Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas chalkboard

Good-bye November you have been a good friend... HELLOOO December! 

The holiday season is upon us whether we are ready for it or not.  It just doesn't feel like that 'time of the year' yet for me I've been so busy crafting. 
This week I'd like to share a chalkboard. 

So what's there to do on a snowy day when your husband can't get away?  Create a project for the two of you to do together!  Actually I'm just not allowed to use the power tools after the cutting incident of 2012.  Six stitches and 3 years later but I'm still not allowed to use power tools.  But that is another tale! 

I have this cool thing I bought at Sam's Club a few years back on sale for like $10.00... it reads Welcome on one side and Give Thanks on the other.  You can hang it vertically or horizontally and I use it almost all year round.  So I thought... what if I made one!  you know for those times when I need something to be more versatile and what if I made it and painted it with blackboard paint!  I think I thought of this like 2am one night in October when I was endlessly searching for something for my fireplace that was big and read 'Happy Halloween'; I just couldn't find anything anywhere... so when in doubt make it!

So here we are last Saturday and let me set the scene.  It was a cold and snowing day, the wind howling outside but inside with the fire raging against the cold.  It was one of those times I realized why people tied ropes to outbuildings back in the day with the wind blowing you could easily lose your way but I was all snuggly and warm reading a book when suddenly....

Okay, well it WAS snowing and only 12 degrees here in Colorado and I regret to say that I used my husbands boredom against him but I got him to go out with me and get supplies on the premise of this craft building project could be cause for a new tool... and I got him to help me make it!   

Here is my inspiration from November hanging on my mantle.

Now you can do this craft as well you just need some power tools and not to cut yourself!

You'll need:
1.   MDF board.  I got a pretty big piece 2x4 
2.   Boarder - I got a 12 foot long piece of small picture frame boarder
3.   Glue or brad nails.  I used glue - Liquid nails - to secure the boarder to the frame.
4.   Power tools - a miter box and hand saw or a miter saw to cut the correct edges for the frame
5.   Power tools - a Jig Saw or a hand band saw to cut the MDF
6.   Chalkboard paint - I chose black but you can get it in many colors
7.   Paint or stain for the boarder - I chose paint
8.   Paint brushes (1 for the boarder and 1 for the board itself) or paint sponges whichever you prefer
9.   Hooks to hang the finished piece.  I got a picture frame hook kit
10. Drop cloth for your work area
11. Yardstick
12. Level or T square
13. Pencil

Let's begin!

Step 1 - Decide how big you'd like your finished board to be.  I wanted mine to be about the same size as the inspiration piece so I chose about 19 inches by 36 inches.
I used my current piece as a reference. 

Step 2 - lay-out your design.  Using a ruler and T-Square or level you want to mark out your piece for cutting with your pencil

Step 3 - Using your jig saw, hand saw or band saw cut your piece out. (Sorry I didn't capture this step in detail, again, not allowed to use the power tools).

Step 4 - Cut out your frame.  Using your miter box and hand saw or your miter saw you want to measure the piece then cut the frame pieces out (sorry power tool step AND he did this outside in 12 degrees, wind and snow.. sorry I wasn't going out there again). 

Here is the piece in 'dry-fit'

Step 5 - Paint.  Now you can paint your boarder before you cut or after you cut.  I chose after. 
Paint your boarder and your main board.  I chose a contrasting color, you could paint it all one color of chalkboard paint. 

I gave everything 2 coats. 
Now let everything dry really well.

Step 6 - I would dry-fit the boarder one more time and maybe even mark it on the back where each piece goes on the board first.. just to make sure as cuts aren't always perfect. 
Now we are gluing the boarder to the main board.  If you decide to use small brad or finishing nails you'll nail where I say glue!
Put a bead of glue on the backside of your boarder and place it on the main board.  Continue until you have the entire piece completed.

Step 7 - Hanging.  I bought a picture hanging kit for a large heavy picture.  I put the kit on per the instructions.  I put one on to hang the piece horizontally and one so I could hang it vertically. 
The piece is a bit heavy so I would not skimp on this step.  I got my kit at Lowes for a piece that is 25 pounds.  Now it doesn't weigh that much, but you don't want it crashing down in the middle of the night because that is when things always fall and break. 

I've had fun writing and drawing different things on it already!
Here's a tip - if you don't want the old background showing through just wash it with a damp paper towel. 

I am going to put mine outside my front door on my porch for the holidays. 

The options for this are endless - you could even put it on an art easel and display it.  I am probably going to put some small finishing nails in the front of mine on the boarder so I can hang different banners off it throughout the year. 
I thought of making this with 2x2's and gluing them together then putting them in a frame - this would make the finished piece look more like the original and a bit more rustic but my budget was $30.00 and 2x2s were more expensive than MDF. 

All in all the project cost was $22.89.  I had all the supplies on hand, the only cost was the MDF, trim and liquid nails. And yes my husband got a new tool!!!  Now he didn't use the drill with the fancy Lithium battery on this project but he tried. 

Remember with a little ingenuity you can make anything and everything.  This was one of my first building projects and I think it came out GREAT!  I'll be using it in my décor all year round. 

Please come back next week when I'll be sharing my front door wreath made out of a picture frame! 


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1 comment:

  1. Great chalkboard! I did a similar one but I cheated and used the wall instead. I also put some fake molding around it... lol!