You know those awkward moments like when your new neighbors walk in the door for dinner as you pull out charred brownies from the oven and realize you didn’t give yourself enough time to bake the bread. You turn on the fan to try to suck the smoke out of the kitchen and break a sweat realizing that through the smoke you can barely see the bacon which is on the verge of burning and is splattering hot oil all over the place. You try to keep up small talk but really need to stop chatting and focus on what you are doing to prevent another disaster. You zone out for a moment staring at the fine print of the recipe you just started and leave your guest staring at a blank kitchen wall.
While I don’t have any advice to for how to rescue dinner (and in fact just relived essentially this scenario last night). I can offer a quick solution that will keep your guest occupied while you get yourself together. Plus it will give you an excuse to display some of those adorable snap shots of your loved ones that otherwise end up stuffed in albums or drawers coming out every few years to make collages for someone’s wedding or baby shower.
You will need:
An old cork board. I see them regularly at thrift stores for $4
Burlap or other fabric. To give yourself plenty of extra room you want it to be about 10 inches longer in length and width than your board.
Staples and stapler
Twine, string or ribbon.
Clips. We went with mini clothes pins which I bought at the craft store.
Thumb tacks. These are helpful when getting the twine in position, while you could just use the stapler here, a few tacks make it easier to re-adjust the position of your strings if you aren’t happy with them.
Wire and screws. This is to hang your board when it is finished. There are a variety of options and most stores like Target, Walmart or any hardware store will sell little kits with different screws and brackets to hang frames. They only cost a few dollars and are helpful to have around.
Iron. Optional, you may want to iron your fabric piece if it is wrinkled. This will probably take you out of the 10 minute window but is worth it.
Snapshots or art to display.
Let’s do it:
1. Iron your fabric if needed.
2. Lay fabric over your cork board making sure equal amounts hang over each side. Flip it over to its back then beginning with one side staple it in place. Then go across to the opposite side pulling it tight as you staple it. Do the same with the other two sides, keep the tension on the fabric even as you staple it in place, fold the fabric the same on each side to create smooth corners. Now your board is covered and ready to use.
3. Get your string ready. If you have plenty of string it is helpful to wrap your string around your board and make a loop knotting it in the back. Working with a loop rather than a strand makes it a little easier to adjust the positioning of your strings if you are working alone.
If you are using ribbon or something that you don’t have extra of it is fine too. In that case cut a length of ribbon about 10 inches longer than the length of your board, lay it across your board and position it at the height you want. Use a thumb tack to hold it in place in the back. Remember whatever you hang will weigh your string down so if you want it droopy keep your strings loose. If you want the strings to stay straigh you will have to pull them tighter. Either way secure your string on the back with thumb tacks. Once you are sure you are happy with the positioning you can staple the string in place.
4. Attach a wire to hang your board. Twist a small screw into either side of the back of the frame about 1/4th of the way down and run a wire across it. Once this is secure you can hang your board.
5. Finally the fun part. Find your favorite snap shots, cards, quotes or drawings and get them on display.