Introduction: Modular Wall-Art

A while back I had an idea when i saw a sort of pillow wall (movie, series, can't remember). Wouldn't it be cool to have that on your wall as well? But just sawing out a panel, drilling a few holes in it, filling it with foam and upholstering it with a fabric, leather, old curtains or whatever... That might be a tad boring for me. Nice, but not quite it for me.
What if you made it modular. Different panels, different panel-sizes. different materials, colors, textures etc

I ran the idea by the review committee (the better half) and she was on board!
And, here is the end-result, of which i can proudly say, our first project together:

Step 1: Modular, How?

Think panels. Panels which can be hung from something, a frame. Frame should be light-weight though. Panels should be able to hang up like picture-frames or something.

Well, first things first: size, the table is 90cm wide, so we decided to a max size of a 110 or 120cm.
It became a 120cm: panels of 30x30 or 60x30. 

Hanging them was the next challenge. I decided that hanging them on an aluminum U-frame would be best. Just drill 2 screws in a panel and hang them on a U-beam. Since it's supposed to be modular, you should be able to rotate the panels as well. That would be easy enough, by putting in 4 screws. 

Step 2: Frame Design and Fabrication

Frame design came together quick enough after a visit to the local shop.

I used:
2x200cm of aluminum 1x1x1 U-rail
2x1m M4 thread
a bunch of M4 nuts ( 4 nylocks and the rest standard ones)
some M3 nuts & bolts.

I cut the u-rails at 110cm, leaving 2x 110 and 2x90cm. Drilled holes and fixed the threaded M4 in place.
The bottom nuts are nylocks. i soon realised that it would be hell putting all these nuts in place. So i inserted the rod in the rotary drill, worked like a charm!

The frame was pretty rigid, but i didn't want to take any chances since 'a lot' of wood would be hanging on it. So i mounted some strips as well. making the finished frame. (Used some sticky felt on the backside, to make sure it wouldn't damage the wall)

Step 3: Panel Design

I had two kinds of panels in mind. 30x30 and 60x30. The 3030's however i planned to upholster, so wood-quality was not really an  issue. Had the cheapest 18mm wood cut into 6 3030 panels. And two nice whitewood 18mm panels cut to 6030.

3030 Upholstered Panels:
First i gave them a quick paintjob (with whatever i had laying around, in this case white primer), so they would be less sensitive to moisture.

Insert screws at coordinates 10,10 10,20 20,10 and 20,20.
Visually this creates 9 quadrants. Drilled holes in the nine quadrants, but only the center quadrant in the middle. the other eight a little inwards to the center to please estheatics.

I bought 3cm thick upholstery foam, which i cut slightly larger than 3030. Went shopping with the better half an found some fabrics (pillows to be exact) which matched our interior and would most probably look good! (no real garantees here, since we weren't sure what it would be going to look like :-) We opened the pillows up, removed the filling and cut to size (4040). 

Now for upholstery... I found a nice instructable covering that, so i'm not going to elaborate on that, but this turned out great.
Now i also tacked over the holes i  drilled earlier, this because of the buttons, which will/might be placed later on.

As for this one, one big button would suffice. The fabric used to be a pillow, so it came with two straps. A shame to throw away, so we added them to the panel as well. One Done!

6030 Panels:
These where a lot easier. added picture frame profile with some wood glue and just put them in white primer (didn't want any reflections, when the sun would hit the piece). These panels where the domain of the better half, she went out shopping for accessoires (lots!) and afterwards we'd check what would look best by laying it out. This turned out quite nicely and when satisfied i glued the pieces on or put some small nails in to hang them.

Step 4: Finishing Up

After all panels where done it was time mount it to the wall!
I used two screws about 40cm apart to distribute the weight.
... and for next season, we can change it however we want!

Thanks for reading!