I’ve never been keen on the standard cork or fabric pinboards you find in university halls, and had been thinking of an alternative for a while. So when my boyfriend came across this speckled polystyrene floor insulation in B&Q, I knew I had found the answer. I’m all for using industrial materials to decorate with (I also have a board made of rabbit hutch wire and a jewellery hanger made out of a branch) so here’s my latest addition to the collection.
You will need:
- Polystyrene sheet (you can find plenty of colours, my favourite was the mono speckle - reminds me of the dreamy speckled horsehair I’ve seen on so many accessories recently, no?) Mine is from B&Q and was £15.98 for a huge sheet, I’m talking 10 foot tall here. There was also a thinner one for around £7 but I wanted a more chunky feel to mine.
- Marker pen
- Thin, sharp knife (I used the thinnest one in my kitchen drawer). It’s important that the knife is long enough to go all the way through the sheet
- 1 or 2 picture hooks or nails to hang the board from (I already had 2 in my wall)
- If you feel like being extra fancy, you could use a hot wire cutter instead of a knife, which can be bought (or made, according to my dad) fairly cheaply.
Break your sheet into a smaller, manageable size (the kind people at B&Q did this for me). It’s best to roughly do this with a knife instead of just folding it as this may break bits off that you need. Mark out the area of the size you want your board to be. I drew around an A3 folder.
This is as hard as it gets. Lay your polystyrene over a flat surface, ideally you’ll want your knife to go straight through so keep the bit you’re cutting over the edge of a desk (or similar). Slowly slice the knife through vertically along your marked lines. You’ll want to do this slowly and smoothly to ensure you’re cutting through the little polystyrene balls and you’re not just popping them out - this will make the edge look uneven and messy. But don’t worry if some pop out towards the bottom of your board, it’s mostly the front bit that you’ll see. This step is easier if you buy thinner polystyrene.
Brush off any rogue polystyrene balls and slice off any bits that are uneven. As the polystyrene isn’t very hard, I just pressed my board onto some nails that were already in my wall - there’s no need to punch any holes or hang any string - how simple! These also look just as good simply standing on a shelf or desk up against a wall.