Monday, June 16, 2014

Chalk It Up!

It's been a few weeks since my last post but in that time, I've been working on some really fun chalkboard projects!  Although I'm still creating, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite chalkboard art pieces from the past 6 months or so.  Before I go any further, you should know that my home-made chalkboard is one of my favorite decorative accents in my home.  I say homemade because the chalkboard is simply a piece of foam board painted with chalkboard spray paint and cut to fit a super fun and fancy Ikea frame (you'll see it in the pictures below).  The chalkboard itself was such an easy project and looks like a million bucks when hung and decorated to match the season!

I try to change the chalkboard each month with a design, quote, or picture to match something big that's happening in my family's life.  It may be a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or even just a general good feeling that's happening among us.  I keep the chalkboard on the wall while I decorate, mainly because the frame is pretty difficult to hang up (thanks Ikea!) but also because it's like a built in easel.  One of my favorite days during each month or season is when I have time to prepare my chalk, wet paper towels, q-tips, coffee and swanky tunes before chalking it up and adding some new flare to my home!

On the chalkboard in my home, I use regular Crayola school chalk.  This works out because I like to change the design pretty often and this chalk can be wiped clean in a few quick swipes.  Also, my chalkboard is hung in the perfect spot where it's not rubbed against by guests or myself and the chalk won't come off unless I tell it to!  On other chalkboards that I make as gifts or to sell, or even place in other spots in my home, I like to use a white paint marker (Sharpie has a great one in a range of sizes from extra-fine to wide) so that the design is permanent but to the untrained eye looks the same as if it were made with Crayola chalk.  Prior to using the permanent marker, which can be pretty intimidating, I always sketch out my design in regular chalk so that I can erase anything I don't like before it becomes a permanent part of the piece.

Like I mentioned earlier, below are some of my most recent and favorite chalkboard designs.  I'm always making new ones and will update with another post when I gather another bunch of favorites together!  Hope this gets you inspired!

This is my first design in my family's first home together!  I put a lot of time and effort into this one as I was still figuring out the chalk, the board, and wanted to creating a lasting impression of how happy my new "home sweet home" made me!

My next design was on the cutest little Scottie-dog chalkboard.  I found this for $1.00 a few years ago and had it hung in my classroom until I decided I liked it better on my coffee bar!  You can really tell I used good old-fashioned chalk in this one from all the smears, but I still love it, especially the writing.

...And then came Thanksgiving!  What a great reminder this was during the holiday season when giving thanks is so important.  Again, the different handwriting styles in this makes me smile and I feel that the word "Thanks" really stands out.  Perfect for Thanksgiving!

Contrary to the last few designs where I felt the words really stand out, in this Christmas season design, the reindeer really catches your eye.  I was nervous tackling this design, but I was so pleased with the results (I didn't erase it until February!)

Come February - Goodbye deer, hello bee!  This design wasn't my favorite and I think I was having a bit of an off-day while I made it (the writing's a little crooked and a little plain, too).  But the bee stands out and is pretty cute!  Will you "bee" my Valentine?

Another coffee shop design!  Can you tell I love coffee?  I found this adorable coffee pot chalkboard at Michael's Arts and Craft Store (already chalkboard painted, too!)  I argued with myself of whether to go with a quote about coffee or one about tea...but you can see which one won!  For this chalkboard I used a paint pen instead of true chalk.

Lastly, my most recent chalkboard design is this paisley owl.  I found the blank owl wood piece at Michael's Arts and Craft Store, painted it up with some chalkboard spray paint, then got to work.  I am proud to say that I created the whole design (in regular chalk first, of course - and then a paint pen) just from a little paisley inspiration and really got carried away with the design.  I was so, so happy with how this one turned out!

Stay tuned for some more chalkboard designs and some new projects, coming soon!

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