Last week, you probably saw me share another one of my pregnancy or maternity photos at 25 weeks pregnant. To document my growing belly, my friend and wedding photographer Christina of BrideInspired and I get together at my house every 3, 4 to 5 weeks (depending on life) to take some more photos of me and the baby. So far, it has been really great to have all of these photos, and most importantly, it has been a wonderful way to share my pregnancy with most of my family and friends who live out of state. Sure...it's kind of depressing watching everything else grow along with my belly, but whatever! Haha. Once we have the baby, I plan on taking all of these pregnancy photos, lining them up and framing them to keep forever.
Now, if you spend enough time on Pinterest, then you probably know that I didn't come up with this idea on my own. I borrowed it from another blogger who seems to have much better drawing and chalkboard skills than I do. As soon as I saw all of her photos though, I knew that I had to try to do something similar with my pregnancy. Once I found out I was pregnant, I started looking for a large chalkboard like hers right away. Problem was...I couldn't find anything like it! Chalkboards of that size were hard to come by at a decent price, and when I did find one, the actual chalkboard piece usually wasn't framed in such a cute way. So then I knew that I would have to make mine (turns out, this blogger handmade hers, as well!).
While I made this chalkboard a while ago late last summer, I did keep my blog in mind (as always) and took some photos with my iPhone as I worked on this DIY project. I thought it would be relevant for brides since chalkboards are very much a part of wedding decor these days. Use it to display your menu, seating charts, ceremony program or just write a cute little saying on it from Words on Paper to put on display! I figured I would share the DIY lesson with you guys eventually, and today is finally the day!
Try Day Friday - DIY Chalkboard
- Buy some artwork. I went to the HomeGoods store looking for a piece of artwork (or I imagine a mirror could even work?) that was the right size and shape. Since I would be taking this artwork apart, it was also important that it had a sturdy frame on it, and that I could actually take it apart. This last requirement was probably the toughest part about finding the right piece of artwork to convert to a chalkboard. Another thing to consider, which I didn't really think about when I was shopping, is the texture of the painting itself. You really don't want to get anything too rough or bumpy, since you're going to be applying the chalkboard paint right on top of it and when you write on your chalkboard, you want it to be as smooth as possible. As you can see below, I chose a (kind of hideous) piece of artwork that was stapled into a wooden frame. This piece of artwork only cost me $20!
- Separate the pieces. Because the actual artwork was stapled into the frame, I asked my husband to help me out with this part. Using a pair of plyers, he removed all of the staples from the back of the frame so that I could seperate the frame from the actual artwork.
- Painting the frame. Once I had all of the pieces seperated, I made sure that the frame was clean and got ready to spray paint! I was living in an apartment at the time, so I was forced to do this entire project inside with some flattened cardboard boxes and a few fans running, but of course, outside is always best when spray painting. I did three coats of white spray paint, waiting at least an hour for the frame to dry in between coats.
- Prime the artwork. Clean the surface of the artwork very well. Then, since the actual artwork piece wasn't perfectly smooth, I thought it would be a good idea to prime it with a light layer of spray paint before applying the chalkboard paint.
- Begin painting! Chalkboard paint has become very popular these days, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find at your local craft store. I purchased two small bottles of the paint by Martha Stewart at Michaels Arts & Crafts. I applied two coats of the paint, allowing it to dry overnight in between coats. When painting, you'll notice that getting the paint to go on smoothly without the stroke marks can be a little tricky. Honestly, my chalkboard isn't all that perfect, so just do the best you can while painting!
- Prime the chalkboard. If you follow the directions on the back of your bottle of chalkboard paint, it'll instruct you to prime the chalkboard surface before you begin using it. You do this by simply covering your entire chalkboard with regular chalk once, and then wiping it all off. Then simply reassemble your chalkboard back into your newly painted frame using hot glue and/or an appropriate wood/surface glue, allow it to dry and you're done!