Sunday, January 30, 2011

Burlap Pinboard— for old family pictures

Since my grandmother turned 93 last October, she's been on a mission to de-clutter her surroundings.  Her most recent project has been to take one last look at all her photos (and she has a ton) and then give them away to anyone who wants them. I LOVE old photos so I snagged as many as I could before my sisters could have a chance! Someday I want to do something spectacular with them, but for now, I decided to display them. So yesterday afternoon I made this burlap pinboard for above my computer. Similar pinboards retail for $100 bucks, but I made this one for under $15. And it was so easy!

 You'll need:

  1. A piece of cork (from a home improvement store)
  2. Burlap (1 yard) 
  3. Twine
  4. Beading Pins (14-7/8" nickel plated steel with large heads worked well for me)
  5. Staple gun
  6. Hammer
  7. Picture Hanger for the back (optional)

How to:

  1. First cut your cork board. I had a big piece so I cut it to the size I wanted (24"x36") with a utility knife. But you can have it cut to size at the home improvement store (free). 
  2. Wrap the burlap around the cork, pull it taut and staple it to the back. 
  3. Place pins in columns every 4 inches apart and hammer them in so that only 1/4" shows. Tie a knot at one end of your twine and secure it to the pin at one corner of your board. Then wrap the the twine tightly around each pin pulling it up and down each column. Once the columns are finished, back track across to make 4" squares. At the end, secure the twine with a pin and hammer it all the way in.
  4. It's ready for hanging! I just leaned mine on a shelf, but you can easily add a picture hanger to the back.

And now for my pictures... 
My grandmother married Arthur Jackson "Bud" Morris just before WWII started. He only saw his daughter once while on a short leave. Bud was Killed In Action just before the war ended. Devastated, my grandmother decided to move to Florida from her hometown in Indiana because that's where her husband always said he wanted to live. Everyone, especially her older sister Evelyn, thought she was crazy, but my grandmother didn't care. She packed up her car and drove my mom (6 months old at the time) and her mother (Reba) to Florida. They decided to settle in Daytona Beach on the advice of a gas station attendant. Uncle Ray, my great grandmother's brother, came down to check on them soon after and then went on to visit his was good friends, the Rockefellers, who had a summer residence in nearby Ormond Beach. Then on to Miami to visit the Hoovers. (I'm name dropping here.) Their first home wasn't far from the beach, which they frequented often.

In October of 1944, my grandmother met C. Wesley Olson, Jr. "Wes" one night at a bar— or a dance hall, as my grandmother calls it. You know how they always say, you'll never meet your significant other in a bar? Well I don't believe that for a second. Heck, that's where I met my husband! Anyway, she walked by him at the bar and he looked at her and said, "I always did love red!". She was wearing a red dress and dashed to the bathroom with her girlfriends who wanted to switch dresses with her because the man was such a dream boat. They were smitten with each other from the start. WIthin three weeks they were engaged. Wes came home from the University of Florida to visit her every weekend and in January 1945, they were married. He adored my mom and adopted her and they had a son, Steve. They were happily married for 56 years.

 And there you have it! One courageous (and somewhat rash) decision changed the course of history for my family. And I'm so thankful for it!

P.S. Both of my sons are named after their great grandfathers— Wesley and Jackson.


  1. I really enjoyed this post Melanie. I can't believe how much you and your boys look like your Mom when she was young. Thanks for sharing!

    Karen Torrey

  2. Kudos to your grandma for living such a brave, bright, and bold life! I have a feeling those virtues have been passed down the lineage! :D



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