We jumped on the chalkboard bandwagon a little over a year ago. It was one of the very first projects that I spotted on Pinterest and begged Ross to help me make! In fact, it's all Jessica Garvin's fault! I stumbled across her blog ( Little Baby Garvin) when she first started it up and began sharing cute pregnancy updates by taking a belly shot next to her incredibly creative chalkboard designs. Seriously go check out her blog and prepare to be entirely entertained and inspired!
Making your own chalkboard is super easy! We scoured resale shops for the perfect frame/old painting that we could convert, but just couldn't find anything that we personally liked. I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and buying a frame. Good news is, Hobby Lobby always has frames on sale 50% off so we still scored a good deal. We brought it home, propped it up in the garage and sprayed it with a couple coats of Krylon Catalina Mist spray paint . Hobby Lobby often has their spray paints on sale too!
The frame was originally black, so I took a fine sandpaper and gently sanded the decorations around the edges to give them a slightly aged look. It worked perfectly. For the background, we just used a piece of plywood that fit snugly to the back of the frame. We originally tried using chalkboard spray paint, but it just wasn't giving us the coverage or thickness that we wanted. We ended up grabbing a can of Rust-Oleum ChalkBoard paint and added a few coats to the plywood. Ross them simply attached it to the finished frame. Before you decorate it for the first time, it's a good idea to cure your new chalkboard. To do this, take a piece of white chalk and simply rub it over the entire surface of the chalkboard. Erase and you are set to create!
We often get asked about our chalkboard when family and friends stop by or when I post a photo of it on Instagram. I thought I would go ahead and share a few of the tips that I have learned and used:
1. I prefer Crayola chalk. To me, it just seems to write better and the colors are more vibrant than other brands I've tried.
2. Use Pinterest as an amazing source of inspiration. Either to find a chalkboard drawing or a simple quote that you just like. I get all of my ideas from there and simply replicate them for our own personal enjoyment. Here's my Chalkboard Inspiration board if you need some ideas.
3. I start by lightly outlining my design onto the board. Once I like the placement of everything, I grab a cup of water. Yep, water! I dip the tip of my chalk in the water and slowly go back over my outlines to make them bolder or to add color. You can see an example of this in the photo above. Don't hesitate to try new fonts or color letters in - it is only chalk and it can always be erased! For the Halloween letters, I colored them in and then used my finger to smear it a bit. Messy - yes, but it ended up being the spooktacular effect I was looking for.
4. Cleaning. Ditch the old erasers. They smear the chalk and leave you with a filmy mess. A lot of people just use water, but I personally like to use a homemade cleaner. I fill a spray bottle with 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar and spray just enough to clean all of my art work off. It doesn't take much. It's also perfect to use while making your design. I spray a paper towel and wrap my finger around it to clean up any mistakes or smears.
Carrying on with the craze, I also used those extra cans of chalkboard spray paint to make labels for the canisters in my pantry. I just grabbed a sheet of Avery labels and added a couple coats of spray. It was so incredibly easy and really makes our pantry look very organized. Plus it's easy to peek inside and see where everything is or determine what we are running low on. I use this liquid chalk marker to write on the labels. It doesn't rub off with us constantly grabbing the containers. To clean it, you just use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Chalkboards. I'm tell you they rock! What are you waiting for? Get out there and make one and start creating. It's quite fun.