A Jazzed-Up Speaker's Podium

 Laura had seen me at the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival  and wrote  me a few weeks later to ask me about a really cool idea she had.

Laura is a high school English teacher and had a vision of creating a special space where her students could read their papers/speeches from.

She had gone online to price out a few stands and soon discovered that they were a lot of money for just wood.  Nothing stood out to her as unique or fun, so she thought perhaps we could build her something.  She has seen pictures of our dog food storage boxes and thought perhaps we could build something for her classroom.

With notebook & camera in hand we went to Home Depot to do some brainstorming.  After laying out many different projects/ideas in the isles, our design really started to take shape when we saw this column.  I wrote her with our final thoughts that night and by the next day we were back at the store finalizing our plan.

These were the items we left with.

We purchased the decorative colonial house beam first.  I loved the scoops and loops, rings and things and figured I could do a lot with it.  More so than just the fence beams we had originally thought of, and much more feminine that just building a box.  We knew we'd have to cut off a lot to make it the correct size but even with that, it still had more to offer design wise.

We then found these great pre-cut circles for only $5 a piece! What?! Can you say Jackpot! 

We also purchased L brackets, and bookshelf brackets to cover the L brackets after we connected the post to the base.

We also knew because the top circle would be at an angle there would need to be something that would keep the paper from sliding off.  We had tried a variety of trim pieces, but nothing seemed to go.  Then I had an epiphany-yes, right there in Home Depot!  I would use a Scrabble letter holder! Perfect, right?!

We measured the height and then made our cuts.

Then we secured the post to the base.

Then attached the pre painted shelf brackets to hide the hardware.

We then needed to attach the top.  Now, because this was going to be used by teenagers we knew we'd have to secure it pretty darn good. Which meant we'd have to screw it into the post as well as glue it.

The thing was I wasn't trilled with the idea of having screws in the center of my art piece and I wasn't excited about the prospect of covering them up with wood putty either.  There had to be something more...decorative.

Then I found these!  For just $2 at AC Moore I found my answer.  I would screw the disk into the post then cover it up with this applique-BEAUTIFUL!

After the center piece was secure, I then glued on the Scrabble letter holder and held it in place with painter's tape until it was dry.

I finished painting the piece and added Laura's chosen quote to the front.

"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly go into the world and do good."

This was the final piece. Front and back.

This was the first project we'd ever done like this and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the end result.  I'm hoping her students will love reading from it and perhaps it may take their minds off, if only for a minute, of the terrifying task of public speaking.

Here are the next two pieces on deck.  Can't wait to get started on them!

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Merry said...

How lucky are those students…this is an amazing piece and loved reading how it all came together.

Lucy Designs said...

Mary this is really fantastic! wow, such detail, I know she had to be thrilled about it! And um...$5 per circle??? score!

Patti-Ann said...

Mary, what type of paint brushes do you use for the decorative work? Also is it they type of paint that is used (besides your obvious talent)that makes the difference? I have tried some rings and such on things in my own home and the results are NOT pleasing. I am using the chalk paint I have on hand. Can you offer one or two tips please? Trust me, I am not a threat :)

Mary@ The Decorative Paintbrush said...

Patti, HI! I tried writing you back but can't pull up your e-mail if you see this some how maybe you could write me at and I would be happy to answer all your questions :D Thanks for following & commenting! I love feedback!