Whilst taking a little break from making a more research-heavy blog, I have put together some DIY decorative panels for my home office. I was originally planning to create some acoustic panels but I decided to just go with the decorative panels instead as I don’t record a great deal of audio but the principal would be very similar.
The only difference with acoustic panels is that they would be infilled with acoustic insulation like Rockwools sound insulation slab. You would construct your frame to accommodate the insulation to minimise the amount of cutting. Acoustic panels can reduce echo when recording audio.
- Timber – I cut down timber slats leftover from a recent fencing project
- Corner brackets x 4
- A mixed bag of screws (40mm and 10mm mostly used)
- 8mm heavy duty staples
- Fabric for the covering of the panels (I also got a pillowcase to match one of the panels)
- Backing fabric (for acoustic panels this would hold in the insulation)
- Heavy-duty picture hanging hooks and hoops
- Staple gun
- Circular saw
- Hand saw
- Measuring tape
All of the materials were from B&Q and the fabric was from Dunelm.
For my case, as these are just decorative panels I decided to go for a 700x400x40mm frame. I purchased some corner brackets which were 40mm wide to firm up the frame which is a bit OTT for a decorative panel but I purchased a bunch of the material when I was still planning to construct heavier acoustic panels so I just used them anyway. The fabric can be purchased in 500mm lengths, so once you know how large you want your panel to be you can purchase the right amount of fabric.
I started the frame by cutting down the timber to 40mm wide strips with the circular saw. I gave the timber a quick sand down as the timber I was using was quite rough. The fence slat I was using was 1800mm in length which worked out perfectly as I was able to get 2 lengths of 700mm and 1 length of 400mm per strip.
Once I had cut all the wood into the sizes I needed, I then screwed the frame together placing one 40mm screw through each corner. I fixed two corner brackets at opposite ends which made the frame feel quite solid. I then fixed a timber backing piece in the centre of the frame where I attached the hook for hanging the panel up. I moved the backing piece up closer to one end for the tartan panel that I planned on fixing vertically.
I then took out the fabric and ironed out the majority of creases. I placed the fabric face down on the table and lined up the frame with where I wanted it to go. So, one of my fabric covers was printed with stags and the other was a tartan. I thought the tartan would be easier as I could line up the lines with the frame, it turned out that the tartan was not so easy as when I pulled the fabric tight it distorted the lines making the stag fabric allot easier to work with as it was much more forgiving.
It was then a case of folding up the bottom and top and stapling it into place whilst making sure the fabric was pulled up quite tight. After this, I folded over the sides in the same way you would fold over a Christmas present to achieve neat corners and stapled the sides over as well.
I then cut away any excess fabric and fitted a backing fabric to the rear of the frame. If these were acoustic panels this backing fabric would have held in place the insulation. I fitted it anyway as I felt it gave the panel a nice finish even if no one would see it. I cut a little gap for the hanger hoop to go through and then repeated the process for the other panel.
Once both panels were complete I measured where I wanted the panels to go using the tape and fixed the heavy-duty picture hook to the wall. If this was a larger acoustic panel rather than a decorative one I would need to bolster up the hanging by fitting an extra hook or adding in some velcrow hanging strips.
And below is the finished result! I wasn’t too pleased with the tartan panel but the stag panel worked out really well. The addition of these panels certainly spruced up my home office and was really quite cheap and fun to make. Hopefully, this blog gave you some ideas to make your own acoustic / decorative panels.