Make the perfect cork wall for your studio, home office or kid space.
Do you need to turn your home office into a more functional creative space? A cork wall is the answer.
I debated for months on how to make my home office a more functional studio space. The biggest need was a wall where I could layout seasonal line development for my footwear collection and a spot to quickly pin material swatches and inspirational images. I looked into getting an industrial size cork board, but it was going to cost around $800. So, my DIY determination kicked-in and I set out to build my own.
What You'll Need
Material List 2 4'x8' sheets of Home Insulation Board 2 cans of 3M Super 77 Adhesive 2 rolls 4'x8' Cork at 0.5" Thickness X-acto Blade
24 #8 x 2" Metal Screws and Sinkers
Drill with 1/4" Drill Bit
Black or White Duct Tape (optional)
Ladder and a Level
My initial challenge was that I did not want to adhere the cork directly to the wall (my husband would kill me) and I didn't want something that was incredibly heavy to hang. So after roaming the aisles of #homedepot, I landed on buying 2 sheets (4'x8') of home insulation board which were $19.99 each. (There were also smaller sizes available.) From Home Depot, I also bought 2 cans of 3M Supper 77 Spray Adhesive. Do not make the mistake in using contact cement. It will burn right through the foam insulation boards, trust me, I tried. I also ordered 2 rolls of 4'x8' of 0.5' thick cork from #michaels... Don't forget to use their promotion coupons... that saved me 50% off!
Easy Steps to Follow
Overall this was really easy. All you need is a large (outdoor/well-ventilated) work space and an extra set of hands every now and then.
I laid out the insulation board and cork rolls in my garage with the doors open for proper ventilation. I had old card board lying around in the corner (Yes, I have one of those garages where you have anything you need lying around) so I used that under the boards and cork incase things got messy. Shake the can of adhesive before using and just spray away. I went section by section until my finger was numb and everything looked coated. I did end up throwing on a rubber glove half way through the spraying because the glue started to get on my finger and getting kinda gross. The great part about this adhesive is that it has to dry for 15 minutes before you put the two pieces together. So you have plenty of time to spray and don't need to feel rushed.
Once your foam board is sprayed and your cork sheet are sprayed let them sit for about 15 minutes to dry and get "tacky". This is when you need to grab an extra set of hands— promise them it will just take 5 minutes. Leave the foam board on the ground and have 2 people hold the cork sheet high above the foam. Have one person hold the cork as high as they can, while the other personal carefully lines up the cork and lays it flush along the insulation boards. Slowly work your way down the board carefully smoothing as you go. Once this is stuck together, it is impossible to reset. The bond is strong and the cork is fragile, so you really can't pull it back apart. Do your best; mine wasn't perfect, but it was close enough.
Once both boards had been lined with cork, I stacked them together and moved them inside to be warmer... I live in Boston and choose to do DIY projects outside in the dead of Winter, but if you live in pleasant climate or wisely do your projects in the Spring, then just leave them in the garage. I left them for about 24 hours laying flat.
The insulation board that I used was purple, I think this comes in all sorts of unattractive colors, so you may be using something a little different than what I have in my photos. I considered taping black duct tape and running it along all the edges to hide the purple border. I ended up skipping this step, but if you wanted to I am sure that it would give it a more finished look
Now it is time to hang everything up. You will notice the boards definitely got heavier once they were combined with the cork. To ensure a stable hanging I used 3 sinkers and screws along the vertical and horizontal axis of each board. Full disclosure, my husband did that part for me. He is much more of a perfectionist than me and made sure everything was level every step of the way. He managed to do this on his own, but I would recommend that you have two people work on holding and hanging the boards. They aren't heavy, but they are large and awkward to prop up while you are drilling.
I hope that you found this inspirational and helpful! Feel free to tag me @sallymurphydesign in any DIY attempt so I can see someone else enjoying this easy home office solution!