DIY Photoboard | The Geneva Convention: DIY Photoboard

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DIY Photoboard

When we celebrated my grandfather's 80th birthday last month, I mentioned these photo boards that we love so very much. They aren't technically ours -- years ago, one of our family friends made them for her parents 50th anniversary party. She's happy to loan them out to people, and my family personally has used them for at least four different celebrations over the years.

DIY Photo boards

Photo boards like these are not so difficult to DIY. I didn't make the ones at my grandfather's party, but I have a smaller one in my room that I retooled a little while ago when we redecorated. The original came from Hobby Lobby, but after a few years I didn't like the way the busy print distracted from the pictures, so I decided to change things up a little bit.

You don't need to start with an old photo board for this DIY to work for you, though! An old bulletin board or a spare square of plywood would work just as well. Here's what to do:

1 base (old photo board, bulletin board, etc.)
1 large piece of neutral fabric, big enough to cover your board with room to spare
Staple gun + staples
Several yards of ribbon (I recommend 1cm width, sheer, in whatever color you choose!)
Tacks (optional, but recommended)
Decorative buttons or rhinestones (plus hot glue if they aren't self-adhesive)

Start with a smooth surface. If you're working with an old photo board, that means removing the ribbons and tacks that secure them. With a bulletin board, you might want to add some filler in the form of padding or filling so the board itself is flat.

DIY Photo boards

Lay out your fabric on a flat surface and turn your board upside down on top of it. Cut the fabric around the board with a good 2-3 inches to spare so you can secure it in the back.

DIY Photo boards
Beginning in the middle of the sides, use the staple gun to secure the fabric around the frame of the board. Secure opposite sides first, then corners.

DIY Photo boards
Now it's time to add ribbon! Since my board was relatively small, I chose to do only a few crosses of the ribbon. Don't do too many, or you'll have difficulty fitting pictures into the spaces allotted! I chose 8 anchor points for my ribbons: one in each corner, and one at the middle point of each side. If you have a bigger board, you can divide each side into thirds or fourths; just make sure to have the same number of anchor points on each side. Use the pencil to mark these places on the back of the frame, where you'll secure the ribbon.

DIY Photo boards

This time, start with the corners. Cut a length of ribbon to cut diagonally from one corner to the other, and staple it into place on the frame. Do this for the other diagonal as well. Next, cut a shorter length of ribbon to span the other diagonals -- from half-way point to half-way point. Keep in mind that they should run parallel to the ribbons you already stapled in for a perfect diamond pattern.

DIY Photo boards

If you're looking for a very plain board, leaving it the way it is at this stage is totally fine, but I like to dress mine up a little bit more (and keep the ribbons where they belong, too!). You can use decorative or plain tacks, or even your staple gun again, to secure the ribbons at each point where they intersect. I put self-adhesive rhinestones that matched my ribbon on top to hide the staples, but next time, I think I'll try using tacks, since they're a little easier to stick things onto.

DIY Photo boards

Now, fill with pictures and enjoy!

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