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A plain t-shirt can be transformed by adding a flower made from fabric strips. A small wall quilt with a cute gingham print worked into the border is sure to make a friend happy. Or how about a pretty vintage-inspired apron made for a learning cook. See! Three ideas off-the-cuff, right there. But the words hand made gift and man don't always play together so nicely. I don't know about you but I've never seen a tutorial on how to make a pig skin football. And something tells me hot gluing punched paper shapes to the remote wouldn't go over so well.
Creating hand made gifts for men may be a little more challenging but it is not impossible. While we tend to put a lot of focus into how to embellish our handmade gifts to make them stand out, I feel keeping a project for a man simple in its design is more likely to make it a successful gift. So when creating this memo board, I kept a monochromatic color scheme in neutral colors and made it interesting through the use of a little bit of texture.
The base for a memo board can take many forms. The base of the memo board I have hanging in my craft room is made from sub-flooring left-over from the time we built our home. I've seen embroidery hoops used by others. I've seen tutorials that suggest a wallboard called Homasote which is made from recycled paper pulp.
For this project, I used stretched canvases. This worked out great because I didn't have to be concerned with getting my base material cut to size. I started off with a 12 inch by 12 inch, two 8 inch by 10 inch, and one 4 inch by 6 inch canvases. I chose a different fabric to cover each one.
To make the surface of the memo board work with push pins most effectively, I covered each canvas with a sheet of cork. These 12 inch by 12 inch panels are available in packs of four in the office supply section. I used the Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife and the Fiskars 18 inch by 24 inch Cutting Mat to cut the cork panels to the correct sizes.
Next I covered each canvas with a different fabric, adding 4 inches to the length and the height of the canvas sizes. I used the 45mm Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter and the 3.5 inch x 18.5 inch Acrylic Ruler to cut the fabric.
After wrapping the excess fabric to the back of the canvas and pulling it taut, I secured it to the frame with a staple gun.
Taking the time to make the folds at the corners neat is important for giving the finished project a nicer appearance.
I added a line of wine corks along the bottom edge of my memo board to both serve as a bit of embellishment and to give some more surface area to pin things to. I cut a section of chipboard using the Fingertip Craft Knife and the 3.5 inch x 18.5 inch Acrylic Ruler, including enough excess along the top edge of the pieces to allow them to be attached to the back of the canvases. I glued the corks to these pieces using wood glue. To add structural integrity, I also glued the corks to one another at any point where they touched. When the glue was dry, I used the staple gun to attach the excess section along the top edge of the chipboard pieces to the back of the two 8 inch x 10 inch canvases.
I added a monogram to the 5 inch x 7 inch canvas using fabric. I first ironed a lightweight fusible web to the back of my material. After printing my monogram (making sure to print it backwards) on a piece of paper, I traced the monogram onto the paper backing of the fusible web. This can be done using carbon paper or transfer paper used for sewing projects. I just quickly colored lightly over the backside of my monogram with a pencil, placed the pencil covered side down on the fusible web paper, and traced the outline of the letter with a pen.
Next, using a new blade in my Fingertip Craft Knife, I cut out the monogram. I completed the monogram by removing the backing paper and ironing it to the fabric on the canvas. If you use a synthetic fabric, either for covering the canvas or for the monogram, be sure to use a pressing cloth over the project when you iron!
I completed the memo board by gluing the monogrammed canvas to the center canvas and wrapping the two 8 inch by 10 inch canvases with some burlap ribbon. Rather than try to connect all the panels, I hung them individually on the wall.
Add a few photos and some pushpins and you have an attractive, functional hand made Father’s Day gift!
Stretched canvases in desired sizes
Fabric to cover each canvas plus extra for a monogram
12 inch by 12 inch cork panels
Fusible web if adding a monogram
Ribbon for trim (optional)