Quick note: We somehow made it through the hurricane without losing power, but we have relatives up in NY and NJ who didn’t fare as well. Our thoughts are with everyone dealing with the after-effects of Sandy. Stay safe everyone!
It’s Tuesday the 30th… so it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge project (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing). Huzzah!
This time John and I tried our hand at making a large chunky-framed leaning mirror – except instead of it actually being a mirror we made it into a giant chalkboard (since chalkboard paint is probably the most Pinterest-tastic material out there, haha).
By designing it like a large leaning mirror, it can move from room to room, and it can be a place where we write sweet notes, make lists, and enjoy Clara-scribble (we secured it to the wall with leaning mirror hardware so it’s kid-safe – more on that method here).
As per the challenge rules, I took inspiration (or Pintspiration, har-har) from the projects that I linked up to in last Tuesday’s post and did my own spin. Here’s a recap of them for ya:
- Top left: this big arse chalkboard from here
- Top right: this leaning easel board found here from this awesome blog
- Bottom right: this door-chalkboard from here
And here’s how we tackled our own version. The cool thing is that we were able to use a big board of plywood that we already had leftover from building in the fridge back in November of last year (yes, it was just chilling in our basement since then). But before we got to the chalkboard paint application, we rolled on some magnetic paint (since we already had a quart of that from this project in our first house). Sorry this isn’t a full shot of the plywood board, but it’s 68″ tall and 21″ wide if that helps.
After a four coats of magnetic paint (we wanted it to be pretty strong) it was time to add the chalkboard paint. So we grabbed this can from Home Depot for ten bucks and we rolled on two coats of it. We only applied it to the front side of the board, but you can see from this pic that we actually had some fun with the back side too, but we’ll get to that in a second.
As for building this whole shebang, we set out to make it without the need of any fancy saws or tools. And because Home Depot is happy to cut plywood to size for you to make the board, and you can also get them to cut a few 1″ x 6″ boards to create the frame… this project calls for no cuts at home at all. Woot!
For our 68″ x 21″ piece of plywood we got two 29.5″ 1 x 6″ boards for the top and bottom of the frame, and two 63″ pieces for the sides. This allows for a little bit of overlap when the frame is assembled so the board looks as if it sits inside the frame (but really rests behind it). The total height and width of the entire finished project is 29.5″ wide by 74″ tall.
As for the stain, we went with our old favorite (leftover from a bunch of other projects) which is Minwax in Dark Walnut. We stained the wood before we assembled the frame because it seemed easier not to have to worry about getting stain on the chalkboard part of the board.
After the frame was all stained and dried, we just used our Kreg Jig to attach them (but if you don’t have one you could easily use metal brackets to hold them together from behind or just try to screw them together from behind without a jig).
Bam. A dark walnut frame. Without a miter saw, angle calculations, or anything else that could get complicated.
Then we attached the chalkboard part to the frame from behind. And… surprise! John got a wild hair and painted the back in Citron (a leftover pot of BM paint that we had), just because he said the bare beat-up back was bugging him. Sure, we’ll probably only see it once every few years when we carry it around the house (you know we like to move things around) but I love that man for adding that secret plane of color just because he knows it’s there. Haha.
Oh and to be clear about how you attach the chalkboard part to the frame, you just screw around the edge of the chalkboard from behind because it overlaps the frame slightly, so as long as your screws are long enough to go through the plywood and into the stained frame (without poking all the way through the front) you’re golden. I think the length we used for those screws was an inch and a quarter.
Then we just let it air out/cure for a while (chalkboard paint + stain are both stiiinky until they fully cure) and it was finally time to bring it up into the living room along the wall where we wanted to lean it. Then we just secured it to keep it from tipping over (using the same dealio that we used here). Don’t want it bonking the bean!
Next it was time to “condition” it by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over it and then wiping it all off. Boom. Conditioned.
Ta-daaaaa! I know in the pics it seems to be one of the only wood tones in the room, but the console behind the sofa is the same finish and we’d love to build/repurpose a cabinet for the TV in the same rustic finish, so we think it’ll be more balanced and make more sense as the rest of the room comes together. One nice thing we didn’t even think about is that the color of the chalkboard paint ties into the sofa and the beams, so it sort of “marries” the wood console and the gray items in the room. Gotta love a “bridge piece.”
I’m sure the scribbles will constantly be changing (we have a fun Thanksgiving idea to implement when November rolls around) but for now I just wrote a quote that I love up on the top. It says “the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”
Then Clara woke up from her nap to see it hanging out in the living room and cautiously approached it. For a second she didn’t know what to think, but when we told her she got to draw on it and handed her a box of chalk…
… let’s just say she got pretty darn excited. Haha.
Here’s a video of her in action for ya:
It must be a mom thing, but I totally think my kid’s scribbles are THE BEST. I mean, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
So that’s how it all went down. As for the money stuff, here’s a little budget breakdown:
- $0 – leftover plywood board, leftover stain, leftover magnetic paint (a guess for buying all of these might be $45?)
- $10 – chalkboard paint from Home Depot
- $16 – four 1 x 6″ boards to make the frame
- Total: $26 (this project could potentially cost around 70 bucks if you don’t have leftover materials)
Don’t forget to check in on Katie, Carmel, and Sarah to see what awesomesauce projects they’ve whipped up (they’ll all be sharing theirs sometime today as well)!
And now here’s the part where we tip our homemade hats to you guys and invite you to share all of the fun Pinterest Challenge projects that you’ve tackled in the last week (right along with us, well at least virtually with us). If you’ve already blogged about it, just:
- click on the blue “Add Your Link” button with the odd cartoon head at the bottom of this post (you might have to do some scrolling, depending how many projects are added)
- add a link to your specific blog post about your project in the url field (not your home page)
- where it says “name” write a descriptive name for your project (ex: “Homemade Leaf Wreath”) as opposed to your actual name
- we’d also love if you could quickly link back over to our project posts within your own (here’s Katie’s, Carmel’s and Sarah’s) – it’s also nice to link to your inspiration project on Pinterest as well as to directly link to the original project/site, just so they get some love too.
And if you’d rather just link over to your project in the comment section, feel free to do that – or even add a link to a free photo sharing site like Flickr with your pics if you don’t have a blog (remember to set the gallery to public so we can all see it). We’re crazypants excited to see what you guys have been up to!
Love it! Clara looks very happy. Plus, when she grows out of the coloring stage, this chalk board is nice enough to use in your kitchen or laundry room for a to-do list or grocery list!
Kelly @ View Along the Way says
What a cool chalkboard! I love the scale! Thanks for hosting – I look forward to the pinterest challenge every time!
linda (burlap+blue) says
Oooo…love this! I painted our kitchen pocket door with chalkboard paint and my 3 yr old loves not just drawing on it, but can spend an hour wiping it clean with a damp sponge (now if only I could get him to do the same for the rest of the kitchen….) Thanks for hosting, just linked up! xo
Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles says
So fun! Glad to be linking up for my first Pinterest Challenge-thanks for the encouragement! Oh, and that chalkboard? Totally drooling!
I ordered fabric for mine (the plush magnetic letters from http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-plush-alphabet-magnets-chez-beeper-bebe-165414) that didn’t come in until yesterday, but I Instagrammed a photo of the work in progress! I want to blog the whole thing when it’s done.
Wendy - Old Town Home says
I love the new chalkboard! Is it just me, or has Clara grown a few inches overnight?
Thanks again to YHL and the Pinterest Challenge crew for getting us all inspired and motivated to tackle new projects. As always, it was a blast!
Aw thanks Wendy! We love doing this with you guys each season! And yes, Clara is growing like crazy these days!
Tanya from Dans le Townhouse says
I love your chalkboard!! It looks great in that space, too, because it really fills up the wall and balances out the desk visually. I am such a fan of chalkboard, I could see a million chalkboard ideas and never tire of it. I even made our knifeblock chalkboard when its varnish peeled and it needed a facelift:
Thanks for hosting this fab Pinterest party!
[email protected] says
I love how you guys are balancing making a living room fun for a pre-schooler with making a living room look great. Love the chalkboard, and kind of want one for myself!
My first Pinterest project failed, and then my second tried to kill me…Ah well.
On a more serious note, I’m glad you guys are well and am keeping a good thought for all the people impacted by Sandy.
Love the chalkboard. I think you will enjoy it for a long time!
Keep us posted about your book tour dates in NY/CT/NJ and if anything changes with the storm…
Jess @ Little House. Big Heart. says
Clara looks like she loves it! What a great place to start learning letters and numbers!
And I love how it brings the dark natural wood tones from your ceiling beams down to eye level!
I made faux pinch pleat curtains ala House of Hepworths. They turned out amazingly!
Love all the links guys! Everything looks great!
Love it! Now you will have a hard time getting little Clara away from it :)
Julia @ Chris Loves Julia says
That turned out so awesome. I am LOVING that chunky wood frame (in our favorite stain, too!). You know our big chalkboard gets tons of use around here. Daily! It hangs out in my studio now as Greta’s blank canvas when I’m working, but for our costume party over the weekend, I brought it downstairs and all of the kids covered that thing three times over. Chalkboards=the best!!
John @ Our Home from Scratch says
This is a great project. I’ll probably be building one of these myself in the next couple years. More proof that pocket screws make the world go round.
We might take a drive up to NJ on Friday to your book signing! We’ll see how the roads and bridges are. We still have power in SJ.
Ali Miller says
I am thinking there has to be SOME use for the flip side with the pretty color John painted! Like..using it as a backdrop to stick up some pictures of Clara at her next birthday? It could even be laid across two benches and used as a table!
Ooh that could work!
[email protected] says
I love these!!! Thank you for hosting :-)
Nicky at Not My Mother says
SO glad you’re okay. And this project is perfectly timed, I’ve got an old cork board I was considering doing just this to (the back side, obviously). Now I have a tutorial to follow :-)
Gabriella @ Our Life In Action says
I’m so bummed – we lost power and had to hunker down so I didn’t get to finish up my project, pictures and post. Are you extending the entry time due to Hurricane Sandy?
P.S. Glad you guys are safe….it is still circling over top of us so more high winds are expected.
Gabriella @ Our Life In Action says
Oh and LOVE the chalk board – great job :-D
Sure! This linky party lasts for a week so you have extra time :)
Gabriella @ Our Life In Action says
WOOO HOOOO!!! Thanks…I think I was worried more about my entry than the storm. I’s crazy like that. ;-)
Love this! When it comes to chalkboard paint – the bigger the better! Hah!
Marissa @ garrdenoflove.blogspot.com says
Praying everyone stays safe!
Mona O | Renters in Love says
Was just over at the Bowers’ but it looks like they’re not quite ready for us to come over for the Pin Party just yet. :/
Soon hopefully! She’s full of baby at the moment, so that could be it :)
Wait?!?! Did Katie have her baby?!?!?!
No it’s still in there! She’s full of baby :)
haha ok :) Just a bit too excited. Yes, being “full of baby” will definitely slow things down.
P.S. LOVE the chalkboard. I had my husband make these for our seating arrangements at our wedding. It was a fun and easy way to do things a bit differently. Ours warped over time though :( boo…I hope the same thing doesn’t happen for you guys! I love the look of it in the living room!
Ooh I can see next year’s birthday pics being taken here. What a cute way to write what she is loving at the moment and what age she is.
LOVE IT. Seriously. This is such a fun idea! I have a corner in our living room that I’d been saving for a ladder to hold throw pillows, but this just might be better! DIYDiva did one that looks almost the same but she made it from old barn wood from her farm! Love that too.
And by throw pillows, I obviously mean throws as in blankets. :)
Haha, I knew what you meant :)
So glad that you all made it through the storm ok. On her way to school this morning, Riley said, “Momma, I hope that Clara and her Mommy and Daddy and doggy are ok. I told her that I was sure that you all were fine and that it was nice of her to think about you. We prayed last night for you all and for everyone we knew on the East Coast.
Love your chalkboard and the video of Clara!! She is too funny!! P.S. I don’t know why that video I put on Facebook of Riley saying Hi to Clara wouldn’t work. I might have to try again.
Aw so cute!
Love this rustic chalkboard! It’s looks perfect in the room and it seems like Clara’s found a new favorite activity!
Stacie @ Hometown Perch says
Gorgeous! I love the way the chalk board turned out. Love that wood!
I love this! You’ve totally made me want to make one of these for our rented flat… I’ve got just the place for it, too. Hmm. Brain ticking!
I made a button up pillow cover and I love it! http://www.annabelvita.com/2012/10/30/how-to-make-button-up-pillow-tutorial/
Christina @ Homemade Ocean says
I apparently can’t link up at work so I will have to wait till I get home to share my bookcase makeover….drats.
Sara @ Stay at Beach Mom says
I absolutely love this! The finish y’all chose looks so good. When I first saw it, I thought you’d found a huge old frame to fill.
This will make a fun menu board/sign at a party too!
Very kewel. Love the video. And… that’s one of my fav-o-rite quotes :)
I can’t see the video – anyone else having that problem? There is just a big blank space…Thanks!
Sometimes on a smart phone that happens. So sorry!
What a simple but great project! I just did a food pin – again!
Noooo I can’t write right now……..haha!! Too cute.
“No, I can’t… I can’t try it right now” There’s simply NO TIME!! :) So cute.
Emma (Broke Ass Home) says
Oh goodness, I love your child. We were finishing up our dining room (FINALLY! It’s Done!) last night, so I’ll be doing my pin later this week I think. Kind of like Christmas, keep the pinning going all year round! ;)
Here’s the dining room! I’m so excited! It’s full of stuff from Pinterest too, from the Pallet behind the book case to the two toned table. LURRVEEE
Love all the links everyone! Thanks for sharing!
Love it! The chunky wood is the best part!
Tim and Mary says
Looks amazing guys! Love the “finished” yellow backing, just because you know it’s there, haha. We love these Pinterest Challenges!
I was thinking maybe you would put this in the black side of the frig wall–but you probably have something else dreamed for that space!
glad you are safe and sound!
but I can see it when I go to the blog through Facebook! weird computer stuff…oh well! Thanks again.
LOVE how this turned out, and what it does for the living room! Great job!
Clara looks like such a big girl next to the chalk baord! So cute!
Looks great! I know that yours is rustic and specifically matched to your console, so this tip doesn’t really apply to this project, but, should you ever want to get a really even coat of stain with less variation of light/dark, you can water pop the wood first. We did it to our wood floors, which gave us a nice even darkness but still kept the wood grain nice and visible. Just sand as you normally would, and then rub it down with a wet washcloth. This raises the grain again so it will absorb the color evenly. You will be convinced that you ruined all your hard work from sanding, but just keep the faith. You can read more online about it if you’re curious.
This is so fun!! Bonus – I love the way it looks in the space!
I’m in love with a Dark walnut stain, rustic and elegant at the same time. Your chalkboard looks great! I’ve also been browsing everyone’s links, and there are so many amazing projects I want to try there. And I have so much more browsing to do! Pinterst-challenge-reveal day is definitely not a day for getting work done.
And I have to say, my reaction from that first pic was you can put that cutie beside just about anything and it will look awesome. Clara is so lively and adorable!
Oh my goodness, the look on Clara’s face when John said, “I thought Clara started with a C” is priceless!
Thanks so much for hosting! Your chalkboard is super awesome!
Okay, I am officially doing that. I love that so much. How cute would that be in a little boy’s rustic room too? Love it!
Allison @ House of Hepworths says
This is fantastic. I really love it!
Liz C. says
this is great! do you have suggestions about making this into a mirror instead of a chalkboard? I have been eyeing the huge leaning mirrors at Ikea but at $120 a pop, I’m reluctant!
Maybe you can frame out a cheap mirror like they do on Pinterest?
I’m with you – I think my daughter’s pictures are the best. Last year for Christmas my husband set her up with watercolors and watercolor paper and the painting that resulted looks like a landscape at sunset to me. And this weekend she caught be completely off guard and wrote her name!
This has gotten my creative juices flowing – maybe I can turn the awkward wall in my kitchen into a magnet/chalkboard for notes and fun for the kiddos. Now just to figure out how to incorporate the off center light switches…
Ok, I’ve thought about doing this because my kids love playing with chalk outside, but how do you deal with the dust?? Dust in the house, and on hands? The chalk that you use outside seems to get ALL over their hands, clothes, etc. and I worry about that happening inside too. Getting on furniture, rugs, etc.
Clara has only used it a few times so far but it’s just like markers or play doh (we wash hands after and I wipe down the board with a damp cloth – just like I wipe down the table after play doh).
Laurel (@abubblylife) says
I use chalk markers on my chalkboard- no dust! More expensive than chalk, but I love them- no dust and mess!