Make This: Pin Board Backsplash

Sometimes a room comes together so fast and easy. All the elements that I have dancing around in my head work in harmony in real life just as I hoped, and I cross the space off my list in a matter of days. That was NOT the case of my craft space. It’s been a long process of great ideas, bad outcomes, lack of inspiration, things looking “not quite right,” new ideas, lots of tweaking, and now finally…a pretty great end result.

It feels like forever ago that I started this craft space – in fact, it sorta was. We first installed these cabinets when we moved in 18+ months ago; then I loaded in my craft supplies and thought the rest of the room would come together in a matter of days or weeks. Fast forward to last summer. The space was functioning fine, but it just didn’t have the fresh and finished feel I like to have in a space so I launched a major Office/Craft Room makeover. The office came along swimmingly, but I was having such a tough time getting the wall above my craft counter to work.

Case in point:

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Again, while functioning really well, it just looked mis-matched and un-polished; and the wall on the whole felt really unbalanced with the heavy shelves on the left and small frames on the right. Over the summer and through the course of the fall, I made some pretty big changes that I thought would fix this space for good. I moved one of the shelves and one of the ribbon rods to the other side of the wall to balance everything out. Then I had an idea to paint a chalkboard “backsplash” above the counter to write down notes, measurements, and inspirational phrases. It seemed strange to have a the chalkboard stop randomly on the wall, so I added 12 feet of Anna White’s picture ledges to act as a transition. Then came the predicament of what to put on these picture ledges. I slowly and surely filled the ledges with supplies and art I made for the space. I was pretty much ready to proclaim this space done, but something was really, really nagging at me. Something was keeping me from taking the “final” photos and posting them here on the blog for you all to see. It had been nagging at me all along…the chalkboard backsplash.

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Even when I was mid-wall with my paintbrush in hand, I stopped and texted a picture to my design-savvy neighbor and said, “should I keep going?” We both decided I should just finish the length of the counter to see how the chalkboard really looked. After all, it wouldn’t be that hard to cover up if I didn’t like it. I tried to like it for a long time…about 6 months. But I found I wasn’t using the chalkboard as much as I had hoped (it was a hard angle to write on), and it felt like a big black racing stripe across the length of the wall. Combined with the black counter, it felt like too much black in this bright space.

Last week, getting ready to take my final photos of this space, I kept staring at the chalkboard backsplash…you could almost see the wheels turning in my brain trying to come up with an easy, free, and more functional solution. And as I tend to do, I decided to just change it and within minutes I set to work. Again, using all supplies I already had in my house (boy, does it pay off to have a hearty supply stash!), I changed my chalkboard backsplash to a pin-board backsplash, and I LOOOOOOOOVE it!

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This project turned out to be really simple, so simple you can do it even if you’re not overly crafty. Let me show you what I did.

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I had three large sheets of foam core board sitting in my craft closet (MB, told you I’d find a use for the, 😉. Foam core is ALWAYS a good thing to have around. After some quick measurements of my backsplash area (12’x13″) and my foam core itself, I realized I had plenty to cover my entire backsplash. I used an exacto knife and a long ruler to cut my 24″ wide sheets down into 13″ tall sections.

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Had my backsplash measured 12″ tall, I could have just cut my boards into three equal sections of 12″ and only used 2 sheets. Unfortunately, my backsplash area was 13″, so I had to use all three sheets with some extra leftover on the top of each sheet. In the end, I had 6 sections of foam core, all cut to 13″x24″.

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On the far right side of my backsplash area is an outlet. I still wanted to be able to access the light switch and wanted my pin board to extend past it to the edge of the counter, so all I did was measure from the right edge of the counter (right side), the counter (bottom), and the picture ledge (top), and translated those measurements to my end foam core section. I cut out the outlet hole with the exacto knife and ruler again.

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Next, I needed to join all of my sections of foam core into one long section. Packing tape to the rescue! I was using white fabric on top of the foam core, so I didn’t want to use dark tape that might show through. This tape can be incredibly strong. Want to know the trick?  Always attach tape-to-tape. Once all 6 of my boards were taped together, I had one long, pretty sturdy foam board.

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Before I took the last step of covering the foam core with fabric, I popped the long board into place to make sure everything fit just right. It was pretty snug between the counter and the picture ledge, but I had to trim it in certain areas to get it to fit just right.

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The last step was to cover the foam core with fabric. I rummaged through my fabric collection and picked the same white mini-plaid fabric I used on the curtains. I liked that it was white, had some texture, and I had enough to cover the 12′ length! I did have to sew two long strips together to make it long enough, but by taking the extra step to match seams, you can barely notice!

Originally, I was planning on stapling the fabric around to the back, but the staples were too long and punctured the front of of the foam core. Bummer. Packing tape to the rescue again! Since this pin board will be likely be in place and not move around much, I knew tape would be durable enough. Again, overlapping my tape so that tape was always touching more tape, I secured the fabric around the full length of the foam core.

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The last step was to pop it into place. Literally, it was such a tight fit between the counter and the picture ledge that I didn’t have to do a thing to secure it to the wall. It’s not going anywhere. However, if you’re not stuffing placing your foam core between two very fixed objects, I’m pretty sure nails, command strips or even velcro would work to keep it securely in place!

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This was the very last and most recent change I made to this space; and with it, I am pretty excited to call my craft space done. Well, as much as I call anything done. “Done” to me means that I don’t have any other projects on the current list. That certainly doesn’t mean inspiration won’t strike again, and I’ll find something else to do or change!

I’m pretty excited to pull the camera back and give you a glimpse of this full wall. I’ll have those “final” photos up for you here very soon. Until then, what do you think? Do you like the chalkboard or pin board better?

 Megan

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3 Responses to Make This: Pin Board Backsplash

  1. I like the pinboard, but I think it needs a burst of colour. The chalkboard colour looked great. I think you need a fabric with a pop of colour (maybe more turquoise?).

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