DIY: Corkboard

Hello everyone, my sister, Cher, is a DIY-er who loves to try new things. Last time she was here, you saw this earring holder she made. This time she put together a really cool corkboard using a frame and wine corks and I wanted to share it with all of you! So, here it is! (And just in time for Sherry‘s Pinterest Challenge!)

Ung Drill. You heard me right. I have an Ung Drill. It may sound like I’m sporting a large tumor on my face or a wacky haircut, but no. Ung Drill is that ubiquitous snazzy frame from IKEA. You know the one…

I got one… and it sat around for MONTHS. I kept thinking to myself “What the heck am I gonna do with this?” Half a year of dreaming and scheming went by before I decided on framing a giant-sized photo from my brother’s Jamaican wedding….

Which didn’t work at all because the frame was OVAL. No matter which photo, none of them “fit” without some serious (and detrimental) Photoshopping, which totally killed the look I was going for. So then I looked on Pinterest for Pinspiration and found this:

And knew what I had to do. And here’s how I did it. Including massive mistakes and a little breakage.

Step 1: Gather corks. You can either drink 140 bottles of wine (hey, alkie, let’s be BFFs, kay?) and save the corks, or you can wait for your sister to purchase $25 worth of corks online, never use them, give up on a cork project, and you’ll inherit them.

Corks cost: Free! (Thanks to my eBay-loving sis)

Step 2: Lay out your pattern. This was the second-hardest step (see below for the hardest step) because the options are limitless and also because I’m an idiot who picked an oval frame. I knew there would either be some cutting of corks involved or areas where the cork didn’t cover. I settled on a chevron/herringbone/what-the-eff-this-is-below pattern. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with the edges (you can see that the corks overlap the frame below.) but in my usual thorough and OCD-level of planning, I just rushed ahead and assumed I would figure it out as I went or screw up in an incredible manner. Luckily, I managed to do both.

Cost of frame: Free! (b-day gift from sister.)

Step 3. Prepare the frame for painting. I needed to remove the glass from the frame so I could paint without getting the glass all painty. My idea was to attach the corks directly to the glass, in order to have something really sturdy holding them up. The glass was wedged in really tight, so I was really careful to ease it out so I didn’t scratch it…

..or worse. Sh<bleep>t Yeah, that’s the glass, evenly broken in two.

NEW Step 3. Fu¢k Fu¢k Sh<bleep>t. Carefully dispose of broken glass shards.

Step 4. Figure out how to create a sturdy back for the corks now that you’ve broken the glass. Luckily, I’d been on a cleaning spree at work and we had piles (PILES!) of used foam core waiting to be tossed. One of the pieces was used on one side, but in good condition, so I used the cardboard that came with the frame to trace the shape of the fame and cut it to fit. I decided to keep the cardboard on the front of the foam core so when the corks were attached, you wouldn’t see bright white behind them.

Step 5. Prime the frame. I have never painted with spray paint, and had no idea what to use. Luckily, I’m a regular reader of Young House Love, which had just happened to cover spray priming and painting with the “the perfect yellow color.” I like yellow, and I love directions that include pictures, so yeah, let’s roll with that one.

I took the frame outside and used Rust-oleum Universal Satin Paint & Primer in white.  I did three thin coats, spraying constantly from about a foot away. Then, because it was going to rain, I took the frame inside to my bathroom and closed the door and turned the fan on high to remove the STRONG smell and also the off-gassing. I don’t recommend doing this unless you know -like I did- that the fan takes the air outside, instead of recirculating it like some bathroom fans do.

Cost of Primer: $7

Step 6. Paint the frame. This is pretty much the same as the priming, except you can end up looking like a featherless Big Bird if you’re not careful with where you point the nozzle. I used Rust-oleum Paint Plus 2X Ultra Cover Gloss in Sun Yellow. Why? Because it said RIGHT ON THE LABEL that it “Also Bonds to PLASTIC!” and I was really concerned nothing would stay on the frame. Seriously, it was so slippery, I was pretty sure this project would be a major scew-up and I’d have to toss everything (which it pretty much was, but for glass-shattering reasons, not paint reasons. Go figure.).

So I took the frame back outside (it was like 2 days later. I had been busy at work and also forgot that the frame was in my bathroom until I went to take a shower at 6am. Delightful.

Painted three thin and even coats on the frame, various surrounding rocks, and parts of some outdoor furniture that my landlord isn’t really fond of, then toted the frame back inside for its timeout in the bathroom.

Cost of paint: $4

Step 7. Glue corks. I used hot glue because It seemed like a good idea, and I had it on hand. I liked that it hardened quickly, removing the part of the equation where I accidentally kick half of the corks off the frame while they are drying.

I had laid out some of the corks beforehand, simply to ensure the corks made a pattern that was level and too screwy (because when I’m DIYing, there is always some level of screwiness.

Just keep gluing. Just keep gluing. Just keep gluing, gluing, gluing…

I ended up cutting a few corks to fit around the edges. Most were pretty big spaces, at least half a cork’s worth or more. Some of the smaller spaces I left empty.

Step 8. Hang that sucker high and wide! No, that’s curtains. Hang it however you want. Me? I went for the oldie but goodie hanging style of “level.”

To hang, I swore a lot and used anchors since this thing is actually pretty heavy. It’s been up for 3 months now, and is one of my most favorite projects (maybe I like the bell jar more…) to date!

Ung Drill Frame: free! (but would run $29.99 via IKEA)
Corks: free! (but cost Suze $25 on eBay)
Spray primer: $7
Spray paint: $4
Total: $11! (or $65.99)


Problems with Pinterest?

*Let me start this by saying I still have a Pinterest account, and still have my pins visible. My research did not cause me to remove anything I had pinned.


Lately there has been a lot of talk on the internet about Pinterest and copyright violations. By now, most of us have read this article about a Photographer who looked at the terms of service, and promptly deleted all her boards. Today I see that Flickr has given users an opt in/out to allow their images to be pinned or not. In the article, it points to a link on Flickr’s forum where users were discussing Pinterest and the use of the opt-out button. Many of the commenters were for the opt-out button, and happy their work wouldn’t be taken and pinned to Pinterest without their consent. Although, as one commenter pointed out, if they post an image to a blog (or elsewhere online), it can still be pinned from that location, which is a risk we all take when posting things on the internet. My friend, Carrie, says, “I like that Flickr is going that route. People SHOULD be able to choose whether or not their stuff is pinable by others. That being said, I (mostly) agree with the person in the article who thinks it’s bizarre that people would view Pinterest as such a huge copyright issue.”

As a blogger, I see the need to protect your intellectual property, and wanting to make sure that you get credit for images you create and that they aren’t used for things without your consent. But as a user of Pinterest who has been inspired by images and who loves finding new things, I find myself torn. I have had my images pinned to Pinterest, and find it flattering that someone wants to pin an image of what I’m wearing, or a DIY I did last year. I don’t feel like people are saving my image to use it maliciously, but because they think “oh great idea, come back to it later.”

That’s what I feel Pinterest is, at its core; a great big inspiration board of stuff you like, with links back to the source. But, it appears that even though that might be the thought behind the uber popular website, it’s not something everyone is comfortable with. I reached out to a few bloggers, a photographer, a store owner, and a general user of Pinterest to get their opinions on pinterest and how they feel about this controversy.

Kara, from Unusual Form, says, “As a personal-style blogger, I’m always incredibly flattered when someone pins one of my outfits. It means that I’ve put together an outfit that someone has found interesting or inspiring. One of the reasons that I post my outfits each day is so that I can be an inspiration to my readers. I find a lot of my own inspiration from other blogs as well, so you’ll see that my pin boards are filled with photos of other bloggers. Isn’t that what blogging is all about? Sharing?

Kara is one of the Pinterest users I follow, and I’m always quick to repin something she posts that I find inspiring, and I’ve noticed she does the same to things I post. That, in its essence, is what Pinterest is about.

Another person I’m constantly repining is Neeka, owner of AnikaBurke.com. Since Neeka is a frequent user of Pinterest, pinning her deal of the day, lookbook images and inspiration, I thought she would have an interesting point of view on the use of Pinterest. She says she “loves seeing organic pins of [anikaburke.com merchandise and images] on Pinterest.”

When asked if she feels Pinterest is beneficial to her business, driving traffic to her shop, or helping get her store name out there, Neeka says yes. “I find it very beneficial to my business. We are getting more linkbacks to our site without having to pay for them. Pinterest is the second largest traffic generator [for us]. I love Pinterest and can’t wait to see where it goes.”

Interestingly enough, I found many other business on Pinterest, including Karen Kane, Modcloth, Kate Spade and more. Anthropologie has an account, and while they’re following over 4,000 people, they have yet to pin anything themselves. It appears that many businesses are jointing Pinterest, most likely for the same reason Neeka did- free marketing and inspiration.

While all these businesses are fashion-based, I wondered what a different business, such as a photographer would have to say. I found this image from Procopio Photography on Pinterest, and immediately pinned it on one of my own boards.
(Source: Procopio Photography- used with permission!)

Curiously, I followed it back to the website it’s linked to, which then links to the photographer’s website. I contacted them, to ask how they feel about Pinterest. Cicely says they haven’t “quite formed an opinion about Pinterest yet. It’s funny that you are emailing me about it, because our most recent blog post was the first time we added watermarks. We did that so when pinned, more of our images would be tracked back to us.” You’ll notice that the image I fell in love with was posted prior to their inclusion of watermarks, and can only be traced back to the source by clicking through.

Cicely goes on to say she “loves that [Pinterest] is a new source that people can find us, but I don’t like when images are improperly linked, or not at all, to the source.” Well, therein lies the problem that most people seem to have with Pinterest. The problem seems to be less about Pinterest itself, but more about the link backs, or lack thereof.

Much like the writer of the first post, I found myself perusing Pinterest’s terms of service to see what I got out of it. Boy, you’re not going to like it.

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What’s all this hype about Pinterest?

By now, you’ve probably heard about Pinterest, but unless you’ve made it through the waiting list or received one of the few invites each member gets, you may not be part of the addicted users (that will change soon, I bet!).

Pinterest is basically your personal pinboard of inspirations, likes and obsessions. Currently, I have six “boards” where I categorize things I want, things I finally own, things to DIYwhat to wear, awesome hairstyles and poses to try.

You can “follow” other users, similarly to Twitter, where you can see the new things they “pin.” You can follow every single board someone has created, or just specific boards (I steer clear of wedding boards, because I’ve been married for two years. Although Pinterest keeps trying to suggest I follow wedding boards. Go figure.)
If you like something someone else has pinned, you can “repin” it to your board. Confusing? Well, think about it this way:
I start with this photo (click for source):

Louise likes it, so she “repins” it to her inspiration board. From there, her followers can see it and can repin it, but if you go to the specific item, it shows that I’m the original pinner, and how many others have repinned it. So you can kind of follow trends and see what others are really interested in. Plus, if you follow others that have similar likes/dislikes to you, you’ll always have a new flow of inspiration!

I really like it because it’s a very simple way to save my inspiration. I found myself bookmarking photos or blog posts, saving them to my computer and uploading them to my Flickr account, often forgetting their original source! But now, I can just pin them, and Pinterest automatically adds their source! How cool is that?!

You can pretty much pin from anywhere, Flickr, blogs, online shops- anywhere! I haven’t run into an issue of not being able to pin anything yet, which is really cool.

Another pretty awesome feature is that you can view all the items that are from the same source (not necessarily pinned by the same person). For example, I found that someone pinned one of my outfits from December, then viewed the source (my blog address) and found out that more of my outfits had been pinned to other accounts. How cool is that?!

If you want to start your own Pinterest account, sign up to for the waiting list (I hear it goes by pretty fast), or request an invite from someone already using it (be aware that current users only get a specific number of invites, so they may not be able to invite you if they’ve already used theirs up!).

You can also follow the creators on Twitter (they’re really nice!). Let me know if you have any questions, and how you feel about Pinterest. I really like it so far, but then again, I think most people do!