There is nothing worse than gathering up all your project materials and carrying them back to your dorm only to realize that you forgot bordette, a picture or a stencil.
And somehow at least one of those pesky letters always seems to get up and walk away. We have all been there, myself included. I once walked from the Programming Resource Center all the way over to the Campus Center only to realize once I was standing in front of my board that I forgot background paper. There was a good minute or so where I contemplated just completing the board without it, but I begrudgingly went all the back to the PRC and cut myself enough green background paper to make three bulletin boards. (Don’t worry; I brought back the remaining scraps the next day. We need not waste). This sudden realization that something was forgotten or left behind can really put you on edge. Here are some ‘PRC hacks’ that will help your board creation go smoothly.
Keep Track of Your Letters. This may seem obvious, but it is one of the most common problems. There is actually a whole drawer in the pre-cut stencil box dedicated to lost letters. It also really helps to count out your letters beforehand on a post it note so you aren’t counting off in your head at the stencil station. And once you cut out all your letters, head on over to the adhesive machine. As you push your letters through, spell everything out. This way you can make sure that you have everything and can grab one before you leave. This is also really helpful to do with stencils. It also keeps all your letters on one giant sticker sheet, which is pretty hard to lose.
Measure Twice, Cut Once. Once you get to the point where you are ready to cut out your background paper, make sure you know the dimensions of your board. If you don’t know or forgot to measure, we have your back on this one. There is a binder in the PRC that had all the dimensions of the bulletin boards in every hall in every dorm on campus. I would even recommend using this to double check your sizes. Once you know your sizes, measure out your background paper. Give yourself about 6 inches of wiggle room on each dimension. You can always cut down your background paper, but once it is cut you cannot add anymore. Then roll it up and use a rubber band to keep it nice and smooth. This will also prevent tearing from happening.
Keep All Your Materials in the Same Place. The PRC is a big, wonderful space to work in, there is no denying that, but there are some drawbacks to this. When you go from working at the stencils to the glitter table, some things can get left behind. So as soon as you come in to work, claim a spot that will be designated as your holding station. Then after each work station, go back to your holding station and drop things off, pick things up or look at your to-do list. This will also help you keep track of how much more you have left to accomplish. Then once you are ready to head out, you only have to check one area for everything.
Have a Game Plan. You may have a great idea for a bulletin board in your head, but please plan it out before you get here. Or plan it out in the PRC, but before you starting cutting and printing; you should have an idea of what the end goal is going to look like. This way you can streamline the process and get your board up faster and with less hassle. I find that people who just have a conceptual idea in their head about a board tend to make more trips to the PRC for that one board. Planning is an essential part of the process.
These are just some basics hacks, but they make things so much easier. If you keep yourself organized and do the things I have outlined above, you will thank yourself in the end. Then you can celebrate your successful new board.