Tutorial: improvisational design wall

posted in: Studio/Organizing, Tutorials | 3

I’ve always wanted a design wall, but we live in a fairly small house. I’m extremely blessed and thankful that I have a dedicated space for my stuido area, and I like that it is a part of the family room so I’m not isolated. But, I have too many things that I have to fit in my studio and there is no possible way to have a completely empty wall for a design wall. I told you earlier about my portable design wall, but there isn’t even room for that in my studio.

Over the last couple weeks, an idea started forming. And since we needed to do some rearranging to make room for George, I decided to give it a try. Let me backtrack a bit.

Five cupboardsBefore I committed to George, I needed to know that I would somehow be able to find room for him. I played around with various floor plans, trying out lots of ideas, and came up with a good solution. I had five 24″ storage cupboards along my back wall. Most of the items in those cupboards are in the “seldom used” category, so they technically didn’t need to be in my studio area. So, we moved them to the adjacent garage. (DD#1 says I’m colonizing!) This freed up floor space for George. I refaced my portable design wall (after years of being dragged all over the place, it was beginning to break anyway) with Warm & White batting, and put it against the wall behind George’s future home. Then came the fun part!

I kept looking at those three remaining cupboards and all that unused vertical expanse – their doors. Could it be a potential design wall?

Cupboard doors before

Design Wall for Cupboard Doors Tutorial

My idea came together when I learned about foam board. I’m not talking about foam core board, which has two layers of heavy paper on each side of a thin sheet of foam. What I got was all foam, but only 3/8″ thick. This allows pins to go in effortlessly.

The first thing I did was remove the door handles. My cupboard doors are 11-3/4″ wide by 65″ long. I cut the foam board to 11-1/2″ wide and taped several pieces together so it would be 65″ long. Then I laid the foam board on Warm & White batting and cut the batting about 1/2″ to 1″ larger. Using 1-1/2″ long T-pins, I wrapped the batting around the edge of the board and pinned it in place on all four sides. I made sure the pin went straight into the side of the foam board so it didn’t poke out the front or back. Then I cut off the excess batting so it does not wrap around to the back.

My cupboard doors are 3/4″ thick. I used two large binder clips (Acco clip size 2″, capacity 1-1/16″) to attach the batting-covered foam board to the cupboard doors at the top and bottom. Double sided tape could also be used, if desired.

Here’s my new design wall.

Cupboard board design wall

I’ve already started using it, but that big reveal will have to come later.

3 Responses

  1. Judy

    My design wall is made of that same foam board…but we left it in one large piece, covered it with batting and hung it on the wall with 4 wooden quilt hangers…two on top and two on the bottom. It lives behind my HQ Sixteen quilting machine. Guess when quilters rearrange to make room for a big machine…good things happen.