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DIY Boxwood TV Wall

Photo by Ryan Collerd for The New York TimesPhoto by Ryan Collerd for The New York Times

One of the projects featured in the NY Times article is the boxwood wall covering around my mounted LCD. We put a small hole into the sheetrock, (easily patched and painted if I move), and pulled wires down to the baseboard. The big screen is then nestled into a white garden of artificial boxwood.

The boxwood sits on top a layer of 1/8” foam core on blocks cut from a 2x4, which are then glued to the wall. The benefit of this is two fold. One, the glue will scrape off if you have to move and you are left with the duty of repainting. Second, it works for those who don’t have the capabilities to build a large plywood frame – this structure is temporary but very sturdy!

You can also view and download this DIY on Instructables HERE.

MATERIALS:

  • Plastic Spray Paint Primer (my wall took 6 cans)
  • Plastic Spray Paint in the color of your choice (my wall took 9 cans of white)
  • Artificial Boxwood Mat You can use grass, flowers, or any artificial covering as long as its fairly lightweight. (my wall needed 33 10x10.5 squares) We ordered ours from Philadelphia Botanical Products [map link]
  • 1 or 2, 2x4 boards cut into 4” squares
  • Liquid Nails or Loctite Power Grab
    (use a quick dry liquid nails found in the caulking aisle of your hardware store)
  • 1/8” Foam core sheets (If you plan to paint your boxwood, like I did. You need to make sure the foam core is the same color or a similar hue to your desired boxwood color.)
  • Marking pencil

TOOLS:

  • Measuring tape
  • Laser Level
  • Calking gun
  • Metal rulers (we used a 3’ t-square and 12” short rule)
  • All purpose Scissors
  • Utility cutter
  • 120 grade sandpaper or lightweight wire brush
  • Circular saw or chop saw (if you don’t have access to tools like this, you can have the 2 x 4’s pre-cut at the store most Home Depot and Lowes stores will do cuts for you)

When prepping for this project, you need to know exactly how big you plan to make your wall. Our wall was approximately 6’ x 4’ not counting the cutout for the LCD. Using this information, you can draw out the number of boxwood squares, the number of 2 x 4’s, and amount of foam core you need. Each project is different, so use this DIY as a guide of the technique, rather than a specific recipe.

STEPS:

1. Measure the space including the TV cutout, and mark the locations with a pencil on the wall. The front panels of foam core should overhang the sides by 1/8”. This means that you need to mark 1/8” inwards from your desired final edge location.

2. Cut your 2x4 down into a number of 4” long blocks. [We used 20]
The 4” cut does not need to be perfectly accurate as you will be gluing the uncut sides to the wall and the foam core. We chose 4” for lightness and ease.

3. Using a laser level and Loctite, glue the blocks down with the outside edge of the block matching your pre-marked edge. Make sure to keep the blocks close together enough so the foam core will have a secure base to attach to.

Hold each block in place for 1 minute and let the glue dry overnight.

Make sure to put the glue on the side of the 2x4 that you did not cut as shown in the picture.

4. Cut your foam core to the desired shapes and sizes you need to completely cover the area of block. Use a ruler to decide the exact size you need and again, make sure the foam core will touch more than one block at a time. Apply all of the front panels first, remembering to let the foam core overhang 1/8" on the sides. Then apply the sides. This will ensure seamless blended corners of your boxwood. (Thanks mom for the pose!)

5. Continuing to use the Loctite, glue the foam core to the 2 x 4 blocks. As before, make sure to hold them in place and let it dry overnight.

6. Before starting, your artificial plant mats should be clean and dry. Give them a little scrub with some sandpaper or a lightweight wire mesh brush. This will help the paint stick to them, as it tends to flake a bit when you attach them to the wall.

7. BEFORE painting, cut the boxwood in to the desired final shapes and sizes using scissors.
In a well-ventilated area, apply plastic primer to your mats on the front and back. Fold the mats in half to get in-between the rows of foliage for better coverage. Then follow the primer with the color of your choice, follow the directions on your spray paint for dry time.

8. Once your boxwood is dry, use your Loctite glue to secure the mats to the foam core and let them dry over night. Some of the paint may flake off during this process; a little bit of flaking is OK. However, if all of your paint starts to flake, then your paint either didn’t dry properly or the surface needed to be braised better and you may have to retouch them.

Keep going until your finished!

For some fun, nestle little animals or cute things in your boxwood. We put a pretty tweeting Eastern Bluebird Breezy Singer
in ours for a dash of color.

 

Comments

i was wondering about how much each square of boxwood cost you? i've been looking around and around but only seem to find them for $30 each 12in square..
Thanks! [beautiful project!]

Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 17:33


I love LEDs, mostly for the purity of their colors. I take the liberty of sending you the link to an LED video I did. It's very simple: Three LED toy "fans" that I set up and made a video of. It might look good on that big TV Screen you've got there! Please ignore the banter with the "haters"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcUUVVG-aDM

ThomasFMPayne

Monday, October 5, 2009 - 22:14


9-29-09: Modified the overhang amount of the front panel from 1/4" to 1/8", added a link to the instructable, and added two new drawings for measurement and cutting. Hope this makes it easier for everyone :)

Alison Lewis

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 18:20