Inspiration Board: Inspire Your Own Self

Remember that party I went to a few weeks at Dixie Design Collective? About ten people asked me about this thing in the background:

All three had inspiration boards.

I asked Jaclyn about these thingamabobs and where she got it, and she said she did it herself and it wasn’t that hard. Well, hell, how hard could it be? Right? She said it was easy. I’m a little crafty. Kind of.
It turns out it wasn’t hard at all, and cost me about $30, all told. The tutorial is after the jump, and this took me a grand total of 30 minutes, including time spent gossiping on the phone with my best friend. Honestly, the most time-consuming part of this was…well, you’ll see!

Here’s what you’ll need:


Fabric (I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but duck fabric.)

A staple gun with staples (not helpful without staples)

A 1/2 inch piece of plywood cut to whatever size you want this thing (mine is 22×76 and I asked the friendly guys at Home Depot to cut it for me and they did FO FREE FIFTY, which is great when you don’t have much in the way of tools. It took about 15 minutes to pick out a board and negotiate its trimming. This was the aforementioned longest part.)

A hot glue gun

Pinking shears


If you are a highly fancy person, you have some presteps. Skip this section if you aren’t highly fancy. Those steps are as follows: sand your board to remove splinters, wash, dry, and iron your fabric, and (later) sew down the edges of the fabric to make it a little more durable. All these steps are unnecessary but can and will create a sliiiiiiiightly nicer finished product, but realistically, you’re going to pin a ton of stuff to this with sharp metal, so this isn’t going to become an heirloom. Do what feels right.

For non-fancies, here is where the directions begin:

What you do first is you cut your foam to fit your board. If you’re me, and a little lazy, you ask the HD dudes to cute it to the size of your foam. Otherwise, you cut it to order.

See? This is much easier.
See? This is much easier.

Fit your corners to the edges as straight as you can, and then take a hot glue gun and glue down the edges and the middle. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you actually don’t have to do this if you’re feeling confident, but I did this to anchor it while I was executing the next step. Here’s what you ought to look like at this juncture:

It looks like snow, no?
It looks like snow, no?

The next thing to do is lay your fabric out on top and then trim the edges down. You’re going to want to leave about 1 1/2 inches on each side of the board. I cut with pinking shears to prevent it from fraying, but if you don’t have those, nothing bad will happen to you. This is what you should look like now:

A little dizzying, but I love chevron stripes.
A little dizzying, but I love chevron stripes.

At this point, I hot glued the edges to the board, just to anchor the fabric, but again, if you’re confident, do it. Also, if you’re that person, please teach me how to sing in public, talk about my feelings honestly, and wear dresses with side cut-outs.
I come from the Grace Bonney School of Staple Gun Upholstery, so other graduates of this prestigious institution will not be surprised by what comes next: I held the fabric taut against the board and staple gunned about 3 dozen staples around the perimeter. Those are all the steps I have for you. This is what happens now:

Welcome home, inspiration board!
Welcome home, inspiration board!

Now, you can, too, can Pinterest in real time.

So what do you think? You gonna make one? Are the stripes making you feel a little woozy? WHAT SHOULD I PIN TO IT FIRST?!

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