Friday, June 11, 2010

Memory Boards

I have been working on some Memory Boards for my Ohio daughter-in-law, Robyn.  She is having a surprise party for her parents for their 40th Wedding Anniversary and will use them to display photos and other memorabilia.  But first, I have to give a little background before I get to her project:

This is a large memory board I made for our dining room several years ago.  I really love having this in our home because I can stick in new photos as I receive them.  It's a great place for candid photos and you can really get a lot of photos on there.  Well, it's huge too!  The photo area is 42" x 28".
The wooden piece at the top was from an old dresser.  I found it in an old log cabin on the ranch where I was raised, so it would have belonged to my grandparents or great grandparents.  It was all that was left of whatever piece of furniture it once graced.

I covered a piece of 1/4 in plywood with batting, flannel fabric, criss-crossed it with grosgrain ribbon and tacked it down with black thumb tacks.  Then I screwed the whole thing to the back of this wooden decoration.  The thumb tacks holding the ribbon have been a challenge to keep in the wood and I decided I would not do that again.

Here is one of three 30" x 24" memory boards that I made for Robyn.
I went to a Mill End fabric store and found a nice light-weight linen looking upholstery fabric--60 inches wide for $2 a yard and 1/2" grosgrain ribbon for 20 cents a yard.  I found some black faceted plastic jewels Michael's.  (Do the words 'plastic' and 'jewel' even belong in the same sentence?)  Instead of thumb tacks (I knew they didn't work!) I used my nail gun to staple the ribbon junctions and then splayed out the ends of the staple on the back of the board.  Decorative upholstery tacks would be nice and I have tried them, but they are too long and stick out the back of the 1/4 board.  They are also too heavy-duty to secure by hammering over the end that sticks out the back.  You would have to use a 1/2 inch board and that would make your project very, very heavy.   Then on the front, I just hot-glued a jewel at each junction to cover up the staple.  The cost of all the materials was under $20 and I used up scrap lumber and scrap batting that I already had on hand.   
Each of these three memory boards have slightly different spacing of the ribbon. That way, they will be useful for different kinds of displays in the future.
The back is covered with felt.  This makes a nice finish to cover up all those splayed out staples you would see on the back.  I cut the felt to fit and sprayed it with my quilting spray basting glue to secure it to the back of the board.  The pine wood frame is also glued on and then secured by stapling from the front (again covering the staples with my glue-on jewels).  This frame is to strengthen the whole project and keep it from warping.  It also makes a secure place to screw in a wall hanger if they ever want to hang them on the walls.  They are nice and sturdy and should last for many years.  When I shipped them out, as a bonus, I included 3 aluminum easels that have telescoping legs so they can stand alone or collapse and be used on a table.
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Happy Anniversary!

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