OK, so a while ago, I was scouring Pinterest for an awesome way to celebrate and remember the little ones birthdays. I came across a whole lot of birthday boards, most of them made to look like chalkboards and SUPER cute! Only I wanted something a little different. I decided I didn’t want to pay someone for a print of a board that I would use only once, but I wanted to make a reusable version that was just as cute and could be a personalized as I wanted. (AND cheaper).
So this is the plan I came up with. I was going to make a chalkboard, and write my own stats for each child on their birthday, according to whatever they were up to that year. I would then take amazingly adorable photos with the birthday boy/girl and hang the chalkboard, with one of the photos I had taken next to it. The following year, I wipe the board down, redo it for that birthday, take new photos, and re-hang the new photo and board right next to the old photo(s). This way I end up with a photo for every year, and the current board hung all together in a nice little display!
So how exactly would one do this?
First I needed something suitable for the board itself. I chose to use hardboard, which I found at Blick Art Supplies. I wanted a 24X30, which is only about $5! No, don’t just use cardboard because after painting the board may bend and the ribbing from the inside can make it more difficult to write on later. And Yes, I know this because I tried it.
After you have your board, you need chalkboard paint. You can go two ways with this. Either brush/roll it on, or spray it on. Personally I prefer to spray paint this project because it takes pretty much no cleanup and takes all of 30 seconds to do one coat (which is important because…kids). I also think this gives me a better finish. The smoother your finish, the easier it will be to get a good line on your chalkboard. (you know, going the way you want it to go instead of catching on a bump and making your banana look like something…else.) Anyway, I used Rust-Oleum ChalkBoard Spray paint that I found while wandering Wal-Mart one day.
Next you need CHALK. I got this at Wal-Mart too. At first I used sidewalk chalk (So many colors!) and then I got the smaller, less chubby sticks because they’re better for writing. I used both on my board this year. Chalk is usually under $1 for a small pack. Another option is to go with bistro markers, but the ones I tried did not want to erase from my board, so back to chalk I went.
I used a poster board frame I had around already to hang it with, since I didn’t feel like attaching an anchor to the back of the board.
OK, so you need:
- Your hardboard(which I forgot to photograph before painting)
- Chalkboard Paint
- Stats (if you come up with them ahead of time you wont sit in front of your board, staring at it trying to remember what you wanted there)
- wet wash cloth (this is for mistakes, and paper towels leave bits and pieces!)
First things first, Clean off your board! You don’t want cat hair or packaging debris under your paint! After you do this, apply your first coat of paint, then allow to dry. For me, this usually means duck back inside to wrangle the kids before they demolish my entire house. I usually end up just going back out whenever I have another mommy time window to put a second, then third coat on.
Tada! you made a chalkboard!
Then, you put whatever you want on it! (this really has endless possibilities) I usually start with their first name, how old they are, and if they’re little how tall and how much they weigh. For first birthdays you can do how many teeth, words they say, favorite toys etc. I even include a few things they hate that year, because usually its funny to remember the next year.
And once you manage to get your cutie to sit down for photos…hang er up!
Hope you love it as much as I do! If you’ve done it, or something like this please feel free to share!