I enjoy crafting; but I wouldn't have said I was particularly good at it - the perfectionist in me always comes out and I get frustrated that what I've imagined in my head never looks quite the same in reality. However I do get inspired by projects and sometimes I even get round to doing them!
I saw some amazing message boards on Pinterest that were sold in the US and cost an absolute fortune! I was doing a bit of research and discovered a tutorial on how to make your own and thought I had to give it a go. You can check it out here...
It looked fun and more importantly not too difficult, so I decided to have a go. I really enjoyed sourcing all the materials, I love buying craft bits; but normally end up never using them, they just seem like a good idea at the time then when it comes to getting creative I go blank!
I had most of the material already and some scrapbook papers, I went through my stash of crafts, mixing and matching to see what worked. I had to buy some 12 x 12 cork tiles which were about £9 for a pack of nine.
The tutorial used a clip frame which I thought was genius; but I wanted to do a square board, so on a trip round Hobbycraft we saw some canvases (100cm x 100cm) and I thought they'd work just as well. They were even doing an offer buy one get one free so I had them delivered - we'd never have got them into the car, plus my wheelchair.
Once I'd got everything together and had worked out the layout, then came the scary part - cutting the material! I always get freaked out about ruining it. It was actually really easy, I just used my cutting mat and quilting board/roller cutter, it just took a deep breath and a prayer.
I stapled the material on because I have bad experiences with glue guns, i.e. I always end up in tears with horrible burns. Don't ask about the Nut Wreath of '99!
I had a left over pot of magnetic paint - yes they really do make such a thing! I painted up two of the tiles (the checked squares) and then stuck paper on top - I found double sided tape attached to the tile and then Pritstick on the paper held them in place.
Once all the tiles were covered, it felt more real, all I had to do was stick them down. I did try with a mini glue gun I had, I thought it was the only thing that would hold the tiles, so I risked life and limb.... but it didn't work, the glue dried before I could stick them down, so I used UHU instead, my glue of choice. It worked and I left it overnight before standing it up - half expecting them to all fall off when I did!
It was a heart in the mouth moment; but the next day I stood it up and ta-dah! I pinned on some paper flowers and tags and I might add some extra bits; but all in all I'm really pleased with it. It's going to go in my Creative Room - office come craft room. Now all I need to do is work out exactly where I want it and arrange for our Handy Man to come and put it up. I can't wait!
I'm pleased I've actually seen this all the way through and not got distracted. I've got the material to do a second board for our spare room/sewing room, so that's my next project!
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about people who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.
I'm an author, disability activist, winner of the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and The EABA for Fiction 2020 and founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI).
The Choice is available from:
Title: The Choice
You can keep up to date with all my latest blog posts by signing up to my email newsletter.