Project #2 of that famed flea market run from so many weeks ago has finally come to fruition, folks! Let me tell you, travelling for business does not a happy idea thief make! PHEW! Read on to find out how I’ve created this Stylish Bulletin Board Alternative (with custom decoupage clothespins, I might add)!!
Today I’m ripping off an idea from one of my very favorite catalogs – Wisteria. You see, my office is on a lovely sun porch which makes me feel like I’m working in an aviary (I adore this fact) but leaves little room for getting rid of clutter. So when the space between my lamp and my phone started to look like this ….
… I decided it was high time to find a place for all of my “fun mail”. You know all of the baby announcements, wedding invitations, sweet cards and photos that I just can’t throw away … at least not yet. But I didn’t want a traditional bulletin board that would block the view and the light. When I came across this on Wisteria …
… I knew I had found just the right concept. But I’m not crazy about chickens and $39 seemed a little steep. That is when the hunt for the perfect frame began and by golly if I didn’t find a beaut!??!
All the gory details on what you need to get from flea market to fabulous are just below.
Flea Market Frame
Spray Paint (I chose an Heirloom White in Satin finish and Gold Leaf for the clothespins)
Floral Wire (mine was wrapped in neutral raffia from the floral department at Michael’s)
STEP 1: PREP YOUR FRAME
I started by giving my frame a nice bath with a damp cloth. Next it was on to removing staples, nails and tacks with my handy needle nose pliers and below a screwdriver to pry off the name plate. I even sanded down the back of my frame since it was going to be hung on a window but if yours is going on the wall then why worry with that?!? My frame was super old so we put a little bit of caulk in the corners just to smooth things out a bit.
STEP 2: COAT THAT BABY WITH PAINT
Not much to say here except follow the directions on the spray paint can! And even though I’m painting at night here, the second and third coats had to happen during the day to get a nice, even spray on all of those little nooks and crannies. I’d like to thank my good friend John Deere and my husband for collaborating to make me this fancy painting platform.
STEP 3: MEASURE FOR YOUR “CLOTHES LINES”
I ended up spacing mine 10″ apart but it’s worth noting that I think it looks best to have the top one about an inch and a half from the top of the frame (it looks like 2 inches here but see how that lip of the frame takes up 1/2 an inch – that will make a big difference in the look). Wouldn’t want to waste a whole bunch of space up there but wouldn’t want it crowded either. Mark where your tacks will go on the backside of the frame.
STEP 4: CUT, WRAP & NAIL THE LINE
(Just don’t Walk the Line … that’s never fun.)
This floral wire wrapped in a raffia-like material that I was using was heavy-duty stuff. I needed the needle nose pliers to manipulate it, no doubt. The idea is to create a little loop that you’ll wrap around the tack on one side and get that hammered in. Then, cut the line so it’s just slightly beyond your marked spot on the other side of the frame. You’ll use the wrapping action to wrap it just tight enough that the wire is taught. You can always give your pliers a little bit more of a turn if you need it a hair tighter. Pull, pull, pull and then nail in place. Here’s a shot of those tacks (available at your home improvement store) as well as what it looks like to wrap the wire around it.
Use your pliers to make a little loop that a tack can just barely fit through. If your raffia stuff starts to fray like this did, trim and secure with a piece of scotch tape. It’ll be on the back of your frame anyway.
Then slide that tack in there:
And nail that puppy in place (and I mean the tack, not actually the puppy! see my old boy snoozing in the background of the pic above – such a sweet guy he his):
You will notice that all of that care that I took to sand the back of the frame and paint it got just totally demolished by my hammer. Oh well. Our neighbors will forgive the ugly view. Oh and I suppose you could use twine and spare yourself all of this wrapping and pulling taught. But to me, it just seemed like the wire would provide a more sturdy foundation for the mail and keep things from tipping this way and that. I like to think my selection makes for a tidier presentation in the end but who really knows. If you’ve got the twine already, give it a whirl!
STEP 5: HANG ‘ER UP
Forgot to get a pic of this step but I happened to already have some hooks hanging in the metal frame of my sun porch for a Christmas stained glass window so I used some fishing wire to loop the frame to the hooks. If you are hanging your creation on a wall, you can easily add a picture hanger. Just choose the kind with the little jagged teeth that doesn’t use a wire.
STEP 6: SECURE YOUR GOODIES TO THE CLOTHESLINES
Clothespins are easy enough to find but with all of that fancy carving, a plain one just seemed BOR-ING. I thought of just giving them a coat of paint and calling it a day. But then I remembered seeing these cute clothespins on Etsy:
You can buy those at The Papered Crown on Etsy if you like. They are only like $8.
When I remembered those, I realized I could do anything I wanted to complement my new frame remake. So I purchased some mini clothespins, sprayed them down with a little gold spray paint (mostly just on the sides so there would be a little shine) and then decoupaged them with this cute, muted, floral craft paper that I found at Michael’s. Here they are on the tray drying after their decoupage treatment.
Kind of cute, huh??!?! And I had never decoupaged before but let me tell you it is really easy and really, really fun. I just used these instructions. I pretty much feel like a 1960′s housewife but I might be hooked on the decoupage now. Eeeks! We’ll see if it becomes a new blog category. HA!
So let’s have a few final shots of my Wisteria rip off before we close down this post. Hooray for cute, custom, DIY organization!