I have a design wall in my quilting studio which I use all the time. I purchased two sheets of lightweight insulation board from one of the big box stores. I covered the boards with batting and attached the batting to the board with heavy-duty staples. Looking back, I think it might have been better to attach the batting with duct tape since the staples don’t hold all that well in the insulation board. Maybe it would have been better to use the staples to stabilize the batting and cover the staples with duct tape. Really, the biggest problem I have with my design wall(s) is a method of attaching it to the wall. Right now, the two boards are leaned up against the wall and anchored with heavy objects at the bottom to keep them from falling. I would prefer they be perfectly flat against the wall, so I’m always on the lookout for a better design wall (or an improvement to my existing one). With that in mind, here is what I’ve found.
If you are interested in a design wall similar to mine, Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransson shows you how she made hers here. She has attached the design wall to her studio wall, at the top, with Velcro.
For those of you who haven’t yet invested in a design wall OR those of you who (like me) want to improve upon the design wall you have, you will find this post interesting. At The Quilting Edge Marianne has posted about her design wall endeavors. She uses Command Picture Hanging Strips to adhere the boards to the wall. This makes the boards removable--ingenious. (I take my design walls outside to photograph my quilts, so being able to remove the boards from my wall is essential for me.) This is definitely something I will be trying for my existing design wall.
For a more permanent design wall, check out A Ditchin' Time Quilts. Stephanie enlisted her husband's help to attach her boards to her walls using really long screws. Check that out here.
At Quiltmaker, you'll find a tutorial which uses 1/2" thick foam core board and gray knit to cover the design wall. This particular design wall was nailed to the wall in her studio.
If you are looking for a portable design wall--something you could use at a quilt retreat--you might check out All People Quilt. They have a nice little post which explains how to make portable design walls along with some more permanent design wall ideas.
Carolina, at Always Expect Moore, has a tutorial on creating a mini quilt design wall. She goes through a lot of trouble to add a cute "binding" around the wall. I love how it looks, but I'm pretty lazy. I might forgo the "binding" and wrap the board with batting using duct tape to attach it to the back. Carolina uses an artist's canvas in her tutorial, but I think a foam core board would do just as well. Annie Smith talks about something similar to this in Episode 209 of The Quilt Show. I think I have heard these mini design walls called block minders by someone.
I hope you got some good ideas about how you might make a design wall (portable or permanent) or improve the design wall you are currently using.