March 02, 2014

D.I.Y Chalkboard Frames

This is where I have been for the last few weeks (see picture below). The other day someone asked me--in order to make me feel less anxious about wedding planning--what was the worst possible thing I could imagine happening at the wedding? My answers ranged from "what if someone doesn't like something?" to "what if I trip on my dress?" "Really," she said. "Those are the worst possible things you can think of? Not the whole place burning down or a huge snowstorm in May?" Ok, maybe I don't have it too bad. 

Minted wedding invitations

I like some aspects of putting together a wedding, especially the fun projects. At this point they are still fun and not stressful and tedious. I am taking the term D.I.Y Bride to another level to save some money and add some personality to the wedding, like many brides. I like to refer to my theme now as that time "a thrift store and an Anthropologie store exploded." Chalkboards are one of those things I have wanted to make for a long time. 

D.I.Y chalkboard frames

I was inspired by a shopping trip a few months ago. I struck gold when I heard a vintage prop business was selling off its inventory and I had to check out what she had. The lovely lady still has an online shop, but seeing all of her stock in person was a dream come true. She had everything you could imagine for a vintage wedding, including jars, old books, frames, typewriters, crates, furniture and more. I picked up quite a few items for a great price and among those items were frames. She told me how easy it would be to use the frames to make chalkboards.

vintage props

Although I got some wooden frames from the sale, I made these chalkboards out of some silver frames I bought at Value Village for about $2 each. The chalkboard paint is the most expensive part of the project and can cost up to $25 depending on what brand or type you buy. I used white acrylic craft paint, but I would suggest actual hardware store primer. 

You will need:
Chalkboard paint or spray paint
Primer paint
Frames with the glass still in them

D.I.Y chalkboard frames

First, clean the frames and then the glass with an all-purpose cleaner. Take the glass out of the frames and start painting layers of primer on to the glass until it is completely smooth and covered. Alternatively, you could sand the glass to reduce the shine. Let the paint dry completely. 

If you are confined to a small crafting space, take the glass pieces outside and spray paint them with the chalkboard paint until they are completely black. Let dry for a few hours before you attempt to write on them. I love how these turned out and I am going to use these for menu boards and a guestbook sign. 

Chalkboard frames

I feel like I want to "chalkboard paint" everything now. There are also many options on Etsy and craft stores for creative chalkboards. I found this chalkboard carrier in the sale rack at Michael's craft store:

There is something about making things yourself or finding gems in a stack of old things that makes it so much more satisfying. I am sure I will make use of the chalkboards for other things besides wedding decorations. I have already made use of many of the crates I found at the vintage prop sale, including one as a make-shift cat bed. She seems to enjoy it:

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