Friday, August 26, 2011

Kid Memo Boards

Peyton and Ella share a room. You knew that, right? It's a small room, but we make do. I try to separate the boy and girl stuff the best I can to give my kids their own space within such a tiny space.

See how Ella has her side of cubes and Peyton has his side of cubes? It looks okay, but I wanted it to fancy it up.

Their memo boards used to be in our basement playroom in Iowa. That was when we had space to spare. So much space that I made art boards for each of them just because I needed to fill up some wall. 


The pink and blue boards matched the color theme of their little kid playroom. But now that the boards are in their big kid shared room, they really a needed a make-over.

So I bought fabric in their favorite colors. Purple for Ella. Green for Peyton. How I love shopping for fabric! When I don't have the kids with me it is such a relaxing task!

I stripped both boards of their old fabric and ribbon and got to work. 

I painted the outside of Ella's frame:

And hot glued on the fabric. As I become more Craft Mature, I'm realizing that any good project is going to make me curse like a sailor at some point. 

The best framed cork boards are the ones where you can take off the frame, pull the fabric around to the backside, staple it on, and then reattach the frame. The fabric is nice and tight and evenly attached. This is not that kind of board. 

So my fabric is cut perfectly and I've even folded it over and ironed the edges to make it extra perfect. But as I start at one side and glue and flatten and straighten, the fabric stretches and moves around and then I have extra fabric in the corners of the other side and I don't know how to fix it. And cutting fabric that is mostly glued down is a disaster. And I don't want to cut too much, because then the fabric pattern will be all wonky and uneven. I vividly remember this exact thing happening last time I made the boards. It's a frustrating mess. I know you can't tell from the pictures, but believe me! Hot messes are running rampant around here.

But that's what embellishments are for, right? To cover up hot messes. I was planning on embellishing the boards anyway. Really! I WAS! Dang! 

I glued on matching ribbon:

I did the same for Peyton's:

I had originally planned on embellishing Ella's board with a bunch of purple silk hydrangeas. But, really, the whole thing needed a big pop of color, so I learned some new tricks and went for it. 

I bought a quarter yard each of some pretty fabrics, a handful of pearly and sparkly buttons, and some fabric glue. I got out my hot glue gun and scissors. I sat down on the couch and for two nights in a row I made flowers while I watched TV. 

Ella loved the flowers so much that she asked if I could make an extra of each one as a hair clip for her. So of course I did! 

It took a little time, but I found some great tutorials and I learned how to make rolled fabric flowers and petal pusher flowers. Once I got the hang of the techniques, they were pretty simple to make. After I had a whole bunch of them, as well as some silk-type flowers I had on hand, I started arranging and hot gluing them to Ella's board.

My kids LOVE watching me make stuff for them. I think it makes them feel extra special when I create things just for them. As I was arranging the flowers, Peyton and Ella walked into the room and they were both so excited - "Whoa! It's so pretty!" "That's so coooool!" 
It's one of the nicest sounds in the world.

Peyton's board needed some embellishing, too. I wanted to hot glue on some of his small toy jets, but he wasn't willing to give them up for decoration's sake. I don't blame him. 

He has a zillion army men, so I talked him into letting me have some for his board. Most of his army men are green and tan, which would match the green and blue hounds tooth pattern really nicely. But I wanted some extra color on his board, too. So I took the army men outside on gave them a few coats of spray paint. Here they are, about to meet their maker - their color maker. mwahahaaaaa.

They turned out really cool looking! Peyton liked the red army men so much that he asked me to paint extras for him to play with. So of course I did!

Since the army men have flat bases, I just hot glued them along the bottom of the board. Peyton helped me with the arranging. He has an eye for this sort of thing and he loves making patterns.

I was able to grab a couple of his red jets and attach them with push pins. I like the look of them, and Peyton is happy because he can take them off to play with if he wants.

I like that it's embellished, but in pure boy style.
And I think the boards look really neat next to each other.

I also bought some new pushpins to match the boards. Ella made hers into a happy face. With hair!

Peyton made his into bombs. And he added an extra jet and a race car patch.

I bought a bunch of extra fabric so that I could personalize their storage cubes a little more.

Because this is really 3 vertical sets of cubes that aren't attached to each other, it was easiest just to nail the fabric to the wall behind them. Easiest being a relative term. It was still a huge pain to line up the fabric with the cubes. There was a lot of pulling the cubes away, nailing fabric, moving the cubes back, quiet cursing, pulling the cubes away, removing nails, dropping nails, nailing fabric again, moving the cubes back, deep breathing and walking away. If the cubes were attached to each other it would have saved me a whole lot of under-my-breath-cursing.

But I REALLY love how it all turned out.

And Peyton and Ella are taking a little more pride in keeping their sides tidy, so it was all worth it.


Diapers and Divas said...

OMG these are so great!! I especially love the army men...just fantastic! Great job!

4kidsgrandma said...

Wow! Love it all! Great job, Darcy! I love that Peyton's new favorite color is also his grandma's favorite!

Aleyta said...

Wow!!!! Looks great!!!

Josh Richardson said...

AWESOMENESS!!! Those flowers on Ella's board are amazing! And, I love that Peyton's is definitely "fancied up" but in a totally "boy" way :) xo

Lisa @ Turning Tables said...

Pure awesomeness!!!!! :) It looks super duper cool!

Mandi said...

These look awesome!!! I could definitely use one of these for each of my boys! And your flowers are beautiful! Visiting from Too Cute Tuesday! I would love it if you stopped by my blog to say hi! :)

Mandi from

Natasha said...

OMG! i love these! gonna have to make some for my little ones

would love it if you could share this post on my new link party, Serenity Saturday, over at


April said...

Really love these! I did something similar but it was a felt board and I tried to trim it out in ribbon but my ribbon feel off. :( What sort of glue did you use?

Emily said...

I love how they are unique but coordinate! Thanks for linking up

Natasha said...

Thank you for linking this post up to Serenity Saturday

what a lovely idea

hope you can share with us again this week

Natasha xx

Anonymous said...

These are really cute! Just an idea- If you iron the fabric to interfacing first it won't stretch when you attach it.


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