A little behind the scenes
Thanks for all the love on the Chalkboard Wall project we completed this week. It’s always fun to watch something come together the way you had imagined. It’s even better when you get to do any project with your favorite people. And as far as were concerned, the challenge of thinking outside the box and using what you have requires ingenuity and leaves behind a strong sense of fulfillment. So just for fun, here’s a little run-down of what really went down in our kitchen the other day in the making of a bargain chalkboard wall.
The making of a bargain chalkboard wall | assets and liabilities
It’s always a good place to start, this listing of assets and liabilities. It helps to establish parameters and to have a starting point to launch creativity.
Our list of assets looked something like this …
- 1/2 a can of chalkboard paint
- 1 small wire basket
- 1 large white frame that once held a painting of a frog prince and a fairytale castle and probably graced a little girl’s nursery wall before being dropped off at a local thrift shop
- 2 rough wood frames without glass
- 2 smaller wood frames with glass
- 2 large Blacksmithed hooks, compliments of Grandpa’s forge
- 3 gifted artists in the house
- random pieces of leather and a set of leather alphabet stamps
- no less than 37 ideas swarming through our heads on how to make this work
Our list of liabilities looked something like this …
- Figuring out to right arrangement and number of items to hang on a skinny little wall without it looking too chaotic
- The fairytale castle picture was easily removed, and the frame was promptly dropped and busted into 2 pieces, it was a sad moment that we would rather not talk about
- The awesome hooks from Grandpa were too shallow to hold the wire basket, no matter how hard we tried to make it work
First, we pour the coffee and paint the wall
Because everything should start with coffee! This particular wall has already been painted twice, so it was done shortly after the coffee was brewed. When you do use chalkboard paint, follow the directions to season your surface by going over the entire area with a sideways piece of chalk. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth. It really does make it easier to clean your chalkboard surface later. That’s another free tip from the “ask me how I know” archives. You’re welcome, yet again!
Then we arrange the frames
A frame that’s missing the glass may seem like an item for the giveaway bin, but they’re quite versatile little items for wall decor. Whether you’re framing a dimensional word, needing a space to highlight and switch out a child’s artwork, or adding definition to a chalkboard wall – they’re perfect for the job.
Several weeks ago we were discussing how to encourage more of a team attitude around the house with everyone going in different direction and without employing some annoying Disney musical tune. Speaking gratitude is a habit that takes a little time to develop, but one that is sorely needed for most of us. Hence the Thanks frame.
She had good bones, this Thanks frame, until I busted them up that is. As it turns out all she really needed after her unfortunate fall was some wood glue, a few brackets and a good set of clamps. And if by chance your clamps aren’t large enough then you just improvise, right?
And add the wire basket
You hear it all the time, but one of the best places to shop for decor is our own homes. To walk into a room, or closet, with “new eyes” so to speak, thinking outside the box to repurpose what’s already in our possession. When that doesn’t work, the next best source in my book is thrifted, clearanced or on sale. This little wire basket was on sale and exactly what I had in mind for this space.
The only problem being that it really was designed to sit on a table or desk as opposed to hang on a wall. Back to the storage closet for some hooks my dad blacksmithed years ago for another project. Great idea, but it didn’t quite work.
Options at that point included blacksmithing something that would work next time I visited Dad or purchasing hooks or a shelf since I didn’t have any at home that would work. Hmmm, something to think about while finishing the details on the Thanks frame …
Then comes a bit of embellishing with leather
There’s just something about the character of an organic material like leather. In a bag, or shoes, or furniture, or decor, it’s a fun mix of rugged, soft and real. The dark color of this leather scrap was a perfect contrast and character to add to the Thanks frame. A few
crooked letters, scrapbook brads on each end and some E6000 glue and it was good to go.
Somewhere in that process, the idea emerged to use leather straps to secure the wire basket to the wall. A rotary cutter is great for creating a straight line through even the thickest of leathers. Use a good hole punch or awl for a hole on each end and you’re ready to secure it to the wall. I used anchors and some aged copper spray paint to tone down the bright silver colored screws.
A few more details
Throw in a candle holder, a skinny little clay pot with some artificial plants and a tiny white pumpkin and call it done. The candle holder stores little cards, a marker and washi tape to add thank you notes. I have to admit, I used to think fake plants were a bit tacky, but not anymore. There are some really nice ones out there, and they’re perfect for those of us who frequently forget to water the plants.
And there you have it! A little freshen up on a favorite space to make it even more lovely and functional. So where would you add a chalkboard wall to your home? And what sorts of details would you include? We would love to hear your ideas, because we’re always open to new ideas and adventures!