One of the many reasons I love working with clients in NYC and Brooklyn is that every home is special and unique in it's own way, especially the historical ones. This particular client recently renovated her Brownstone kitchen and kept this arched niche, which is such a charming original detail. She wanted to get some function out of it, so we decided to create a custom fitted pin board so that she can display her kids artwork.
Today I'm sharing how I did it!
Here's what you'll need:
1/4 Plywood or particle board (I used this because it was the size I needed)
1 inch thick foam insulation board. You can find this in different sizes, I used this because I needed a pretty large panel, and I asked a store associate to cut it in half for me so I could fit it in my car.
Fabric of choice. Your fabric should be non stretch, cotton or linen and ideally a plain color or one with a very subtle pattern. I love this linen/cotton blend from Spoonflower.
Quilting ruler or just a good oversized ruler
Disappearing ink fabric marker
Pliers (for stapling mishaps)
Wood glue (or any strong glue)
Hobby cement to secure nail heads
If you plan to create a custom shape like this, you'll need a table saw or a friend with one!
The first thing I did was trace out the shape of the arch onto brown craft paper, and then transferred that shape onto the plywood. I brought this to a local woodworker to get cut down. Once I had the plywood cut into the shape I needed, I used it as a template to cut down my foam board.
I then glued the two pieces together with a strong wood glue and let it bond for about an hour before attaching the fabric.
Before starting this project, I made sure to wash and press my fabric. You want to wash the fabric to get any finishing agents off the surface, and then iron on high steam to get any creases out.
Lay the fabric face down on a clean, soft surface (I used a quilt laid out on the floor), then lay the board foam side down on top. Pull the fabric tightly around the edges and staple carefully, when you go around the curved edge, slightly gather the fabric as you go. Then trim the fabric down about 1/2 in from the staples.
Now that the fabric is secure, it's time to add in the nail heads! This was surprisingly the most time consuming part because it requires a lot of math and accuracy. I used my quilting ruler and disappearing ink marker to mark placement for the nail heads, starting with a wider spacing to see how I liked it, knowing I could always fill it in more (which I did!). Once I had the nail placement nailed down I dipped the tip of each nail head in hobby glue and pressed them in very firmly to make sure they stay put.
I'm so pleased with how this pin board came out and best of all, my client loves it too! It fits the space perfectly and makes great use of an empty space. Can't wait to see it fill up with sweet drawings and family photos.