chaos container

You’ve witnessed the atrocity that is this multi-colored canvas.

Well, prepare to see it transformed into something much less disgusting and much more useful.  The long-overdue project was my great accomplishment on Christmas day.  I started by marking the fabric with a yellow sharpie, my palest, least-likely-to-bleed-through color.  I measured enough for a 3″ overhang on all sides of my giant canvas.

Next, I cut out that large piece of fabric.  I positioned it over the canvas and knelt on one edge to hold it in place.

Then I pulled down the top like a bedsheet, sprayed the canvas beneath with an even coat of spray adhesive, and smoothed the fabric back in place.  Thus, in a matter of seconds, half the ugly old was covered in unobtrusive new.

I repeated this step in reverse for the lower half of the fabric.  Then I carried the whole thing to the table to finish with hot glue.  Starting with a less-daunting short side, I glued down the overhanging fabric a few inches at a time, pulling tight before letting the fabric touch the glue.  (I didn’t want any wrinkles on the front!)

The corners were a little tricky.  I’ve never been great at corners, whether we’re talking about wrapping presents, making the bed, or gluing fabric to a homemade message board.  I think these corners turned out passably, though.

When all the edges were secured, I flipped the board face-up to attach a cork board and a dry erase board.  The cork came from a $5.99 roll I bought at Hobby Lobby.  It was one long, thin sheet with a fully adhesive back.  I cut it to size using the height of the dry erase board as a guide.  (The ruler served to extend the top line of the board, which was narrower than the cork.)

Once it was the proper size, I rolled the cork backwards to counteract its tendency to curl back on itself–so annoying!  Then I peeled back a couple inches of the plasticky/paper stuff that covered the adhesive.  That way the adhesive would stay exposed while I positioned the cork where I wanted it.

When I had it in place, I gradually peeled away more and more of the backing, smoothing the cork from middle to edges as I stuck it down.  Going slowly helped me avoid bubbles and crookedness.  It was even easier to stick the dry erase board, which came with 3M-style sticky foam pieces.  Here’s the finished board hanging above my desk.

Now all that remains is to buy or make a 2012 calendar to hang at the top.  The whole idea here is to rid my desk surface of insidious little scraps of this and that–library due slips, grocery lists, dates to transfer to the calendar, and so on.  What do you do to keep those little notes under control?

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