Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Decorative Ribbon Bulletin Board You Can Make in an Hour

Our second bulletin board
I'm spending the week in Dedham, Mass. with my son and daughter-in-law but the real bonus is getting some quality time with my two grandsons. Unfortunately they were both under the weather this week but it afforded the perfect opportunity to do a craft project that was on my list: making a ribbon bulletin board. I thought I'd make one for each of them for their bedroom and another for the kitchen area. They were willing participants.

I made a quick trip to A.C. Moore in Dedham to pick up some supplies and then a stop at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts to get half yard pieces of fabric and some quilt batting.

This is an easy project part of which children as young as three can participate, though mostly in the gluing area. They chose their colors and the pattern of ribbons and glued the decor in place. The boys are 5 and 3 years old.

The supplies are minimal and it's a great project to recycle some old or unused craft items if you have them. I wasn't at home so I bought everything new but I'll list some alternative materials as we go along.

These bulletin boards are perfect for children because no tacks are needed when completed. Photos, drawings, party invites slip snugly into the pockets formed by taut criscrossing ribbons and it's easy for them to maintain. I also like these bulletin boards because you can easily coordinate them to any room. I built mine on blank stretched canvases because I like the natural hanging bracket that the wood frame creates. All you'll need to hang is two nails or screws in the wall and the bulletin board will balance nicely on them. The canvases are also lightweight, another plus.

We made three today and they each took about an hour (maybe less on the third because by then we were all 'pros'). I'll list the supplies and give step-by-step instructions that relate to the accompanying photos.

The third bulletin board
16 x 20 inch stretched canvases (or recycled old canvases, old cork bulletin boards with the frame removed. You could use plywood but the final product might be a bit heavy)
2-3 color rolls of grosgrain ribbon (I used half inch and three-quarter inch mixed for a nice effect) total about 3 yards for each bulletin board.
1/2 yard of fabric
I package quilting batting
Staple gun and staples
Aleene's tacky glue
Large buttons, foam sticky cut outs, pom poms, flat backed rhinestones or anything you might have around the house that might work as a decoration.
Picture hanging kit.

  • Cut a piece of batting about 2 inches wider than the canvas or bulletin board that you are using. Using the staple gun fold it and secure it around the front and sides to cover, leaving back open. The batting should be tight.
  • Cut a piece of fabric to the same size. Cotton, corduroy, thin wool or linen work best. Use a staple gun to secure the front and sides of fabric positioning over batting. Make sure the fabric covering is taut and wrinkle free.

  • Position ribbon in place on the diagonal about three inches apart starting with center adding 2 inches on each end of ribbon. Cut all of the ribbon and then put aside.
  • Starting in one direction, staple center ribbon in place on back of canvas, then place and staple others in place. Staple center in place in other direction. Continuing until all ribbons are tightly secured.
  • Staple center points where ribbons intersect, then turn canvas over and using a flat screwdriver, press sharp edges downward. If you're using cork, the staple will inbed itself and you can eliminate this step. Trim ribbon edges if needed.
  • Now you're ready for the final decorations. Using a collection of buttons, pom poms, foam press-ons ... whatever, put a small drop of glue over each staple. Position decoration on top in whatever design you choose.
  • Dry overnight before hanging.

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