Not only is this french memory board fabulous AND under $15, it was so darn easy to create that even I can do it. No, really. You don’t get it. I’m not a crafty person. Not a crafty blogger. Not prone to making ANYTHING, frankly.
Depending upon what it is, how long it will take, how much it will cost (vs. simply buying it pre-made), and what my level of irritation may be by the end of (said project).
I’ve crafted plenty. Clay and jewelry and crochet and needlepoint and…I do LIKE to create. But… (please see above).
So when I recently made over my office space, I wanted to do something with the blank wall above my computer. It’s been like that for nearly 3 years now and it was ugly in its plainness.
Enter French Memory Board. Well. Enter Pinterest, first. I knew what I wanted:
- Something(s) to reduce the clutter on my desk
- Something(s) to display my cards and notes and other cute little items that often get bestowed upon me by the fam for one reason or another (I might be special, just sayin’… 😉 )
- Something(s) that would be cute, not overwhelm the space, and that I could MAKE and be useful.
Enter the French Memory Board. Which the hubs finds a tad bit…hmmm…I forget the word he used…just not his style. Which is funny, because I got the idea from his “memory board” that hangs above his desk in his cool filmmaker’s studio.
I have loved this memory board on G’s wall for all our years together. It is an incredible timeline of the love he has for all the people/places/things in his life. G spends an incredible amount of time in this space and it’s a happy place, full of memories (blurred to protect the innocent). Though I’m not sure how “french” it is. I didn’t even know they were called FRENCH Memory Boards before I got started…
Of COURSE I’m going to go a little bit girly. And truthfully? G was a huge help in choosing the colors for mine and the kiddo’s (yes, I surprised her with one, too – go ME). Funny how that guy is so supportive. no. matter. what. Funny = Awesome. I know.
Let’s get on with this super easy tutorial on how to make your own fabulous french memory board (or 3…or 4. Yikes).
Fabulous French Memory Board for Under $15
First of all, my Michael’s haul – enough for 5 french memory boards plus another project that I’ll be sharing whenever I get around to printing the images needed for it.
What you need for one french memory board for under $15:
- One stretched canvas
- Fabric (of your choice) – G talked me into burlap here and I’m loving it. The color of the fabric goes with my desk and “credenza” quite well.
- Ribbon – again, we decided on this blue jeans ribbon, a fabulous touch for the burlap fabric.
- Buttons – I dragged the Hubs all over Michael’s, trying to choose what to bling my board(s) with, and finally chose these awesome oversized “diamonds” – to offset the burlap and blue jeans ribbon.
- Hot Glue and gun – to glue your buttons on. I burned my finger just once (yes, I’m pretty proud of that).
- Heavy Duty Staple Gun – before this project, that old thing wasn’t getting much use in the bottom of our tool box but I was thrilled to have it.
- Low Loft Batting
- Cute Clips for your Memories – I chose clothespins simply because as I walked by them, they called out to me. ‘Nuff said.
Total cost: $14.49
Total time: one episode of Blue Bloods (my current binge on Netflix)
(The above does not include the cost of scissors, glue gun, or staple gun, as I had those already on hand. You can also save further by using discount fabric or fabric scraps – if you are a crafter or just plain smarter and/or less lazy than I was. I one-stop shopped and still managed to get everything for ONE french memory board for under $15.)
Choose your stretched canvas – Michael’s was having a sale on stretched canvas, in the exact size I wanted, so I snatched a five pack – perfect, since I planned 3 french memory boards for me and one for Mags. We’ll figure out what to do with the other one, later.
Measure low loft batting and cut – to size. How darn grateful am I that there wasn’t much measuring to do here. Unroll, measure the length, cut. (We’ll trim in the next step.)
Trim low loft batting – to size, leaving it to measure evenly just inside the length and width of your stretched canvas.
Cut your fabric to size – moment of truth here. I simply cut this pre-measured 2ft x 2ft piece of fabric in half, which gave me more than enough for each of two french memory boards. But I had a lot of scraps (which I saved, goodness knows why – refer to the very tippy top of the post if needed 😉 ) and a fair amount of it could have been saved for other larger projects, had I been more crafty (see what I did there 😉 )
Best advice? Measure twice, cut once. And be smart, waste not. I’m not an all the time crafter and I readily admit that. Even so, I freakin’ rocked these french memory boards – yah, I’m pretty darn proud.
Lay your (soon to be) french memory board out – with batting underneath and even, fabric aligned. Begin stapling your fabric to the back of your board. Remember to keep fabric tight as you staple and don’t be afraid to use too many staples, either.
At your discretion – but I stapled top and bottom first for my french memory board.
And then I simply wrapped the stretched canvas – like a package. Again, using plenty of staples. Though, I will say that by the third french memory board, I was a little more LESS with the staples until I got to the ribbon, to ensure there was room for those staples, too. Use your best judgement, but you want to make sure your fabric is tight and stapled securely.
Being a little bit OCD (or a lot, it’s up for debate) I neatened up the back of my french memory board by trimming the excess fabric from it after stapling everything tightly into place.
Time for your ribbon – measure out 4 lengths accordingly and pin them to your fabric. Note that I have pinned them to the sides of the french memory board. You will save yourself a heapin’ helpin’ of a headache if you pin each section of ribbon. Then flip the entire board over, pull ribbon taut, and staple each section.
Cut 4 more lengths of ribbon – criss-cross these, making sure to weave under and over accordingly. There is no pattern to follow here, as long as you criss-cross and weave under and over, evenly (or there abouts – if you look closely at my 3 french memory boards, they don’t match perfectly. Now, THAT is crafty 😉 ). Pin these lengths, turn over your board, staple all ribbon tightly.
Very nearly finished (yes, it’s taken longer to edit the images and write the post then it did to make all three, but oh, what fun…) and here we have our fabric covered ribbon criss-crossed french memory board.
Figure out where you want your bling and get ready to glue.
Heat up your glue – and then begin gluing each button (or whatever you’ve chosen) to your fabulous french memory board. Be careful not to use too much but enough that they will stay firmly in place. If you’ve hot glued, you know, a little bit goes a long way.
Hey, LOOK. It’s the kid. Smilin’ these days because her room is so much neater! AND she has no idea that once she heads to the mall (that day) mom is making her a memory board, too (I’ll show you that in a sec.). But first – LOOK. My first french memory board. Isn’t it purty? I’m pretty proud of myself for this. Although, it was truly, deeply, SERIOUSLY so easy – that even I can do it. So I did.
X 3. See my cute little clips?
And there they are, a little less than perfect, but beautifully done, hanging on my wall.
And full of love – or getting there, anyway. I have more pictures to add and I’m not sure I’ll keep the adverts up there. But I love them. They fit so perfectly in this space and they do go so well with my office “decor”.
Who knew? A fabulous french memory board for under $15 turned into 3 french memory boards and now I have beautiful art hanging upon my wall above my desk.
Oops, almost forgot, make that FOUR french memory boards total:
This one that I whipped up for Mags (because now I’m an old pro, right?) was just a wee bit different. I squared the ribbon and doubled up on the buttons, for a crazy little change. I also gave her a fancy schmancy ribbon to hang her french memory board from the wall. No ribbon is needed but it’s super duper cute and she lovers it. Love-rs it. I said. So do I, because now all the stuff that was just randomly stickied to her wall is now onto the board. Though I don’t especially like where it’s hanging, it’ll do until we figure out her total room redo, later on in the year. After Mags Room Challenge 2015, she just may be ready now…
Whew. I got crafty. And it was easy. And fun. Functional. AND fabulous. For those of you contemplating a french memory board but just aren’t sure if you can do it, trust me, you probably can. I did. So go on, get creative with it. YAY!
All images fabulously edited using PicMonkey: photo editing made of win!