Jumping on the Chalkboard Bandwaggon

Trying too hard to be cool tilted photograph.

Trying too hard to be cool tilted photograph.

Before I get to the chalkboard stuff, I feel like I have some ‘splanin to do. I haven’t posted in a little over a year, but I am back from blog death! Life got a little crazy, a lot busy, and I let the things that make me ME (crafting, making fun of myself, writing) go by the wayside. I’m learning about balance. I can’t do everything all at once. Between work, the doc program, and general life duties, I forgot to add me to the schedule. I’ve found that sometimes I have to work to keep myself healthy (mentally, physically), and now I’ve given myself permission to LIVE. I am the captain of my own ship. Okay enough of my existential diatribe; to the crafts!

So everyone else is making (buying?) all these cute chalkboard details. They’re everywhere! Labels, gift tags, on candles, on signs, etc. I decided I wanted to make a chalkboard menu (and I had a Michaels gift card that had burning a hole in my wallet!). Here’s the short backstory to the chalkboard: The hubby and I have been trying to reign in our budget (reign in me, really), so we decided we should actually make/eat the food we buy at the store. What happens is we buy all this food, then we get lazy, decide to eat out instead, and all the food goes bad. WASTE OF MONEY. I thought if we had a posted menu, and who was in charge of cooking that meal, we might quit throwing away food and there’d be less of, “I thought you were cooking tonight!” “NO, it’s your turn!”.

My initial idea was to have the hubby tape off a straight rectangle on the pantry door, where I could use the chalkboard spray paint I already have. Voila a very cheap craft (save money! He’s trying to make it my new motto). He had an even better idea. Home Depot sells pieces of chalkboard. We bought the 3′ by 2’ for about $6, and it fits perfectly on the width of our pantry door! I wanted to make the word ‘menu’ and the days of the week permanent (redrawing that every time? no thanks), so I bought an oil based white sharpie marker for about $4.

1.  I looked up “chalkboard menu” on pinterest to get ideas of what I liked, and then I went to town!

2. I used a pencil and measuring tape draw on what I wanted first and keep it straight, and I used a stencil to make the dots uniform. After I got everything done with the paint pen, I erased any visible pencil marks.

3. The hubby took it from there! He got liquid nails from the garage to hang it on our pantry door and clamped it in place until it dried (a few hours).

4. I wasn’t sure if the chalkboard had been seasoned, so I went ahead and rubbed chalk on its side all over the board and wiped it off with a towel.  Now it’s ready to use!

Damon used liquid nails to glue it to the door and clamps to hold it in place until the liquid nails dried.

Damon used liquid nails to glue it to the door and clamps to hold it in place until the liquid nails dried.

Clamps on all four corners hold it in place for a few hours.

Clamps on all four corners hold it in place for a few hours.

Here is the finished product!  All for about $10!

Here is the finished product! All for about $10!

The final and most important step is to season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side all over the board and wipe off), then I decided to draw pictures for our meals.  At least I know what it means!

The final and most important step is to season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side all over the board and wipe off), then I decided to draw pictures for our meals. At least I know what it means!

I decided to draw our meals. I know what it means, but in case you’re wondering…

M- steak, potatoes, broccoli
T- Meatless Tuesday (moved from Meatless Monday, because our vegetarian friend Vivien has a soccer game to coach)
W- barbecued drumsticks
T- fast food, because I have 2 classes in Commerce until 10pm
F- Valentine’s Day!!!

I’m so proud of how well it turned out!

Everyone’s Doing It…

Everybody is making mesh wreaths!  So, of course, I had to try it too!  Considering I’ve seen these big Deco Mesh wreaths going on Etsy from $150 and UP, I thought it’d be cheaper to do it myself.  Mine is a Christmas wreath, but it could be made for any occasion!

So here is my way to DIY a Deco Mesh wreath (told in pictures):

Supplies:

2 rolls Deco Mesh

1 wire wreath frame

24 pipe cleaners

ribbon

cute add-ons

hot glue gun

and maybe wire cutters

Needed: 2 rolls Deco Mesh, 24 pipe cleaners, metal wreath frame, hot glue gun, and cute add ons.

Basics: 2 rolls Deco Mesh and pipe cleaners.  Ideally, the pipe cleaners would match the mesh!

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add ons!

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add-ons!

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner.  Repeat all the way around!

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner. Repeat all the way around!

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round.  I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round. I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.  It wouldn’t be a craft project if I didn’t mess something up!

Here is my redo.  I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

Here is my redo. I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

Tip:  Cut 10 inch long pieces of ribbon, snip the ends to make a V-shape, and tie in to the wreath to add texture or a splash of color.  Ribbon also makes a great filler!  Try tying three different kinds of ribbon to the pipe cleaner to make a cute bow!

I hot glued on my add ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I hot glued on my add-ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

This is going to go on my office door until school lets out for Christmas break, then it is going to hang proudly over my mantle!!!

Now try and make your own!  If you send me a pic, I will add it to my blog!

Here is my most recent wreath creation.  My mom and I had a Valentine's wreath making day!

Here is my most recent wreath creation. My mom and I had a Valentine’s wreath making day!