just cutting the fabric in half, I just folded it in half and cut down the fold.

Then, I took one panel and pinned 1/2 inch seam on one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then to be extra cautious, I went back through and ironed the seam in place.  Generally, instructions will tell you to do one or the other, but this was my first time sewing, so I was a nervous wreck and wanted to make sure everything was perfect, so I did both.  And, I still do both because I feel it works best for me, but you can pick what works best for you.  The next step is to hide the rough edges of the fabric and is optional depending on how you want the backs of your curtain to look.  So, if you choose to hide the rough edges of the fabric, you will just measure and fold another 1/2 inch seam.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then, I took my panel to the sewing machine and sewed the one side that was pinned and ironed.  Don’t mind the band-aid.  It was just a battle wound from all the pinning I was doing.  Did I mention I was extra cautious and pinned a lot!

sewing, curtains, DIY

Afterwards, I repeated folding a 1/2 seam, then folding another 1/2 seam, and sewing each side until all four sides were done.   By this time, it was getting pretty late, so Wilson wanted to help me hurry up and finish, so we could go to bed.  Here he is helping Mommy finish the curtains.

sewing, curtains, puppy

So, I took Wilson’s hint and called it a night and decided we would tackle the next panel tomorrow night.  I was scared of it anyways because it involved more of my least favorite task…  cutting fabric.  The other half of the fabric I bought was missing a chunk from when the lady had previously cut me a sample of it to match it to our bedspread before I bought it.  So before I could begin measuring and marking my 1/2 seam, I had to make sure the fabric was straight.  So I laid it out on a rug and cut off the rest of the fabric to make one straight line.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then, I could make this panel just like the last one.  Fold, pin, and iron a 1/2 inch seam along one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Next, refold, pin, and iron another 1/2 seam to get rid of the rough edge.

sewing, curtains, DI

Then, sew that one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

And then, repeat until you are finished with all four sides.  If you want you can be finished with your curtains after that step, but I wanted to add black out fabric behind them, since they were for our bedroom.  I bought 5 yards of black out fabric.  I cut the blackout fabric in half to make the two panels like we did for the curtain panels.  Then, I took one curtain panel and cut the black out fabric down to be a little smaller than the curtain panel.  I did all this as an estimate with my eyes; I did not get exact with it and measure everything out.  Then, I did the same thing with the second curtain panel and black out fabric panel.  I did not sew my curtain panel to my black out fabric.  I just clipped them together with the curtain clips.  It is not really noticeable and now I can reuse the black out fabric if I choose to make new curtains for this room, but right now I am in love with my new curtains!  Here is a picture of the back of the curtains and the black out fabric.  You can hardly tell they are not sewed together and from the front of the curtains, you can’t tell at all.

sewing, curtains, black out fabric, DIY

Here is the finished result!

sewing, curtains, DIY

sewing, curtains, DIY

Here is Wilson with the curtains.

sewing, curtains, DIY, puppy

sewing, curtains, DIY

I also bought some more fabric and made some matching pillows for the bed.

sewing, pillows, DIY, puppy

So here is the budget breakdown:

  • 5 yds of 54″ drapery fabric ($7 per yd)–$35
  • 5 yds of 54″ black out fabric ($5 per yd)–$25

Total–$60

I am very proud of my curtains, if I do say so myself, especially since they were my first sewing experience!!  And let me tell you, that black out fabric does wonderful things, like letting me sleep in on the weekends WAY past how long I should.  What do you all think?  Not too shabby for a first timer, huh?  Have you been sewing lately?  Do you have any tips for a novice sewer, such as myself?