For all those Christmas Cards

As adults now, we get a pile of Christmas cards from people we love… and I want to show off how loved we are!
I have seen these at friends places, often in girly colors or with shiny ribbon. (I, of course, am avoiding the girly-ness for our place, gotta respect the husb.) I love simple design and practicality, but I couldn’t find one for under $20… And of course that mantra went off in my head: “I can totally make that.”
Here is what I used:
  • Bulletin board, or other large, flat, sturdy surface, whatever size you want. You could probably use a peice of wood, it would just be heavier.
  • Fabric – color of choice, enough to cover your board + a good 3 or 4in over every side.
  • Foam – 1/4 to 1/2 in thick, as much as you need.
  • Elastic – wider holds things a little better without creasing them. I used plain white, but you can find colors and pretty versions out there if you want to be adventurous.
  • Buttons – depending on the size of your board and the number of times your elastic crosses over -enough for both front and back (see directions to understand), and also holes large enough for your choice of needle to go through.
  • Large thick strong needle – mine came under the title of “heavy duty hand needle”
  • Strong thread or embroidery floss
  • Stapler – I had a tiny one, it survived. One that opens up all the way is VERY beneficial, and if you use wood, you should probably get more than a basic office stapler…
  • (mini saw or heavy scissors if you are silly like me and don’t measure ahead of time, or just too cheap to buy more foam.)
After a couple of moves I had an old bulletin board laying around that had some stuff I had to rip off the front. Don’t have one laying around? You can probably get one for 3 bucks at your local thrift store.
As you may have gathered from earlier, I didn’t measure, but assumed the foam was enough, but it was just under. I was tired of waiting to make it, I had the time, so I just took the frame off the board and went a trimming. When measuring, I think it looks best when the foam is barely over the edge of the board. If you go over too much, it leaves weird lumps on the edges of the final product (learn from my mistakes… see finished product)

Cutting, I decided the little saw worked WAY better.

The edge closest to the camera is an ideal location for the foam. The edge on the right is probably a little too much extra foam that will result in the “lumps.”

No need to be super exact in the measuring on the fabric. Just give at least a few inches of fabric on the back.

Time to staple. Staple until it is secure on the back, pull it nice and tight so that there isn’t wrinkling on the front.

Never said it looked pretty… When you are done you can always cover it with something prettier, but lets face it, it will be against the wall.

Same with the elastic. Pull it a little tight, no need to overly stretch it, and staple it at least a couple times (Again, doesn’t look pretty on back.)

Do the big elastic X across the middle first, then add the outer elastic.

(In some pictures you see hemp, but I changed my mind to using black embroidery floss.) Take your needle, stab THROUGH the board (drill, get creative if you are using something harder). The cork cracks and makes a fairly large hole, this is why you will need buttons for both sides.

Put the string through the front button and put both ends through the eye of the needle. Pull it through the hole. Put through the holes on the back button (or whatever equivalent you decide to use) and pull it TIGHT. If you can go through the buttons again with success, do it, but I had too many issues, and it is still holding strong with just the one time through. Make sure you try and keep the knot tight enough that there is a “dent” in the foam, almost like buttons on a vintage chair would look.

Tighter all your buttons and Viola! Start shoving your Christmas cards (birthday cards, random pictures, receipts…) and show off how awesomely loved you are!
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