I haven’t been overly motivated to decorate our apartment. It’s a tiny one bedroom apartment, and our stuff doesn’t really fit so it’s really cluttered and cramped. But recently I’ve decided that if we’re going to live here for almost two years, our apartment can at least look its best.
In college I had a really small room, and I came up with a way for organizing and displaying my jewelry that was cheap and helped decorate my room. I don’t know about you, but I really like how jewelry looks. So why not hang it on the walls so that you can see it and make it easier to access?
My college room had all white walls, so I bought some cheap acrylic paints to match the rest of my room and stamped a different design in a different color on four cork board squares. I bought some pins with fake pearls on the end in the sewing section at Michaels, hung up all my jewelry, and called it a day. Easy!
I decided that I wanted to recreate this for our new apartment. It’s just too cheap and functional to pass up! Our bedroom is dark blue. Normally, I would consider painting it but first of all, it’s DARK. I’m scared of how many coats it would take. Second of all, the trim in our room is very almond. Whatever paint color I would pick it is not going to go great with it, and there is no way I’m painting trim in a rental apartment. So blue it is.
This means that I wanted all the patterns on the cork boards to be white. I was able to reuse the cork boards from my college room and I bought an extra set to make one for my aunt, who liked mine so much that she wanted me to make her one too.
This picture of the supplies I used is a little deceptive. I wound up using a different brush, I only used the craft acrylic paint on the right, and I didn’t use the stamp set on the far left. I only used two of the stamps on the right, and I went to Wal-Mart and picked up a cute set of stencils that worked just fine. You can really use any stamp or stencil you want. You could probably even use tape to make stripes or a chevron pattern.
Do you ever go to repeat a project, remembering it to be a piece of cake, and then because you think it’s going to be easy, it’s not? That totally happened to me. The final product is far from perfect. I messed up a few of the patterns and whatnot, but for the final product I think the project is fairly easy.
By far the hardest part for me is figuring out the spacing of the stamp or stencil you are using. You just kinda have to figure out how many fit across the square, and remember that you can always go off the square to make it look continuous. Below are some photos of the process and a few lessons I learned along the way.
Lesson #1: make sure you have a foam brush. A paint brush with bristles doesn’t do the trick for this project. I managed to find one in a bin somewhere after I realized this.
Lesson #2: Sometimes the cheap paint is the way to go. You’ll see in the supply photo that I have (cheap) art acrylic paint and craft acrylic paint. Both are old (the craft I’ve had since I did this project two years ago) and I thought the artist stuff would be better. It wasn’t. It was too thick and got in all the cracks of the stamps instead of staying on the surface.
Lesson #3: Look for cork boards with as big of particles as possible. My original set had large particles than the second set I bought, and it took the paint much better.
Lesson #4: Stencils create much more contrast than stamps because you are painting directly onto the cork. This is okay if you do all one or the other, or if you alternate them, like I did in the final photos. I like the variety in alternating them, but it’s just something to be aware of.
See? It’s very blue. You can definitely fit more jewelry on there, I was just going for the uncluttered look.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Let me know if you try this at home, I would love to check it out!