Tuesday, 17 October 2017

My New Message Board At Last!

Since I moved into my new studio room a few months ago, I had been planning on making a big message board to fit along an empty wall. But since then I just never seem to have had the time to get the project off the ground, although I have been collecting bits and bobs in readiness. My original plan had been to use a large vintage picture frame and antique wallpaper scraps for the backing, but then changed my mind and decided to make a material message board instead.  Last Sunday I finally got cracking with it and surprisingly it didn't take that long really. 

 After clearing out my loft last Easter I came across a pair of old Laura Ashley curtains that I had made many years ago and which I had loved dearly. One was badly stained but the other one was just big enough to stretch over a large canvas previously bought half price in a sale.
A piece of wadding was stapled over the canvas first.
Then the curtain material was stretched over the top and fixed into place with my staple gun around the back edges.
The folded corners were a bit of a fiddle but managed to get them quite neat in the end.
My rather lovely retired ex-workshop colleague friend Robin,  had loaned me a big bag of vintage braid from her loft and had told me to help myself to whatever I wanted from there. There were some wonderful pieces including some patterned braid from the 1920s/30s.
I used lots of random bits of various colours which kind of  coordinated with the material,  and literally made it up as I went along, allowing 7" in between each row.  As I am planning on displaying a bit of all sorts on here in a slightly unconventional way, I decided that I didn't want the braid to be placed too precisely.
The ends of the braid were stapled around the back and well hidden out of sight. Above is a picture of the braid almost finished.
Next was the real fun bit, of securing various vintage and new buttons with thick brown thread, wherever the braid crossed. 
 On the back of the canvas the brown thread was tied securely.

I also had a couple of silk flowers left over from  daughter-in-law's vintage brooch bouquet back in January, so too a couple of vintage brooches, and secured them to the braid crossovers.
Also left over from the bridal bouquet were some old earrings from my mother in law, and they were very easy to fix. All I had to do was push them through the braid and canvas, apply some Tacky Glue, and fix the earring back on the reverse of the canvas. 

Over the past few weeks I have been gathering buttons from various sources. This late c1800s button was bought at a car boot sale.

I used several of these c1920s/30s buttons that came with a Victorian sewing box bought at an antique and vintage fair. 

And finally two metal picture fixtures were secured to the back and then threaded with string, which enabled me at last to hang it on the chosen wall. Although it is for daily use to hold important bits of paper, price lists, business cards, etc., as it is also on permanent display in my studio, I wanted it to be a little unconventional too. 

So I have dug out old picture cards, postcards, tiny vintage cotton reels, vintage packs of buttons, antique miniature dolls, a vintage Rinso tape measure and a piece of vintage lace, and slipped them all onto the board.

It is even perfect for holding a Gottschalk chair which I have put aside and am hoping to use as a template for a possible inclusion in next year's workshop (the chair is proving a bit tricky though and at this moment of time, might have to resort to a Plan B...but that is another story for another day). 

Am rather chuffed with the result of this message board. 

Honestly, this was so easy and cheap to make - almost anyone could make one of these too.  I had considered using a large cork pin board for the backing but am glad that I used a canvas instead now, as it made fixing the buttons, brooches, etc. so easy. 


Elizabeth S said...

Your new message board is wonderful! Love the fabric and especially all of the interesting buttons- I LOVE BUTTONS :D

Robin said...

It's absolutely fantastic Celia, a real work of art, and I'm thrilled to see the vintage braid put to such good use.

Giac said...

Hello Celia,
That is a great message board. thank you for showing us how you did it.
Big hug

Polly said...

Your message board is gorgeous, I will put it on my "Ideas" list. I really like your idea of using buttons to secure the braiding. I have a lot of buttons that I have rarely used, at last a use for them. Thank you for showing us your brilliant idea.

KT Miniatures said...

Aww...thanks everyone for your comments. Already my message board is full...with all those useful and important bits of paper that needed to be put somewhere:)

Polly, it really was quick and easy to make. I do strongly recommend using a canvas if you want to use buttons with the braid. I was lucky enough to find a shop bought canvas for half price in a sale and it only cost £10.00. The big ones are usually quite expensive. However, a Plan B would have been to find a second hand canvas picture in a charity shop or bargain shop. Celia