Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chalkboard/Memo Board You Can Make

It is December 22 and I still have projects to finish that are being given as Christmas gifts. YIKES!  The picture above is one of the gifts I made this year using a cookie sheet (from Dollar Tree) and made into a chalkboard/magnetic memo board.   They are super useful, decorative and fun to make.  

Chalkboard paint is all the rage these days and you see everything painted with it.  It is available at most any hardware store. ( I got mine at Lowes.)  You can even customize your own color using paint and some unsanded grout. Martha Stewart's website has a recipe.   The possibilities are endless.  I even saw a tablecloth someone had painted with chalkboard paint and covered a table so you could write on it while you sat at the table.  How much fun is that?  Anyway, I wanted a versatile piece that was magnetic and could be written on.  My choice?    A cookie sheet because it has flat surface you can write on and is metal so it will be magnetic.  First stop - Dollar Tree.  I bought a half dozen cookie sheets for $1 each and started from there.  Here is what you will need.

Cookie sheet
primer paint
black spray paint or color you want (for back and edges of cookie sheet - $.97 at Home Depot)
paint brush
chalkboard paint
acrylic paints in assorted colors
glass flat backed marbles ($1 for a bag at dollar tree)
magnets (available at craft stores)
hot glue gun
small note pad

Start by drilling two holes at top of the flat surface of the cookie sheet right below the border.  Make them about 3 inches apart and equal distance on either side of center.  Next, paint the entire sheet with primer.  This step is important because it is difficult to get paint to stick to metal, especially since you are going to be writing on it.  Next, spray the back of the cookie sheet with inexpensive spray paint.  I used black paint that was $.97 a can at Home Depot.  After that dries, turn the cookie sheet over and paint the front with chalkboard paint.  Let it dry and paint with two additional coats.  

Decide on how you want the cookie sheet decorated.  I printed out initials on my inkjet printer, then used a piece of transfer paper to trace the initial in the upper left corner of the cookie sheet.  I painted it with acrylic paint.  I chose colors that would coordinate with each recipient's kitchen and used a very simple method to decorate.  Dots.  I love dots and they are SO easy to do.  I used a flat pencil eraser and the end of a wooden skewer to make the dots by simply dipping in the paint and applying it to the edge of the cookie sheet in random patterns.  If you are not sure what pattern you would like to use, work it out on a piece of paper first before beginning on your finished piece.

To make the magnets, I simply painted the flat backs of the glass marbles with acrylic paint and let them dry, then applied a magnet with hot glue.  The initials were put on with a sharpie.  Simple.  

The hanger and holder for the chalk were made with some adorable ribbon I found at the craft store.  For the chalk holder, simply wrap a piece of ribbon around a piece of chalk so it won't be too tight to get the chalk out of,  but not so loose that the chalk won't stay in the "holder."  Cut the ribbon, hot glue it together forming a loop and then glue the back of the loop on the flat surface of the cookie sheet near the bottom of the board leaving enough room so a whole piece of chalk will fit.  (see picture)

The ribbon hanger was done by threading a piece of ribbon through the right hole leaving a loop long enough to hang your board and pulling the ribbon back through the left hole.  Make a tail long enough to tie a pretty bow and hot glue it to the board.  The hanger is then all one piece.   Keep the ribbon attached to the whole roll so you can adjust lengths until you are ready to cut it.  That keeps from wasting ribbon.

Add a magnet to the back of a small note pad with hot glue and place it in the bottom right hand corner.  Got my cute little note pads at WalMart.  Ta Dah!  Finished.  Now, you have an adorable memo board that is magnetic and you can write notes on.  Be sure and rub the edges of your chalk on a piece of paper to round out the edges.  Chalk has very sharp edges and may cut through your chalkboard paint.  The paint also needs to "age" for a few days before you use it and then seasoned.  Read the can label for directions.

These are a few of the boards I made and have already given as gifts.  They were so much fun to make.   They can be personalized in so many ways, and are both decorative and useful!

Notice, this is before I lettered the magnets and added the hangers, etc.  Don't you think they are adorable?  What a handy, heartfelt, handmade gift from you to the recipient.  These would be great for children's rooms too!  Just take this idea and run wild!  Let me know what idea you come up with.  You are going to have so much fun making these.  Enjoy!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Christmas time is coming, lights are on the trees
Hang up your stocking for Santa Claus to see,
If you haven't got a stocking, a little sock will do
If you haven't got a little sock, God Bless you!

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