Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY: Art Display Board for Kids

About a year ago (yes, a year), I decided I was going to make this super awesome DIY frame that I saw online. Nate took me to Lowe's and we had the boards cut to the right size and bought stain - the whole nine yards. I managed to get the board stained and the frame sprayed, but that was about it...Fast forward a year and Nate is ready to throw out my project because it's taking up valuable space in the garage. To appease him, I decided to finish. Except, I totally changed the project because I realized the other one just wasn't going to happen.

I'd seen some display boards for children's art and decided to use my materials to make one for E. I had to buy the wooden letters, but you can get them for at Hobby Lobby pretty inexpensively (I think each letter package was $1 and there were four letters in each set).

I still have some work to do before it's completely finished, but it's been two weeks since I last posted and that's a bit slackerish for me. So here you go, my attempt at an art board (art plaque? art display board? I seriously have no idea what these are called).

Here's the obligatory shot of my materials (OK, not all of them are pictured, but you get the point): 2 types of stain, brushes, a four foot long pine board, binder clips, wooden letters, disposable gloves, hanging set, gorilla glue and one adorable painted dog (also found at Hobby Lobby for about 65 cents).

First, you need to stain your wood. I probably did four coats total on the pine board (two coats a year ago and two coats recently) and I did two coats of the lighter stain for my wooden letters. Make sure you wear disposable gloves and clothes you don't mind getting messy.

Once everything was dry, I mounted the letters and binder clips using gorilla glue. I probably wouldn't recommend this particular one because a) it's messy, b) it requires clamps and c) it expands as it dries. I didn't have any clamps so I used old college textbooks for my letters (see? I knew they would come in handy if I kept hauling them around).

Also, when it says to use a thin layer, it's not joking. One of my letters wouldn't stick so I added more glue and now there's horrible bubbled up glue all around the letter. Nate has promised to take an exacto knife to it so it looks more polished. I would call it a pinterest fail, but I came up with it on my own and Jen fail seems a bit harsh, don't you think?

Finally, add the hanging set on the back of your board.

And voila, an inexpensive way to display your child's art (and use up old materials hanging around the garage).

Note: I think it would also work well if you displayed it vertically because then your paper isn't hanging off the board. It didn't work out for us because the letters were too cramped, but I think it would be a cute option. Another idea is to do it vertically and hang an actual frame on the bottom half and change out the pictures that way. Or you could even paint the board different colors and use glitter (!!!). So many ways to make this work!


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