memory keeper

I have a brain that stores a lot of ideas—most of them never make it past my skull. 

But a long and tiresome search for a memory board to hang in my sentimental tween's room (it runs in the family), was coming up empty. She has an eye for design that surpasses my own. And even though she's tenderhearted, she is not dazzled by the princess-themed stuff that's out there. In fact, it makes her gag (smart kid, too). 

So I started thinking about making my own. With fabric and staple guns. 

And the idea bounced around in my skull for several months, until finally her return from a month away pushed me to make it happen. She has piles of photos and mementos that she wants to display. And the piles they sat in were making both of us crazy.

Before I share this project, you should know: I AM NOT CRAFTY

Usually when I throw around the words project and homemade, JB runs and hides. I was on my own for this one. 

First stop, the local hardware store for a piece of wood. I asked for thin wood, not scratchy wood, about this wide by this wide (picture wildly waving arms). Apparently, I made some kind of sense. After being led to a frightening wood cutting machine at the back of the store, I came out with exactly what I needed. 

I also found the right super staples for our long-buried staple gun (last used for our hand-me-down dining room chairs pre-kids).


Then on to the fabric store, which happened to be holding some kind of blow out sale. It seems there are a lot of crafty people in my town. I had to get my elbows out and do some serious manoeuvring to get close to the good stuff.  

I had a hard time deciding. I wanted the board to be a surprise, so I had to guess what she might like


At home, I pulled everything out and got started right away. If I had left it for more than 10 minutes, I'd be distracted by one million other things, and the supplies would have ended up in a closet beside my scrapbooking bin (waaaaaah! unfinished baby albums!).

I covered the plywood with a couple layers of cotton batting (I think that's what it's called) and left just enough extra to wrap around the back of the board.

I did the same when cutting the piece of fabric to cover both the board and the batting.

After flipping it all over, I got to work with the stapler. Actually, that's a lie. My dad happened to stop by at that moment, and immediately threw me aside and took over the staple gun. He knows me well.

I held the fabric in place; it's important to pull it very tightly and works better with two people (JB was still keeping his distance). 

And then we unveiled it for my daughter, who decided she loved the fabric so much, she'd like me to sew a throw cushion cover for her bed. Ummmmmm. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, kid.

Here's the finished product. I've begged JB to fashion some kind of hanging mechanism (I know my limits). For now, it's leaning on top of her bookshelf. 

As you can see, she wasted no time covering it with memories. 

That's my girl.






Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works through Elan.Works and is a designer and content editor at GenderAvenger. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines and at TEDxRegina and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.