Monday, October 17, 2016

Well here I am again!  I kick myself all the time for not blogging or paying attention to my social media accounts.  So several weeks ago I started working on some projects so I'd have something to blog about.  I can't promise I'll keep up with it, but here goes!

Pinterest is one of my obsessions!  I literally look up and pin just about every kind of thing you can think of and it's a big source of creative inspiration for me.  One thing that sucks about Pinterest is that it can sometimes be very unrealistic - especially when it comes to weddings!  Many photos are from styled shoots where only one table is fabulously decorated and there's no way the person on an average budget could afford it.  Sometimes my customers will send me photos from Pinterest and I think "how in the hell am I going to make it look like that?!?!?"  Then I proceed to go crazy until I figure it out or just decide to say no.

Scrolling through Facebook one day I saw that my friend Taylor had posted about wanting to have a large easel chalkboard at her wedding.  I decided to take on the challenge!  She sent me the photo below, which she found on Pinterest.

I thought this was so beautiful and I love the flowers on top!  So I had shown this photo to a friend of mine and he built one for me out of materials from Home Depot - total was around $50.  We picked a smooth 2x4 piece of wood for the main chalkboard piece.

Next step - make that wood look beautiful!  I stained the frame with a dark stain, then coated it with a semi-gloss spray after the stain dried for 24 hours.  Luckily my Dad has a fabulous shop he let me use to do this!

As you can see, I got a little stain on the chalkboard area, which I sanded off with a fine sand paper...although that probably wasn't really necessary.

Next I put my first coat of chalkboard paint on!  I got this in a medium sized can at Home Depot near the spray paint section.

I'm get this super intense excitability over my projects and I couldn't stand waiting to put the second coat on...but the can said to wait 4 hours I think.  I just left it overnight.

The second coat made it perfect!  Excuse my poor quality photo :)

Next is the fun part...getting the words on there and having them look flawless!  Here's what I did and you can do this on any chalkboard (not necessary to go building one from scratch!).  

1. I created my text design in photoshop at the dimensions of the board.
2. I printed each section, then taped them together.

3. I taped the printed/taped text centered on my chalkboard with some painters tape.
4. I put a sheet of graphite paper under the printed text, then traced around it with a pen - you trace on your printed text or design with the graphite paper in between that and your chalkboard.
5. Take off the tape and remove everything and you have a pencil-like outline of your design right on your chalkboard.
6. I took a thick chalk marker and carefully filled in the design.  Voila!  A perfectionist's dream!

To conclude this post, you don't have to have the perfect handwriting or artistic skill to create something fabulous.  If you're determined enough, you'll find a way!

♥ Allison

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