Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Kind of Chalkboard

Seven years ago I had this fabulous mirror above my dresser. I got it half price at Hobby Lobby, and then I negotiated 25% more off (I'm not comfortable negotiating, but I did it anyway) because it had the smallest of cracks in the glass. Fast forward a few years and the mirror's crack got bigger and bigger (thanks to two crazy boys jumping on the bed?!) and we had to throw the mirror away. I begged my hubby to let us keep the frame (who knew what I could do with it in the future?!) and reluctantly he left me store it in the garage. He tried to throw it away a couple of times (I had to go get it off the curb once...) Now, seven years later we move into our new house, and I needed a new menu board. Thus, the fancy menu board was born (or reborn if you count it's former life as a mirror.)

What you need:
- frame
- tape measure
- Chalkboard paint (I like the spray can one because it's quick and easy)
- Bistro Markers (if you're fancy) or regular chalk if you're not

Step by Step:

1. Find an old frame or pick one up at a thrift or discount store. Clean it and decided whether it needs a nice coat of spray paint. (I like mine the way it was, so no painting required.)

2. Flip the frame over and measure the length and width of the inside. Write it down, go to your local hardware store of choice -- mine is our local Home Depot. Pick up a piece of MDF. It's pretty inexpensive since essentially it is paper-based.

3. This is where your measurements come in. At my Home Depot, they will make up to two cuts for free (or if you smile pretty, they make as many as you need :o)Have them cut the MDF to your measurements.

4. Lay out your MDF in a well-ventilated place on newspaper or drop cloth and spray with chalkboard paint. It will most likely need 2-3 coats before you are satisfied.

5. Place MDF in frame and secure it.

6. Decorate with Bistro Markers or chalk. (PS. Most craft stores sell Bistro Markers for about $10. I bought mine with a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby)If you do choose Bistro Markers, you will most likely need a damp cloth to remove it each time you change your chalkboard.

Now, whenever we have guests (or even the air conditioner man) in our house, one of the first things they mention is how much they like the chalkboard in our kitchen.... hmmm,good thing I didn't let my hubby throw the old frame away!