Monday, January 16, 2012

Nailhead Trim Corkboard [Ballard-Inspired]

I have a wall in my office that, along with the rest of this side of the room, needs a little pick-me-up.

Um, yeah.
See what I mean?
When we first moved in, it looked like this:

Huuuuge change, right?  (yeah, that's sarcasm).  These days, there's a different chair at the desk, I took those frames off the wall... and there's more mess.  That about sums it up.

The rest of the room is looking great, with our updated storage and gallery wall.  Now this wall needs some H-E-L-P.
In addition to taking out the desktop computer we no longer use and making some sense of all the clutter, I'm going to turn this bit of office into more usable craft space.  After all, I'm the only one who uses the room so Mr. V. doesn't mind me taking it over. 
Today I'm starting with one of the simplest of organizational tools - Adding a [cute] corkboard to the wall.
You know my obsession lately with nailhead trim, so of course this guy from Ballard caught my eye months and months ago.  He's been waiting patiently for me to copy him, I KNOW IT. :)
source: Ballard Designs

I love the look, and for fun, I knew I could create my own version for $0, using things I already had on hand.  Bonus!

I started with this open backed frame that was one of two I picked up at a flea market for a buck.  They've been sitting around, calling out for the right project.  Well nearly a year later, I found one. :)

They're both imperfect, with some chipped paint and some battle scars, but nothing I couldn't fix.
In fact, I found the imperfections downright charming... until I added a coat of primer and paint.

I chose my favorite creamy custom blend ivory from SW (the same paint I have been using for my trim - I've got loads of it lying around and I love it, so that's how I came to my color decision.  Scientific, huh? :) ).
But despite a good sanding, the "imperfections" in the frame were highlighted with the lighter paint.
Knots in the wood...

Joints that weren't flush...

Luckily the fix was pretty easy - I simply filled the joints and scraped over the knots with my favorite wood filler, let it dry, then sanded them smooth.  Another coat of paint and they were invisible.

For the board itself, I used a leftover piece of foam board for the backing.  I didn't have any scrap wood to fit into the back of the frame, and let's face it... I was trying to knock this out in an evening - The Redhead was asleep and even if I did have wood on hand, I didn't want to fire up the saw and risk waking her up.  So, foam board it was.  And it worked great.
I had a roll of leftover cork hiding out in the basement, so I cut it to size, then just used spray adhesive to stick it to the board. 

From there, you can pretty much see what I did next -
I used leftover linen from my IKEA Storage Box Makeover to cover the cork, then I fit the whole thing into the frame and secured the backing.  I glued the piece in for some extra "oompf".  Once it was dry, I took some inspiration once again from Ballard and used some leftover upholstery tacks from that same project for trim to add some antiqued brassy bling and voila!

This guy will be going up on my office wall, but I still have to work out a few details of what will be joining him up there before I hang it up.

Until then...


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  1. Love it and the nailhead trim!! Thrifty Ballard Design!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Ohhhh love! Nothing better than a fab knockoff :)

  3. This project has been on my to do list for a year now. I've loved it from the first time I saw it in Ballard's catalog. You did an awesome job with your version. Looks even better than the original.

  4. Love them. Never thought of using foam core.. way easier than wood!

  5. Ooooo, super sophisticated looking. You did a great job!

  6. I love it!! The upholstery tacks really do something for it! I would love it if you would share this at my linky party going on right now :)

    Have great rest of the week!!

  7. What an elegant and simply lovely solution! I tried to stick as many positive adjectives in there as I could. :) Love it!

  8. Emily! I love your nailhead corkboard! sooo chic and elegant! You call him "guy", but she looks like a lady to me!

  9. Love the nail trim, simple but elegant.

    I'd love to invite you to share this on my Thingamajig Thursday party going on now...


  10. GORGEOUS! OK, this makes me want to make over my already made-over corkboard, HA! I just adore how yours is framed & looks so much more refined/finished. Can't stop thinking about it.

    (Aww, thx so very much for your flattering comment on my bday post. You rock my world.)

  11. This is really pretty...too pretty to even be compared to the "guy" version. ;^)

    I wish I would have thought of using the foam board underneath the cork sheet on the one I made (which is a much more primitive style).

  12. Don't ya just love wood filler? I really like the board and the great look. I'm your newest follower too. Stop by anytime and visit, Lori

  13. Hi Emily, I'm popping over from Vintage Revivals where you were listed as someone's favorite blog. I can see why. I also attempted a knock-off PB bulletin board. SO GLAD you didn't have the board to put on the backs because I did it that way & it was a FAIL. The tacks don't "go in" far enough - they hit the wood back too soon! Anywho, I just love your version.

    Warmly, Michelle