Large DIY Chalkboard

 I have been OBSESSED with finding a ginormous framed chalkboard for our dining room ever since seeing this picture on Pinterest:

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 It has seriously been over 1 year…1 YEAR…since I got this idea in my head. My main problem wasn’t finding the board, but finding it for the price I wanted to pay (as they are all a bagillion dollars….for the life of me I can’t figure out why).

This project is affordable, fun, and easy.

Supplies you will need:

1 Large slab of masonite (Lowe’s will cut this for you. It comes to about $8) I had mine cut down to 3ftx5ft but I would have done 4ftx6ft if I could have fit all that in my car.

1 Quart of chalkboard paint (I had some on hand and still have plenty left after many chalk projects) $9.99

Paintbrush or roller

Sandpaper

Hot glue

Molding

Fun color of spray paint or paint (optional)

Drill with screws

Miter box (you don’t need this, but it makes things easier)

An extra hand (or 2) for hanging the board (I usually skip this part and try to do everything myself, but my amazing in-laws were in town and made everything so much easier!)

Step One:

Paint one side of the board with 4 coats (or more if needed) of chalkboard paint, allowing time to dry in between each coat.

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While your  paint is drying, you can paint your molding the color of your choice. I’m super cheap, so I used an old can of Champagne Nouveau spray paint and lightly dusted an uneven coating over the molding. I wanted an antiqued/aged look, so it didn’t have to be perfect.

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Step Two:

After board is completely dry…aka 3 episodes of The Walking Dead or Gossip Girl (depending on current mood) on Netflix…sand top coat lightly. I also sanded down my molding to complete the antiqued look. You can’t really tell in the pics but I promise you it is noticeable in person.

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Step Three:

This is by far the hardest part…and I usually skip it but this time I held fast: wait THREE DAYS for board to cure.

Step Four:

Hang board (with help if needed). You don’t have to worry about what the screws look like as long as you keep them as close to the edge of the board as possible. You’re going to be covering that part up with the molding anyway.

Step Five:

Cut molding into 4 pieces to make frame. My father-in-law did this part, as I was banned from utilizing sharp apparatuses for accidentally slicing my hand open with a bread knife while making wine cork place card holders for Thanksgiving (which turned out real cute, I might add! Don’t even get me started on how ridiculously expensive place card holders are!).

 Step Six:

Once cut, you can attach the molding to the board in a number of ways. We chose hot glue, due to it’s simplicity and just the fact that it really works well. The guy at Lowe’s was super interested in my chalkboard project and gave me some additional recommendations though. You can use nails without a head and simply just nail the molding on, or attach it using some other form of glue.

Step Seven:

This is the fun part! Now that your board is cured, take a piece of good ole’ regular chalk and color the WHOLE THING! Erase. Now it is ready to write on! Congrats! I also decided to decorate mine with some garland that I found at Hobby Lobby (half off, of course), and then I jotted down our Thanksgiving menu:

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I was able to complete this project for under $20, because I had a lot of the items needed already, but even if you don’t you will still save a ton of money with this DIY as opposed to buying a large chalkboard at PB.

I realize this chalkboard is not nearly as grand as the Pinterest pic I modeled it after, but it’s a start! I plan on adding ginormous wall sconces to each side for grandeur…I will add that pic to this post when completed.

{Note: I have attempted to add these myself, but apparently there is metal behind this wall, and now also a large hole that I made with my(husbands) power tools. I will find a way!!}

We had a lovely first Thanksgiving in our home with friends and family and can’t wait to celebrate Christmas! Even little Olive enjoyed some turkey:

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Hope ya’ll are having a wonderful holiday season!

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DIY Herb Garden

As promised, here’s my quick instructional for a diy herb garden:

First, find an old bucket, barrel, tub, planter, or something totally off the wall that you can put a plant in. I chose an ice bucket with a stand that was really cute but just did not fit in with our color scheme.

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If you don’t have anything, no worries! You can hit up a flea market or garage sale on the weekend and I guarantee you’ll find something interesting!

The first thing I did was drill some holes in the bottom (if it already has drainage, you’re one step ahead). I learned this important step from previous failures :/

Next, I chose my spray paint colors. I spray painted the stand with Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze, and used Rust-Oleum Flat Metallic Antique Nickel for the bucket. When doing this, choose an area with good air circulation…or else you may pass out. I always spray paint in my backyard or if it’s windy in my garage with the garage door open. I try to cover the floor with cardboard or trash bags…but I’m still in big trouble from the hubby for the layer of gold paint film in my surrounding spray area.

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Next thing I did was use my handy dandy chalkboard paint to make a little square in the middle of the bucket, like so. You can make any shape you’d like, though! Get creative! I used Rust-Oleum Specialty Flat Black Chalkboard Paint and an old, cheap, paint brush. I did 3 coats of the paint, letting each one dry for a few minutes before adding the next.

After this is COMPLETELY dry, you can start adding your dirt and herbs. I just went to my fave store, The Home Depot, and bought some Miracle Gro and 5 different herbs that I actually use in my cooking.

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I just happened to have these little chalkboard plant-markers, so I used a chalkboard pen to write on the front of the bucket and the markers to identify each herb (incase i lose my sense of smell, then I will know which is which! I know, so smart). I wouldn’t recommend using plain chalk, because when watering the herbs it will wash right off and you will have to keep writing down the names over, and over, and over…

Anyways, that’s it! Simple! Here’s the before and after:

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I’d love to see your own personal diy herb garden projects! You can tag me in them on Instagram @thethriftymermaid or share on here! Thrift on!