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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tutorial: $2 Quilted Name Board


This is a super cute way to decorate a wall, and it's so affordable -- like under $2 affordable! The first time I did this, I just used the side of a cardboard box, and it ended up warping because of the Mod Podge. So this time I used foam core (I got this 20"x30" board for about $1.50). Then you need at least 5 sheets of 12"x12" scrapbooking paper. I used 9 so that I could get more patterns on here (and it made enough squares to cover two of these, since I have two daughters). When I do projects like this, I love to use paper from a paper stack because the colors are already perfectly coordinated. These sheets came from a giant 360-sheet stack, which I got for $10 during a sale at JoAnn's. So each sheet cost a little less than 3 cents. 9 sheets comes to 25 cents, and this is enough to cover two boards. Plus, I made my own Mod Podge: combine 1 part white glue and 1 part water in a clean glass jar with a lid; shake until it is evenly combined, and voila! It cost less than a dollar and I had so much leftover.

Cut each patterned sheet into two 6"x6" squares, three 4"x4" squares, and six 2"x2" squares. To cover the 20"x30" board, you need nine 6" squares, thirteen 4" squares, and seventeen 2" squares. I like to distress the edges of each square with an ink pad, because I love the added depth and texture it gives.
I start in the top corner and lay out the squares, making sure not to have two squares of the same pattern touching. Then I take a picture so I can remember where to put them with the Mod Podge.
Starting in the top left corner, I applied a thin layer of homemade Mod Podge to the board -- enough for one square. Then I apply the paper. Smooth across, then down, always working away from the starting corner. This will help avoid wrinkles and air bubbles. I slowly work my way down and across, applying Mod Podge for just a couple squares at a time. It takes a while, but try to be precise. I did end up with a fairly large gap in the top right. If you are like me and cut the squares slightly off, you may need to trim the edges around the board. I also re-distressed the paper along the edges of the board to make it look more finished.
Next, I cut out letters for my daughter's name. I used two sheets (well, one whole sheet and half of two other sheets). One of my weird, useful, but non-marketable talents is being able to write letters backwards. If this is not your forte, you can write the letter on a plain piece of paper, or even print out a font that you like. Cut out the letter, turn it backwards, and trace it on to the white side of the scrapbooking paper. When you cut it out, you will have perfect letters showing the pattern. I also distressed the edges of the letters (I used red for the squares, and white on the letters, to give it more contrast).
Then I wrote out her middle name in cursive (this took two sheets). You can do the same method as before, just using script letters, or print if you want. I inked the edges (in red). To attach the letters, I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the under side of the letters, one at a time, and applied it to the board, starting on one side and working to the other to avoid wrinkles. For the cursive, I started applied Mod Podge one letter at a time, being careful not to crease the paper when lifting the remaining letters.
Once everything is dry, use Command Velcro Strips for a no-damage way to hang this from the wall!

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