Monday, February 22, 2010

Dollar Store Design Wall

Here's my idea for a quick, simple, inexpensive, and adaptable design wall that's surprisingly sturdy and lightweight. It's made from foam core sheets, poster boards, and flannel--no more laying out quilts on the guest room bed for me!

Standard foam core sheets are 20" x 30". For my wall shown above, I arranged five sheets of foam core to make a design wall that's 50" x 60" and fits my available space--it's simple to make yours fit your own space and needs. Care and I made a smaller version (30" x 40") to fit above her cutting area.

For the smaller version, you will need:

--two sheets of foam core board (available at the dollar store)
--two poster boards (2/$1.00 at the dollar store)
--1 yard white flannel ($2.50 with a coupon)
--aerosol adhesive spray (on hand)
--duct tape (on hand)

l. Connect foam core: spread out plenty of newspaper and arrange the sheets of foam core side by side, long edges together. (Trust me--this a project best done outside! My laundry room
rug is now lightly adhered to the floor.)

On another area of the newspaper, spray one side of a poster board rather generously with spray adhesive. Working quickly, place the sticky side over the foam core where it joins. Carefully press and smooth it down, and turn the pieces over.

Repeat with second poster board, covering the join on the other side--it should be quite sturdy. Now, we can go back indoors!

2. Flannel cover: press out any folds in your flannel, and spread it out wrong side up.

Center the foam core piece on the flannel. (Another 'trust me'--be sure any labels or
stickers are on the BACK of the foam core!) Pull one edge of the flannel over the back and tape it securely with duct tape. (My duct tape is blue, because that's what was on hand.)

Pull the edge of flannel on the opposite side to the back, stretching it a little, and duct tape it down.

Tape the remaining sides to the back one at a time, pulling the fabric taut. You may want to trim out the fabric just a bit at the corners to reduce bulk--fold them as if making a bed.

Done! This small version cost a total of $5.50.

I'm embarrassed to say I have put my design wall up with a couple of nails--I plan to do something involving molly bolts and washers in the future, though. Being so lightweight, it's easily hung up. Care leans hers up against the wall above her cutting area, or it could even be stored behind a door when not in use. The foam-core-and-poster-board arrangement also works well for a bulletin board.

Care also made another smaller board with a single sheet of foam core and a scrap of flannel she had on hand-- it's easily portable for moving around fabric projects with lots of small parts, and it's a fun place for the kids to play with their felt shapes!


  1. Sounds like the most inexpensive idea I've heard of and so adaptable to different spaces. Thanks!

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  3. I think 1 or 1-1/2 inch foam insulation would work well also. One would be able to use pins when attaching blocks and hang other light sewing notions on with pins or tacks. The flannel would attach the same way.

  4. I attached cardboard to a complete wall. covered with fabric, and use hat pins to hold my pieces in place. works great. got the cardboard from an appliance that was delivered. easy cheap! works great!!


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