Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DIY - Chalkboard


I've been dreaming of a functional chalkboard for quite sometime. I think they are charming. And super fun for kiddos. The hubs... well, let's just say he wasn't on the same page as me. I was dreaming of walls covered in chalkboard paint - cute little doodles everywhere. He. Was. Terrified. I could see it on his face. And he tended to put his foot down on this one whenever I would bring it up. So, my compromise was a DIY chalkboard. About 2 ft by 4 ft of awesomeness. And now, I am satisfied.

It was actually really easy, just consisted of some wood staining, screwing it all together, adding mounting hardware, and then hanging it up!  Thinking that I missed a step? I didn't have to do ANY painting for this project because Home Depot carries chalkboard covered MDF boards for $10 bucks! And in that section of the store, I picked up six 2 foot long, thin boards to frame it out. I only had to cut down two of the boards, and for me the less cutting the better.

I wanted to go for a rustic look, so aging and staining were the first step. I beat the boards for a bit with a hammer (both sides). And then I hammered the ends of a screw in various places. And then did some more distressing with whatever I found around the garage. I do this technique a lot when making DIY stuff because rustic pieces tend to give more leeway to the imperfections.


For the next step, I took the chalkboard and put it face down on a blanket. I simply stuck the framing boards under it and lined them up flush with the edge of the chalkboard. Screwed them together, and we were golden! You just need to make sure your screws are shorter, so they don't poke through the front.


Last step was to attach some mounting hardware. The chalkboard is moderately heavy, so I decided to go with a wire system to hang it up. I used these babies and an old wire clothes hanger.
I actually took these off of a mirror that we had hanging in our master bathroom. Tip: Most rectangular/square mirrors have two sets of mounting hardware, one to hang it vertically and one to hang it horizontally. And since you aren't ever going to use them both at the same time, why not borrow the unused set? I screwed them into the sides and then used hanger wire to connect the two to hang the whole thing up.
I took this picture midway through, so it wasn't exactly finished. You get the idea though. Here is what it kind of looks like now:

I love the contrast of the stained wood against the black. It works well in our home because of our acacia wood floors. I also love the size of this chalkboard, I used it on my son's first day of preschool. I think it will be cute to measure his growth next to it over the years!




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