Sunday, April 24, 2016

Design Wall

I've started moving things into my new studio and planning out the space. One thing I knew I wanted was a large design wall. I'm a very visual person, and seeing my work in front of me helps me figure out what the next step should be, which fabric or border is right, and saves me a lot of seam ripping. One other awesome thing about a design wall: when my projects are in plain sight instead of folded away in a drawer, they are less likely to become UFOs. Not that I have a problem with that. But I've heard about it. From friends. 

I searched for ways to add a design wall and found a few interesting looking tutorials. I've been saving these to my "Studio Dreams" Pinterest board for years. Eventually I settled on a combination of a few methods. Luckily The Pit Boss was in the mood for a project, so off we went to Home Depot.

My wall space is about ten feet long with eight foot ceilings. A lot of the soundproofing or other insulation comes in eight foot lengths, which sounds perfect until you remember things like molding and outlets and such. Also, as TPB pointed out, I can't reach eight feet high, so there would be a lot of wasted space at the top if I went all the way to the ceiling.

I ended up buying two packages of this Insulfoam, which includes six sheets that are eight feet by just under fourteen inches and about 3/4" thick. It's meant to go between studs.

We bought packages totaling 72 Command Strips (medium) for picture hanging - this was the most expensive component of the project!

I also bought a plain roll of duct tape.

Last, we went to JoAnn's and bought five yards of half price batting while it was on sale. 

I cut the batting into three sections lengthwise and then in quarters widthwise, which left me with twelve pieces that were a few inches bigger all the way around than the insulation. I wrapped each piece of foam with the batting and secured all of the loose edges with duct tape. This took awhile, so thankfully Frances, Pam, Tanesha, and Daisy kept me company.

I placed six Command Strips on each piece of covered foam; one at each corner and two in the middle.

Then I carefully stuck them to the wall horizontally, five high and two wide, starting just above the outlets. I placed one and a partial one vertically on the end. I also have a leftover piece, which I covered as well, for transporting pieces or laying out a complicated block on my sewing table.

Tada! I'm very happy with the finished product, even if the pictures are not so fabulous. The lighting is one part of the project I am still working on.

I ended up spending right around $100 for a design space that is over nine feet long by about six feet high, and which could be moved without destroying the wall. If you could find the Command Strips for less (or if you didn't mind just nailing the pieces to the wall) it would be even less.

I've already put a project on it! I did have to pin these since they still have the paper on the back, but the pieces without paper stayed nicely even with the ceiling fan on. I'm so excited to have this awesome feature in my studio!


  1. Looks great! I'm starting to think about making a big portable design wall out of foam board that I could set up in a spare bedroom for large quilts when needed (I don't do those that often) but would easy be taken down, folded up, and slid under a bed or something. My design wall in my quilting room isn't big enough for even a twin-sized quilt fully laid out. I'll have to start haunting Pinterest!

  2. I am so thrilled that you have made some progress on your workroom! Yay! I am in desperate need a of a new design wall. I absolutely cannot think without one and the one I have is not working for me. It is a good design wall and very stable, which I like, but is not working for me.


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