I removed the quarter round and changed the wheels on my cart yet again and although not perfect, it is sliding in and out of the channel beside the fridge much better. I am so glad because getting that working and completed allows me to move on to my next step in the project. I have certainly used my fair share of chalkboard paint, but have only made things with a very practical purpose such as my menu board. I have never tried my hand at chalk art, but absolutely love the look. My husband thinks I am crazy for putting in the amount of time it took for this project. I probably spent about 3 hours on this from the design phase through to completion. It wasn’t so much hard work as it was tedious and time-consuming. However, I love the finished product and have my fingers crossed that it won’t be smudged within the first few days like my husband predicts. I have to admit that would be very disappointing, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it holds up. Unlike a sign or wall art, this unit will be used regularly and I may end up really regretting this idea, but for today at least ~ I love it!!
Like most things I attempt, I try to do a bit of research first as “reinventing the wheel” goes against every fibre of my being. Why would I make the same mistakes that so many before me have already learned from. So, the first steps, as always were preparation. For this project, I was searching for font suggestions as well tips on creating chalkboard art and of course, the internet didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the links that I found to be the most helpful.
So, I basically followed the tutorial suggested on Indie Craft Parade. Her instructions for getting perfect lettering seemed simple and straight forward and didn’t require any special talents. Check out her blog for the full tutorial, but here is a summary of what I did.
- Prepped my new chalkboard by covering the entire surface with chalk and then erasing it. It was still pretty chalky, so I used a damp cloth to clean it off completely.
- Using the font suggestions on The Scrap Shoppe, I went to dafont (one of my favourites) and began to download a few of my favourite free fonts. I planned and designed what I wanted to appear on the board. In my case, this was a bit tricky because my surface was quite long, but only 4″ wide. I created a text box that was slightly smaller than the width of the shelf (using Pages) and then wrote my words in the box. I then began to play with the fonts, sizes and layout until I came up with a design I liked. The fonts I ended up using were Birmingham Elongated, Bergamot Ornaments, KG Eyes Wide Open, 2 Peas Heart’s Delight and Bumble Bee BV. I found free clip art for both the swirl and the salt shaker. I took a screen shot of the swirl and then adjusted the size for my text box. I decided to use Webdings to create the little hearts in lieu of salt!
- Once the design was finished, I printed it out.
- Using the printed design that was the exact size I needed for my finished work, I began to rub chalk all over the back side of the paper.
- I carefully laid out the design and once I was sure that it was centered and level, I taped it in place.
- Finally, I took a regular pencil and began to outline the letters and shapes and then colour them in with the pencil. The pressure of the pencil on the elements of the design transferred the chalk to chalkboard, creating beautiful crisp lines. This wasn’t hard, but it was somewhat awkward with the shelf being so narrow and I ended doing it in about 4 sessions with breaks in between each.
- Once I had traced and coloured the entire design, I carefully remove the paper. (The flower on the bottom was an after thought as I had no idea what to put in that space and it needed something. You can probably tell that it was not part of the original plan, as it looks like one of my kindergarteners made it. Oh well!)
- The final step involves clean-up. Now this is where my patience began to wear a bit thin. From a distance it looks pretty fab, but if you go up close it is a bit smudgy in places. Oh well, not bad for a first try! To clean-up the excess chalk dust, I first gently blew off what I could and then used both a clean damp rag (NOT paper towel) and wet Q-tips to erase the extra chalk and give it that clean look.
- When it was about as good as it was going to get, I sprayed the entire surface with hair spray. It is supposed to help maintain the art, but the effectiveness of this remains to be seen.
I am really excited about this whole project and will absolutely be looking for more ways to use chalkboard art in my projects.
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