Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:32 PM EDT
Continuing our series on DIYs from Saint John’s Opera Bistro makeover, today I’m going to show you how to build a backdrop out of inexpensive, everyday materials. Better still, this backdrop will help you underscore — rather than apologize for — the uniqueness of your design objects. All design ideas were conceived and carried out by Punch Inside, Creative Director, Judith Mackin; Opera Bistro photos in today's feature are by Hemmings House.
A handmade chalkboard backdrop highlights unique design objects. Shelves, IKEA. Top shelf: “Bank in the form of a pig” by Harry Allen for Areaware (TUCK Studio); Bottom shelf: “C’mere” hand hook by Harry Allen for Areaware (TUCK Studio); cut birch with candle; “Love is Blind” vase by Jessica Lertvilai (TUCK Studio).
Ah, unique design objects — we do indeed love you. BUT: You don't always play well with others... Every reader knows well of what I speak: We all have cherished design objects that never quite find the right perch, place or surface in our homes. Part of the problem of fitting these objects into the scheme of things is their distinctiveness (which is probably why we were drawn to them in the first place!) Here’s how to bring it all together, elegantly and eloquently.
• Cork rolls (we found ours at Staples; pictured below)
• Utility knife
• Measuring tape
• Narrow wood framing strips, cut to size for framing the cork
• Paint (whatever colour you wish) for the frame
• Staple gun
Various cork rolls, cut to size. Photo by Judith Mackin.
STEP 1: Of Measure and Masonite
Measure your space and decide on an appropriate size for the corkboard backdrop. Purchase enough Masonite to cover off the area(s) — likely one sheet will suffice. Assuming you do not have an industrial-scale saw at home, get your building supply store to cut your Masonite to the size(s) you’ve chosen.
STEP 2: Cut the Cork
Cut your cork roll(s) into the shape/size you desire. Note: Be gentle — if you put a crease in the cork, it can crack and split.
Glass shelf “floats” on top of a cork backdrop. Found objects include: old opera albums; reindeer antler; Tord Boontje “Thinking of you” vase; Paul Loebach Distortion Candlesticks for Areaware (last two items available through TUCK Studio).
STEP 3: Frame the Cork
Measure your wood framing strips (you want the frame to cover the edge of your cork). Cut the strips to size using a mitre box or radial saw.
STEP 4: Paint the Frame
Paint your cut framing pieces before you nail/glue them to your cork. Note: Do not attach the frame to the backdrop until the backdrop is attached to the wall (Step 7).
A simple, handmade chalkboard (Masonite, covered with Benjamin Moore latex chalkboard paint) acts as a larger frame for the inside music sheet, framed in glass. We added chalk designs to the backdrop, echoing the swirls that adorn the decades-old music sheet.
STEP 5: Cork Meets Masonite
Use contact cement to affix your cork panel(s) to the Masonite. Use a small wallpaper roller to press down any seams. Note: Allow the contact cement to dry before attaching backdrop to wall.
STEP 6: Backdrop Meets Wall
Secure the backdrop to the destination wall. We used four drywall screws, one in each corner, close enough to the edge to be covered by the frame.
Another use of a chalkboard backdrop, with hand-drawn chalk script, to enhance regular shelving and design collections. Shelves, IKEA. On the shelves: Wooden sculptures by David Weeks; Paul Loebach Distortion Candlesticks for Areaware (last two items available through TUCK Studio).
STEP 7: Glue the Frame
Glue the painted framing pieces to the cork on the mounted backdrop.
This is a very rewarding DIY because it’s fairly simple/straightforward but yields significant visual impact. More for less? Nothing wrong with that.
Next in Judith Mackin’s DIY makeover series: Rethinking framed objects in an inexpensive way