Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Create Your Own Chalkboard

Normally my chalkboard resides in my sewing room and has a list of tasks and reminders to myself.

I'm a very visual (and forgetful) person and this is a way to keep things in my face, so to speak.

I had been using chalk.

But thankfully I discovered chalk markers.

For the recent party I decided to take the chalkboard downstairs and create a menu board.

Thanks for all your kind comments about the handwriting. I studied calligraphy and taught at park districts for several years. Calligraphy is not difficult but I'll admit it's not something that you can teach yourself. It's de-mystified when someone shows you and you become proficient with tons of practice.

At one point I was hired by a school district to teach a group of students whose handwriting was deemed unreadable. When the students understood the concept of breaking down the letters into geometric shapes, they made a breakthrough. Some students ended up with handwriting better than their teacher.

I'd admired those large chalkboards in the Pottery Barn catalog, but my budget simply could not bear the cost. I need to stretch my dollar as far as it will stretch and besides, I love the challenge of how to recreate some of these looks on a budget.

I try to shop Goodwill at least once a week, usually on Sunday or Monday when they have a 1/2 price sale. The secret is to keep your potential projects in the back of your mind so that you can be on the hunt for that particular item.

To create a chalkboard, keep your eye out for a large frame, something with a backing board. If it's mounted under glass you're going to need a way to dispose of that because you're not going to need it. This frame is 22 x 30 inches, a nice size.

Remove the artwork. The backing board is going to be your chalkboard.

Chalkboard paint is available in the paint department of home improvement stores. It's sold in small quart cans. Give the backing board at least 3 coats of paint. Re-mount it in the frame and voila....... you've got a chalkboard that can serve many purposes.

If you mount one in your mudroom, family member can leave notes.

What I'd really love to do is paint an entire wall with chalkboard paint. I've seen instances where people have a chalkboard wall in the kitchen and during a party guests write messages or doodle.

Have fun creating your own chalkboard and saving some money for other projects, like tiling a 1,400 sq. ft. basement floor!

NOTE: YES!!!!! My son and I have finally finished laying the tile. Half of the project is grouted and we're working on finishing the other half. Grouting a floor is a nasty, nasty job. I'll show you some photos when we're finished. I conferred with the tile guy at the home improvement store on some issues we were having with cleaning the tile after grouting. He's been very, very helpful during this entire process. Surprise......he said that he's been using me as an example when teaching tile demos at the store.

"If this 62-year woman can tile an entire basement, you can do it too."
And can!!!


Vee said...

Nice tips on chalkboards. Having worked with them for years, I've never wanted one any larger than my wee one at home.

Ahhh, thanks for the explanation about your handwriting skills...

Yay and hearty congrats on the tile floor. I just know that it's going to be beautiful.

Rickey Henderson said...

Nice blog, Rickey likes! When you get a chance, check out Rickey's recent home improvement blog post. It's Rickey's first foray into the world of Bob Villa!

Lee said...

I love the look of your chalk markers, especially with your beautiful calligraphy. Would you share the brand of chalk markers you use?

Lisa D. said...

I love the chalkboard. It's something I've been wanting to do, and just haven't found the time or the right place for one.
One thing about living way out in the country and having a handy father and a farmer father-in-law willing to tackle any kind of project is that hiring someone to do some work doesn't even occur to me.

martina said...

I did the same thing with the old ironing board cupboard door. For three years it has said "lots to think and pray about, nothing to worry about" It inspires myself and others every day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chalkboard tutorial. I saw a hint somewhere to take a great frame and get some sheet metal cut to size at the hardware store. Then mount and use in your sewing room or where ever your heart desires. I plan to make funky magnets using Covered button forms.

Mary at oleqwilter dot com

Susan S. said...

Hi there...great blog...I just popped in from another blog and am enjoying yours tremendously. Love the chalkboard tips. I've always wanted to take Caligraphy.

Happy New Year from Houston, TX!

LDF said...

If I wasn't living in a rented apartment, I would paint one entire wall in my sewing room as a chalkboard! However, you've inspired me to look for something that I can make a smaller chalkboard with ... thanks!

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I'm so making one of these for my menus! I took calligraphy classes too. I used to do wedding invitations till it got to be too much! Having nice handwriting is a plus. Do tell - where can I get chalk markers????? I have to make one of these!

Anonymous said...

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Suzanne said...

Vee - I can imagine your aversion to chalkboards and chalk.

Rickey - I'm going to check out the home improvement blog. I'm needing all kinds of tips.

Lee - The chalk markers are Neoplex. I got mine on Ebay but they have a website.

Lisa - I REALLY nned your father and father-in-law!!!

Martina - What I great idea. I do remember seeing a chalkboard painted door on one of the decorating blogs and it was wonderful. And the saying is indeed.... inspirational.

Mary - That's a great idea alos. My sister makes magnet boards from old vintage trays.

Susan - Thanks for landing on my blog. I miss Houston. I lived in San Antonio for four years and made many side trips to other Texas towns. I miss the United States of Texas.

LDF - Yes, this is a way that you can enjoy the chalkboard without painting a wall.

Lisa - This makes a perfect menu board. I did wedding invitations for a long time also. It got kind of tedious after awhile. The chalk markers are availabe on Ebay and sometimes at local office supply stores.

Anon - You're welcome.

Thanks everyone for visiting today.

Anonymous said...

At last, I found your article once more. You have few [url=]useful tips[/url] for my school project. This time, I won't forget to bookmark it. :)

lifeinredshoes said...

I'll have to try chalk markers, I don't like the sound of the real deal!
And, just thinking about your tile makes my knees throb.

myletterstoemily said...

what a great idea and i love the chalk markers.

my mother in law kept a giant chalkboard in her
kitchen and made her 5 sons memorize a bible verse
each week from it.

her hand writing was almost as beautiful as yours!

Anonymous said...

HI, nice to meet you. I have enjoyed your post today about making a blackboard!

martina said...

I just remembered an idea spotted on a craft website. Someone took a silverplate tray, painted the interior with blackboard paint (the rim remained silver) and used that as a blackboard. It looked like a framed blackboard-all in one step (probably 2-3 coats of paint)

Lisa said...

I love this post. I love Bill Bryson. I love your chalkboard tips. And I love your blog! :)Glad to have stumbled upon it...

Gale said...

We are on vacation and the rest of the family is still asleep. Old habits die hard so my body still tells me to get up for work. too can tile a floor. I tiled my cement basement floor by myself when I was 60, love garage sales, estate stales and thrift stores. Although I live in an older suburb of Chicago now, I was raised in a VERY small Indiana farm town so am used reusing everything which my Chicago bred husband doesn't understand. Doesn't everyone wash out their breadwrappers instead of buying plastic bags. Your blog speaks to me and I will continue checking both this and your photography blog.

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