Breaker box 911 – how to solve a decorating dilemma

August 1, 2012 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

So, I don’t know about everyone else, but I am officially addicted to the Olympics.  I record just about every event that airs, and then watch it at night – it’s become somewhat of a nightly routine here.  Poor Ben.  He’s learning more about swimming and gymnastics than he ever dreamed 🙂

So as I cheer on U.S. swimmers, I thought I’d share a project I devised to solve a decorating dilemma I encountered in my little studio apartment (where I lived before Ben and I moved in together).  As you see in the photo below, the builders installed two breaker boxes on the 1/2 wall across from my kitchen.  Just what I wanted to look at every time I cooked!

I tried placing artwork I already had over the metal boxes, but they were odd sizes, and one was longer than the other and showed from underneath the art.  The lack of symmetry was driving me crazy, so I decided to DIY some art panels to perfectly cover the boxes.  I measured and ruled out using canvases because they come in fairly standard sizes, and these boxes didn’t fit the pre-set dimensions.  Instead, I purchased a piece of foam core from Michael’s and found 2 coordinating fabrics that matched my living room decor to wrap around the foam core.

I used an X-Acto knife to cut right down the middle of the foam core to create two equal pieces and then ironed the fabric to remove any fold lines and wrinkles.  Then I wrapped each piece of foam core with the fabric, folding the fabric edges around the back like I was wrapping a present.

I used hot glue to secure the fabric to the foam core, and trimmed any excess fabric so that the panels would lay flat against the wall once hung.  I hot-glued an inexpensive plastic picture hanger to each (also purchased from Michael’s) and hung them over the breaker boxes.  They fit perfectly, covering every inch of the metal boxes.

One of the best things (in my opinion) about using foam core instead of  canvases is the price.  One piece of foam core cost about $5 for both panels, whereas 2 individual canvases probably would have cost double that.  The fabric cost about $7 and I already had the picture hangers and the hot glue.  The entire project for the two panels cost about $12 – not bad for customized art!

Have any of you had to get creative in order to work around a decorating dilemma?  I’d love to hear all about it!


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