Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Have A Design Wall!

Oh, happy day! The design wall is done. Reader alert: this is a long blog for purely self-indulgent reasons.
Step one: Go to Lowe's to buy the extruded foam board, 2@4'x8'. They are too long to fit in our vehicle, which we knew because we measured the space before we went to Lowe's. Solution: lay them on the floor and cut 2' off the end of each one right in the store. I should have gotten a picture of that process, but I just wasn't thinking.

Step two: Go to Hobby Lobby to buy the batting and white felt (72" wide). I had intended to buy 3 yards (12 extra inches for good measure. You quilters understand). They had 2-7/8 so I got it. DH picked up the spray adhesive. We looked at every possible gadget they had for hanging things. Discussed the advantages and disadvantages of EACH.

Step three: Take the foam board and batting and felt home.

Step four: Go back to Lowe's. Look at every possible gadget they have for hanging anything, of any weight or shape. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of EACH. Leave Lowe's without buying anything because DH has a brainstorm when we are looking at the hardware used to hang window blinds. He has saved some of this hardware which he never used when installing window blinds in three different homes we have lived in in the last 40-plus years.

Step five: Go home and listen to DH go through all of his tool boxes and containers of odd gadgets only to discover that he had discarded all of those unused window blind gadgets when he came to the conclusion (Captain Obvious) that he would probably never use them for anything. This is apparently the only time in his life that he has decided to throw something out.

Step six: Check online for the appropriate adhesive to join the two foam boards. Apparently, everyone is temporarily out of stock. DH decides that the caulk/adhesive that we used when we installed the window/screen units on our upper deck would be 'good enough.' Container of said adhesive has had several months to dry up. DH uses his drill to try to open the application tip. DH drills into his finger. It's OK, he didn't need major medical help. We just cleaned the wound and bandaged it. He kept moving forward on his task.
Pictured above: the glued boards drying. Notice that poor, sad, old sewing machine is used at the weight to provide pressure against the boards as they dry. You will notice along one side of the boards that there is a piece of leftover Cherry that was used in the construction of our home. That is one of about 10,000 methods DH considered to attach the design board to the wall. This picture was taken about 24 hours after step six.

Step seven: While wife is getting the house ready to be seen (builder wants to bring a family over to see our basement) DH goes to Ace Hardware to have a discussion with people who really know how to get things done.

Step eight: DH comes back with the best and easiest idea for attaching the design board to the wall. He has some clear plastic fasteners meant to be used with pictures or mirrors, 1/2" spacers, 2" screws.
The design wall was attached with three fasteners on the bottom, three on the top, and one on each side. Viola! I have a design board.
This is a 6' high by 8' wide design wall. I had decided early on that I didn't really need an 8'x8' board. would I really get out a ladder to attach quilt pieces all the way up to the ceiling? I didn't think so. Also, I didn't want to cover any outlets. I am thrilled with the design wall.

Actually, for a project to begin and end on the same weekend, is pretty much a record at our house. This was a piece of cake. I do really laugh at DH's obsessive compulsive tendencies, but he is a self-taught DIYer. He has saved us a lot of money over the years by figuring things out for himself and putting in the time to do the job. I am so lucky!


  1. Well... now I know how to attach my design wall to the wall! Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. Loved your comment about letting the confetti fall out on to the border... of course I was planning to do that... or will now thanks to your coaching ;-)

  2. Such an awesome job you did! Did you cover your wall with batting and felt? I used to have felt stapled to the wall, but we just repainted and I have my 2 boards purchased and was going to cover them with cotton batting because it is "stickier". Is there a reason you couldn't duck tape your two boards together instead of glue? And finally - screws with washers not a good idea for attaching to the wall?!!! Thanks for your help!

  3. what a great solution! LOVE your design wall!

  4. I LOVE the idea of using the mirror fasteners. Now what kind of spacers are you using with them? I am thrilled to find a way to attach my design boards to the wall. I have tried several things and have not been happy. This will make me happy.