Saturday, March 5, 2011

ribbon board

Sometime you have to wonder how buying clothes pins...
Shabby Chic clothes pins from Michaels

...can result in a ribbon board.

I bought the clothespins on a recent trip to Michaels.  $2 for 4 clothespins is really not a bargain but I thought they were the cutest thing and just had to have them.  Of course, once I got them home I realized I really didn't have a place to put them.  I eventually decided to glue magnets on the back and use them on the fridge to hold papers (still have to get around to doing that).

But the clothes pins reminded me of a shabby chic curtain panel I had bought at Target years ago, which made me think that it was high time I made a ribbon pin board (I have no idea why my mind works the way it does).

As with all spur of the moment projects I didn't have all the supplies I needed.  I really wanted to use some cork board backing but I didn't have any.  What I did have was a frame, spray paint, ribbon, the fabric, and lots of glue and tape.

I pulled a wood frame out of the basement that had definitely seen better days.  Before I painted it I used the staple gun to reinforce the frames edges that were beginning to pull apart.  Gotta love a staple gun.  Then I braved the winter weather (and less than ideal painting conditions) and gave the frame two coats of white paint.  I let the frame dry overnight in the garage and then brought it inside and used some sandpaper to roughen up the finish.
love the distressing  

**I should preface this next section by saying- Don't do what I did.  I knew that this was only a temporary thing until I could get some cork board and do it right, so my taping method is not to be copied (since it's not very secure).**

Meanwhile, I wrapped the fabric around the plexiglas and taped it in place with masking tape.  Then I strung three different types of ribbon in a random pattern across the fabric and also secured it with tape.  It looked really cool but wasn't that functional at actually holding anything.
the first design

As fate would have it the command hook I used to hang the ribbon board couldn't hold it's weight and the board fell off the wall after a few days.  In the fall the frame got jostled and so did some of the ribbon (hence the reason not to use tape).  Luckily, my mom was in town and wanted to use her JoAnne fabric coupon to buy me an early birthday present.  I went straight for the cork board (sometimes it's the little things).

So with my cork board in hand I stripped the fabric, ribbons and lots of tape off the Plexiglas and started over.
cutting the cork board to size

I cut the cork board to the same size as the Plexiglas and then glued the two together (using a glue gun).  The glue dried really fast on the Plexiglas so I'd recommend gluing down one section at a time.
my gluey cork board

Then I glued the fabric to the plexiglass, folding down the corners so everything was neat and tidy.  I'd recommend gluing down one side and then the opposite side so that you can pull the fabric nice and taut.
all glued down

I decided to go with the typical ribbon pattern (since it does work well).  I figured out how many ribbons I wanted, spaced them out using a ruler (about 4 inches between each ribbon) and then glued the ribbons to the fabric.
half the board in blue

Remember to weave your second side of ribbons through the first side so that your papers will have a place to "sit."
weaving the green ribbon through

Once all the ribbons were attached I popped the board back into the frame and presto- a new ribbon board.  The colors go perfectly in our family room which is where I keep all my craft supplies. I hung the board on the wall by my desk (using a nail this time) so that I can put all my little inspirational clippings up there.

So this particular project was free (I always love that).  I'm sure there are a million different ways you could make these ribbon boards but this one worked well for me.

What have you made lately?


  1. I Love this!
    You picked wonderful colors!
    Michelle Benoit

  2. Oh thanks! I'm loving blues and greens right now. I think it's because I can't wait for spring!