I have always wanted a church hymn board or attendance board. I have had no luck finding a vintage one so I decided to make my own. Check out my DIY attendance board!
As an antique dealer who chooses not to keep very many of my picking finds, I have learned that I can find pretty much anything I’m on the hunt for and for a decent price. That is probably one of the reasons that I can so quickly and easily buy something awesome and amazing and then turn around and sell it without regrets.
That is MOST of the time.
So, I did find a church attendance board or hymn board, whichever you prefer to call it, BUT I sold it. I found it early in my reselling carrier and I thought, without a doubt, that I would easily find another one. Actually I thought I’d find a better one! Little did I know, that years later and my hands would still be empty. If I have found any, I don’t even remember because they would have been so far out of my budget I didn’t even contemplate it!
So, I will admit that this is one of those times that I regret selling something. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen very often!
That brings us to now. Sitting at the thrift store I find this…
The shape looks pretty similar to a message board, or at least it would work. I do have little letters at home from an old church attendance set, they look like they might fit! $5 …SOLD Definitely worth trying to make my own attendance board!!
So, I already had the letters and numbers and some words. I don’t know why I bought this attendance board set, but after only having one board in my possession, I figured I’d better jump on the original letters and numbers any chance I got! I found the set on Facebook Marketplace, but turns out a friend was selling it!
This project kind of took on a life of it’s own. I ended up needing a putty knife, that I used like a pry bar, a hammer, pliers, and glue. I also sanded the whole board. I actually made two of these as you will see pictured and I have a 3rd one waiting to get some love! I may or may not have a new addiction and be grabbing these things at every thrift store I go to!
- The “board”
- Something to pry with, I used a putty knife
- Pliers to remove staples
- Sander and sand paper
- Attendance board letters, PS I am going to make my own to sell with these boards, but HERE are some ready to go
The order that I worked in versus the order I am going to tell you to work in is a little bit different! I was learning as I went. This is typically how I do things. I wing it and then future projects and DIY’s go much much quicker! So, here’s what you are going to do…
Buying Your Attendance Board
First, go thrifting! These things seem to be at every thrift store! Now I was a little picking because I wanted one that would look good with raw wood! I am loving raw wood right now and I did not want to have to use stripper!! Besides loving the color and look of raw wood, I also thought the attendance letters would stand out better on a wood board versus painting one black or white!
Second, check out the back of the board that you find. IF it has the little boards attached with staples, then get it! If you don’t see any staples on the back side, then it might just be attached with glue. If it’s just held by glue you run the risk of damaging the wood when you pry the little boards off. They still tend to use some glue when they staple the boards on, but it also seems to be less. Less glue means less chance of damaging the wood.
Third, shape. Now this is personal preference, but some of these country calendar boards from the 70’s and 80’s have a pleasing shape that matches the design a church would have used and some do not. Ignore the paint, an images, literally ignore the entire piece except the outline!! Make sure you like it!
Preparing the Board
The first thing that you should do is remove the smaller boards that hold the letters and numbers in place. To do this I suggest taking a putty knife and placing it between the little board and the big backer board. If you really examine your piece, I’m guessing that you will find a spot that has a larger crack so that you can easily get your putty knife in there to pry. Once you get it started, switch ends, pry some more and then switch to the hammer.
Once you finish prying the little board off, use the hammer to push the staples out the back side of the board. You just need to hit it hard enough to get the staple started through the backside. Then flip the board over and use the pliers to pull the staples out. Use leverage to do this, just like you pry off something versus just trying to pull the staple straight up and out.
Once all of the little boards are removed you can sand. And really you are fine to leave the top and bottom most boards in place. I worked in from those boards when I reattached the little boards to fit my letter spacing.
Depending on what your board needs, you could sand by hand or use your electric sander. Depending on the shape and details of your piece, you may need to do both.
Finishing the Board
Now you are ready to reattach the little boards according to where you need them and what you will be putting between each. I had the letters on hand, but you can buy your own attendance board letters HERE. Or, go to your local print shop and have them print some for you!
I took a long word card, actually the one I have says attendance and is way to long for my DIY board. I placed it in the little board on the bottom that I did not remove. I placed another little board on top of it, making sure the word was in the top and bottom grooves. I pushed down on it to make sure it was snug and level on the word. Then I used a pen to draw a line.
I did this to help keep me straight, but also so that I would have to move up the little board to cover the line I made with the pen. Doing this would give the word on the card stock a little bit of extra room to slide in and out freely.
Once I drew my line I flipped the little board over and added a bit of glue. I love THIS glue, so that is what I used. Then I placed the little board over the line and just looked at it to make sure it was centered and visually looked straight or level. I repeated this process up the board and then placed one board down from the top board that I hadn’t removed. This left a larger gap on the board towards the mid top.
I haven’t quite decided what I will put in this spot, but the original board had it, so I left it.
Watch Another DIY
If you like this little DIY church attendance board, then be sure to checkout my #upcyclesquad members projects! The 4th Thursday each month our squad will be sharing some awesome projects with you!
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March Guest Hosts
Elizabeth – Country Peony
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Do you love to #upcycle?
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Check them out!
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