Walls with imagination

Wipe away those nothing-to-do blues. Display boards and drawing areas give kids’ rooms big style while encouraging little ones to be creative. But don’t stop there-even adult spaces will benefit from these great-looking, hardworking hangings.

To miter he corners, fold the felt corner point in toward the board. Staple it in place along the edges of the board, then trim away the point (top). Fold down the "ears" thaat remain and staple them in place to finish the miter (middle). Hot-glue buttons and bows to the corners of each felt board to cover the anchors that attach the board to the wall (bottom).

Heartfelt Play

Cheery felt-covered boards hung at toddler-height (above) sport oversized letters, numbers, and shapes. The fun felt cutouts beg little ones to put together a word or two. There’s nothing magical here. Friction holds the shapes to the board, just like it did in kindergarten class.

Begin with three 24×36-inch pieces of homasote board (available at home improvement stores). Then cut three 30×42-inch pieces of felt, using different colors for variety.

Center the board on the felt. Wrap the felt to the back and staple at the center of each side. Make sure the felt is even and tight. Continue stapling, working to within 6 inches of the corners. Miter the corners as instructed in the caption (left). Fasten the boards to the wall with wall anchors. Cut letters, numbers, and shapes from contrasting felt using stencils or computergenerated figures for patterns.

Draw on Creativity

It’s a childhood dream come truedraw on the walls with mom’s permission. Create this easy-clean border, or make a wall-size canvas for kids who do art in a big way. The key is to use a paint that is guaranteed washable with just a soft cloth and mild household cleaner.

To assemble a ledge (right), use 3/4-inch-wide cove molding, 3-inch-wide fluted molding, and 2-inchwide crown molding. Nail the cove to the wall along the border’s bottom edge. Nail the fluted molding to the cove molding. To install the crown, put wood glue along its upper edge. Hold piece in place and nail through pre-drilled pilot holes in the crown so nails go through the cove molding and into the wall.

Using a hard-lead pencil, level, and yardstick, mark a 12-inch-wide border at a comfortable height for your child. Tape off the border with painter’s tape. Paint the border with two or more coats of the washable paint following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to let the paint cure at least two days before drawing on it or the markings will not erase. Remove the tape.

Cut strips of molding to fit the wall width, then paint the molding. The top of the painted border is edged with 3/4-inch-wide triple-bead molding. Nail in place. The bottom of the border is edged with a ledge made from cove, crown, and fluted moldings. Assemble the ledge as instructed in the caption (below). Fill nail holes, and touch up the paint.

Kids’ original artworks made with water-based markers can be cleaned with baby wipes.

Put a Cork on It

Ringing a room with corkboards is a perfect way to show off a student’s favorite things. Making this colorful border (above) is easy when you use pre-routed picture-frame molding, 12-inch-square corkboards, and a little paint (all available at home improvement stores). Buy the thickest corkboards you can; our cork measures 3/8 inch thick, so pushpins hold securely in place.

Cut strips of 1 2-inch-wide picture-frame molding to fit the wall width. Paint the molding and corkboards with two or more coats of latex paint. Paint both sides of the cork to prevent warping.

Using a hard-lead pencil, yardstick, and level, mark the bottom of the border at a comfortable height for your child (ours starts at 30 inches high). Nail the bottom molding to the wall along this line so the routed edge faces up to hold the corkboards. Set the cork in place on the molding. Nail the top molding in place with the routed edge facing down. If necessary, use additional nails or double-face tape to hold the cork in place while installing the top molding. Fill the nail holes with wood filler, and touch up the paint.

All-Points Bulletin

Let a series of framed bulletin boards play host to a teen’s treasures. Cork sheeting from a home improvement center or office supply store lets these boards reach giant proportions without subjecting the walls underneath to holes and mars.

Picture-frame molding that is pre-routed to hold glass can also hold corkboards. You simply set the cork in the lip of the molding pieces instead of adhering it to the walls, so your surfaces are saved from major damage.

Cork sheeting comes on a roll in a 24-inch standard width. Cut sheeting to desired length, then cut foam-core board to match. (Our sheeting measures 24×40 inches.) Use the thickest cork you can buy so that pushpins go all the way in; our cork is Sz inch thick. Bond cork sheeting to foam-core boards (available at crafts and art stores) using nonflammable contact cement (available at home improvement stores). Paint the front side of the cork sheeting with two coats of latex paint.

To make the frames, cut prerouted, 2-inch-wide picture-frame molding to fit around the cork, mitering the corners. Secure the mitered corners with wood glue, then clamp with corner clamps. Nail with brads from the outside (two per corner). Paint the frames. Assemble the bulletin board as instructed in the caption (below). Oh

The precut lip of pie frame molding holds cork sheeting and foam-core board in p-ace lt. Lay the bonded cork and f,-come board inside the from.. Cut cardboard The precut lip of picture frame molding holds cork sheeting and foam-core board in place (left). Lay the bonded cork and foam-core board inside the frame. Cut cardboard slightly larger than the foam-core size. Lay it over the foam-core and staple to the back of the frame.

Mount two sawtooth picture hangers on the frame. Use a level to hang frames evenly.

As an alternative, use ready-made frames. Just cut cork and foam-core to fit. Make sure the cork and foam-core layers are thick enough to lay flush with the back of the frame.

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