Sunday, August 24, 2014

BIG Chalkboards!

We recently hosted our all-district beginning of the school year meeting at my high school.  It was a tremendous amount of work to get the site ready - our custodians and IT guys were AMAZING!  My principal wanted to have everyone feel welcome when they first walked on campus.  In addition to the 90 flags that our district guys put up, the ASB kids cheering each group of people walking in, an amazing array of baked goodies from our Food Services folks, we had two 3' x 4' chalkboards.  My principal threw out the idea of making a couple, and of course, with chalkboards being my latest obsession, I jumped on it!

My husband had some leftover MDF boards and some 2 x 4's stacked in the garage, so we were ready to go!


The drawings were freehand - I just used a yardstick to draw chalk lines to guide the lettering and tried to imitate some cool fonts I found on the internet.  It was really relaxing to do the chalk part.  I know this fad will disappear at some point in the future, but I sure am enjoying it while it's "cool"!!


There are versions of these that are framed and two sided.  I think that if you need something inexpensive and simple and if it doesn't matter that the back side isn't "pretty", this style would work fine.


Scroll down for directions and an UPDATE!


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Start with whatever size board you want.  Paint with chalkboard paint.  I used the brush on kind rather than the spray paint and did three coats.




Cut a 2x4 about 3/4ths of the height of the piece of plywood.  Lean the board on the 2x4 and on the back, mark where you want the hinge to be.




Attach the hinge.  Make sure you use screws that are shorter than the depth of the board, otherwise they will pop through.





Coat (prime) the board with chalk.  I started with sidewalk chalk thinking it would go faster, but it was a FAIL.  It is not as smooth as the regular chalk and it made scratches on the paint. I did another coat of paint to cover them up.




Rub the entire surface with a soft cloth.  I used a microfiber (clean) dusting cloth.

Now it's ready to write on!  Because we are going to use these over and over, I wrote with chalk rather than paint.  Either one would work fine however.






Here are the boards in action!



A colleague asked to use the board for her wedding.  It was the first time that I used a chalkboard pen (I highly recommend it!).  Here is the result:





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