Monday, August 6, 2012

DIY: framed chalk board

Disclaimer-If you are a perfectionist this might not be the craft for you or you will need to dial down your expectations significantly.  

Cool chalk boards are kind of pricey.  I wanted to have a nice looking chalk board for my Ladytroupe Sweets stand to showcase product lists and ingredient information among other things.  Writing things on a chalk board automatically make it look cozy and homemade.  Which is essentially what I want the feel of my little bakery business to be.  I just wasn't willing to pay the price.  

So I made one myself with an old frame and chalk board contact paper.  I know chalk board paint is all the rage right now but for the right project the contact paper works just as nice without the painting mess.  Plus it's super cheap! 

Stuff you will need:
frame with glass
chalk board contact paper (I used a 18" X 6' roll)
I used a large framed print that my husband we were no longer fond of.  Prepare the frame by removing the glass, print and backing.  I was considering painting it white but I liked the results after the sandpaper and decided to stick with it.
Wash the glass with soap and water and dry it well so the contact paper sticks properly.  

Measure and cut a piece of the contact paper.  The directions suggest cutting 1/8 inch longer on all sides to allow for shrinkage.  I allowed even a bit more so I could just fold the sticky paper over the glass edges on all sides.  

The trickiest part is laying the contact paper nice and smooth on the glass.  This is where the perfectionist will have issue.  Justin helped me initially get a side of the paper lined up along the glass edge.  It took a long time for me to pull up edges and smooth out bubbles.  I did this over and over again until it was mostly smooth.  Tip: Do this on a clean surface like a table.  I did this on the floor and the tiniest bits of sand or dust gets stuck on the contact paper causing little bubbles or bumps.  I was pulling out little girl blonde hairs and dust.  It was a terrible reminder about how dirty my floors get. 

In the end it wasn't perfect but I'm OK with that.  I found using my forearm to smooth out large sections of the paper really helped.  

The hardest part might have been dealing with the old frame nails and hammering them down properly.  
The final product was used immediately and given rave reviews by my creative little girl.  That's Addie (as Rapunzel with the long hair at the top of the stairs) having a sleep over with all her friends. 
As an added bonus this chalk board will be fabulous for displaying dinner party menus!  There are a million possibilities for chalk boards.  


Natasha said...

Oh I like your idea for using it for dinner party menus! I am putting this on my project list! I am the least crafty person but this seems simple enough.

Anonymous said...

My friend Heather Purcell sent me your blog link and I love it! Your photography is amazing and your girls are precious.

Sara said...

Thank you! Nice to meet you Amanda.

Natasha, it is a super easy craft! As long as you are OK with a few bubbles here and there!