Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Flowers: Crafting a Cork Board Garden

I was pleased as a pretty spring peony when Roxana of Illuminated Perfume invited me to take part in her newest blogging collaborative, May Flowers. Every day this month, a different contributor has been sharing their personal perspective on the theme and today is my day! In true lillyella form, I decided a springy floral craft project would be a great addition to the contributions so today I'll show you two ways to create pretty, functional cork board gardens.

What you'll need:
Roll of cork board
Scissors or an Xacto Knife
Templates (found at the end of this post)

I purchased my roll of cork from Staples for about $15 but you can look at any local office supply or craft store. You can also use squares of cork which you can find at many places, but you may be limited with the size of your pieces.

The templates I used for these projects can be found at the end of this post for download in JPG format.

Begin by printing the template and cutting out the pieces. Lay them face down (gray side down) onto your cork and trace around the edges with a pen or dark pencil. Cut out the cork pieces using sharp scissors and/or an Xacto knife.

Choose a piece of fabric you would like for the background and iron a piece large enough to fit your cork flower. The cork pieces you cut may be a little curly from being rolled. Ideally, unroll your cork and lay it flat for a couple days before using it, or you can iron your cork on a medium heat covered with a towel or piece of fabric.

Apply a clear craft glue to the back of each cork piece and use a brush or foam sponge to spread the glue evenly and then apply the pieces to the fabric. Be sure the fabric is smooth and taut as you go. (You can also use scrapbook paper in place of the fabric if you'd like!)

Once you have all the pieces glued in place, let it dry and then trim the fabric closely around the edges of the cork, following the shape of the piece in between pieces of cork. If you have some on hand or would like to, you can apply fray block or similar product to the edges of the fabric.

Next you will create a backer piece. Lay your cork flower face side down onto your roll of cork. Trace around the outside edge and then cut the piece about 1/8" smaller than your trace lines. Apply a good coat of glue to the backer piece and position the top piece centered in place.

Place it under a stack of phone books or heavy box to dry and flatten out. To hang it on the wall, you can use strong glue to attach small brackets, hooks or wire from a picture hanging kit or you can use double sided adhesive squares made for home decor use. You can also use a small headed nail and press the cork board into it. The piece is very light and as long as you don't tack anything very heavy to it, any of those options will hold just fine.

At the end of this post you will find the printable JPG templates for the smaller lily flower which measures 9.5" x 8" and the large rose which measures 14" x 10". The smaller flower will print on one sheet of letter size paper but the rose is broken up onto 3 pages. I also provided files for a larger lily flower which is not shown here, as well as a smaller rose that is shown in the project below. The files can be sized to your preferred dimensions when printed or on a copy machine as well.

Now if you like things a little more structured, here's another take on this project. You'll need a picture frame (the one I used is 8x10 size), some fabric and the cork.

Open up the frame and use the glass as a template to cut a piece of cork to the same size. You will not be using the glass in the finished piece.

Once the cork is cut, make sure it fits inside the frame. Next choose your fabric. You can decide on placement by using the empty frame as a guide if needed.

Apply a good, even coat of craft glue to your cork board rectangle and press the fabric smoothly over it.

Once dry, trim the fabric right to the edges of the cork and make sure it fits in your frame. If it's tight, you can trim the edges a bit. Close the frame up using the provided backer.

Print and cut out the small rose template (found at the end of this post) then trace the pieces onto the cork and cut them out as shown in the project above.

Glue them into place onto the front of the fabric and let dry completely before hanging. Voila!

Even though you have two layers of cork on both of these projects, it's still a bit thinner than your standard bulletin board, so you'll need to use shorter push pins and tacks or cut down some longer ones with wire cutters.

Now you can take this idea and run with it! Try fruit or vegetable shapes to hold recipes in your kitchen or use your kids' favorite shapes to create a piece for their room. As always, the possibilities are endless. I hope you have fun with this one!

Click on the name to download a JPG file

These templates are provided for your own personal use, please do not use them for commercial purposes or share them without my permission. Thank you!


Andromache said...

I am so in love with this!! This is perfect..its going on my to do list...I especially like the one in the frame :)

Illuminated Perfume said...

How pretty Nicole! Thank you for contributing such a fabulous project to May Flowers. This is the perfect way to have Spring in your home all year round.

queen_cupcake said...

One thing I like about these cork boards is that they look great even when you don't have anything pinned up on them. said...

Wow! These are really, really stunning. I *LOVE* the flower design! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

LBB said...

What a pretty & useful project! Nice tutorial! :)

Catherine Ivins said...

Brilliant Nicole- I love these so much!!

June Shin said...

These are awesome! Love it! I am going to have to make at least one, one of these weekends.

Cristy (Garden 22) said...

I love these, what a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing! :)

naughteebits said...

oh my gosh! LOVE it!

Pia said...

Fantastic idea! Thank you! Complimenti e un saluto, ciao pia

Ngan {eNVe Designs} said...

that is super cute! I did the framed version for my studio (actually 4 of them in complementary fabrics)! only, no cork flower over the surface of the fabric.. great idea!

philippine flowers said...

Wow! what can I say it was so cute and very adorable thank you so much for bringing up this.



This is very nice. Great job