A Fun Display Wall for Kids
One storage solution for a child's room is a colorful display wall.
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By Matt Fox
Home & Garden Television
If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times -- kids' rooms are my favorite to decorate.
Because you can let yourself go and create a world of fun and imagination. Shari Hiller, my long time playground pal, agrees. She has always told me that the best place for color is in a kid's room.
Sometimes the biggest challenge for a child's room is storage -- especially for all the papers they bring home from school, or the art projects mom and dad help them create.
Here is a solution -- a display wall. It is colorful, it can store a thousand of you child's creations, and it's fun to boot! You will have a blast tacking up your little one's art projects and special notes.
Just a little note on the main material you will use -- it is called homosote, and it can be found at most lumberyards or building supply stores. You might have to ask around, but it's out there, and it is easy to work with.
utility knife or circular saw
fabric (felt works best)
staple gun and staples
Step 1: The Design.
As with any project, you must start with a design. Are you planning to create an entire wall? Just a simple 2' x 3' memo board? Or are you going to get real creative and cut your homosote panels into buildings, large quilt block designs, or cars and trucks?
I suggest that you don't try too intricate a pattern, because it gets very difficult to upholster (especially if you're like me and have remedial scissors skills) Geometric shapes work best!
Step 2: Awww...Cut It Out!
Draw your design onto the homosote using a felt tip marker, and cut out all of your shapes. If you're doing only a few cuts, a sharp utility knife and a straight edge will work fine. If you are making a lot of straight cuts, a circular saw is your best bet. Remember to use ear protection, safety glasses and a dust mask for this project. Homosote can be messy to cut, so I suggest you make most of your hard cuts outside or in the garage. The dust it kicks up is like a gray snowfall.
Step 3: That's A Wrap!
For the fabric selection, Shari suggests that you use heavy felt. Felt comes in a variety of colors, and is a sturdy material for a tack board.
To upholster the pieces, place the homosote front face down onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut around the shape leaving enough fabric to fold up and over the homosote. Wrap the fabric tightly, stapling as you go.
Start in the middle of opposite sides and zigzag back and forth across the fabric moving towards the ends, smoothing as you go, for the best results.
Step 4: Hanging Your Display Wall
Select a mounting method depending on how many pieces are in your design. If you have many small pieces, first try to put some of the pieces together with straps of homosote and short screws. You may want to use metal straps if you want your design to be tight to the wall.
Then mount the larger pieces you've created with a few finish nails around the edges. You can sometimes pull the fabric up and over the nail if it's a heavy nap fabric like felt or wool by picking at it with a straight pin.
Optional mounting: To avoid a multitude of nail holes to repair when you decide to remove the tack surface, mount furring strips across the area to be covered. Do this by mounting furring strips with drywall screws into the studs. Note the location of the furring strips, and mount your homosote accordingly.
One last caution about homosote walls... Make sure the installation area is dry. Homosote will absorb water, start to warp, and could foster the growth of mold or mildew.
(Matt Fox writes this column with Shari Hiller. They also co-host the Home & Garden Television show Room By Room.)
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