Many of you many not know that I have an Etsy store… or rather, I used to have an Etsy Store. I’m in the process of closing it down and selling my items exclusively through Facebook and my blog. Etsy is an amazing resource and it has provided a fabulous way for me to sell my smaller items like my bulletin boards, chalkboards and monogrammed initials. I love to buy from Etsy sellers! But, dealing with shipping and Etsy seriously stressed me out. Broken frames, damaged boxes… I learned the hard way that insuring my items was a must! I’ve been fortunate that most of what I’ve done has sold locally here in the Raleigh area and I haven’t had to deal with shipping items frequently.
Before Christmas, someone contacted me on Etsy interested in purchasing a large framed command center… half bulletin board, half dry-erase. When I say large, in the world of bulletin boards, it was ginormous, humongous and gargantuan. She wanted a command center that measured 50×60 inches. Mike thought I was crazy to even give her a quote… but I love a challenge and I had a vision in my head and wanted to create it. So, I quoted her a price to create the board for her, but told her that my biggest concern was shipping the item… that I wasn’t sure who would agree to ship it and how we would get it from me to her. She wasn’t to be deterred and we agreed on color, fabric and a plan for the board and made plans to move forward.
Almost all of my boards, whether they be bulletin, chalk or memo, are built to fit into vintage frames that I’ve found out thrifting. This piece was different… there was a better chance of me getting James to eat broccoli than there was of me finding a vintage 50×60 inch frame. I had to build the command center from scratch. I was fortunate… most of the supplies I needed were available at Lowe’s AND Home Depot. (And yes, I had to go to both to get the things I needed… did you know that there are some products one sells that the other does not??). I had a bit of extremely good luck… I remembered that a local lumber company had a custom framing department and called to get a price on unfinished frame pieces. Over the phone, I found out that they’d discontinued the framing department and were trying to off-load their frame materials at cost. Wouldn’t you know that they had the exact style frame I needed at an unbelievable price?? Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
Together, my customer and I picked fabric from Fabric.com. It’s always scary to purchase something like fabric without seeing it in person and touching it yourself, but I will say that I have had fabulous experiences with Fabric.com. The prices are competitive and the fabric I’ve received from them has been very true to the pictures. This damask print was the perfect choice for such a large board… it allows a pattern on the board, but doesn’t look too busy. Plus, I know that Emerald is the color of the year and all… but I love a good orange (and Annie Sloan makes a fabulous one…)!
By far, the toughest part of the project was putting the pieces together to create a sturdy board. It was especially stressful knowing that the board would have to survive a trip on a freight truck… things would have been a bit easier if I could have driven it across town and helped my customer install it on her wall.
(the white paper you see at the bottom of the dry erase side of the board was the protective coating. I peeled it down to snap pics but was afraid to pull it all the way off… I wanted to leave it on for transport)
The end result was exactly what I originally envisioned… a large area for a family’s papers, invitations, photos and artwork and a separate area for messages, grocery lists, reminders and memos. Installed on a large wall, the board will provide color and interest and act as artwork for the wall… while being functional for the family at the same time. My favorite kind of project.
I wrapped the command center in 75 feet of bubble wrap before the freight company showed up this afternoon to take it away. They’re going to pack it for the trip north and I’ve got ALL my fingers and toes crossed that it makes the trip successfully!