Easy message board for a dorm room

I love taking old things and giving them new life, so we are at Goodwill on the hunt for a frame. We’ll be using it to make a message board. It is similar to a white board and is great for encouragement, grocery lists or general silliness between roommates.

The supplies needed for this project are fabric of any color, spray adhesive, spray paint of any color and your second hand frame. You will also need either the original picture from the frame or a mat board, found at Walmart. You can cut your mat to the right size or buy it in the correct size originally.

Step one is to remove the original photo and glass from the frame. Set both of these things aside, as you will need them later on. You need to sand down your frame to remove any nicks or scratches put there by the previous owner. Once you’ve sanded and removed all the dusty residue, it’s time to spray paint! You can chose any color you like to match your room, but I suggest avoiding high-gloss or matte finishes. I used high-gloss and it clung to every imperfection I missed while sanding. I would recommend a regular semi-gloss finish for better results.

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While that is drying, you can begin working on the inside. Start by measuring the mat board piece that you have. Then, add two inches to each side (but not the top and bottom) and cut your fabric. You want the extra fabric on the sides so that have something to grab onto to pull it very taut. Keeping the top and bottom the same size will ensure that your corners don’t get crinkled. Following cutting your piece of fabric, I suggest ironing it. I skipped over this step, but I wish I hadn’t. My final product has unsightly wrinkles in it and I regret not taking the time to iron them out.

Once your  fabric piece is smoothed out, you are ready to attach it to your mat board. If you’re using your original photo, be sure and flip it over and glue to the back so that you can’t see anything through the fabric. Spray your adhesive onto the board and then carefully lay your fabric down on top of it, being sure to smooth any air bubbles. Use your extra fabric on the back to pull everything taut and to ensure that there are no wrinkles.

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Once that is completely dry, you can begin to put the final product together. Put the glass back into the frame and then the board, just like you would with a  regular picture. To secure everything into my frame, I used glazier points. These are small pieces used in the framing world to secure photos into their frames. To use them, simply hammer or push them into the back of your frame with the small points sticking up.

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Now you have made a completely unique message system for your dorm room! This project is completely customizable for your unique style, so be creative and have fun making this uniquely yours!

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Inspired by: Craftaholics Anonymous and Drawings Under The Table

How will you customize this project for your room?

Making one-of-a-kind gifts

This week, we will be making one of my favorite gifts to give! Over the holidays this year I made about 10 of these for my friends and family. They are very easy and take only about an hour from start to finish. Drumroll, please! Chevron canvases are the craft of the week!

The supplies needed for this project include a canvas of any size (I used an 8×10), a ruler, a pencil, acrylic craft paints, paint brushes and something to put the paint in. I love these small trays from Walmart!

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The first step of this project is to draw horizontal lines across your canvas. These can be any length apart, but the more lines you have, the more chevrons you will end up with. I usually do 2 inches apart, but this time I did 1.5 inches.

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Following that, you will draw vertical lines across the canvas to make a grid. Make sure your horizontal and vertical lines are the same distances. For example, if you did horizontal lines 2″ apart your vertical lines would also be 2 inches apart.

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Then, you will connect the corners of the boxes in a zig-zag pattern. A line should be drawn from the top left corner to the bottom right and then on the next square from the bottom left to the top right and so on. Each row should follow the same pattern.

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The last thing before you paint is to erase the horizontal and vertical lines you drew, especially if you are using light colors or made heavy marks. This seems pointless, but it will provide you with a more polished look in the end. Make sure when you’re erasing to leave all of the diagonal lines you drew; they are your chevron template.

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The next step is to break out the paint and start having fun! I find painting to be very relaxing, so I love this part. You can use any color you choose and in any order you choose. This is completely up to you! Some of the ones I’ve made previously have been to match people’s dorms, their favorite colors or the colors of their sorority or social club.

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I find that three coats are required to give a rich-looking color to your canvas. With lighter colors, sometimes four or five looks best, but I always do at least three to make sure the color looks even and vivid.

After one coat, as you can see, the colors look streaky and bland.

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The finished product is much more bold!

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Inspired by: Casa CullenRuche, and Mommy is Coocoo

I hope you’ve been inspired to get creative and create your very own wall decorations! Which colors would you chose? Do you think a smaller or larger chevron is cuter?

BONUS PROJECT: These are two of my favorite variations on the basic chevron canvases. The first is to add glitter over any of your colors. Simply Mod Podge straight onto your canvas and then shake the glitter on top of it. After 20 minutes, shake off the excess and repeat the process. This gets very messy, so I recommend doing it in a garage or outside. The second variation adds personalization using a wooden letter, available at Hobby Lobby for around $3. Paint the letter any color your want and then hot glue it onto your finished canvas. It’s so simple, but it adds an extra special touch!

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