A new school year comes with its own organizational problems. Who has car pool duty this week? What days will the kids eat at school and when will they bring something from home? Do you know when they are supposed to be at soccer practice, football practice, scouts or choir? What about chess club?
If you are like us, your bulletin board is either overloaded with information or very close to it.
At our house we can't see any part of our bulletin board by about the fifth week of school. By then every square inch is completely covered -- about 12 layers thick, with drawings, calendars, charts and reminder notices of every shape, size and form.
For the longest time, we favored using a cork bulletin board because we love to pin things up rather than using tape or clips.
However, we spent some time thinking this one out and we came up with a neat idea.
Variety of styles
There are four major types of bulletin boards: cork board, magnetic board, dry eraser board and chalk board.
Cork is great. Placing an item is quick and easy and using two pins doesn't get in the way of any of the information and everything placed in a certain position remains in that position - even thick things. Unfortunately -- and unlike magnets -- pins can damage important mementos.
Magnets also hold well, but they can get in the way or be distracting.
Also, really thick things don't hold well with most magnet boards.
However, magnets are much safer than pins and they don't damage items displayed like pins do.
Dry eraser boards are great for leaving notes but posting important notices means using tape.
And although chalk boards are still readily available, we suggest against them because they are supremely messy.
If you want the best of all worlds, you might consider buying your two or three favorite types of bulletin boards and then combine them into one versatile board.
UOnce you have acquired the various bulletin boards, cut them to match. Even if you don't have the equipment needed to cut large panels yourself, you can check with your local lumber yard or adult education shop teacher. Night school students are always looking for projects.
UOnce the two or three panels you selected are cut to match, all you will need to do is create a simple frame to combine them into one unique configuration.
UA simple wood frame can be used to bring the various components of your own special bulletin board together into a single new and unique creation.
Painting or staining the frame is another way of making your special bulletin board even more personal. Also, you may not realize it, but you can personalize a magnet board with wallpaper or contact paper.
Tip: Contact paper is easy to apply to a magnetic board. After the contact paper is ready to apply, simply spray the surface of the board with glass cleaner. Apply the contact paper to the surface and squeegee out the moisture. The moisture will evaporate and the contact paper will stick solidly. Be sure to use a soft rubber squeegee or a sponge to smooth things out and into place. Trim any excess with a razor blade.
We suggest that if you should decide to use contact paper that you paper the board before you install it into the frame. By the way, a wallpaper border with mitered corner connections would also look cool.
If you like the advantage of cork but don't like the look, then all you have to do is cover it.
You could use wallpaper or contact paper, but there is the chance that these materials may not hold up well.
We suggest fabric instead.
There are so many possibilities and many stores offer color-coordinated combinations of fabric and wallpaper.
With fabric all you will need is the material and a staple gun or hammer tacker.
Stretch the cloth over the cork and staple onto the backing.
The only thing you need to concern yourself with is ensuring that the pattern in the fabric is not distorted as you stretch it.
The key here is to use even pressure.
With your special combination board in place, you will be able to quickly pin things up -- or magnet them on if you don't want them damaged, and the eraser board can be used to leave important notes.
The best of all worlds can be as simple as a bulletin board.
XFor more home improvement tips and information, visit www.onthehouse.com.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.