Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Easy Corkboard Makeover

I'm painting corkboards again!

Remember this guy?

Corkboard Chalkboard Calendar

He's been such a help in keeping me organized.

Well, I had need of another corkboard in my work space.

I debated how to present this to you guys.  Because this did not quite go how I imagined.  In fact, I was afraid it was going to be a "fail."  But I really like the end result and decided, "What the hey, I'll share."

So, my debate:  do I put together a post showing only the before and after pics, talking about my amazing idea and how awesome it turned out?  Or, do I be straight with you guys and tell you how my initial idea was NOT cool (with pictures illustrating this) but I worked it out and ended up with something better?

I decided that honesty is the best policy, so you guys are going to get the whole sha-bang:  how I made a "fail" a success.  Because I'm human, and not every idea I have works (my hubs can attest to that!).  Because, as Martha pointed out, I am not an expert, but I am someone who does not take failure lightly.  I am someone that when she has her mind made up to do something, it gets done, one way or another, no matter how many people -- or that little voice in the back of her mind -- tell her it won't work.  I am someone who tests out every avenue before finally allowing that her idea just won't work.  And that's rare.  Because, like my momma taught me, where there's a will, there's a way.  (:

Whew, I guess I needed that lil' pep talk!! (:

So, this corkboard.

corkboard before

Well, first...maybe a little background?

The office in our house is in the second bedroom.  After we moved in, that room quickly became the "this doesn't have a place yet so we'll put it here" room.  Which seemed to be like 3/4 of our possessions.  Hey, going from a 3/2 with a garage to a 2/1 with a carport ain't easy!

There was enough space left over in that room for my work area and our family computer desk but that was it.  We have been working on getting it cleaned up for a while but my hubby and I decided one day we'd had enough and spent all day organizing it.  And now that it looks better, I wanted to better organize the walls and get some life on them.  In doing that, I moved the corkboard chalkboard calendar over our family desk to keep us both better organized.  But that left my desk without a pin board, which I really need.  I remembered a board I had stashed in our closet that had been made over once before, and knew it would be perfect.

I hung it up in place of the old one, and quickly saw that it's most recent makeover -- a couple of years ago -- was not going to work with what I had going on in my workspace.

corkboard before

So I removed the fabric and was reminded why it had been covered.

See, I've had this corkboard since, well, junior high.  And in adolescent junior high style, I had decorated the cork with pen....forever inscribing my love for *name withheld for their protection*.

Then, of course, I blared my broken heart after our apparent break-up by scribbling out that previous inscription.

O, young love!

Since I had forever marred the cork, I knew I would have to paint it or recover it in fabric.  Besides, I couldn't have just plain cork on my walls!  Are you crazy?!  ha ha!

My imagination had no trouble creating a graphic to be painted onto the cork, and I knew it would look awesome in my little modern corner.

I decided to create this graphic by using tape to reveal the pattern under the top layer of paint, so I painted the entire board in black for my background color.

I then used the same crepe paper tape I used to make the calendar to create my graphic pattern.  It was just a simple set of lines that converged at a single point somewhere on the board.  Once I picked that center point, I just laid my tape down in random diagonal lines.

The hardest part was trying to decide what I wanted the top color to be.  Initially, I thought I wanted a color, in keeping with the vibrancy I had with the desk, but I was afraid that much color could clash.  So I settled on classic black and white.

After I had sprayed the whole board in white, I removed the tape to reveal the pattern.


Right away, I wasn't crazy about the black and white, but I thought it was because there was so much white.  I thought if I painted the frame a different color, it would change the look of the board, and be more what I had imagined in my head.

I also decided this would be a good place to introduce a bit of color, so I painted the frame the same green as my desk.

I didn't take a picture of this "final product" because it was just terrible!  But so you guys can get a full visual, I did a mock-up for you:

Not at all what I wanted, or what my mind saw.  This was where that little voice in the back of my mind started telling me this wasn't going to work and I should just paint the whole thing black again and be done with it.  Or just throw it away and start brand new.  But I couldn't go there yet.

So I painted over the green frame in black again, and it started looking a little better.

Again, I didn't document this state because I wasn't excited about it, but just for you:

This was definitely better than the green frame, but it still just wasn't it.  It looked too Halloween, too much like a broken window.  Not what I had pictured.  {I think had it not been stark white, but a softer white, I might have been more on board with this look.  O well.}

And then, it was like one light bulb came on and triggered another, and I knew what to do.

Instead of having black lines, I thought that was where I needed to introduce color, so I painted two of the lines pink -- or more like fuchsia. ;)  Then I remembered I had a couple of rolls of washi tape that I had used in the Charlie Brown birthday invites, so I picked one and rolled it on the frame.

{I don't have pics of these steps because I figured me painting and laying down tape wasn't "ground-breaking crafting".}

I then mixed navy blue and lime green paint to make the same teal color in the washi tape, and painted one more line teal rather than black.

I hung it on the wall, and heard the angels sing!  Well, not really, but I was really satisfied with how it turned out.  It wasn't anything like what I had originally imagined, but better maybe?  I'm not sure, but I do like it, and it works with my space.  It's dynamic and colorful and functional.

I did feel like that focal point was asking for something, some object at which all the lines met, so I just pinned this little piece of paper there.

These were the words I used to describe me and what I did, and they became these phrases that led me to "Be Made Designs."  

Maybe one day I'll replace it with something "cool" but for now I like having those words there, at that focal point, reminding me who I am and what I do.  (:

Well, this may not be the most brilliant project ever, but it did make me wonder what other really cool corkboards could be created using this technique....well, the tape-reveal technique.  Not the fail-turned-success technique.  Although nothing wrong with that one either! ;)

Hope you found some inspiration!


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