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!
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.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- 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 32 10x10.5 squares) We ordered ours from Philadelphia Botanical Products and we suggest you do the same as they were so wonderful to work with!
- 1 or 2, 2x4 boards cut into 4 squares
- Liquid Nails or Loctite Power Grab
- 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
- 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)
Step 2: Hang Your LCD or Plasma TV
Follow the directions on your mounting hardware and mount your TV where you would like. My place is fairly small, so we centered ours over the fireplace and used an adjustable mount so that the LCD can lean forward for a better viewing angle.
** If you do not have or cannot mount your TV, that is alright, but you will need to make the side of your wall much thicker to be even with the front of the TV. This means that you will need to figure out how deep or what size wood blocks to use before starting. You will not be able to use the 2x4 blocks as we suggest.
Step 3: Measure and Mark
Measure the space including the TV cutout, and mark the locations with a pencil on the wall. The front panels of foam core should over hang the sides by 1/8". This means that you need to mark 1/8" inwards from your desired final edge location.
This is done so that the corners where the front and side meet will look even with no gaps when you are done.
Step 4: Cut 2x4 Blocks
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.
Step 5: Glue 2x4 Blocks to Wall
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. Make sure to put the glue on the side of the 2x4 that you did not cut as shown in the picture.
Hold each block in place for 1 minute and let the glue dry overnight.
Step 6: Cut Foam Core
Cut your foam core to the desired shapes and sizes you need to completely cover the front and sides. 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!)
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.
Step 7: Prep and Paint the Boxwood Foliage
Before starting, your artificial plant mats should be clean and dry. Give them a little scrub with 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.
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, guided by the directions on your spray paint for application and dry time.
** Be sure to get the sides and and in-between areas of the mats well coated with paint.
Step 8: Attach the Boxwood Foliage
Once your boxwood is dry, use your Loctite glue to secure the mats to the foam core and let them dry overnight.
Some of the paint may flake off during this process; a little flaking is OK. However, if all of your paint starts to flake, then your paint either did not dry properly or the surface needed to be braised better and you may have to retouch them.
Keep gluing and attaching the boxwood until your finished!
Step 9: Add Finishing Touch
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.